Shepherd of the Mountains invites community to a sing-in
Event unveils church’s new digital organ
April 25, 2017
Shepherd of the Mountains Church received a huge donation in the form of a digital organ a year and a half ago.
Matt Arnold of Arnold Organs made the cherry-wood instrument in Mahtowa, Minnesota.
After it was installed, the church needed to iron out a few bugs in the programming, said Keith Lilley, an organ enthusiast and member of the Shepherd of the Mountains Church congregation.
"We are now ready to celebrate the new organ," Lilley told The Park Record. "We will host a community sing-along that will feature popular and favorite hymns."
The event will be held on Sunday, April 30, at Shepherd of the Mountains Church, 4051 N. S.R. 224. It will open with refreshments at 5 p.m. The music and singing will start at 6 p.m.
In addition to the singing, organist Quinten Knudsen will perform selections of his favorite organ pieces.
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Knudsen, a member of the American Guild of Organists Utah Valley Chapter, said he looks forward to playing the instrument.
"This is what's known as a Virtual Hauptwerk Pipe Organ," Knudsen said. "With a pipe organ, you have the actual pipes that make the sound when air flows through them, but with the virtual organ you can download an infinite number of sample sets from other organs to use with this one."
The Shepherd of the Mountains organ features 10 to 15 different sample sets.
"I can switch between a good old American classic organ to a French organ or German or Dutch organs," Knudsen said. "I can also switch to harpsichord and a multitude of instruments and bring out the beauty in all of them."
"The Hauptwerk software allows individuals to go out and sound each pipe from different churches and make that sample set available for people who have instruments like this," Lilley said. "For example, if there is a Spanish piece, they can play it on the Spanish organ program. If they play Bach, they can play it on the German organ program."
Knudsen, who is the organist for the Orem Community Church and his own Salt Lake ward for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was recruited to play the sing-in because he was called in as a consultant when the virtual organ was installed.
"The Shepherd of the Mountains contacted me through a friend of a friend," he said. "I had come up before and got to play around with it for a little and had so much fun. She is gorgeous."
Lilley said a number of churches are turning to digital organs because of their versatility.
"They can facilitate their pipe organs and add portions of the various sample sets," he said. "Six months ago I noticed that the traveling Mormon Tabernacle Choir was using something like this."
Lilley, who has enjoyed organ music all of his life, said he would like to see the Shepherd of the Mountain instrument used in ways other than church services.
"My hope is that we'll be able to host some recitals, because if a performer comes in with works that were written for a Spanish or German organ, they can play these pieces in those programs."
Knudsen said his favorite part of playing the organ is being able to express himself in ways that he can't otherwise.
"Once I sit down, the organ becomes an extension of myself," he said. "I have a lot more options to express myself with this one."
A community sing-in will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, at Shepherd of the Mountains Church, 4501 N. S.R. 224. The free event will feature Quentin Knudsen on the church's new digital organ. For information, visit uvago.org/event/quinten-knudsen-hymn-sing-along.
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