The newly acquired Allen digital & pipe combination organ in Third Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, began by Divine Intervention with a devastating lightning strike, the third strike in 15 years, to the pipe relay on their 1966 Möller organ.
The church contacted Allen Representative; Gerrero-Kirk Classic Organs in Pittsburgh PA, to rent an interim organ until the pipe relay could be repaired. A 36 Stop, Two-Manual Diane Bish Signature Series organ was put to the task. The beauty of the organ's sound was noticed right away. Parishioners asked if the pipe organ had been repaired! Response to the Allen was so positive that it altered the course of the organ project.
Intrigued to learn more about Allen's abilities to serve the church's needs, Third Presbyterian visited the Allen factory. The experience compelled them to select a custom Four-Manual Allen digital and pipe combination organ. Designed to operate the church's 78 ranks of Möller pipework and augment it with an additional 100 digital ranks, the instrument provides virtually unlimited tonal colors and capabilities.
The Möller pipes are located in the balcony at the rear of the sanctuary with the Allen digital voices speaking from the front of the room. It is awesome to see, and to hear!
To guard against future lightning strikes, the new Allen pipe interface is connected to the Möller pipe organ using a fiber optic cable. There are two large 120 inch-long relay boards which send the signals from the digital organ to the appropriate pipe magnets.
And, not wanting to let go of the beautiful instrument that initially started their love affair with Allen, Third Presbyterian also decided to purchase the Diane Bish Signature Series rental organ and installed it in the church's chapel! It replaced a former 7-Rank Möller console built in 1963.