“STEP UP YOUR PLAYING” Adult Teaching Event a Hit in San Diego!

Friday, November 21st 2014

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?”

With Jonas Nordwall leading the way, ATOS organized the STEP UP YOUR PLAYING program aimed at adult players hoping to learn playing tips and techniques from the “pros.” The teaching team included Jonas, ATOS President Ken Double (who happened to have scheduled a California trip, and thus, was conveniently on hand), Donna Parker (who happened to be in the area, scheduled for a concert for the San Diego chapter), and Cheryl Seppala, who along with husband Wayne are the Allen Organ dealers in the San Diego area.

The events were staged November 9th and 10th at two splendid home installations in North San Diego county. Longtime ATOS member and organ owner Peter Crotty opened his home and offered his 3/40 Wurlitzer organ as one teaching venue. And his friend Larry Grundy also kindly opened his home and studio wherein resides a wonderful 4/20 Robert-Morton/hybrid theatre organ.

There were four major coaching sessions, with the specific musical focus being Christmas holiday music, since that is on the horizon. There was also some “jam session” open console time for the group. And the gathering concluded with the Donna Parker concert at Trinity Church on the Theatre Organ Society of San Diego’s four-manual Wurlitzer organ.

While initially it was expected 13 would attend, last-minute cancellations saw nine attendees participate, ready to learn and try out some ideas. There was benefit to the lower number. Everyone remained together at all sessions, and there was more playing time available. However, it is hoped future events will draw more attendees.

The initial reaction from the “students” was excellent, and Jonas and the team are eagerly awaiting the full reports and evaluations back from them to help prepare for another such event next year.

When this was scheduled, organizers promised the ATOS board that the event would pay for itself, which it did by a whopping $10!!! That, thanks to the hospitality and generosity of the two hosts, Messrs. Crotty and Grundy.

It was fun. It was educational. It was beneficial. And there is every reason to do it again. Look for more in an upcoming issue of the journal. And look for promotional materials next spring and summer, and at the convention in Philadelphia, as we prepare for Year Two of the STEP UP YOUR PLAYING adult weekend seminar.

November 21, 2014 By Ken Double