The Allen Organ

The organ at Grace Lutheran Church is a magnificent instrument.  The organ was built by the Allen Organ Company in Macungie, PA.  Allen organs are digital instruments which have been perfected to the point of being almost indistinguishable from a pipe organ.

The instrument has four manuals (keyboards), which is the the equivalent of 102 ranks (rows) of pipes.  To our knowledge this is the largest organ in Pottstown.  The organ was constructed for the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir to use on a concert tour.  After the tour was concluded, the organ was returned to Allen and put up for sale.  It was purchased by Grace Lutheran Church, Pottstown!

A dedicatory recital was held and Carlo Curley, a world-famous concert organist, gave the recital.  It was a fantastic experience.  Mr. Curley was referred to as the “Pavarotti of the organ.”  Sadly, Mr. Curley has since passed away.  You can learn more about Carlo Curley at www.carlo.com.

The Allen organ replaced a three-manual Casavant pipe organ.  The old instrument was dismantled and removed from Grace Church to make way for the new Allen organ.  The Casavant instrument was purchased by an Anglican Church in Canada.  Casavant is a Canadian company so the organ “went home” as it were.  The chimes from the Casavant organ did remain at Grace Church.

The Allen organ has 88 walnut pull-stops and the sharp/flat keys are also walnut.  The organ also includes a MIDI.  The MIDI adds another 60 voices to the organ including:  strings, woodwinds, brass, Zimbelstern and a host of other sounds including Choir (human voices) and even a string bass.

The Console Controller allows the organist to record his/her playing and includes a Transposer which is great for raising or lowering a piece by half-step increments.  If a hymn is too high, you can lower the key using the Transposer instead of transposing it yourself.

The four manuals (keyboards) include the Solo, Swell, Great and Choir divisions.  The pedalboard is quite spectacular and includes several 32′ stops for maximum nave shaking 🙂  The organ has numerous pistons and toe studs, which are preset and allow instantaneous registration changes.

The Choir division includes a Festival Trumpet, located in the rear of the nave, which is nice for weddings and special occasions.