Allen News

December 19, 2017

Re: Allen Organ to Provide Music for Christmas Eve Mass at Vatican

Vatican officials have confirmed that the Allen organ recently installed in St. Peter's Basilica will be used for the Christmas Eve Mass celebrated there on December 24th at 9:30 PM Rome time (3:30 EST). The service will be broadcast live, worldwide, on EWTN.

Allen is thrilled and humbled by this opportunity to support the music ministry of the Vatican.

View the Christmas Midnight Mass with Pope Francis 2017


Allen Organ in The Vatican!


Installed and ready for use indoors within the Basilica, or outdoors in St. Peter's Square.
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Allen President Steven Markowitz and VP Barry Holben at the Vatican preparing the installation.
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Organist Juan Paradell-Solé at Allen Organ in
St. Peter's.
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Maestro Palombella at Allen Organ in Basilica and Allen's Steve Markowitz and Barry Holben.
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Press Release
Allen Organ Company in Tune with Sistine Chapel Choir
Allen Organ goes from the Valley to the Vatican
O holy music: An Allen organ lands at Vatican in time for Christmas Eve Mass

December 12, 2017

Dear Friends and Associates,

Last month we announced that Allen Organ Company was chosen to be the exclusive organ of the Sistine Chapel Choir for papal celebrations in St. Peter's Square. I have since traveled to the Vatican with Allen Vice President Barry Holben and Jean-Philippe Le Trevou (Allen's French representative) to install the three-manual Allen GeniSys Organ. I would like to share details about this unique experience, as well as some exciting news about the increased significance the Allen organ will play at the Vatican.

We were initially informed that the organ would be used by the Sistine Chapel Choir. During our visit we learned that the Vatican wanted the organ to also be used for musical requirements at St. Peter's Basilica itself. What an exciting turn of events. Fortunately we designed the organ with a flexible audio system that could allow for the expanded requirement.

Upon arrival we were met at a gate to the Vatican and taken directly to the Basilica. We were pleasantly surprised to find the organ crates near where the Basilica's Choir is located. After uncrating the organ we spent hours setting it up. Late in the morning Monsignor Massimo Palombella, Maestro of the Sistine Chapel Choir and responsible for the Basilica's overall music, came to preview the organ. His positive response led to a remarkable tum of events. We were informed that on the following day the organ would be tested in the Basilica for broader usage.

It was fortuitous that the organ's audio system included external speaker cabinets and Audio Outs with the ability to connect the instrument to the Basilica's PA system, something we prepared for as we initially understood the organ was to be used in St. Peter's Square.

Thursday morning we started preparing the organ for the test. The instrument's speaker cabinets were moved on their custom dollies behind the Choir in a way that would allow the organ's sound to reflect up into the Basilica. We then connected the Audio Outs to the Basilica's PA system and waited for 3:00.

During this time period Juan Paradell-Sole, organist of the Pope, came for his introduction to the organ. His response was positive. We spent part of the two-hour Basilica lunch period, 12:00 to 2:00PM, working with Juan Paradell-Sole and were nearly alone in St. Peter's. This was a remarkable and once-in-a-lifetime experience!

At 3:00PM, Maestro Palombella, organist Juan Paradell-Solé, and the Basilica's sound manager arrived. We connected the sound system to the organ and did additional voicing. The organ was then heard throughout the Basilica and it did not take long to see smiles from the three "judges". Maestro Palombella then informed us that the Allen organ would first be used in the Basilica during the following week. It is not possible to put into words our excitement at that moment.

There were many side-discussions that occurred during these amazing two days. One related to the Basilica's pipe organ, an instrument with pipe's speaking on both sides of the Nave. It was evident that this organ is not well received and does not adequately serve the Basilica's music ministry. Issues include tuning, as well as an inability to properly mix and coordinate the organ's sound throughout the Basilica.

We were also privileged to be invited by Maestro Palombella for a full rehearsal of the Sistine Chapel Choir at the Sistine Chapel itself. We were treated to not only a tremendous musical event, but also able to view the works of Michelangelo and others.

Allen organs have been installed in many prestigious institutions over the years. Now, being able to place the Vatican at the top of this list is amazing and humbling. On a more personal note, the first Allen church organ installed by my father was in a small parish church in Allentown. The church grew and ultimately became the Cathedral of the Allentown Diocese that now houses a large Allen organ. The Company has come a long way.

As I reflect on the amazing story of how an Allen organ has become a part of St. Peter's Basilica, I find the need to consider decades of efforts by too many to mention. Thousands of Allen employees over the decades played roles in producing the highest quality products. Our engineers created advanced platforms that enable the organs to be voiced to the most exacting and artistic requirements. Our dealers made and maintain organ installations that insure customer satisfaction. And, it was a dealer rental in Detroit just a few months ago that resulted in Maestro Palombella becoming excited about the possibility of an Allen organ in the Vatican.

In closing, I offer a huge "thank you" and congratulations to all involved in the thousands of efforts and events over the years that led to this amazing story.

Sincerely yours,

Steven A. Markowitz President



Allen Organ Employee Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Company!


