The organ at Blessed Sacrament church was manufactured by the Canadian company Casavant Frères in 1928 and installed in 1929. The 55 ranks of the instrument contain approximately 4,100 pipes, in addition to a harp stop and chimes. Our first music director, Richard Keys Biggs (1886 – 1962), was touring the factory when it was being built and asked where it was going to be installed. After he was told that it was being built for a church in Hollywood and that the church did not have a music director, Biggs contacted the priests and relocated to Hollywood from the east coast so that he would have the privilege of playing the organ.
Richard Keys Biggs was an American organist and composer in Southern California. He was granted a Hon. Mus.D. from Loyola University Chicago and studied in London with Sir Richard Runciman Terry. He was organist of the San Diego Exposition; Luke’s (Episcopal); Patrick’s, Montréal, Quebéc; Paul’s (Episcopal). In the 1940’s he was director of the men’s and boy’s choirs of the church and parochial school at Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Biggs was one of the more noted among the hundreds of working church organists, but he was ignored by the public at large, appreciated primarily by his church and its congregation. He was the organ teacher of the famed choral director Roger Wagner and of the organist, harpsichordist, pianist, fortepianist, conductor, writer, and teacher Anthony Newman.
Thanks to the restoration efforts on this Southern California musical monument by master technicians Ed Burnside and Kenny Kukuk, we are confident that we can rekindle Blessed Sacrament’s reputation as a “Mecca for great music.”
Almost a century of service…
Raising our minds and hearts…
To praise and serve
for the Greater Glory of God.