I was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1955. My parents were attending UCLA at the time. We lived in Veteran's Housing in Westwood. In 1958 we moved to Pomona, California, where my brother was born. The following year we moved to the San Fernando Valley, eventually settling in Granada Hills.

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After high school I moved to what was to later become West Hollywood. In order to help pay my share of the rent, I needed to find a job. Looking through the Yellow Pages I saw the listing of an organ building shop, Abbott & Sieker, in West Los Angeles. A week after my interview in 1974 they hired me to make the pipes, thus my career was launched.

Abbott & Sieker Crew 1975

I enjoyed it so much that I decided to try to make a living as an organ builder. I started to design and build an organ in my spare time so that I could explore every aspect of the craft. It attracted the attention and admiration of music faculty at both UCLA and at UC Berkeley. They suggested that I expand my training by working at another workshop. I went to work for John Brombaugh in 1978 in Eugene, Oregon, where I learned to make reed pipes and was exposed to a style of organbuilding strongly informed by the research of antique organs.

Opus 1 Seattle 1978 d

Returning to Los Angeles in 1979, I opened my own workshop with a project to repair one of the antique organs in the collection at UC Berkeley. My research trips to Europe, and the construction of new organs, continued to educate and enrich my organbuilding knowledge and skill.

Opus 11 was made like organs built in the Aragón region of Spain during the late seventeenth century. Opus 14, my largest organ, and Opus 18, my last organ, were influenced by seventeenth and eighteenth century North European organs.

Occasionally hiring help, but primarily working alone, I designed and built organs in my small West Los Angeles shop for twenty-four years. I closed my shop in November 2003. Since then I've focused on composing music, painting, writing, and I continue to stay interested in organ building.

Greg Harrold