Music at St. Luke's
The Opus #1350
Our magnificent, large, pipe organ built by the famed Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company is one of the keystones of great music at St. Luke's. Aeolian-Skinner was the leader of the "American Classic" movement in organ design that commanded the pipe organ world from the 1930s to the 1970s. Boston’s Symphony Hall, New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Mormon Tabernacle also enjoy these great organs.
St. Luke’s first contracted with the Aeoline-Skinner Company in 1958 and the organ installation was completed in 1960. Our organ is one of their earlier designs, model Opus #1350, and was said to have been a personal favorite of Aeoline-Skinner President, Joseph Whiteford. The organ has three manuals, five divisions, 60 ranks and slightly more than 3,400 pipes.
Additions to the original 1958 design came in two periods. In 1976 a striking set of Trompette-en-Chamade pipes was added and can be seen along the rear interior west wall. Also added was a Zimbelstern and a tremolo to lend a romantic quality to the flute pipes of two of the divisions. In the 1990s a solid state action added 32 levels of combination piston memory, some of the pipes were revoiced, and the casework was redone to create the beautiful façade of the main organ on the south wall.
The organ's 3,400 pipes result in a "cathedral sound" rarely equaled in any church on the West Coast. In addition, the spectacular acoustics of the church's French Gothic building design enhance the music.
"We have a great treasure in the St. Luke's organ that is known and respected by the musical and religious communities nationally," per Burt Weaver, organist.