Woodberry & Harris tracker organ


SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 1,  2017 – A beautiful 19th century organ is being installed at Star of the Sea Church, replacing a 1981 Shoenstein with an 1889 Woodberry & Harris tracker organ.


The new organ is smaller, and will open up the choir loft to reveal the stained glass rose window which had been obscured by the larger organ for nearly a century.


“Not only am I very excited about this historic organ for its own sake, but I’m also very excited to allow our church to be re-illuminated by the stained glass window which has been hidden for so many decades!” said Star of the Sea administrator Father Joseph Illo.  The heirloom organ was donated by Star of the Sea’s music director,  Mr. Lynn Kraehling, who jumped at the opportunity to acquire the organ amidst several other interested churches.


Barring any delays, the organ will be blessed on Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent.


“The Woodberry & Harris Organ is a fine example of early American organ building,” said Ben Williams of organ building and restoration firm Hupalo & Repasky, headquartered in San Leandro.


Originally crafted in 1889 for the First Universalist Church in Melrose, it was moved in 1978 to Avalon Community Church on Santa Catalina Island and restored by organ-builder Manuel Rosales. Sometime after 1995, it was moved to the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley. The sale of the seminary property meant the organ was for sale.


Star of the Sea’s Schoenstein organ, which will be placed for sale, was the parish’s second organ, and is remarkable for being built during the ownership transition period between Lawrence Schoenstein and Jack Bethards in 1981.  The Schoenstein Co. built and maintained many of America’s finest organs, and has consulted for many of the world’s finest organs including those at Atlantic City Convention Hall, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Washington National Cathedral.


Founded in 1887, Star of the Sea emphasizes devotion to the Eucharist particularly through solemn sung liturgies with two choirs, offering Mass in English and in the pre-Vatican II Latin Extraordinary Form.


Media inquiries should be directed to Martin Ford martin@starparish.com, 415-751-0450 For more information, please go to www.starparish.com, or follow Star of the Sea Church on Facebook: www.facebook.com/starparishsf

SOTS Ver. 4.1

The Specification:


8′ Open Diapason

8′ Melodia

8′ Dulciana

4′ Octave

4′ Flute

2′ Super Octave


8′ Stopped Diapason Bass

8′ Stopped Diapason Treble

8′ Salicional

4′ Flute Harmonic

4′ Violina

8′ Bassoon (bass)

8′ Oboe (tc)



16′ Bourdon

Swell to Great

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Great Piano

Great Forte

Wind Indicator

Hand Pump

Manual Compass 61 notes

Pedal Compass 27 notes