George Wright Memorial Theatre Pipe Organ
Grant Union High School
1400 Grand Avenue
Sacramento, California

        
CLICK ON PHOTO TO VIEW THE FULL SIZE IMAGE IN A NEW WINDOW

The four-manual twenty-one rank theatre pipe organ at Grant Union High School was installed over a period of one year from 1938 to 1939. Wurlitzer organs were obtained from the Rialto Theatre in Reno (Opus 461), the Alexandria Theatre in San Francisco (Opus 698), and the Opera House in Redding (Opus 869).

The best parts were used to assemble the organ by students under the direction of Fred Wood, an organ builder from Oakland. A new console, specified by George Wright, was purchased from the Kilgen Organ Company for $5,000. The new Grant organ was presented to the public in a recital by Howard Scott, and George Wright on December 8, 1939.


The original 1938 Kilgen console, built to George Wright's specification, was destroyed by an arson fire in 1973. It was replaced in 1975 by the Balcom & Vaughan Wurlitzer replica console.

The organ was dedicated in memory of George Wright (1920-1998) on November 14, 1999.

George Wright Main Chamber
Open Diapason
Tibia Clausa
Clarinet
Viol d' Orchestre
Viol Celeste
Oboe Horn
Salicional
Concert Flute
Flute Celeste
Chrysoglott

Unenclosed
Piano
Cathedral Chimes
Solo Xylophone
Celesta
Toy Counter
Solo Chamber
English Horn
Solo Trumpet
Trumpet
Tuba Horn
Tibia Clausa
Tibia Clausa
Orchestral Oboe
Kinura
Gamba
Saxophone
Krumet
Vox Humana
Harp
Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Toy Counter
 

George Wright, 77, the most famous theatre organist of the modern era, died of heart failure on May 10, 1998 at Glendale Memorial Hospital near his home in the Hollywood hills.

Born in Orland, California on August 28, 1920, Wright learned to play the piano at an early age from his mother who was a private music teacher. After graduating from Grant Union High School in Sacramento, Wright moved to San Francisco where he played to sold-out audiences at the Fox Theater during the early 1940s.

Wright later moved to New York and served as house organist at the Paramount Theater. In 1951 he returned to California and went to work for ABC as musical director and studio organist for the program, General Hospital. During his long career, Wright recorded more than 60 albums, some of which sold over a million copies.


The Genius of Young George Wright

George Wright played the music on this CD at Grant Union High School in 1940. Detailed liner notes tell the story of the instrument and how it was recorded. An unaltered transfer from the original 16" 78rpm transcription disks to the digital medium was made to keep the recording as authentic as possible. Enjoy this rare opportunity to hear the energetic, emerging genius of the young George Wright.

Annual George Wright Memorial Concert
Presented by Grant Alumni and Sierra Chapter

Our Director, the Grant Fight Song
Arranged by George Wright


Listen to Clark Wilson

1998 - Barry Baker    1999 - Joyce Clifford    2000 - Lew Williams    2001 - Rob Richards and Jim Martinez

2002 - Barry Baker    2003 - Walt Strony    2004 - Ron Rhode    2005 - Simon Gledhill

2006 - Jelani Eddington    2007 - Clark Wilson    2008 - Mark Herman    2009 - Chris Gorsuch

2010 - Jonas Nordwall    2011 - Dave Wickerham    2012 - Martin Ellis    2013 - Donna Parker

2014 - Richard Hills    2016 - Walt Strony    2017 - Jerry Nagano


The 2015 concert was cancelled due to auditorium restoration.

