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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**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.

Following the ATOS retreat in September, the organization is now embarking on several tasks as it moves forward implementing the recommendations from the event. ATOS Chairman Bob Dilworth has appointed the first two committees.

Jack Moelmann has updated the Theatre Organ Journal Index. Wanna find an article on Ann Leaf. View or download the 2015 edition here. If you appreciate Jack's work, let him know.


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