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January 19, 2016

This newsletter is one in a series designed to keep the parish informed about the Sanctuary Preservation and Readiness Project. In addition to information about our campaign kick-off, you'll learn about the history of our organ and plans for a new one.
"How Firm Our Foundation" capital campaign co-chairs (from left) Sheri Benninghoven, Bitsy Bacon and Ed Birch joined me on Sunday to invite the parish to this Saturday's parishwide kick-off.

I do hope to see you all this Saturday, Jan. 23, from 3 to 5 p.m. for the kick-off of the How Firm Our Foundation capital campaign. It will be a "gathering of the clan" as campaign co-chair Ed Birch said on Sunday as he invited us all to the joyous event.

See you Sunday,
Rev. Aimée
You are invited to the Sanctuary 
Preservation and Readiness Project 
Campaign Kickoff Celebration
Saturday, Jan. 23 from 3 to 5 p.m.
at the beautiful home of George and Petty Ittner
1111 Dulzura Drive, Santa Barbara 93108
We expect cool weather so bring a jacket

Wine, drinks, hors d'oeuvres; brief program at 3:45 p.m.
Supervised activities and snacks for children at the Parish School; you're invited to drop your children off at All Saints then come to the kickoff party.

Questions are welcome to the Church Office at 805-969-4771
*Note that no contributions will be sought at this event 

A New Organ For All Saints: A Little Background and A New Path Ahead
This console of All Saints' current organ reflects its 1980s design.
By Kathie Deviny
Vestry Selects C.B. Fisk as Organ Builder
It was recently announced that the Vestry had accepted the recommendation of the All Saints Organ Committee to contract with the C.B. Fisk Company to build a new pipe organ for our Sanctuary.  The recommendation and selection were based on the company's ability to creatively and flexibly overcome space and design issues, as well as their reputation as one of the world's most prominent builders of pipe organs.
History of All Saints' Organs
A brief history of our organ music ministry:
  • As noted in the history of our Church written in 2000 by parishioner Marni McGee, All Saints has had four organs since its founding: installations took place in 1898, 1909, 1914 (enlarged in the late 1930s) and the current electro-pneumatic instrument installed in 1988.
  • By about 2005 it was obvious that the current instrument had such significant deterioration that it could not be repaired.  Moisture damage, mold, failed electrical parts due to the Church's corrosive environment near the sea, as well as poorly constructed/poorly insulated chambers, which leached moisture into the organ all contributed to its failure. 
  • In 2007 a committee was convened by the Vestry to make recommendations to replace the organ and identify an instrument that would properly serve the congregation. A main key: it would need to function for generations under the climactic and use conditions of All Saints.
  • As the All Saints' current capital campaign began, a key aspect was ensuring a new instrument was part of the overall plan.
Organ Committee: The Selection Process
  • Work began in earnest in 2014 when Organ Committee members Tom Mack, Bitsy Bacon, Mary Collier, Craig Moore and Steve O'Connor (Richard Kahler later replaced Craig Moore) got to work. 
  • The Committee researched and ultimately interviewed two tracker type organ builders and two electro-pneumatic organ builders.  The builder/candidates included:  Electro Pneumatic - Patrick Murphy and Assoc. and Goulding and Wood.  Tracker: Casavant Freres and C.B. Fisk
  • Each candidate was asked to visit All Saints to present their company and a formal design recommendation / bid for a new instrument. 
  • All candidates presented bids within a budget of $1.25 million; this was the amount anticipated to be required to purchase a suitable instrument for our space and music program needs.  Each were able to build an instrument within the time frame of the Church's capital campaign.
Capital Campaign Quiet Phase Began: Anonymous Parish Family Steps Forward
Early in the "quiet phase" of the capital campaign when gifts were solicited from Vestry, staff, clergy, and key leaders, a parish family came forward to make an incredible offer: the funding of the entire cost of the actual instrument in the amount of $1.25 million - paid over the five years of the capital campaign.
This incredibly generous gesture allowed the Organ Committee to finalize their research, recommend a tracker type of organ, recommend Fisk as the builder and move forward to the next chapter of this amazing journey.
The Next Chapter: All About Fisk
C.B. Fisk has been called the "gold standard" of North American organ builders and has built notable instruments for Harvard University, Rice University, Indiana University, Wellesley College and scores of churches and concert venues all across the world.  Committee member and senior warden Tom Mack describes his experience as part of the selection process:
"The committee discussed a range of organ configuration options and suppliers and concluded that an entirely mechanical, so called tracker organ, would be best for our salty environment and musical needs.  We chose Fisk because their reputation is that of the premier builder of tracker organs; they could meet our budget; they have a unique capability that greatly expands the options for organ configuration and pipe placement; and we were able to visit a functionally equivalent Fisk organ at St. Matthews Pacific Palisades and were very impressed with the instrument and the excellent 30-year relationship between Fisk and that church."

Next Steps
The new instrument will be of the Baroque European type, which, according to Music Director Steve O'Connor is most appropriate for the Church's long term needs, including congregational singing, choral and special event programs.  At the end of January, the Fisk team will be at All Saints to begin the process of creating drawings/specifications for the instrument.  Its placement and other details will be a product of those discussions.
Additional Information
On behalf of the committee, Steve O'Connor wrote a detailed report to the vestry outlining the evaluation and search process, which is available here. Of importance is his comment that each organ builder, consultant and evaluator have each recommended that the Church's poor acoustics be improved to the extent possible before installing a new musical instrument. Acoustic improvements will be the subject of a future article in this series and is certainly a component of the upcoming capital campaign.
The Music Ministry of All Saints
Our sacred music is an "outward and visible sign" of the worth which we give to God in public worship. Our pipe organ is an integral part of that ministry but is failing and must be replaced to ensure the music ministry can reach its fullest potential.
                                                                     - Rev. Aimée
More Information About the Sanctuary Preservation and Readiness Project 
A comprehensive set of materials, architectural plans, engineering reports, articles, survey results and more are available at this link. Please take a few moments to peruse this page on the All Saints website.