Ascension's Organ

The Allen Renaissance organ in the church was built in the Allen factory in McCungie, PA and also purchased new in year 2000.  

 

Allen is the world's largest manufacturer of non-pipe organs in the world, with 80,000 instruments in service; it was founded in 1937 by Jerome Markowicz and is still led by his son Steven.  

 

Ascension's instrument has three keyboards plus a full pedalboard, 58 drawknob electronic stops, eight audio channels with a total power capacity of 800 watts RMS, and is totally original to date. The organ is "digital" which means pipe sounds are electronically sampled and duplicated; the instrument is set up and plays like a pipe instrument.  Allen has manufactured digital instruments since 1971 and many of its early instruments are in great condition as the company has a unique policy that it will not allow an organ with its name on it to become obsolete, as long as the owner lets them repair it. 

Some of its unique touches include electronic chimes and a "zimbelstern" ring of electronic bells. The label "Renaissance" itself is dated; Allen periodically moves into newer designations, like car manufacturers do, but that line of organs is highly regarded and is a strong mid-range contender for size and features.  Unlike many cheaper instruments, the Ascension organ uses solid-state LED-based contactless keys rather than metal contacts that become worn over time.  

Ascension's Piano

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Ascension's Yamaha Baby Grand piano was manufactured in 1997 and purchased new by the church in 2000.  Yamaha is an old established company, begun as a reed organ company in 1887; it began building pianos in 1900 and over many decades since, has branched out into other instruments and to many other countries; coming to America in 1960.  

 

Ascension's instrument was made in their Kakegawa, Japan, piano factory and has 12,000 individual parts.  It was recently evaluated as needing some minor keyboard upgrading after 20 years of use, but otherwise being in great condition; the basic instrument should last as long as a human and therefore the instrument remains comparatively young. 

 

(By the way, Yamaha began building motorcycles in 1955; the two companies now operate independently but have common roots.)

Honorable Mentions

In addition to the sanctuary instruments, the church owns an older Yamaha upright piano (new in 1965) in reasonable condition, plus a new Yamaha 88-key digital piano for portable use that works in conjunction with audio equipment.  The choir room has a Kawai upright instrument that was new in 1993 and has spent its life in the music room as a rehearsal instrument. 

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