The Leonard William Buck Memorial Organ and Chancel Organ
Our worship service regularly and proudly features music played on the spectacular balcony organ – a generous gift from Beryl Hamilton Buck. Great planning was put into the design by consultants Ludwig Altman, organist at Temple Emanu-el in San Francisco and Wilbur Russell, Professor of Sacred Music at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Built by Lawrence and Terrence Schoenstein with Richard Harger, its all-encompassing sound was heard first on Christmas Eve, 1965.
Recognized as one of the finest in Northern California, the Buck Memorial Organ gave the church a special prominence in the musical life of the community and entire Bay Area. As home to the San Anselmo Organ Festival, we welcomed a distinguished roster of concert organists and hosted several improvisation competitions. We continue to encourage recitals of local artists and organ student rehearsals today
The Leonard William Buck Memorial Organ
missing picture of chancel organ
In 1984, the church added a Trompette en chamade (Herald Trumpet) to the gallery organ in the loft space. We also constructed a second organ behind the chancel that imparts a more Baroque sound. Enthusiastic volunteers added a blower room and a chamber for even more pipes, also designed by the Schoenstein firm.
Mr. Russell, who play these magnificent instruments for 45 years, claims the Buck Organ contains 62 groups of 48 pipes, give or take a few. Even though you can’t see or count them all, we have almost 4000 channels for sound to emanate throughout the Sanctuary.