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May 2009 High-Profile Worship Venue Adds Keyboard and Drum Products

As one of America's largest houses of worship, Saddleback Church serves the Southern California region through more than 200 ministries, 10 worship venues, and three regional campuses, spreading the gospel message through the ministry of Founding Pastor Rick Warren, author of the bestseller The Purpose Driven Life.

To cater to a diverse music ministry, Saddleback has developed a "venue strategy" that enables visitors to choose the style of music they want for their worship experience. Each week, approximately 20,000 worshippers gather to celebrate at 20 different services in a variety of musical styles.

A roster of more than 1,000 services per year, coupled with a musical instrument inventory that was nearly 12 years old, prompted a much-needed upgrade. To meet those demands, Saddleback invested in a selection of new Yamaha musical instrument products, including S90ES keyboards, CP300 stage pianos, Absolute Noveau acoustic, and DTXtreme electronic drum kits.

"We love the sound quality, realism, and versatility of the S90s and CP300s," explained Saddleback Director of Creative Arts Tony Guerrero, a Yamaha trumpet artist for more than 18 years. "They're great alternatives to a grand piano. The CP300, in particular, has an incredibly realistic feel, and that's so important to a musician who is used to the touch of an acoustic instrument."

New drum kits at Saddleback include Absolute Maple Noveau, Absolute Birch Noveau, and DTXtreme IIs models.

"I own Yamaha drums, and I have always been a fan of the Noveau lug design," said Tom Dante, a professional musician who plays weekly at Saddleback. "Yamaha hardware has a reputation for being rock-solid and for giving the player incredible setup flexibility. The Absolute kits have gorgeous finishes and great sound, while the DTXtreme can adapt to any musical style with the push of a few buttons."

Guerrero also noted that Saddleback has used a Yamaha Disklavier DC7 for performances in the 3,200-seat main worship center, the on-site recording studio, and for live television broadcasts.

"Yamaha is committed to equipping and educating worship leaders, musicians, and technical personnel with the latest in music technology," says Mike Overlin, manager of worship resources for Yamaha Corporation of America. "Whether that venue is a small church on the corner, or a high-profile facility like Saddleback, it is our goal to provide the highest quality musical instrument and technology products possible to equip the worshiper and enhance the worship experience."

"Both our staff and our musicians are well aware of Yamaha's reputation for quality, as well as their high level of service to the worship community," said Guerrero. "With our volume of musical activity, our gear obviously gets a workout. We look forward to using the new pieces for many years to come."

For more information on Yamaha Corporation of America, visit www.yamaha.com.

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