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The Church Organ
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About the Organ

The St. Matthew organ is a digital instrument which was built by the Rodgers Instrument Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon. This instrument replaces a similar organ destroyed in a fire at St. Matthew on April 1, 1994.

 

The St. Matthew Organ is a one-of-a-kind organ which was designed by Ken Kohler or Rodgers Organs of St. Louis and Ken Williams, organist at St. Matthew. The installation was directed by Ken Kohler, with special technical assistance by Darrell Finkeldei. Twenty stops of the organ (indicated by * on the stoplist) were designed and installed by Walker Technical Company of Zionsville, Pennsylvania. The tonal finishing of the organ was done by Robert Walker.

 

The organ contains eight divisions, 139 drawknobs, and 113 speaking stops, all of which are the equivalent of 154 ranks of pipes. In terms of equivalent ranks, it is the largest organ in the greater St. Louis area, as well as in the state of Illinois, and the only four-manual console in the entire Metro East. Although Rodgers Instrument Corporation has built larger five-manual organs, the St. Matthew Organ is the largest four-manual organ that the company had produced through 1994.

 

The organ’s sounds are all sampled sounds, i.e., they were sampled from pipe organs all over the world. Through Rodgers and Walker technology, the organ faithfully reproduces the sounds of the original pipes.

 

A Rodgers MX200 MIDI synthesizer plays through the organ’s speaking system and is controlled by the organ console. The organ has eight memory levels, each of which contains 14 general pistons and four to six pistons for each division. A total of 149 speakers are located throughout the sanctuary and provide surround sound and tonal support for the Chancel Choir, orchestra and congregation.

 

The pipe façade was built by the Wicks Organ Company, Highland, Illinois. The organ cases were constructed by Dan Northway, and the lattice grids on the cases were built and finished by Paris Nation and Jim Moore. The cases were enlarged in 2008 by Jerry Phillips Construction Company to accommodate large video screens. The organ was first used in worship at St. Matthew on January 29, 1995.

 

For a list of the Organ's Stops Click Here.

 

To view current Organ Solos Click Here.

 

About the Organist

Ken Williams has served as organist at St. Matthew since February 1990. He began studying the organ at age 16 with Katherine Carmichael at Third Baptist Church in St. Louis. Additional study was with Henry Glass, Jr., at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, John Terwilliger at Illinois State University, Robert Rayfield at Indiana University, and Jerald Hamilton at the University of Illinois.

 

Ken-Williams-Organist
Saint-Matthew-Organ


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9:17 a.m. - Contemporary
10:45 a.m. - Blended
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Address:  1200 Moreland Dr.
                  Belleville, IL 62223
Phone:  618-397-5994
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