LDS Sandstone Stake


This is the second pipe organ installed by Wicks Pipe Organ Company under the supervision of John R. “Dick” Mitchell of Salt Lake City. It is an eleven-rank instrument spread over two manuals and pedals. After the Paradise Stake installation, it is the second oldest pipe organ in Las Vegas playing in its original location. New relays were installed in 1995. The building was later hit by lightning and the swell motors had to be replaced.

The Sandstone Stake was originally named the Las Vegas South Stake Center, renamed in 1977 as the Redrock Stake Center and later changed to today’s name, Sandstone Stake. Phylis Pack Tonks held the first organ position as Stake Organist. She provided the organ music for the dedication program on October 28, 1973. She accompanied the choir, congregation and soloist, Barney Rawlings, who was a prominent vocalist in Las Vegas. One of the anthems performed by the choir was “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” from Requiem by Johannes Brahms.

President LeGrande Bindrup (AGO member Jane Bindrup Dye’s father) became the Stake President of the fourth newly formed stake in Las Vegas on March 29, 1970. President Bindrup approved and sought church approval of the installation of a new Wicks pipe organ for that building. His daughter, Jane, received six group-organ lessons from Phylis Tonks, and later when she was fifteen years old, an additional six group-organ lessons from her on that organ, learning music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Jane’s first performance in an organ recital was on this same organ in Tonk’s first Bach Organ Recital of young students. Tonks has had a life-time of educating students of all ages about the organ and repertoire, as well as accompanying choirs and vocalists with the organ. She recently retired from accompanying the Southern Utah Heritage Arts Choir in St. George, Utah, where she presently resides.

Phylis Tonks tells about one of the first conferences held in the new building on a Sunday morning. Early that morning, she received a call that the organ had been vandalized during the night; that the organ could not be used to accompany the ten o’clock meeting anticipating one thousand members. Piano was to be used instead. She wasn’t pleased with the news, so she hurried to the church in scrubby clothes, and spent several hours climbing around the inside of the organ trying to repair and spot-tune. Her young son sat at the bench playing necessary notes for tuning the organ. She said her son was “old enough to know his notes.” Pipes were bent with many taken out of the wind holes and scattered about the chamber and around the organ. Tonks was able to tune what was needed to accompany the conference congregation that morning. She had been so busy that when she climbed down off the ladder at 9:30 a.m., she surprisingly noted that half of the chapel was filled with people! Embarrassed as to her “scrubby” clothes, she hurried on home for a clothing change and back to provide a few minutes of quiet prelude music before the conference began at 10:00. Through the years, many have remembered how impressed they were with her that day; for her knowledge and skills, not only as an organist but also as a technician, understanding her instrument inside and out. It is believed that the vandalizing was not all malicious, but more out of curiosity with the display of shining pipes on the intriguing new instrument. The easy accessibility of pipes no doubt, sparked the curiosity.


8’ Principal

8’ Holzgedeckt 61

8’ Gemshorn (SW)

4’ Prestant 61

4’ Nachthorn 61

2’ Blockflute 61 pipes

II Mixture 61 pipes

8’Trompette (SW)

Swell to Great 16 - 8 - 4

SWELL Expression

8’ Rohrflöte 61

8’ Gemshorn 49

8’ Gemshorn Celeste TC 49

4’ Koppelflöte 61

2 2/3’ Nasat

2’ Spitz Octave 24

8’ Trompette 61

Swell to Swell 16 - 4

Swell Unison Off


16’ Subbass 32

8’ Principal Bass 12

8’ Rohrflöte (SW)

4’ Choral Bass (GT)

16’ Trompette 12

4’ Clarion      

Great to Pedal 8    

Swell to Pedal 8  

4 combination pistons duplicated by toe studs with two levels of memory

Sforzando toe stud