President's Blog: Random Thoughts While Preparing for Yet Another Road Trip

Friday, October 11th 2013

I’m off and running again Wednesday (Oct 17, '13), including a stop with the Manasota chapter down in the Sarasota, FL area. It will be good to see John Fischer, Norm Arnold, Chuck et. al. that have focused their chapter’s energies around the great Wurlitzer at Grace Baptist Church.

Meanwhile, I had a chance to dash over to Birmingham Sunday and play “Big Bertha” for the first time since the final additions and the recent tonal finishing work by Tom Helms and Lyn Larsen. Talk about wonderfully gilding the lily!!! WOW. A great organ is now simply astounding, as convention attendees heard.

While in Birmingham, I had my first two “coaching” sessions with two students. I would be hard-pressed to identify what I do in these sessions as teaching. But in terms of “coaching” someone who can play (including one who is really excellent), and get them to the next level with some tips on arranging and registration, I like to think I can be helpful in making the theatre organ experience more enjoyable for these people.

You will see this message repeated during the coming weeks: Your annual membership renewals now come delivered with the journal. We are hitting on this due to some confusion over the past several months.

ATOS instituted a change in how members were notified it was time to renew. This change, i.e. including the announcement with the journal delivery, saves ATOS thousands in separate mailing costs. But apparently some of you have missed the announcement, haven’t caught the message, and have let your membership lapse.
So look for this reminder in the soon-to-come November-December issue of the journal.

As you can imagine, due to the popularity of Halloween, the theatre organs around the country might get a stronger workout than at any other time besides Christmas. Silent film screenings of Phantom of the Opera, Nosferatu and other spooky favorites abound. And for so many who might not sit through a two-hour concert, the silent film vehicle is a GREAT way to introduce new people to the wonders of the instrument we love.

Support your local chapter efforts. Get out to the Seattle Paramount, or the Alabama in Birmingham, the Strand in Marietta, Long Center in Lafayette, IN or wherever else you might find silent film accompanied by the theatre organ, and bring someone new along with you and introduce them to the distinctive sounds of the mighty theatre pipe organ.

Have a great week.