From: Buddy Boyd, January 2010

The Freestate theatre organ society formed a relationship with Marylandís Spring Grove Hospital Center. For the last 20 years we have provided theatre organ music for the community and the hospital on a 2/7 Wicks (+ a Gemshorn). We have dreamed for years of having an instrument located in two chambers and of higher quality.

We started moving forward on this dream with the relocation of a Devtronix organ to the auditorium last spring. We started doing concerts on that organ in September and removing the Wicks in October.

The state took our plans for this new organ chamber and in November released them for bids. In December the bids were received and one contractor was selected. The construction started January 5th.

The Organ

Let me tell you about the future new instrument. We have plans for a 3/18. Thirteen ranks are Wurlitzer, one rank Kimball, one rank Robert Morton, and three ranks of Moller theatre pipework.

There are two chambers located on each side of the stage above a utility room where the regulators and tremulants are located. There are shutter openings to the auditorium and the stage. Across the back wall of the stage there will be a tunnel standing eight feet tall and four feet wide. The tuned percussions and traps will be installed here. Initially they will be in the open with room to install shutters at a later date. Pizza will only be served at fund raisers.

The Wurlitzer organ that will form the heart of the instrument was donated by Marvin Lautzenheiser. Opus No. 1699 Wurlitzer, a 3/13 235 Special with brass trumpet, was installed in the Canal Street Theatre in New York in 1927, but was removed to the Triboro Theatre in Queens, New York, in 1931. The main chamber was severely damaged by water and other chest work was located from another nearby theatre. A six rank and four rank chest now make up the main chamber. The specification looks like a 240 with the horn and open diapasons. Mr. Lautzenheiser added a Robert Morton Tibia to the main and a grand piano. Besides the current fifteen ranks of chest there are two additional chest with the organ.

Our plans for the present fourteen ranks are to add a Solo String, an Oboe Horn, a French Horn, and a Post Horn.

Buddy Boyd
Piedmont TOS
Free State TOS

From: Buddy Boyd, March 2010

Marvin tells me that he got the organ from Dick Loderhose and removed it from the Triborough Theatre.

It had started life in the Canal St Theatre and was moved to the Tri. While in the Triborough the main chamber suffered major water damage and the main chest was a complete loss. Dick had another organ at the nearby Brookland theatre which he let Marvin take some of the chest work. One six rank chest had to be cut in half to remove it from the chamber.

So while the solo and console are original, the main is made up of a 6 and a 4 rank manual chest. The offsets are as expected. There are three regulators and a main and vox trem.

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