The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph’s Odell Tracker pipe organ was built in 1886 by  The J.H. & C.S. Odell Co. in Yonkers, New York, is one of only four Odells of this style in the United States and the ONLY surviving Odell instrument in its original condition on the West Coast.

Discover some fascination information about the Cathedral’s Odell Tracker pipe organ:

  • Designed specifically for this church
  • Measures 22 ft. high by 18 ft. wide by 10 ft. deep
  • Contains 40,000 wooden parts
  • Consists of 27 ranks of 60 pipes (equal to 1,620 individual musical instruments), 21 stops distributed over two keyboard divisions and a pedal division.
  • Stops at swell division are under expression.
  • Completely restored from 1987-1991 by Edward Stout and his assistant, Richard Taylor, curators of this instrument since 1968. Mr. Stout did some repairs on the organ during the 1964 church restoration project. Dr. Philip Simpson, professor of music at San Jose State University supervised the organ’s care from the 1950s to 1964.
A Humorous Note

Miss Clarisse Benoit was the organist from the early 1930s to the mid 1960s. She was somewhat restrained in the music she played; but, once a year, she was permitted to play with gusto—or high pitch, rumble and roar. She let-her-rip during Good Friday services when she played Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ: ―Father, Father, why have You forsaken Me?