The Létourneau Pipe Organ and Cora Allison Leavens Memorial Carillon
The more formal liturgies of St. John the Divine make frequent use of the organ since a regular part of our worship makes use of hundreds of years of music composed for English Cathedral services. Our organ faithfully renders the music of the great composers such as George Frideric Handel, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Benjamin Britten, and many others. It is capable of creating the historic sounds of the English school of pipe organ building and accompanies choirs, soloists, and the congregation in robust songs each week. The requirements of our Anglican music tradition mandate a pipe organ capable of creating the English Cathedral sound.
The Létourneau organ is capable of producing a continuum of first-class quality sound—from the softest whispers at the edge of
audibility to the thunderous roar of all the pipes sounding together.
The organ has been designed for additional flexibility so it can produce
not only English but German and French sonorities and even the sound
of the American Romantic organ. With our flexible church worship space, we have the space available to host large choirs and
orchestras. St. John the Divine is one of only a couple of venues in
Houston capable of legitimately performing the Organ Symphony No. 3 by Camille
Saint-Saens, as well as other great works for organ and full orchestra.
Guest organists are welcome during the week to enjoy the sonorities of this great instrument. Guests are additionally welcome to view the console following services, and special tours can be arranged through the music office.
In 1953, four bells were installed with pitches of F (2,200 lbs.), A (880 lbs.), C (640 lbs.) and F (440 lbs.). They were used for calls to worship and peals. The remaining 38 bells making a full carillon, including the keyboard, were added in 1962. A minor renovation occurred in 1980.
The carillon is played every Sunday morning before and after worship services, and for weddings and occasional funerals, as requested. Also, special events in the life of the parish have been observed with a carillon concert.