Immanuel Lutheran Church in Corning celebrates new organ
Immanuel Lutheran Church in the Town of Corning on Leafy Grove Rd. is celebrating the installation of a new organ, which was completed on Dec. 5 and 6, 2022, and immediately used in worship at the Dec. 7 Advent service. They then held a concert to showcase the new Rodgers Inspire 2-Manual organ in early February with Val Bartlein, the owner of Classic Church Organs and himself a well-known concert organist, playing to demonstrate the capabilities of the new instrument. Singers from the Immanuel Lutheran Church Choir participated in the concert, which included creative arrangements of hymns, historical organ favorites, and a few surprises.
The concert was attended by an enthusiastic audience of music lovers from across the state. “I enjoyed hearing the capabilities of the new organ demonstrated in beautiful pieces,“ said Katie Globig of Oconomowoc, who attended with her children. “Timpani, bagpipes, a full string orchestra, all from the organ–it was amazing. I have a much greater appreciation for the role of the organ in worship.”
The new organ is a big deal to the congregation for a number of reasons. First, this new digital organ has capabilities that far exceed those of older instruments, such as the older analog organ that had been purchased by the congregation in 1986, more than 35 years ago.
An Organ Search Committee was formed in 2021 under the direction of then Church President, Len Francoeur. “We visited many churches with Val to hear the variety of organ options available to us,” he said. “So when we finally settled on the Inspire 233, we knew we were getting an organ that would give us beautiful and uplifting music for many years to come.”
The congregation voted to purchase the organ and an upgraded sound system at their July 2022 meeting. Work on the new system then began in September with the installation of dedicated electrical circuits, audio wiring, lots and lots of cable, and sound speakers. The church also added studio-grade microphones for the choir.
Secondly, it was a big deal because the removal of the old organ and installation of the new organ was a tricky thing. A group of men from the congregation guided the old organ onto a mechanical lift and then eased it over the balcony railing and down to the ground floor. The new organ went up into the balcony the same way, and viewers said it made them a bit nervous watching that big investment be cranked up on the lift and going up into the air.
Now the congregation is enjoying beautiful music and uplifting musical effects and sounds formerly unheard of in their sanctuary from a single instrument. The investment can now produce the musical rendition of an entire orchestra from a single instrument.
The public is invited to attend worship at Immanuel Lutheran Church during a regular service to hear the new organ for themselves.