St. John's Bosch Organ

“Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise…
The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that

he should proclaim the Word of God through music” – Martin Luther

St. John’s organ was custom built in 1990 in the workshops of the Werner Bosch Orgelbau of Kassel, Germany. It was then disassembled, carefully packed, and shipped to Bakersfield. Reassembly and voicing on initial site was supervised by Michael Bosch, son of Werner, with the help of both local craftsmen and those from the German organ workshop.

Of the Bosch pipe organs in California, St. John’s organ is one of the largest. The three manual, 26-foot tall instrument has 50 ranks of 56 pipes each. The largest pipe is 16 feet tall, and can be seen in the façade of the left-hand tower, while the smallest is about the size of a four-inch pencil.

The instrument is tracker action; the connection between the organist and the opening of the windway beneath each pipe, to produce sound, is done with trackers, wooden rods, and mechanical connections – not electricity. Wind is supplied by two electric motors, and the combination action (for drawing predetermined stops) is solid state electronic. Each manual has eight divisionals, and the eight general pistons and toe studs are duplicated on four memory levels.

The organ, housed in a case of natural-colored German oak, maintains a traditional configuration. The main case houses the Hauptwerk, with the Schwellwerk being above and behind it. The two pedal towers, one on each side, and the Ruckpositiv, which stands behind the back of the organist, are on the main floor at the front of the Sanctuary.

The organ features an enchemade Spanish Trumpet with copper resonators, a mounted V-rank cornet in the upper façade of the main case, and a Zimbelstern with rotating star just above the head of the organist.

The organ was dedicated to the Glory of God November 18, 1990. 

With God’s blessing and guidance, we have been allowed to help create a legacy for the future. This instrument will most likely outlive us all and still be enjoyed by our children’s children. At the hands of talented musicians, some yet unborn, this instrument will sing for many years, reproducing the cherished masterpieces of the past, as well as those yet to be written. It will enhance our worship by leading God’s people in exultant praises, comforting the families and friends of departed loved ones, sharing the joy as couples exchange marriage vows, and uniting the church universal as it chants its historic and contemporary liturgies.

Bosch Organ 1990 – Opus 836

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