Highlands United Methodist Church - Bella Vista
This message came from Robert Zillmann at Highland United Methodist Church in Bella Vista, Ark., where Mike Bennett and David Pettit of Saied Music Co. recently installed a Masterpiece Signature 356 organ with antiphonal and MX-200 sound module. The church's organist is Dr. Jeannine Wagar, a noted performer, educator, and orchestral conductor. Dr. Wagar holds B.M. and Masters of Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory and a doctorate in conducting from Stanford University.
I'm not aware if anyone from our congregation has been in contact with you since our first church service utilizing the new organ so I thought I'd share some of what I observed. Before the service began, Bob Wood presented some details about the instrument, made some comments about our new organist (who is extremely talented) and then asked Jeannine to do a short demonstration before beginning the actual service.
The congregation was completely silent, waiting to hear the first sounds from the organ, which they presumed would be traditional music. Instead she began with early morning outdoor sounds, birds and all, followed by waves on a beach, then some soft, prayerful, meditative music. Heads were turning all around wondering where all this beautiful sound was coming from and many smiles were evident. During the service itself she played three wonderful Bach pieces and did an exceptional job on the selected hymns. Since I've been here, our congregation has never sung out as forcefully. Before the service was completed I observed several people wiping tears from their eyes. It was wonderful to see the reaction.
You and Dave did a great job in selecting the right instrument for our sanctuary. I thank you for all your assistance and urging us on. I really did not think this would become a reality quite this soon. And it's ironic that we acquired a new and very accomplished organist at the same time. Jeannine is thrilled about the instrument and certainly not afraid of sitting down and trying all kinds of things. I'm anxious to hear the results of her explorations in the future.
Thanks again for the good work and I am sure you have a very satisfied church in the Rodgers camp.