All Souls Church in Bangor recently got a digital upgrade to their organ as part of an ongoing series of renovations and restorations at the church. Kay Eames, music director, plays the organ and shows the benefits of having the digital upgrade. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN

For years, Kay Eames would have to pause during a church service or concert to manually adjust settings on the Moeller pipe organ at All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor.

Now, after a digital upgrade completed last year, Eames can program 400 different sound combinations into the organ — up from four before the upgrade — and she can change the instrument’s sound dramatically in the middle of a song with the push of a button, no pause needed. With a touch of the new transpose button, she can also quickly change keys mid-song.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN

Eames, who has been the music director at All Souls Church since 1974, is ready to show off the organ’s capabilities.

On Sunday, she’ll do just that at a concert titled “Music for the Birds,” that will start with a song during which Eames aims to change settings 30 times. The organ also has foot pedals, so a screen will be set up during the performance to show what Eames’ feet are playing.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN

The Moeller organ was dedicated in March 1970 and had its first major overhaul in 2012, when the engines controlling the organ’s ability to sound louder or softer were replaced. This second upgrade was more extensive. The sound remains the same, but it’s much easier to play, Eames said.

The latest upgrade came just before the $180,000 removal and restoration of two of the church’s largest stained glass windows in October 2018, including the Rose Window located above the organ. The window’s removal took several of the organ’s pipes with it, hurting the organ’s overall sound. But the windows were returned to their places this past spring, restoring the upgraded organ’s full sound capabilities.

Sunday’s concert, which starts at 2 p.m., will feature Eames on the organ and piano, Anne Small on the flute and organ, and John Roy-Musor on the guitar, as well as the All Souls Senior Choir. Admission is free, and all donations go to the church’s Pipe Organ Restoration Fund.