Allen Organs 14 Amery Street Como 9450 3322
Allen Organs 14 Amery Street Como 9450 3322

Allen Organs in Western Australia

THE BEGINNINGS

The first Allen digital organ in Perth was purchased by South Perth Church of Christ in 1974. That instrument was used regularly until the 1990s when it was sold to a private owner. The organ is still working and in regular use.

The next Allen to arrive in Perth was purchased in 1978 by the Liberal Catholic Church in Perth; this instrument is still working and being used for weekly church services.

As one of the regular organists at South Perth Church of Christ, Ron Raymond became convinced of the merits of Allen Organs and decided to become the Allen dealer in Western Australia.

The first shipment of three organs to the new dealership arrived in Perth in 1979. The largest of these organs was initially installed in the Churches of Christ Christian Centre in Perth and later relocated to the Catholic Church in Margaret River where it is still in regular use. The other two organs from that first shipment were sold to private homes, and both are still operational.

MOS123 organ

THE LARGEST ALLEN ORGAN IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

In 1992, Wesley Church in Perth were having work done to upgrade their pipe organ, and installed an MDS-65 model organ in the church for the period whilst the pipe organ was removed and being restored. This organ is a 64 rank, 3 manual instrument with 54 speaking stops and 12 second voices. It has 63 drawknobs and 25 tab switches on the back rail. The organ audio system was doubled from the normal number of amplifiers and speakers, to fourteen 100W amplifiers feeding fourteen speaker cabinets.

In 1999, the organ was relocated to the chapel at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School. An Allen Expander II was added to provide additional voices to the instrument. It has since been relocated into the performing arts centre at the school.

This organ has the largest number of unique stops, and the largest audio system of all the Allen organs located in Western Australia.

Manuals: 3
Ranks: 64
Stops: 88
Audio: 1400W
Speaker cabinets: 14
Expander: Yes

John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School

THE LARGEST HOME INSTALLATION

The largest home installation is an Allen model MDS-51-S, which is located in a private home in Kingsley.

Just slightly smaller than the organ above, this organ is also a three manual organ but with 48 speaking stops and 15 second voices. It has 64 drawknobs and 21 tab switches on the back rail. The audio system consists of seven 100 watt amplifiers feeding 14 speaker cabinets.

Manuals: 3
Ranks: 59
Stops: 85
Audio: 700W
Speaker cabinets: 14
Expander: Yes

MDS-51 organ

THE LARGEST BUILDING HOUSING AN ALLEN ORGAN

The Anglican Cathedral in Geraldton is the largest building in Western Australia housing an Allen organ.

This inspiring building has a large floor area with seating for around 600 people. The organ is a large two manual instrument with 63 tab stops, being the equivalent of a 55 rank organ. It has six 100 watt amplifiers feeding six speaker cabinets.

The organ is located in the balcony at the rear of the building with the sound of the organ speaking out into the upper roof area of the building.

Manuals: 2
Ranks: 55
Stops: 63
Audio: 600W
Speaker cabinets: 6
Expander: No

Geraldton Anglican Cathedral

THE MOST STOPS AND BUTTONS

Theatre organs differ from church organs tonally because of the different sounds that they can make and visually because of the horseshoe shaped console with coloured stop tabs. Although theatre organs are based on a relatively small number of ranks, they tend to have a vast number of stops.

There have been four Allen theatre organs sold in Western Australia, of which three are large three manual instruments.

The instrument pictured, the Allen Q311-T has:
101 stop tabs,
50 thumb pistons, and
12 toe studs.

30 of the stop tabs are red, 10 are black, 6 are yellow and 55 are white.

Manuals: 3
Ranks: 11
Stops: 101
Audio: 160W
Speaker cabinets: 2
Expander: Yes

Theatre Organ, model Q311-T

THE MOST ORGANS

St Joseph's Catholic Church is the only church in Perth housing two Allen organs.

At the front of the building there is a model MOS-225 which was installed in 1983. Complementing this instrument is an Allen model MDS-35-S located in the balcony at the rear of the building.

Both are 2 manual instruments. The MOS-225 has two audio channels, 400W of audio power and four speaker cabinets. The MDS-35 has five audio channels, 500W of audio power and nine speaker cabinets.

Manuals: 3
Ranks:
Stops: 56
Audio: 400W
Speaker cabinets: 4
Expander: Yes

St Joseph's Catholic Church in Subiaco

THE MOST UPGRADES

One of the alluring things about an Allen organ is that after playing one, you do not want to settle for anything less. Testimony to this is the number of upgrades that have occurred over the years.

Foremost is St Joseph's Catholic Church in Queen's Park who have upgraded four times. They originally purchased a model MADC-220 back in 1987 - a small 2 manual organ. In 1989 this was upgraded to a model MADC-2140 which had a larger audio system and a larger number of stops. Almost ten years later, they upgraded to a model MDS-36, a even larger 2 manual instrument with drawknobs and a five channel audio system. Then in 2015 they upgraded again, this time to a Protege AP-31 model - a three manual instrument with expander drawer and recorder.

There is one private owner who has upgraded three times. Back in 2001, he bought a small 2 manual organ for use in his private residence. The owner was so impressed with this first organ, that in 2005 he upgraded to a larger 3 manual, 38 stop instrument. Again in 2014 he upgraded, this time to a Bravura model L-341 instrument; a 3 manual, 58 stop organ with 5 audio channels and 8 tonal suites.

Other upgrades have also occurred at All Saint's College, Albany Presbyterian Church, Darlington Anglican Church and Scotch College.

Manuals: 3
Ranks:
Stops: 56
Audio: 400W
Speaker cabinets: 4
Expander: Yes

St Joseph's Church in Queen's Park

THE MOST POPULAR MODEL

Smaller, two manual instruments with self contained audio systems have been the most popular organs. In the 1990's, the most popular model was the MADC-221. It had 26 speaking stops. Instruments were installed in the Grand Lodge in Perth, and in Catholic churches in Attadale, Dianella, Palmyra and Shenton Park plus one in a private home.

In the first decade of the twenty first century, the most popular model was the Protege C-6. There were five of this model installed in WA, in Catholic churches in Dunsborough and Bateman, the Anglican church in Bullcreek, the Free Reformed Church in Byford and one in a private home.

In the second decade of the twenty first century, the model L-5 is proving popular, with organs located at Dalkeith Road Church of Christ, Mundaring Anglican, Darlington Anglican, the Catholic church in Beaconsfield and one in a private home in Darlington.

Manuals: 2
Ranks: 30
Stops: 40
Audio: 160W
Internal speaker system

The organ at the Catholic church in Beaconsfield

THE MOST UNUSUAL INSTALLATION

Hidden away amongst the trees at a Catholic retreat at Wilyabrup near Margaret River is a lovely stone chapel. The building is about 16m long and 10m wide and only seats about 40 people.

With stained glass windows, plush red carpeted floor, wonderful stonework and beautiful marri wood on the altar, it is a truly beautiful building.

Installed in this building is a model MADC-3160, a two manual instrument with 39 drawknobs and four 100 watt channels of audio and four speaker cabinets.

For the small size of building, the 400 watts of organ make it a huge and powerful installation. The chapel, as well as its organ, are unexpected treasures to be found hidden away in such a remote location.

Manuals: 2
Ranks: 34
Stops: 53
Audio: 400W
Speaker cabinets: 4
Expander: Yes

The chapel at God's Farm


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