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the Letourneau organ in Oakland's Cathedral of the Light

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  • the Letourneau organ in Oakland's Cathedral of the Light

    Visitors to the Bay Area should try to arrange a visit to Oakland's quite new Cathedral to see and hear
    the Letourneau organ.

    Contact Rudy de Vos at [email protected] and he will arrange time for you on the organ, when
    it doesn't conflict with a service.


  • #2
    That sounds too easy. I hope that they are using some discernment and stewardship.


    • #3
      I would imagine that they are.

      Which brings me to something I've wondered about: Why are church organs so far off limits to most people who play keyboard instruments? I mean I have a degree in organ, 20-odd years of experience, and have gotten the chance to play in some pretty wonderful settings, yet I can't play the pipe organ at the church down the street without getting the equivalent of an FBI background check and submitting a DNA sample.

      Assuming we don't let complete irresponsible baboons onto the bench, and these types are pretty easy to screen out, exactly what harm is going to be inflicted to the precious instrument beyond perhaps some wrong notes by the average amateur or even beginner keyboard musician? Most electronic keyboards that these folks play every day are far more fragile than an organ. No wonder the organ has such little interest- most people couldn't even get near one if they wanted to.

      If the above post is true, kudos to the church for realizing that their wonderful instrument is a life-giving gift to their entire community, not just a personal plaything for the music staff or the church insiders. I like it.


      • #4
        Yes, my post is accurate and the organist there, Rudy deVos, is more than willing to accommodate visitors to the organ.
        Lets hope that those who ask to play there for an hour can really play and are not just going to doodle and pull out
        stops and make odd noises.

        There are several reasons why the organ has little interest to many people, especially younger ones in their earlier
        musical years. Many folks no longer attend church and thus rarely hear or see organs. Unless one has a keyboard
        background in piano, they will make no progress at the organ. Very few folks have pianos in their homes now, and
        thus there is little exposure to the piano. And, we can't forget the discipline required to learn the organ. It takes
        many years of careful practice to perfect this art too many people want "instant" results from what they undertake
        and they are part of what Marilyn Mason called "the micro-wave generation".