Music has played an important role in the life of the parish since at least 1844, when parish records indicate that professional vocalists and instrumentalists were brought from New York City for a sacred festival concert.
The present building dates back to 1877 but was extensively rebuilt in an “English” manner in 1925 which included adding transepts.
The walls and ceiling are all hard plaster, which accounts for the fine acoustics.
The noted organ builder Hilbourne Roosevelt grew up in Christ Church and was for a time the church organist.
He eventually gave up the position because the family thought it unseemly for a businessman to hold such a position.
Past instruments include an organ which Hilbourne Roosevelt persuaded the vestry to purchase from the Presbyterians across the street.
It was a two-manual Odell which he enlarged to three manuals with a rosewood console.
A two-year search located the Roosevelt in Bronxville New York.
Hardly anything except bits and pieces from the original remain.
The Roosevelt was replaced in 1915 with a Hutchings, which was subsequently replaced with a Wicks in 1956.
The current Wolff organ was dedicated on December 7, 1986 in a festal Evensong conducted by Gerre Hancock, to a packed church.
Evensong was followed with a recital where his improvisation on a theme unique to Oyster Bay is something which our parishioners will never forget.
Recitals by Simon Preston and Guy Bovet followed. Sir David Willcocks spent a week in residence with the choir, which closed with a workshop and festal Evensong, and the Choir of Men and Boys from York Minster, England, opened their first North American tour at the church on March 2, 1987.
Gillian Weir concluded the dedication series on April 26 as the soloist in a program of organ concerti, when works by Hanson, Piston, Pierre-Petit, Handel, and Haydn were heard. - excerpted from an article by Thomas Lee Bailey in The American Organist, May 1987.
(Copyright 1987 by The American Guild of Organists. Reprinted by permission of The American Organist
organ tuning and maintenance provided.