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The Myers Memorial Aeolian-Skinner Organ


 A gift of Mrs. Francis Myers in memory of her son, Ralph Edwin Myers, our pipe organ was custom-made for St. Paul’s by Aeolian-Skinner, the leading American organ company of the first half of the 20th century. The company's Opus 1243, it was dedicated in 1954. Although modest in size, it is an outstanding example of the "American Classic" style of organs designed by G. Donald Harrison, the British-born tonal director of Aeolian-Skinner, who designed much larger organs at St. Thomas Church in New York and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Building on the work of the Willis organ company in England, his distinctive approach combined the best in British organ sound with the latest in American organ technology to create instruments that are unsurpassed in quality, musicality, and longevity. Other Episcopal churches in California blessed with Aeolian-Skinner organs of the era include St. Paul’s Cathedral in Los Angeles, St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, All Saints in Pasadena, All Saints and St. Paul’s in Pomona, St. Paul’s in Burlingame, St. Luke’s in San Francisco, and St. John’s in Ross. Unfortunately, not all survive. Unlike Opus 1243, few remain exactly as they were created.


Our Aeolian-Skinner organ has 22 ranks of pipes enclosed and under expression, located in chambers high on the left side of the chancel, and 31 stops played from a handsome two-manual console located directly behind the pulpit. Opus 1243 is liturgically appropriate and historically significant for three features rarely found in one organ: (1) Its clear principal stops, rich flute sounds, and brilliant reeds firmly support congregational and choral singing and are fully adaptable to most classical, romantic, and modern music written for the solo organ. (2) Its reverberant sound blends in the chancel before being carried into the nave at a carefully balanced volume. (3) Its pipe work and console have been maintained in pristine condition, without faddish alterations, additions, or digital enhancement. Over the years, acclaimed concert organists including California’s James Welch and the late Thomas Hazleton have played recitals at St. Paul’s, and our organ has faithfully accompanied Sunday, Holy Week, and Christmas services without interruption for almost 60 years.