About Us

Our Family Legacy

Wilhelmus M. Bakkum

Born in 1898, James Leek’s maternal grandfather worked for the Bernard Pels & Sons Pipe Organ Co. located in Alkmaar. As superintendent, he built and installed many pipe organs in the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, and United States. His career in pipe organ building spanned over 50 years.

Opa Bakkum’s spirit guides James as he navigates those tight corners in the chambers and as he brings unyielding pipes back in tune.

John G.P. Leek

John apprenticed with Fa. Bernard Pels & Zonen in ALKMAAR, the Netherlands. As a journeyman he worked at a number of firms, including: Vermeulen, Wattell, and Verschueren. He eventually returned to Vermeulen for 8 years, having left to honorably fulfill military service.

John emigrated to the United States in 1961 and applied for jobs at three American organbuilding firms, eventually accepting a position at the Walter Holtkamp Company in Cleveland, Ohio where he worked for three years. From 1964-1976 he was Curator of Pipe Organ at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory. In 1976 he went into business for himself, from which he retired in 1992. Additionally John is an expert harpsichord builder His harpsichords are currently in use at the Oberlin Conservatory and many other locations in the United States and the world.

John frequently offers his wisdom and expertise to the company as a consultant on an as needed basis. John’s love of life is infectious as is his love of fine wines and chocolates.

James Portrait 1
President - Master Organ Builder

James P. Leek

James learned organ building and restoration while apprenticing under his father, a master organ builder, as a teenager during high school and later while pursuing a degree from Bowling Green State University in Industrial Technology Education. In 1992 James succeeded his father as President and Organbuilder. He brings a passion for music and the people who create it. He continues the family’s European tradition of putting the customer first and of fine, precise craftsmanship. For James organ building is a personal calling and vocation. He is a current member of the American Institute of Organ Builders, the Organ Historical Society, the American Guild of Organists, and St. Clarence Catholic Church in North Olmsted. James is an avid golfer, skier and loves the outdoors. He is the life of the party, with his great sense of humor! Despite is 6′ 7″ frame, over the years he has the mastered the skill of working in tight corners and small spaces of organ chambers. He finds yoga helpful in holding postures to tune the really pesky ranks of pipes squeezed into hard to reach places.

Meet Leek Pipe Organ Co. Staff


Sean Estanek
Organ Technician, Voicing, Tuning

Sean began his apprenticeship in pipe making and voicing with Holtkamp Organ Company in 2002 where he became head voicer and tonal finisher. Sean...

Christopher O’Malley
Shop Assistant

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Christopher was a metal toolmaker and machinist for six years. On staff, Christopher works as an apprentice, working hands-on throughout.

Seasonal Staff

Marc Liese
Seasonal Staff

Marc’s time at Leek Pipe Organ Company consists of doing “whatever needs to be done around the shop or on a service call.”  Marc...

Jerad Johnson
Seasonal Staff

Originally from Fairview Park, Jerad spent several years in the diving industry doing underwater construction and assisting with life support for those underwater.  Jera


Natalie Leek
Vice President

Originally from Mumbai, India, Natalie moved to the United States in 1991. She has a graduate degree in Business Management from Case Western Reserve...

Peggy Draper
Office Administrator

Peggy joined us in 2010 as Office Administrator. She comes to us with vast experience in the administrative and accounting fields. Peggy has held...

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