News
World Renown Organist Upgrades to the new Infinity 484

June 5, 2013

The new Frederick Swann residence organ, a Rodgers Infinity 484, was installed in June 2013.

World Renown Organist Upgrades to the new Infinity 484

Frederick Swann is one of the world's most distinguished organists. Born in West Virginia, the son of a Methodist bishop, he began taking piano lessons as a 5-year-old. By the age of 10, he was playing the church's organ for services when his teacher died suddenly. He is former president of the American Guild of Organists (2002-2008), Organist Emeritus of the famed Crystal Cathedral and the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.

Dr. Swann was associated with the music ministry of the famed Riverside Church in New York City from 1952 through 1982. In 1982, he was appointed organist and music director at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. During his tenure there (1982-1998), he was widely regarded as the most visible organist in the world, as millions in every major city in more than 165 countries worldwide saw and heard him on the weekly televised services.

He currently lives in Palm Springs, California, where he is Artist-in-Residence at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in nearby Palm Desert and University Organist and Artist Teacher of Organ at the University of Redlands.

During his impressive career, he has owned four generations of Rodgers organs. In June 2013, he purchased a new 4-manual Rodgers Infinity 484 for his Palm Springs residence. The new Infinity 484 replaced a 4-manual custom Rodgers organ, which was purchased by the Crystal Cathedral Ministries and installed in their new church facility (see details below).

Dr. Swann's Rodgers organ was purchased through Rodgers' Los Angeles dealer, Church Keyboard Center, Nelson Dodge, President, Dr. Robert Tall, Tonal Director.

Crystal Cathedral Ministries Purchases Frederick Swann Residence Organ

World Renown Organist Upgrades to the new Infinity 484

From left: Dr. Robert Tall, Tonal Director of Church Keyboard Center; Dr. Frederick Swann; and Tom Leonard, Crystal Cathedral (Shepherd's Grove) organist. Top right: the worship center for the Shepherd's Grove congregation. Bottom right: Dr. Tall voicing the Fred Swann Organ in its new location.

In 2012, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange purchased the Crystal Cathedral megachurch and campus in Garden Grove, California. After extensive renovation, it will be consecrated and known as Christ Cathedral. In early July, the Crystal Cathedral Ministries will move to their new worship center, presently known as St. Callistus Roman Catholic Church. It is very near the Crystal Cathedral campus in Garden Grove. The Crystal Cathedral congregation will be known as Shepherd's Grove. The new location will also be the new home of the televised "Hour of Power." The sanctuary seats about 1,200 people.

From the very beginning, organ has been an important part of the Crystal Cathedral worship services. Frederick Swann served as director of music and organist there for 16 years (1982-1998). In preparation for the move to their new church facility, the Crystal Cathedral Ministries purchased Frederick Swann's residence organ with a gift from a church family "in recognition and honour of Fred's distinguished musical leadership." It shall be known as the Fred Swann Organ. It is a custom designed 4-manual Rodgers digital organ, built on a state-of-the-art system known as Parallel Digital ImagingT.

Church Keyboard Center, Nelson Dodge, President, completed the installation. Dr. Robert Tall accomplished the tonal finishing in consultation with Frederick Swann and Tom Leonard, Crystal Cathedral (Shepherd's Grove) organist.

Back to News Page