Two Organ Solutions from The Classical Organ Group at Cunningham Piano

The Classical Organ Group at Cunningham Piano Company is proud to represent Fratelli Ruffatti pipe organs based in Padua, Italy and the internationally based Global Organ Group companies: Johannus Orgelböuw, Rodgers Instruments, and Makin and Copeman Hart, English design organs.

This family of companies, with the depth and breadth of their product offerings, allows Cunningham Piano to bring unparalleled solutions for any set of requirements (and desires) for winded, digital and hybrid organs. We have provided organs for the largest churches, chapels and other religious institutions of all sizes, the concert stage, music schools, and private residences. 

A Recent Case in Point:  St. Brendan the Navigator Parish of Avalon, NJ has three Parish churches in both Avalon and neighboring Stone Harbor, NJ. Two of the three churches had older, ailing digital organs that were 1) becoming very unreliable and in need of repair and 2) not capable of adequately supporting their congregations, and significantly 3) not able to support the future needs of the music ministries in each, separate location. Two very talented organists serve these two Parish Churches.

Firstly, built in 1953 St. Paul’s Church in Stone Harbor is a large venue seating 800 persons and is the second largest of the three church buildings in the Parish. Acoustically reverberant, the church features very high ceilings, surrounding reflective surfaces and non-carpeted flooring and wooden pews. The church provides the Parish a wonderful venue for its larger resident congregations, festival events, weddings, and funerals. In addition, there is huge potential for other musical events such as organ recitals, choral and instrumental or combined presentations for the Parish and Community at large. The older organ was not capable of supporting current or future requirements.

Secondly, Sacred Heart Chapel in Avalon is a lovely, smaller building capable of seating comfortably only 150-200 persons. Acoustically it is a very dry, non-reverberant space with lots of sound-absorbing materials throughout as typical of an older chapel building. The challenging acoustic environment notwithstanding, the setting is wonderful for its smaller local congregation, intimate weddings, and private funerals. There is the potential for expanded musical programs like chamber music and combined organ/instrumental performances. The older organ here, like at ST. Paul’s, was becoming inadequate to the challenges of even this smaller church.

Two churches, one Parish. Two completely different sets of requirements for two inter-related music ministries. Enter Cunningham Piano’s Organ Group. Don McFarland began consulting with Father Mark Cavagnaro, Pastor, and the Parish organists David Condo and Ryan McAteer to ascertain all their needs and desires short and long term. 

St. Paul’s – Requirements:

  • A New Digital Organ with state-of-the-art digital sampling.
  • A Specification (organ voices/stops) supportive of a larger congregation’s singing and Liturgical worship.
  • The capability to faithfully render literature from different genres and periods.
  • The capability to work in concert with other musical ensembles, vocal and instrumental for future expansion of music programming for the church and community at large.
  • An Audio system capable of faithfully reproducing pipe organ ‘realism’ in the large, reverberant acoustic space.

St. Paul’s – The Solution:

  • A Johannus Ecclesia Series T-370 digital organ was selected. This thee-manual Sixty-Six voice/stop digital classic organ features four complete ‘virtual organs’ from four distinct schools of traditional organ building. (American Classic, French Symphonic, Baroque, Historic Renaissance). 
  • This enables the organist’s faithful rendering of the liturgical music, and further… authentic performance of any of the organ literature. 
  • The large, distributed (10.1) Audio system allows the virtual pipe organ ‘divisions’ to be distributed in chambers across the front of the church in the Altar area.
  • An Antiphonal Choir Division speaking from the rear of the church, delivers additional congregational support as well as the organist’s the ability to create contrasting front to back musical expression.
  • Expansion of the Music Program at St. Paul’s for large events is well within the hands of the organists.

Sacred Heart Chapel – Requirements:

  • A New Digital Organ with state-of-the-art digital sampling.
  • A Specification (organ voices/stops) supportive of a smaller congregation, smaller weddings and other liturgical events.
  • The capability to work in concert with smaller musical ensembles, vocal and instrumental for future expansion of the music programs.
  • An Audio system capable of faithfully reproducing pipe organ ‘realism’ but in an acoustically challenged room.

Sacred Heart Chapel – The Solution:

  • A Rodgers Classic Series 569 digital organ was selected. This is a two-manual 27 voice/stop digital classic organ with many additional stops provided by the Rodgers Palette and Library Voices.
  • The organist can fully support congregational singing, faithfully render the liturgical music, and authentically perform of much of the organ literature. 
  • The Audio system, with both internal and external speaker systems, beautifully reproduces fine pipe organ sound.
  • Digital reverberation technology also adds perfect ambiance to the Chapel’s dry acoustic, making the organ really ‘sing’ in that space!
  • The organ will beautifully complement small ensembles or instrumentalists as the music program grows.

In conclusion, Cunningham Piano’s Classical Organ Group employed our consultative approach to design and deliver two very different solutions for St. Brendan’s the Navigator Parish. Supplying instruments to one customer from two of the Global Organ Group companies we represent – Johannus and Rodgers – attests to the hallmark of our customer service:

For every customer:

  • We Listen to Your Every Requirement and Desire
  • With You, We Design and Build a Solution Best Suited to Your Needs
  • We Deliver the Solution Beyond Your Expectations

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