Friday, December 18th 2015

Greetings all,

I am probably a tad late on getting another of these email messages out to you all, but I had back-to-back trips and figured it best to recap the news following the most recent journey that brought me home to Atlanta Monday, December 14.

Before we touch on that, some important news you will wish to know.


SOMETHING BIG! was the title of the Philadelphia/DTOS 2015 ATOS Annual Convention, and is also the title for the commemorative CD now available through the ATOS Marketplace. The two-disc set offers many highlights of the event last July. For those who were in attendance, the set will hopefully bring back fond memories, and for those who could not attend, you can enjoy a taste of what was a fantastic convention, featuring so many wonderful instruments and performances.

Click on the

ATOS Marketplace

and you can order both the delayed-released Indianapolis 2014 convention set and the Philadelphia set.

ATOS’ fundraising ANNUAL DRIVE continues, and we so very much appreciate the support we receive from our members for our many individual programs that receive funding from your generosity. As the year 2015 comes to a close, many of you are making decisions that might have a positive impact on both your tax situation, and the nonprofit organizations you wish to support. We hope that would include ATOS. The information was mailed to you a short time ago. But you can also donate right here on the website. And again, all of us at ATOS are so very appreciative of your wonderful support of our organization.


Since August, ATOS has been hosting a web-based on-line conference call with chapter leaders to discuss important issues; raise questions about many topics; and share information helpful to all.
The next such call will be announced shortly, set for early January.

IF YOU ARE A CHAPTER PRESIDENT OR OFFICER and wish to be added to the list to be on the call (many chapters hold elections at this time of year, thus those who should be on the call might have changed), just send me an email and we will add your name to the list.

The calls are staged via GoToMeeting on line, but one can phone in and attend as well. We will announce the date and time right about January 1st.


I had the opportunity to visit the Los Angeles area once again. It provided me an opportunity to visit with Mark Herman and Tony Wilson; Gordon Belt (former head of all things theatre organ at the Nethercutt Collection) and Kyle Irwin (current chief of the Collection); and several others. We got a good update from them regarding the LA convention, set for 2018.

The following weekend (December 11-12-13-14) found me north, hoping to beat any bad weather!
I flew to Minneapolis-St. Paul to perform a concert at the delightful Phipps Center in Hudson, WI.

Friday evening prior to the matinee concert, I met with members of the Land o’ Lakes Chapter to discuss general activities, and they are a busy bunch. Thanks to Dave Kearn for hosting and showing off his splendid Allen GW 4. There is great exposure for the theatre organ at the Heights Theatre where the instrument is heard regularly before movies. After the concert, I met with Bill Ertl and a group interested in forming a new chapter and getting an instrument in upstate Wisconsin. We are looking forward to working with them.

After that meeting it was off to Milwaukee and a Sunday afternoon chapter event at the Riverside Theatre and that wonderful Wurlitzer with the BIG sound! They have a group of young leaders working hard at the Dairyland Chapter with lots of interesting projects brewing. I also had the privilege of meeting Paul Woelbing of Carmex lib balm fame who is installing an amazing, gargantuan instrument at the family’s company headquarters.

And the indefatigable Fred Hermes was on hand and it was a delight to visit with one of the stalwarts of ATOS.

I then drove back to Minneapolis Sunday night – whew, that’s 5 hours each way – for a Monday session with Pipedreams host Michael Barone. We taped a two-hour show featuring all theatre organ music from recent conventions, a show which will air in March – specific date TBA.

During this trip I had a chance to meet several people sincerely interested in our art form and our organization; I was introduced to the new, young, dynamic leadership at Dairyland (Dean Roscoe, John Cornue, Zach Frame and Ryan Jonas are all in their 20’s and 30’s and what a refreshing experience that was!); I talked marketing and audience development with several; and had the chance to spread the “theatre organ gospel” with the message I love to announce every time I can: THIS is the Golden Age of the Theatre Organ!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays and most Happy New Year to you all!

Ken Double