1938 George Wright Specification

Cover     Page 1     Page 2     Page 3     Page 4     Page 5

1975 Balcom & Vaughan Specification

PEDAL
16 Ophicleide
16 Diaphone
16 Tibia Clausa
16 Bourdon
8 English Horn
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Octave
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Gamba
8 Clarinet
8 Cello
8 Flute
16 Piano
8 Piano
Cathedral Chimes
Bass Drum
Kettle Drum
Snare Drum
Cymbal
Triangle
Acc. to Pedal
Great to Pedal
ACCOMPANIMENT
8 English Horn
8 Solo Trumpet
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Orchestral Oboe
8 Gamba
8 Saxophone
8 Clarinet
8 Viol d' Orchestre
8 Viol Celeste
8 Krumet
8 Oboe Horn
8 Salicional
8 Concert Flute
8 Flute Celeste
8 Vox Humana
4 Piccolo
4 Piccolo
4 Gambette
4 Viol
4 Octave Celeste
4 Salicet
4 Flute
4 Vox Humana
2 2/3 Twelfth
2 Piccolo (Tibia)
2 Fifteenth
8 Piano
4 Piano
Mandolin
Harp
Chrysoglott
Snare Drum
Tambourine
Castanets
Chinese Block
Tom Tom
Octave

Acc. Second Touch
8 English Horn
8 Solo Trumpet
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Piano
Cathedral Chimes
Glockenspiel
Solo to Acc.
Solo to Acc. Pizzicato
GREAT
16 English Horn TC
16 Solo Trumpet TC
16 Ophicleide
16 Diaphone
16 Tibia Clausa
16 Tibia Clausa TC
16 Tibia Clausa TC
16 Contra Viol TC
16 Bourdon
16 Vox Humana TC
8 English Horn
8 Solo Trumpet
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Orchestral Oboe
8 Kinura
8 Gamba
8 Saxophone
8 Clarinet
8 Viol d' Orchestre
8 Viol Celeste
8 Krumet
8 Oboe Horn
8 Salicional
8 Concert Flute
8 Vox Humana
8 Flute Celeste
5 1/3 Tibia Clausa
4 Octave
4 Piccolo
4 Piccolo
4 Piccolo
4 Gambette
4 Viol
4 Octave Celeste
4 Salicet
4 Flute
4 Vox Humana
2 2/3 Twelfth (Tibia)
2 2/3 Twelfth
2 Piccolo (Tibia)
2 Fifteenth
2 Piccolo
1 3/5 Tierce (Tibia)
16 Piano
8 Piano
4 Piano
Cathedral Chimes
Harp
Solo Xylophone
Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Celesta
Chrysoglott
Sub Octave
Octave

Great Second Touch
16 English Horn
8 English Horn
Cathedral Chimes
Solo to Great
Solo to Great Pizzicato
BOMBARD
16 English Horn TC
16 Solo Trumpet TC
16 Ophicleide
16 Tibia Clausa
16 Tibia Clausa TC
16 Contra Viol TC
16 Vox Humana TC
8 English Horn
8 Solo Trumpet
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Gamba
8 Saxophone
8 Clarinet
8 Viol d' Orchestre
8 Viol Celeste
8 Oboe Horn
8 Salicional
8 Concert Flute
8 Vox Humana
4 Piccolo
4 Piccolo
4 Gambette
4 Viol
4 Octave Celeste
4 Salicet
4 Flute
4 Vox Humana
2 2/3 Twelfth (Tibia)
2 Piccolo (Tibia)
1 3/5 Tierce (Tibia)
16 Piano
8 Piano
4 Piano
Solo Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Solo Sub Bombard
Solo to Bombard
SOLO
16 Tibia Clausa
8 English Horn
8 Solo Trumpet
8 Trumpet
8 Tuba Horn
8 Open Diapason
8 Tibia Clausa
8 Orchestral Oboe
8 Kinura
8 Gamba
8 Saxophone
8 Krumet
8 Vox Humana
4 Piccolo
2 2/3 Twelfth (Tibia)
2 Piccolo (Tibia)
1 3/5 Tierce (Tibia)
8 Piano
Cathedral Chimes
Harp
Solo Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Celesta
Chrysoglott
Sub Octave
Octave