Exploratorium Features Our Church Organ
The San Francisco Exploratorium recently came out to film John Parfitt playing our church’s organs as part of the program “Resonance: Unheard Sounds, Undiscovered Music.” The final video is now published so we can share it with you.
In this 6-minute video, you’ll get to know the grandfather of all instruments, the Pipe Organ. The Schoenstein & Company Organ Builders talk about the process of designing, constructing, and fine-tuning their instruments.
(Mobile users can view the video on YouTube).
Our organs have an interesting history that can be found on pages 68-69 of our church’s history, “Our Past: A Window to the Future” published in 1997 in celebration of our centennial and excerpted below:
“Along with interest in the long range building program, the completion of the stained glass windows in the sanctuary, and a grand piano for the Fireside Room (gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Palmer) came the announcement of the gift of a pipe organ. Henry (Kuizenga) had been in conversation with Beryl Buck who was interested in giving an organ in memory of her husband, Leonard W. Buck. An Organ Committee was appointed by the session in December, 1962, to administer the many details necessary for building and installation of the instrument. Gordon Beesley was named chair with Wil Russell and others to assist. The Aeolian-Skinner Organ, “the finest in the county,” was installed in December, 1965.
Wil played the new organ for the congregation for the first time on Christmas Eve of that year. Three dedication concerts were given: Ludwig Altman from the San Francisco Symphony played the first one in January, 1966; Marilyn Mason from Henry’s former church in Ann Arbor performed the second; and Wil Russell performed the third. Wil gives the following description of events surrounding these festivities: ‘A reception was given after the first concert. Over 900 people attended, the church was packed, balcony and all. Mrs. Buck hosted the reception. The Buck Organ is the only organ of its size in Marin County. Henry had interest in the finest and attracted the elite because of his excellent taste and attention to detail.'”