Music at First Presbyterian

Music in our church demands special mention, as it is not an uncommon reason people are first attracted to our congregation. We have two of the finest organs in the Bay Area, and a wonderful organist/pianist. Many local professional musicians consider our sanctuary to be to be one of the finest acoustical concert venues in the county.

Daniel Canosa, Music Director

Our Director of Music is Daniel Canosa. With a repertoire of symphonic and choral masterworks of all periods, Argentina-born conductor Daniel Canosa, considered one of the best of his generation, has led orchestras and choruses in Argentina, the United States and Europe. You can read his full bio here.

Other musicians in our congregation who regularly play for our worship include a clarinetist, a flutist, a couple of violinists, and a cellist. All of this produces a rather remarkable variety of music, some traditional, and some—while not qualifying as a “praise band”—is quite lively. African drums, bagpipes, and other instruments join us sometimes, too, and when the choir performs its major works twice each year, community singers are invited, sometimes producing a choir of 50+ joyous voices!

The Chancel Choir is a vital ministry of our church, bringing people together to share the wonderful joy of music with our congregation and the community at large. Rehearsals are Thursdays at 7:30 pm sharp.Contact or at the church,  456-3713, extension 207.

Organs: Our worship service proudly and regularly features music played on The Leonard William Buck Memorial (gallery) Organ which was a gift from Beryl Hamilton Buck and was first played for Christmas Eve services in 1965. It was designed and built by Lawrence Schoenstein with Terrence Schoenstein and Richard Harger. Other design consultants were Wilbur Russell, the church’s longtime organist and professor of sacred music at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and Ludwig Altman, organist at Temple Emanu-el in San Francisco. In 1980, the Session of the church authorized a proposal to a Foundation for the addition of a Trompette en chamade to the gallery organ and, in addition, for the construction of a chancel organ. Preparation work for our chancel organ, which included construction of a blower room and chamber for the new pipes behind the chancel, was done by church volunteers and installation of the organ was done by the Schoenstein firm in 1984. The new Trompette en chamade (Herald Trumpet) was first played for the service on Christmas Eve, 1983, and the new Chancel organ was first played for Easter services in 1984.

Throughout the years, a distinguished roster of concert organists has played on the organs here at First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo and in years past was the home of the San Anselmo Organ Festival. The church also welcomes recitals of local artists and organ students.