Clay Couri initiates the new 105-rank antiphonal organ at All Saints’ Episcopal Church with an
entertaining, passionate hour-long concert 3 p.m. Sunday, September 24th , in the church’s nave,
Dolores and 9th, in Carmel. The public is enthusiastically invited. Admission is by your free-will
donation at the door.
Installed last year, this is the first time the organ has been presented to the public. The concert will
highlight the abilities of this multi-faceted four-manual Renaissance instrument to present fully
antiphonal music from the 16th Century to a 1980 transcripted cantata by Bach. Hear the organ keys “sing” as Couri performs music by Lizst, Handel and others. The organ is software
driven, has 102 ranks and 6 tuning schemes, 3 bell zimbelsterns, but it only takes a few minutes to
change a stop.
The concert will also feature vocal selections by tenor Jeffrey Thompson, owner of Jeffrey’s Grill, and
the Cannery Rogues, as well as a few other fun surprises. The event will be followed with delicious
refreshments by parishioner Gwynn Romano in Seccombe Hall, on the lower level of All Saints’.
Couri, who has played and serviced church organs on the Monterey Peninsula for years, has carefully
selected all pieces to highlight the vast available registration of the All Saints’ organ. “Because of it’s
digital technology, it can do anything”, Couri beams excitedly! He is so eager to show off this
instrument, and has asked that the organ be turned so the audience can see his actions as he plays.
Couri grew up in Rural Connecticut, began and dropped his early piano lessons, later began playing
saloon style “Honkey Tonk” piano by ear, and then taught himself to play the organ in earnest after his
father’s death. Using his boundless energy, he has been a chef, geologist, paleogeologist, piano tuner,
and master clock maker – all professionally. He was organist and director of music at St. John’s
Chapel in Monterey until 2010, when he retired. He has maintained the All Saints’ organ since it’s
purchase. Clay and his spouse, Jim Durham, live in Carmel Highlands.
All Saints’, home to many musical performances and concerts, has excellent acoustics for such. The
church was started in 1912 in the Pine Inn on Ocean Avenue. Carmel’s City Hall building on Monte
Verde was the second home, built by money raised by the parishioners.
The donor of the money used to purchase the organ write “It is my hope that the new organ at All
Saints’ be made generously available to those who love great music in the Carmel area, and most
particularly to the Carmel Bach Festival, which is an annual event of international importance. The gift
is given to the glory of God,” Mrs. Charles (Sally) Shedd.
The funds raised at the concert will go towards a fund to maintain this glorious organ.
For more information, contact All Saints’ Church, (831) 624-3883.