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This weekend, I will be in EMCATOS-land with ATOS Secretary Bob Evans, along with board members Don Phipps and Bill Coale. We will be taking on a very important task. Our goal is to make contact with the chapter leaders of all 62 of our groups, preferably by telephone and certainly by email. Our goal is to update our chapter list; update the officers and leaders; try to get a handle on levels of activity; and, garner feedback on priorities and issues.

Despite snow on the ground in Durango, CO where my guitar-playing-teaching brother Terry lives (and snow a LOT of places), my experience is Spring has indeed sprung, and my packing the suitcase now involves all kinds of other clothes. But always the tux with the red handkerchief in the breast pocket.

It will get a good workout June 6 at Long Center in Lafayette, IN where I will play my 33rd annual variety show concert on the 3/21 Wurlitzer. I’ll be sharing the stage with some wonderfully talented young people (details at www.lctos.org).

Congratulations to the three finalists for the Young Theatre Organist Competition! They will complete the competition at the American Theatre Organ Society’s annual convention this year to be held in Philadelphia. The first place winner will also travel to San Diego California to perform on the largest outdoor organ in the United States…The Spreckels Organ. To help defray the costs of the Young Theatre Organist Competition, ATOS is looking for donors to help cover the related costs.

Greetings to you all,

I am writing from lovely San Diego where I will meet with chapter officials of the Theatre Organ Society of San Diego later today, and then prepare for a Sunday concert on the Wurlitzer at Trinity Church.

The main reason for my message today is not so much what is going on with me now, but what I hope will be going on with you in July. In the next few days, you will be receiving your May-June issue of Theatre Organ, and you will find the information for our Philadelphia/Wilmington-based convention, dubbed “SOMETHING BIG!”

Attendance for the Redford Theatre's (Detroit) latest silent film presentation was more than double the last film, encouraging the Motor City Theatre Organ Society (MCTOS) to 'stay the course' and keep the program growing.

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.

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!


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