Continued Export Success
Linda Beville, Organist and Choir Director at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Woodstock, VA, USA comments on the recent Makin installation.
I cannot thank you enough for all your support and guidance as our sales representative towards a successful installation of the Makin Thirlmere 2-30 motorised drawstop organ at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Woodstock, VA. The church had an early organ from another manufacturer that was starting to have problems. I accepted the responsibility of my position as Organist and Choir Director to initiate a conversation about the purchase of a new organ. Emmanuel Episcopal is a small parish church in the Valley of Virginia dating from the 17th century. The present sanctuary is more than 130 years and seats approximately 80 people. In short, selecting an instrument to support a traditional Episcopal Liturgy needed careful research. I identified areas that mandated excellence including absolute top quality sound samples, authentic registration choices that could have enough breadth to support a variety of literature, top quality construction, economy without cutting corners in console manufacturing, top of the line electronic components and a progressive R&D program and a financial package that was accessible for a limited budget church.
The Makin organ interested me because of its first class representation of the English Organ sound. I was told that many of the samples came from Harrison and Harrison as well as Willis organs. Also, the sound loops were substantially longer than other digital organs. The Makin web page is first class; not so much a glossy sales page as an informative series of video testimonials which help demonstrate the tonal possibilities and help to tell of how the development of selections were made. I was most impressed by Professor Ian Tracey, the Tonal Director. At one point in a video clip he said that the company found that church musicians wanted something that did one thing really well but not do three or four things fairly well. That had been my criteria from the beginning and that Professor Tracey expressed it became a deciding factor in my choice.
I also called Dr Keith Harrington, Managing Director of Makin in the UK. He was very gracious and answered the several questions I had. To have such access to a company’s chief executive made a very strong and positive impression.
It took a year from the research start to installation. I involved several knowledgeable parishioners to be on the organ committee. I always represented my research as a path of possibilities to the Vestry. In the end, I decided to make a selection that I thought would be the best fit for Emmanuel Church. The Makin Thirlmere motorised drawstop organ was my selection. The church was able to fund the new instrument through a combination of careful budgeting and a large bequest. At the time of my report, the Vestry voted unanimously to place a contract with your company. I trusted that with the advancement of technology of digital sound production the congregation would be impressed and grateful for this new and important component in our Music Ministry.
Another deciding factor in choosing the Makin organ and Daffer Organs in MD, as its representative was your skill in voicing the organ and your exceptional talent as a performing recitalist. Voicing a digital organ is as time consuming and important as for a pipe organ. Anything I could say would underestimate the appreciation I have for the multiple times you came to adjust the voicing, to balance it, and to adjust to make the correct acoustical fit for our small sanctuary. Finally, at the dedicatory recital, you impressed everyone with your repertoire and, for me, how you adapted the registration requirements for a two manual organ.
Finally, I wish to share two thoughts from our most respected members: “The new organ looks like it has always been there” … We selected the perfect match.
“What a glorious thing you have done for our church and our community! Very few people know how hard and how long you worked to find just the right instrument for us, and it truly is just the right instrument, I love the richness of the bass pedals!). I thank you over and over for all your hard work.”