ATOS 2017 Convention, Encore Day 1

Today was the first of two Encore days after the formal 2017 Convention. The attendees split into morning and afternoon groups and bussed to the recently restored Pinellas Park’s Auditorium, to the west of Tampa and near the Gulf of Mexico. The instrument now being installed, is composed of several other instruments. Currently it is utilizing a virtual system to provide theatrical voices as the pipe work is being installed. Master of Ceremonies Ken Double announced that last nights “trash can” (used as a surrogate hat) donation appeal raised $1,860 toward the ATOS Young Artist Competition, including a member’s $500 matching grant challenge.

The day’s program consisted to an opening program by Justin LaVoie, soon to be in his senior year at Oklahoma University. Justin, at his early age, has a wealth of tunes and styles collected from various sources including a collection of 78 records and many George Wright recordings. The arrangements Justin demonstrated were reminiscent of performers many years older than Justin.

After a break for a meal, the entertainment continued with Walt Strony presenting a program of new and old melodies, reminiscent of his over 40 years of ATOS convention appearances. Although Walt initially encountered a problem with the organ’s relay system failing to cancel stops, once that challenge was resolved the audience soon was presented with a most entertaining program. The Central Florida Chapter will be continuing the completion of the installation now that their convention efforts are coming to an end.

Tomorrow, the second Encore day, the group travels to Plantation, FL to visit with the South Florida Chapter and a private home museum and then onto a home installation in Ft. Myers, FL for a closing program.

~Richard Neidich

Read About Encore Day One

The Pinellas Park Auditorium stage

Justin LaVoie at work

An attentive audience

Justin Posing for an appreciative audience

Walt Strony greeting old friends

Walt Strony relaxed for photos after his performance