Hi to all, and I hope wherever you are, you are surviving the wintry weather.

I’m in Atlanta, and our immediate future forecast predicts lows in the teens, highs to barely reach 30. At least we are not shoveling out from under the many feet of snow that has devastated our friends in Chicago, Massachusetts, and all points in between and beyond.

Now is the time to submit your application for a grant from the ATOS Endowment Fund. Since its beginning, the Endowment Fund has paid out over $172,000 in grants. Preference will be given to ATOS Chapter-owned organs and sponsored projects. For further information please click on this link or contact Endowment Fund Chair John Ledwon at j [dot] ledwon [at] atos [dot] com

The finest teacher of theatre organ style playing, with a list of students who rose to the highest level of concert playing, has died. John Ferguson passed away in Indianapolis Monday morning at the age of 79. He died peacefully in his sleep following some health issues.

Born in Shreveport, LA in 1935, his piano studies morphed into organ studies, and he made a name for himself playing Hammond with piano at lounges and restaurants, including the famous Stan Musial's restaurant in St. Louis.

Do you live (and bank) outside the United States? If so, this is important news.

United States banks have begun changing the manner in which foreign checks are handled, including substantial increases in costs for processing those checks. In some cases, the new fees exceed the amount of the check!

Our current youth representative/director’s term expires at the convention this year. Many thanks to Dan Minervini for his work as the current youth representative. We need to begin looking for candidates for the 2015-2017 Youth representative. If you know of any young person between the ages of 18 and 24 that is interested in the theatre organ and has some leadership qualities please let us know. Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2015. Further information is available at here.

I write to remind you that the 2015 Young Theatre Organist Competition (YTOC) application deadline is April 15. YTOC is a flagship program of the ATOS, encouraging our younger artists in their performance development. Winners become our "Rising Stars" with the opportunity to perform at the 2015 ATOS National Convention in Wilmington Delaware. Further information about the YTOC, and the application form may be found at here.

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Registration is now open!

To register, please visit the 2015 Convention Registration Website hosted at regonline.com. The link address is: https://www.regonline.com/atos2015

Note that you must be a member of ATOS in good standing. To join or renew, visit our Online Membership Join/Renew Website.

**Concerning "Necessary meals"

It was an experiment that proved successful.

After many years of the popular Summer Youth Adventure, once again ATOS was asked by the adult players among our members, “Hey, where’s our program like that?”

I am home, getting ready to enjoy Thanksgiving with friends in Atlanta, and reflecting on the better part of the past 30 days spent on the road. Lots of things to reflect on, including:

  • One new Chapter (Old Dominion, Richmond VA) going strong and one potential chapter to be added
  • A pledge from people who make things happen there to renovate the Mosque organ in Richmond (now the Altria Theatre)
  • Progress on the historic Byrd Theatre Wurlitzer as work progresses and fundraising continues

As has been reported in the pages (three articles) in the current issue of Theatre Organ, and also on this ATOS website, the organization is beginning to take the first steps toward reorganization following the September retreat in St. Louis.

A recent Facebook posting offered some alarming statements, assertions and assumptions that were in error on every front. Social Media being what it is, quite a bit of commentary followed.

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Friday, March 6th
Gary Coller
York, Pennsylvania