Allen Organ President Steve Markowitz congratulates Allen's first 60 Year Anniversary employee Sandra Fischl.
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Sandra Fischl celebrates her 60th Year at Allen Organ!
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On June 8, 2017, Allen Organ celebrated Sandra Fischl's 60th Anniversary of employment with the Company. Congratulations to Sandy on this unique achievement and special thanks for her decades of dedication and loyalty!

Long-term relationships seem to be a thing of the past at some companies. But, they are at the core of Allen Organ Company's DNA, as exemplified by a long list of Allen employees and customers who have been a part of the "family" for nearly as long as Sandra Fischl.

WFMZ-TV69 Local TV - click here to watch more about this remarkable story!

Lehigh Valley Business - click here to read more about Sandra Fischl's 60 years at Allen Organ!



INSPIRING CONGREGATIONS VIDEO CONTEST GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Congratulations to Riverchase United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Alabama, for being the Grand Prize Winner of Allen Organs Inspiring Congregations video contest!

Organ: Custom Bravura L-463
Song: "Hallelujah" (from Christ on the Mount of Olives)
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

Describe how your Allen organ has inspired your congregation:
"After a lightning strike caused terminal damage to our 25-year-old organ, we sought to find a replacement Allen organ that would be fitting of the caliber of our amazing organist and music ministry. This video shows them in action on their very first Sunday together."
- Scott Phillips, RUMC Director of Technology

-->> Organ installation video
-->> This organ as Organ of the Week





Inspiring Congregations Video Contest
January 2017 Winner

Congratulations to Christ United Methodist Church of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for being the January 2017 Winner of Allen Organs Inspiring Congregations video contest!

Organ: Allen R370
Song: "Praise To The Lord, The Almighty"
Organ and Handbell Arrangement
Composer: McFadden/Linker

Describe how your Allen organ has inspired your congregation:
"I cannot say enough good things about our Allen Renaissance with Vista MIDI and antiphonal division! This instrument has saved us tons of money to be spent on being the hands and feet of Christ instead of in organ tunings, trying to play organs that don't function in the humidity or the cold temperatures. Utilizing MIDI, plus full organ including 32 pedal reeds in worship plus outreach concerts raised $1516.17! The instrument is just one more way we can be the hands and feet, literally, of Christ."
- Dr. Daniel Steinert, Director of Music


Inspiring Congregations Video Contest
December 2016 Winner

Congratulations to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Goose Creek, South Carolina, for being the December 2016 Winner of Allen Organs Inspiring Congregations video contest!

Organ: Bravura L-323
Song: "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
Composer: John F. Wade

Describe how your Allen organ has inspired your congregation:
"The Allen organ in this video is a Christmas loaner organ that we used while we wait for our custom 80 Stop, Three-manual Allen organ to be built! The new organ replaces our 40+ year-old Allen organ."
- Mylene Suzara, Organist


Inspiring Congregations Video Contest
September 2016 Winner

Congratulations to Riverchase United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Alabama, for being the September 2016 Winner of Allen Organs Inspiring Congregations video contest!

Organ: Custom Bravura L-463
Song: "Hallelujah" (from Christ on the Mount of Olives)
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

Describe how your Allen organ has inspired your congregation:
"After a lightning strike caused terminal damage to our 25-year-old organ, we sought to find a replacement Allen organ that would be fitting of the caliber of our amazing organist and music ministry. This video shows them in action on their very first Sunday together."
- Scott Phillips, RUMC Director of Technology

-->> Organ installation video
-->> This organ as Organ of the Week


Inspiring Congregations Video Contest
July 2016 Winner

Congratulations to Broadmoor Baptist Church of Shreveport, Louisiana, for being the July 2016 Winner of Allen Organs Inspiring Congregations video contest!

Organ: Möller/Allen 4-Manual digital/pipe combination
Song: "Holy, Holy, Holy!"
Composer: Reginald Heber

Describe how your Allen organ has inspired your congregation:
"This video includes an example of using the recorder function in the Console Controller to record the accompaniment for the hymn introduction and then playing live using our Jubilee Trumpet en Chamade with the recording with additional accompaniment by our instrumentalists, our choir, and of course, our congregation."
- Brook Boddie, Organist


Inspiring Congregations Video Contest
June 2016 Winner

Congratulations to Risen Savior Lutheran Church of Chandler, Arizona, for being the June 2016 Winner of Allen Organs Inspiring Congregations video contest!

Organ: Allen R-330
Song: "Christ Is Risen, Alleluia!"
Composer: James J. Chepponis

Describe how your Allen organ has inspired your congregation:
"Our Allen organ leads the congregation in Traditional Worship of their Savior with singing of hymns, accompanying choir anthems, and community outreach through concerts. The choir performs James J. Chepponis' "Christ Is Risen" during this past year's Easter Service and utilizes our Allen Organ within the performance along with handbells, 2 trumpets, and a keyboard playing the trombone parts."
- Carla Robertson, Organist


Inspiring Congregations Video Contest
May 2016 Winner

Congratulations to St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Rochester, Minnesota, for being the May 2016 Winner of Allen Organs Inspiring Congregations video contest!

