the Markworth Kimball organ:
1975 the original organ, a 9 rank instrument with a three manual console was
removed from the Leona Theatre in Homestead, PA.
After considerable rebuilding, cleaning, restoring and subsequent
installation, the organ was playing the Markworth’s previous home in late
1979. Over the following 20 years
the organ was gradually increased in size to 15 ranks.
In 1995 the Markworths built their current home with the thought of
increasing the size of the organ a "bit" further.
After going over the list of various ranks, it was determined the size
would be 24 ranks with 6 - 16 foot stops consisting of: wood diaphone, tibia,
bourdon, metal diaphone, tuba and string.
To provide the correct number of stop tabs a larger console would be
required. A large 3 manual
Kimball console was located originally built for Chicago's North Center
Theater. Unfortunately the
condition of the "new" console was deplorable.
The rebuilding, building, refinishing the larger console delayed the
completion of the installation of the organ about a year.
Due to the added wind needed for the additional ranks an additional 5 HP blower was required. The original nine rank electro-pneumatic relay was replaced with a Uniflex computer relay system. The new relay system permits flexibility in defining the console, as well as the ability to record and play back, via the computer, actual keyboard performances. The new relay also added MIDI capability to the console. Currently the console address 16 MIDI voices through MIDI and Selective stop tabs. The sound module for the MIDI is a Proteus 2000 with over 2400 voices available. A Voice Of The Theatre speaker is located in each chamber and driven by a 1000-watt amplifier. A 30 inch Rodgers sub woofer is located in the Solo chamber and is driven by a separate 350 watt amplifier.
original Kimball piano (pressure action) in located in the listening room as
is a second sent of 25 note chimes and 30 note Rodgers orchestra bells.
In addition the Hammond located on the upper level of the listing room
is connected into the audio system of the pipe organ with additional external
speakers allowing great "jam" sessions.
A complete set of drums and traps located in the listing room
frequently accompanies the organ when a drummer is available.
the organ was completed in the spring of 2000.
On going "tweaking" of the organ will likely continue well
into the future. Many man hours
were required to get the organ into it present condition, clearly with out the
help of River City Theatre Organ "crew" the this installation would
not have happened.