GOLD CANYON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The venue for Canyon Sounds concerts is the sanctuary of the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church, which is a world-class concert hall. The sanctuary is a spacious, beautiful hall with outstanding, clean acoustics. It contains 1161 theater style seats distributed over a large ground floor that rises from front to back, two raised side sections and a balcony. According to Doug Benton, the Church’s Director of Music Ministries:
With a reverberation time of approximately 1.5 to 2 seconds and with clear egress from the stage to throughout the building, we enjoy one of the best acoustic spaces in Arizona. I asked a representative of the theater-seat manufacturer how much sound the seats absorb and was told each seat is equivalent to a fully- dressed, 6-foot-tall person, so there is very little acoustical difference whether the sanctuary is full, partially-full or empty!
The Church’s piano is a 9’3” Petrof Mistral Grand Piano. In fact, this piano is the actual prototype of the new Mistral Series of Petrof’s Grand Pianos. This piano was built by hand over a 9-month period after twelve years of research and development. Petrof is Europe’s largest piano manufacturer and has been family-run since its founding in 1864 in what is now the Czech Republic. This piano is truly one-of-a-kind in the world.
The Church organ is a large 3-manual, digital Rodgers Trillium 967 with MIDI and has a digital equivalent of 84 ranks (or sets) of pipes. It was dedicated in 2005 by the world-renowned virtuoso Hector Olivera with over 1300 people in attendance. Since then, the church has sponsored Dr. Isabelle Demers, Dr. Mark Ramsey, Dr. Fred Swann, Lew Williams (Head Organist of the Phoenix Organ Stop Pizza) and the Church’s own Douglas J. Benton in concert on this instrument.