Organ: Allen R-400 Custom Four-Manual
Song: Improv on "For All The Saints" (Postlude)
Composer/Arrangement: Ralph Vaughan Williams










Inspiring Congregations Video Contest
April 2016 Winner

Congratulations to Mount Paran Church of Atlanta, Georgia, for being the April 2016 Winner of Allen Organs Inspiring Congregations video contest!

Organ: Allen MDS-85
Song: "Come Thou Font Of Every Blessing"
Composer/Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

Describe how your Allen organ has inspired your congregation:
"Our Allen organ most certainly inspires our congregation to sing and aids them in doing so. We get feedback from all ages when the organ is used or featured, but particularly from young people who are moved by its majesty and beauty."



The organ being used in New York City is a
Three-Manual, 38 Stop digital organ.

The organ to be used at the Allentown Diocese event is a
Two-Manual, 29 Stop digital organ.

Allen Organ Company Provides Organs for Two Events
During Pope Francis' 2015 U.S. Visit

The Allen Organ Company LLC, of Macungie Pennsylvania, is proud to announce the company's participation in Pope Francis' visit to the United States by providing two organs to be used during The Celebration of the Mass in New York City's Madison Square Garden on Friday, September 25th, and during The Diocese of Allentown's 'Papal Mass Celebration' at the SteelStacks in Bethlehem, PA on Sunday, September 27th.


Allen Organ on WFMZ-TV69

WFMZ-TV69 'Locally produced organ playing in Papal Mass'

Allentown Morning Call article 09-24-15

Lehigh Valley Business Journal


Mass Book for the Preservation of Peace and Justice




Photo by Christine Batson

WBTN "Music from Waller Hall" radio program

"Music from Waller Hall" is the brainchild of Charles Olegar, a professional musician in the Troy, New York. The show is produced and broadcast from Bennington, Vermont. Charles does all the recordings of either him playing, or in this case Justan Foster - Organist at First Reformed Church of Scotia, Scotia, New York.

Charles showcases other prominent musicians in the greater Albany, NY capital district. Recently he featured an in depth interview with internationally acclaimed composer Alfred Fedak, who is Director of Music at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany, NY. Mr. Fedak explains his philosophy and method for writing his original compositions.

The link to this recent show of "Music from Waller Hall" is below, and features Justan Foster at the Allen organ of First Reformed Church Scotia, NY; playing Alfred Fedak's "Lyric Suite" using the Allen Classic Suite adjusted to the style of EM Skinner. The Scotia organ is an Allen Quantum Heritage™ pipe & digital combination organ with 132 pipe and digital ranks and Four-Manuals. Justan Foster is an organ student of Al Fedak.

Charles plans to expand the coverages and hopes to syndicate through NPR in the future. He was astounded at the sound of our Scotia organ, is a true convert and as you listen to the program, gave us great accolades and coverage on the show. Not every show includes organ music or Allen organs, but 4 or 5 have already.

We have a Dupré suite based on medieval plain chant themes recorded by Charles at the Scotia organ, with the actual chants on which the Dupré is based intermixed, also recorded live at Scotia reformed by a small quartet Charles hastily formed for this project (including Justan Foster I might add). The result is exquisite.

We are also planning a one hour special devoted solely to Allen organs, its history, and their development of the digital organ. Charles and I hope to visit the factory in the not-so-distant future and hopefully interview several people while there for material.

"Music from Waller Hall" is pre-recorded and broadcast every Sunday at noon and again at 6pm. It airs on WBTN-1370AM Bennington, VT; a not for profit station. It has been airing since November 2014.

Submitted by Brad Day



Learn more about the Scotia Organ



NEW! Maestro Hector Olivera announced for Allen Artist Program!


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Allen Organ Company is pleased to announce the addition of Maestro Hector Olivera to be included as part of the Allen Artist Program, and is now available for concert engagements.

Maestro Hector Olivera is a passionate, gifted, and unique musician, whose personal interpretations of both classical and popular music have amazed and delighted audiences around the world.

Since entering the Buenos Aires Conservatory as a child prodigy at age six, Maestro Hector Olivera has become one of the most sought after and revered international concert organists of the present time.

Maestro Olivera has performed solo concerts throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and Latin America and as guest soloist with prominent symphony orchestras worldwide.


Theatre Organ Magazine Concert Review Article

Earlier this year, a "friendly duel" between a fine Barton theatre organ and an Allen digital clone of that same organ was a big success at the 2014 ATOS Convention in Indianapolis.

The September/October edition of Theatre Organ magazine included a review of the concert. The ATOS has graciously provided Allen Organ a printable version of the article available here: ATOSSepOct56-5AllenvBarton.pdf

Please feel free to print and/or share the digital version of this splendid article.

We are very pleased with the response from this prestigious organ society to the Allen Organ's tonal capabilities. Allen's ability to stand up to the finest pipe organs in a side-by-side presentation is unique in the pipeless organ world. This review by the ATOS once again proves that Allen Organs offer real pipe organ sound!