I had the joy of visiting St. Paul United Methodist Church in Cincinnati this week and enjoyed the opportunity to play the Rodgers Pipe Organ of 36 ranks plus 10 analog ranks. During the time I was there I realize this is (as the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" says) an "Ebenezer", i.e. a memorial stone of some of the finest instrument Rodgers Organs ever built. My friend Ric Jaeggi worked with the St, Paul folks to agree to purchase this instrument replacing an old Rodgers 35D electronic organ which served St. Paul for many years. Mark Schaffer served as the consultant. My friend Jerry Dulski was the dealer of record who negotiated and completed the sale. Allen Harrah was the president of Rodgers at the time. And the installation crew which consisted of Bill Tabor and Tom Helms came directly from the noted installation of mammoth Second Baptist Houston Five-Manual Instrument to install St. Paul. Allan Van Zoren and Steve Adams did the original planning and design and Larry Hawkins completed the work by increasing the scaling and I believe Tom Goodapple contributed as well. After the installation there were several concerts including I believe the formal dedication by Jonas Nordwall. Ric Jaeggi presided over the console for five years before moving to Florida. I followed Rick from 1990 through the end of 1994. There were double organ concerts with Ric and I adding a second Rodgers organ, double organ concerts with both Bene Hammel and Chris Howard adding Church Organ Systems products. Our teacher David Mulbury played a program. And St. Paul celebrated the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the organ a couple of years ago with many of the organists through St. Paul history returning to play including Ric Jaeggi, Douglas Manley, Patrick Coyle, Alice Edwards and myself. Jerry Dulski returned from Chicago for the concert to celebrate with us. Current organist at St. Paul is Julie Shelton.
It's pretty amazing how well the ten analog voices are holding up! When combined with the pipes in this beautiful space most congregation members would have a difficult time knowing they were not pipe voices. There is an older Rodgers Series 2 MIDI System which I believe I am the only one who ever used by adding a Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 Module!
If you are an organist and in the Cincinnati area you should make it a point to hear this instrument which is truly one of the best organs in the Cincinnati area. It is a marvelous memory of the golden years of organ building from the gifted and talented Rodgers organ staff from a time which many of us remember with great fondness.