Robert A. Daffer founded our company in July 1977. Bob had been the manager of the church organ department at a local full line dealer of musical instruments, starting in the church organ business in 1963. His vision was to form a company that would specialize in organ installations for houses of worship, not merely make the sale of church organs part of a large retail business. The dream was to handle electronic organs in the artistic and individualistic way that fine pipe organ builders had done for centuries. In 1977, the Rodgers Organ Company awarded him the Baltimore territory. Rodgers’ organ building technology and philosophy matched the individualized, custom installation approach that was Bob’s goal. Bob’s immediate success in the Baltimore area led to a quick expansion into the Washington, DC area.
In 1979, our company also began to represent the Wicks Organ Company. In 1987 we received the award as their largest representative. During our tenure with Wicks, our company sold and installed dozens of their pipe organs in the Mid-Atlantic area. Our association with Wicks ended in 1990.
By 1981, the number of pipe organ installations and Rodgers Organs with pipe additions caused a company expansion. Our pipe organ maintenance and installation team was added. Due to our growing reputation for quality and timely service, we were entrusted as curators for the world renown pipe organs at the Washington National Cathedral and the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1983. Through the years, our work at the the National Cathedral has included rebuilding the Cathedral’s existing windchests, installing a Rodgers computer system to control all the organ’s pipework, and completely rebuilding the Cathedral’s console.
Our area of responsibility for Rodgers expanded through the 1980’s to include the Tidewater, Virginia market area and the Philadelphia market area.
In 1991, Rodgers introduced its revolutionary Parallel Digital Imaging ® technology. True pipe organ sound was now captured and reproduced with stereophonic depth and richness; complete note-by- note voiceability of every note of every stop was now possible; and custom programming was available to expand standard organ specifications with existing pipework. It is now possible for the smallest church to have the sound and feel of a large pipe organ to enhance their worship.
In 1993, we opened our new showroom and shop in Jessup, Maryland. In 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1999, R.A. Daffer church Organs, Inc was the world’s largest agency for the sale and installation of Rodgers Organs. In 1995, we were named the Mid-Atlantic representative for the Fratelli Ruffatti Organ Company of Padua, Italy. We also expanded into the Wilmington, North Carolina market. 1999 saw the introduction of Rodgers’ innovative RSS technology, our expansion into the Southern New Jersey market area, and the most successful year in our company’s history. In May of 2002, we celebrated our 25th anniversary by taking all our employees and their spouses on a Caribbean cruise.
2005 saw the introduction of Rodgers’ Masterpiece Series, allowing each client to have the opportunity to custom design their Rodgers Organ to meet the exact needs of their worship service. Custom organs were designed using a closed internet connection with Rodgers’ mainframe computer, submitting the design to Rodgers, receiving the construction documents from Rodgers, and building the instruments.
In 2009, Rodgers’ first use of their revolutionary SSC (Sound System on a Chip) technology was introduced. By 2012, Rodgers’ Infinity Custom series organs were based on this same technology. What once required multiple boards, connections and cages, was miniaturized into a single chip. Customization can now occur at any time in the design process, including after delivery in the client’s worship space. Additionally, the entire library of Rodgers pipe organ samples is loaded into each Infinity Organ for instant use by the organist.
In 2013, we are celebrating Bob Daffer’s 50th year designing and installing organ installations in houses of worship.
Our Rodgers customers have included such famous organists as the late Richard Purvis, Organist Emeritus of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; noted composer and organist Dr. Herman Berlinski; and Berj Zamkochian, organist for the Boston Symphony.
Since 1977, we have lived out our company philosophy by enhancing worship through music. Our hundreds of customers stand as testament to the care given to each installation, large and small.