This church loves choir and congregational singing, but when the choir left the practice room to sing on the new platform…they lost their confidence.
Pastor Joe Cammilleri began to look for someone to help them out and eventually noticed ASC and our acoustic approach to church acoustics. The platform had to be remodeled so it opened into a dedicated performance environment. Center stage was their new Platform Choir Loft, with special areas for electronic band and acoustic ensembles to either side.
The original sanctuary was built as a multi-purpose room; the plan was to “use it for a fellowship hall and build a new sanctuary more conducive to church music and formal church events such as weddings,” says Pastor Joe.
“Did you ever just dream of a meal and how perfect it was going to be, and then go to the restaurant and actually order it, and it exceeded your expectations? Well, that’s what we have now. It could not be better!”
“The former sanctuary broke all the acoustical rules for a church—high drop ceiling panels, carpeted floor etc. When singing congregational songs, all you could hear was yourself. It was like singing in a muffler or worse yet, like singing outdoors,” recalls Pastor Joe. He also remembers the congregation’s first five years when they rented an old Episcopal church. “The wooden pews and cement floors made it sound like we were singing in a cave. It was heavenly… then when we moved into our new building it was a real let-down.”
That has all changed, now that they have their new choir loft with dedicated performance areas, voiced by Art Noxon. “We did all the design work and they did all the physical work, including building the sound panels for the back wall of the hall,” says Noxon, who speaks of the project fondly.
Music is a vital part of the thriving congregation’s worship. Every year they have a Community Christmas Concert, for which they will get over 150 visitors. Pastor Joe is pleased with the results this year, after construction was finished. “It was powerful this year,” he says. “Part of our training our youth up to serve the Lord, is training them in music. We have at least 4 different choirs, 10 different special music groups, and lots of individual and family special music.”
“We are going into our sixth month and every time we sing, I just marvel.”
The church has a very traditional music style, hearkening back to the hymns many of the church-members recall from earlier times. “Back when many of these folks were converted to Christ, the churches were singing the old powerful hymns in their congregational music. Hymns that reiterated Christ’s saving of sinners! They got hooked on these ‘new (old) songs,’” explains Pastor Joe.
“This new building design has just enhanced what our people wanted, and needed, to dig in even deeper, and sing even louder!!…we are going into our sixth month and every time we sing, I just marvel. I love to eat. Did you ever just dream of a meal and how perfect it was going to be, and then go to the restaurant and actually order it, and it exceeded your expectations? Well, that’s what we have now. It could not be better!”
Pastor Joe is thankful for Art Noxon’s design. He says, “When speaking of God, the apostle Paul put it this way, ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…’ (Eph 3:20). That is really what Art did for us in his design of this project. I could go on forever. It has boosted congregational music 100 times. The choirs are rich and powerful, whereas before it was just OK.”
The difference can be seen in these two videos, before ASC’s design an after.
Drawings and Image Gallery
Here are a few of the many drawings produced while designing the modern choir loft for Old Paths. Art Noxon was essentially given a blank canvas on which he could sculpt the voice of the church. The congregation is ecstatic about the results.