Winston Salem State University
North Carolina, USA
Dr. Roy Belfield at the bench of the 4-manual Trillium Masterpiece Series organ installed in Williams Auditorium. Credit: Photography by JR
Winston Salem State University is located in the Piedmont Triad Area of North Carolina in Winston Salem. In the mid-1970s, the University installed a 12-rank Moeller 2-manual instrument that was housed in two separate free-standing, moveable chambers. The instrument served the school well for many years.
In 1989, the university organist left his position and the organ was only used occasionally. Due to age, other various problems, and a major flood in the auditorium, the instrument became non-playable and sat offstage for the next 18 years. In the early 1990s, the University began renting organs to be used for Founder's Day events, Honors Convocation and the annual Christmas and Spring concerts.
Over the years, Mrs. D'Walla Simmons Burke, Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, has been a driving force for the school to buy a new organ. However, due to funding and budget constraints, the purchase never took place. Two years ago, Dr. Roy Belfield and Mrs. Burke began the drive again and demonstrated the need for the school to have new instruments. With their determination and the availability of state funds, the contract to purchase a 2-manual organ and a 4-manual instrument was awarded to Mitchell's Piano Gallery in November 2007.
The Allegiant 677 was installed in Dillard Auditorium in January 2008, and the 4-manual Trillium Masterpiece series 1038 was installed in Williams Auditorium later the same month, with the first official recital featuring Dr. Belfield scheduled for April 26.