“I’m having a wonderfully uplifting time at the Rodgers Instrument offices in Portland, OR. this week. Rodgers is one of the Roland group of companies that plays multiple roles in the creation and manufacturing of Roland Corp. products. You may know its pivotal role in the institutional market. Rodgers organs are featured in some of the most prestigious venues in the world. But it also assembles the Roland Atelier home organs right here in the good old U.S.A.! The facility in Hillsboro, OR. is quite modern and impressive not only featuring a proper concert hall but in addition houses a huge manufacturing plant. Although the intent, sound and cosmetic influence of the two lines of organs is utterly diverse, the technology used to create all the pieces assembled at Rodgers is common to all and quite remarkable.
My role here is one of concert artist performing on several organ models for the annual Rodgers dealer meeting. Last evening, the entire group of some 160 people were transported to a church in downtown Portland to hear a concert played on the Rodgers installation. It was impressive and the folks seemed to love listening to the realistic sound samples provoked by electronic pipes. Quite a different side of the music spectrum from the home organs, you know.
Today, a separate presentation will take place featuring the introduction of a brand new Rodgers organ model along with pertinent business conversation. But tonight will be the grand finale of the three days with a concert showcasing various organs in the Rodgers/Roland family of products. Myself, Don Lewis and Dan Miller are the performers. There will also be a team of gospel singers integrated into Don’s appearance. This should be great seeing as the instrument Don is using, the Atelier 350 C, lends itself to that style of playing.
Dan is perhaps the finest classical performer I have ever heard. He is a part of the managerial team at Rodgers and a very accomplished artist. I’m positive he will present the Rodgers in a very satisfying and dramatic way.
My role tonight is one of the supplier of contemporary sounds on the Atelier 350 C. Obviously, it is a multi-faceted instrument that can be registered to reflect an array of orchestral and rhythmic effects. So it is logical that after hearing wonderful gospel sounds from Don and tremendous classical music from Dan, I will be entertaining the audience with jazz, ballad and dixieland playing on the Roland Atelier.
Then it’s back home tomorrow for a few days. My next post will reveal my plans for next week when I will be appearing at a major organ festival held annually in Lancaster, PA., the Dutchland Extravaganza.”