~| Pipe Organs |~

“Music’s wordless gospel proclaims in a universal language,
what the thirsting soul of man is seeking beyond this life!”
—Bruno Walter

Hello again! Welcome to my Organs page.

No, you won’t find kidneys, lungs or spleens; this is about organs with keyboards, most particularly windblown pipe organs of the classical or church variety; although I also enjoy playing the Hammond for gospel and jazz and listening to the theater pipe organ (but have never learned to properly play a Wurlitzer).

I also appreciate some of the recent electronic or digital organs; many of these have come a long way and in some situations are really quite effective — although under most circumstances a pipe organ is, by far, superior to electronic instruments when it comes to playing classical- and church-organ repertoire.


I am currently in my 15th year as Music Director for in Inglewood, California; James J. Lobdell, pastor.

I came to Holy Trinity on All Saints Sunday, 1989, as a substitute for one Sunday ... and never left! I shall always be grateful to my friend Vince Morton for leading me to Holy Trinity, as this has been the most joyous and rewarding church position I have ever held in my 25-year church-organist career.

Holy Trinity is a multi-cultural congregation of about 300 members. The worship service has a liturgical basis; however, upon that traditional framework our parish has built a rich and unique worship style. To give you some idea of the varied music you will hear at Holy Trinity, consider that we have a pipe organ (16-rank Justin Kramer, 1965,) a Hammond "Concert Model" with Leslie, a 7'6" Kawai grand piano, and that I use all instruments very liberally. We also have an excellent drummer and a tamborine choir who really livens things up! You’re welcome to come visit us! Drop me an email and I’ll send you directions.

I am also the Music Director and Organist for Faith Lutheran Church (LCMS), also in Inglewood where the services are bit more traditional. I have been "circuit riding" between the two churches for about a year. Faith has a very nice 3-manual Casavant [tonal design by Stoot] installed when the church was built in 1957. You can read about Faith, and my circuit-riding adventures, on these pages:

Faith Lutheran

Faith Lutheran - More Photos

Faith Lutheran's Home Page

Here are some pictures of the largest pipe organ in the world (according to the Guiness Book of World Records), located in the Atlantic City Convention Hall.

This organ has, depending upon who’s counting, anywhere from 31,000 to 33,000 pipes — 447 ranks; 314 speaking stops. The unique seven-manual console has 1,234 stop tablets. (These statistics were provided by Mr. Stephen D. Smith, who has written two excellent books on the Atlantic City Convention Hall organs.

The tremendous pipes shown in the third photo are from the 32-foot Diapason of the main Pedal division. Note the man standing at the left side of that shot for a reference of just how huge these pipes are. And these are only half as long as the largest ones in that organ! There is a 64-foot diaphone that is over 64 feet long and 3 feet square at the top (the pipes are made of wood and are tapered, that is, larger at the top than at the bottom). If you want to know more about this historic organ, visit The Atlantic City Convention Hall Organ Web Page.

Another contender for world largest organ is in, of all places, a department store: Wanamaker’s of Philadelphia: The Grand Court Organ, built in the early 1920s, is certainly a biggie, with approximately 28,000 pipes (but 476 ranks, 15 more than the ACCH organ). For photos and more information about this musical behemoth, see The Wanamaker Organ Web Page.

If the quaint peep of a 64-foot Harmonic Open Wood — or the gentle lilt of a 1,1/7’ Schnarr-Regal — is music to your ears, the Pipe Organs web site is the place to go. (That page also has numerous links to other organ-related ’net sites.)

(The magnificent case pictured here is of The Great Organ, Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Methuen, Massachusetts. Click on the thumbnail for a full-size picture; or for detailed information on the instrument go to its web site.)

Last but not least here at the ol’ organ room, if you’d like to take a thrilling flight of organic fantasy, read The Temple of Music.


(Please note that all text and some images* are copyright © 1995-2004 by Charles Richard Lester. You are welcome to disseminate information or graphics from this web page for non-commercial use only but only after requesting — and receiving — permission by its author (me). Please apply to Charles Richard Lester: one_three_sevenat1377731.com (change "at" to the "@" symbol). Thank you for appreciating the value of creativity.
.......*If you’re not sure whether or not a given image is in public domain — just ask.)

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