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Theatre Organists of Today

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  • Theatre Organists of Today

    I am a little curious as to what you folks out there think about the younger theatre organists playing today and why. I purchase CD's and enjoy listening as well as playing, but sometimes, for me, it is hard to tell one playing style from the other. When I say "young", I mean under 60 years or so. We have lost many truly great ones well over the 60 year mark in recent years--Carter, Erwin, Muri, Wright, etc., etc., just to name some. Is the current stuff just one, big "hodge-podge"?

  • #2
    Re: Theatre Organists of Today

    If you live on the west coast, I would sugest that you come to the Plummer "OCTOS" T/O concerts. They have had many "the young organest" play there. There style and technique are very different and they exibit an immense amount of talent. On their CD recordings they may be made to sound like "George or Lyn" by some engneer, who is interested in a commercial success. In real life there talents are very clear. If you are not close in California try a ATOS group in your area.

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    • #3
      Re: Theatre Organists of Today

      If you have a schedule for the OCTOS T/O concerts, perhaps you could do us the favor of posting it in the Events topic.

      Thanks
      -Admin

      Allen 965
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      • #4
        Re: Theatre Organists of Today

        I will post "OCTOS" Orange county CA. and "LATOS" Los Angeles CA. asap.

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        • #5
          Re: Theatre Organists of Today

          Nice to be considered one of the younger! Being under 60 and all that good stuff....

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          • #6
            Re: Theatre Organists of Today

            There are some absolutely wonderful theatre organists today with their own unique styles. The more you listen to them, the more their own styles become apparent, just like the organists of the past.

            Some of the new artists have taken theatre organ to new standards. You have to remember that in the "olden days" the "guys" had theatre organ jobs. They were playing radio shows, playing for films, working hours at a time in dance halls and skating rinks. Some became legends, but most did not.

            Today's "theatre style" organists work passionately at the craft and art of theatre organ. It is my guess that the best is yet to come. Listen carefully. Look for the nuances and the creative artistry. It is there, and it's really exciting!

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            • #7
              Re: Theatre Organists of Today

              I have to agree with Andy. The greats of yesterday had to do this as a full-time job and probably many burned out around the edges as time went by. Many of these early players got into the business with limited actual education and "learned as they went along." They did not have as many opportunities to hear their contemporaries perform and thereby absorb some new techniques. Today's younger artists have the ATOS conventions, myriad concerts, and a vast assortment of CD's from which they can glean tremendous tips and musical ideas. Also many of today's players have had the advantage of extensive piano and organ instruction starting very early in their lives and supplimented by solid college-level training. Unless they possess limited innate talent, there is no way that they can emerge from all this musical training and not be skilled performers.

              There are younger players on the horizon today who give me great hope for the future. The best is very likely yet to come. Remember, these new players have the very finest players who have come before them to build upon. Just listen to Richard Hills and Jelani Eddington in the theatre organ field and Ken Cowan on the classical scene if you have any doubts.

              This in no way should infer that we did not have greats in earlier years.....I am merely asserting that we need not fear for the future of our organ music. It is in splendid and talented hands (and feet).

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              • #8
                Re: Theatre Organists of Today

                In my humble opinion, Walt Strony is about THE best of todays theatre organists. He is absolutly amazing to listen to.

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                • #9
                  Re: Theatre Organists of Today

                  Where have you heard Walt Play Please...or do you know where one would go to hear live organ musicl,...
                  Hugs Always Viv...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Theatre Organists of Today

                    Check at Walt's web site http://www.waltstrony.com/. He has a schedule of upcoming appearances. He's a great performer

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                    • #11
                      Re: Theatre Organists of Today

                      Some of the best theatre organistists of today that I have heard recently are:
                      Jonas Nordwall - excellent at both classical and popular music, one of the best.
                      Walt Strony - I heard him recently in San Diego demonstrating a new Allen 5 manual organ
                      Donna Parker - Excellent at silent film accompaniment, has given seminars for the Columbia River Organ Club

                      There are many other excellent organists, the problem is there are not enough public venues close by since most of the organ pizza parlors have closed.

                      Allan

                      My home organ
                      Style D Wurlitzer pipe organ
                      http://bluemoonwalkinghorses.com/Sty...tion5_rev3.htm
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                      • #12
                        Re: Theatre Organists of Today

                        I absolutely love Dave Wickerham's recording Dave @ Dickerson. I'm a new member here and enjoying it so far.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Theatre Organists of Today

                          My favorite was always Jim Riggs. Very good playing on his Paramount on Parade album. I believe he was playing the big Wurlitzer in Okland at the Paramount Theatre.

                          I played the Jefferson theatre Organ once, really it was Riggs who inspired me to the whole style of theatre.
                          ~1936 Hammond AV - Leslie 122 & PR40~ ~1954 Wurlitzer ElectroStatic 4602 - Leslie 125~

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