The organ plays an important role in a South Carolina United Methodist Church’s music ministry.  Their experiences, first with a pipe organ and later a digital organ, are examples of problems churches can face when choosing an organ.

  • In 2005 a committee studied the need to repair and finish the existing Schantz 17-rank pipe organ installed less than 20 years earlier.  Serious rebuilding was required since windchests were failing, leathers needed to be replaced, and building humidity caused deterioration throughout the instrument.
  • The then Director of Music and Organist enlisted a friend to bid on the project who proposed a 3-manual Xxxx organ (imported from Holland), as well as the addition of several ranks of pipes and rebuilding the pipework.
  • In 2006 and the pipe organ company began dismantling the pipe organ.  After several months the builder defaulted on the contract.  The Church Council terminated the contract and the Church was left with an unplayable instrument.
  • A Xxxx organ company dealer in New Orleans, LA was enlisted to get the then 4-manual digital organ up and running.  The dealer spent 2 or 3 days voicing the 88-stop instrument and pronounced it “as good as it can ever be”.
  • In August of 2016, ten years after the purchase of the digital organ, the church determined that this four-manual digital organ was in “terrible condition” and had become unreliable.
  • In 2017, the church ordered a new four-manual replacement organ from Allen Organ Company.


Below are photographs showing the build-quality of the 11-year old four-manual instrument.

One thought on “Case Study: Digital Organ Being Replaced After Only 11 Years

  1. They should have went with Allen in the first place,…rather than fool with that “XXXX” organ from Holland! Would have saved themselves a LOT of headaches!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *