Robert Charles (Chip) Spier

1937 -

Charles (Chip) Spier, a minister of music at the La Sierra University Church, was senior organist, choir director, and minister of music at Vallejo Drive Seventh-day Adventist church in Glendale, California, for over forty years. During his time there, a Casavant organ was completed in 1974, ten years after the completion of a new sanctuary.

Spier was born and raised in Southern California and attended Lynwood Academy, where he started lessons on organ with Stanley Ledington. Within two years he was playing organ for the Southern California Conference, providing music at its camp meetings and evangelistic meetings.

Following graduation from LA, he attended La Sierra College, now University, where he graduated in 1960 with majors in religion and biology. While at La Sierra, he was organist for the Collegiate Sabbath School and one of its vesper program organists.

Spier continued graduate study at UCLA, earning a master's degree in physiology. He spent 32 years at Rancho Amigos Medical Center as a senior research investigator in pulmonary medicine. During this time he also did graduate work at California State University, Long Beach and received a graduate degree in handbells. He also continued his organ studies with Richard Purvis, well-known composer and resident organist-choirmaster at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

In his years at the Vallejo Drive church, Spier developed its Handbell Institute and served as a clinician for the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. He has directed handbells for over thirty years and presently directs the LSU Church Bellwethers Handbell Choir.


Sources: Pacific Union Recorder, 16 December 1974, 4; 1960 Meteor, LSC yearbook; 1940 U. S. Federal Census Records,; Information provided by Spier.