the Organs

The Rockefeller Chapel E.M. Skinner Organ

You can hear the E.M. Skinner organ played at Sunday services and weekly recitals during the academic year. It is also played for academic and ceremonial events, for practice, and for special concerts throughout the seasons.

It is a massive romantic organ, considered one of the best in America. You can find its specifications here.

The Bond Chapel Reneker-Wilhelm Organ

The Reneker organ, built for the former home of the Chicago Theological Seminary, was relocated to Bond Chapel in 2012. A lovely Baroque tracker organ, built by Quebec’s Karl Wilhelm in 1983, it quickly won an award for “divine design” in its new home. You can download the program (including the specifications) from its dedication concert, which took place on February 2, 2013. This date was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Betty Reneker, who commissioned the organ in memory of her husband, Robert Reneker, former chair of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago, and of their son, David. You can find its specifications here.


The Brian Gerrish Organ Performance Series

The Brian Gerrish Organ Performance Series at the University of Chicago is designed to promote the joy of listening to world class organ performance. The endowed series honors Divinity School professor emeritus Brian Gerrish and has taken place annually at Rockefeller Chapel since 2009. This is the first Gerrish recital on Bond Chapel’s Reneker Organ (Karl Wilhelm, 1983), which was relocated from Chicago Theological Seminary in 2012. The E.M. Skinner Organ at Rockefeller will continue to be played for services during these next two years of window renovation at Rockefeller Chapel (2023-25), though not all of its ranks will be available to recitalists during various project phases.
Rockefeller Chapel (which stewards the Gerrish endowment) and UChicago Presents have been collaborating on Gerrish recital co-presentations since 2019. Prior Gerrish recitalists include Isabelle Demers, Herndon Spillman, Nathan Laube, Paul Jacobs, and Raul Prieto Ramirez. Questions on sustaining organ performance at the University Chapels can be directed to Matthew Dean at

Brian Gerrish, former Nuveen Professor at the Divinity School, worked on Reformation thought and 19th-century theology, serving on the faculty from 1965 to 1996. His books include Continuing the Reformation: Essays on Modern Religious Thought (1993). His other works include Grace and Reason: A Study in the Theology of Luther (1962; Japanese edition, 1974), The Old Protestantism and the New: Essays on the Reformation Heritage (1982) and Grace and Gratitude: The Eucharistic Theology of John Calvin (1993).

Gerrish received his B.A. in 1952 and his M.A. in 1956 from Queens’ College, Cambridge, and his Ph.D in 1958 from Columbia. He was an ordained minister in the Presbyterian church (U.S.A.) and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.




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Rockefeller Memorial Chapel is part of Campus & Student Life.

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