We begin the month of March getting settled in at our new location in Ridgecrest, California. This city is much closer to Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, including Pasadena and San Bernardino, where there are a wealth of fine installations abounding. To see some of these great organs, visit our 2005 Convention page.
The Founding Father of Walnut Hill, Fred Willis, is continuing to let Doc stay at his place until things settle down and Doc can find a place of his own.
Ridgecrest Organ Club Bi-Weekly Meetings
Here in the city of Ridgecrest, California folks love organs of all kinds. Many have electronic organs in their homes. There are enough of these in the area that a club has been formed for the local enthusiasts to get together and enjoy great music and fellowship while gathered around the organ to play.
The Ridgecrest Organ Club meets twice a month on every other Tuesday. The meetings are held at a member's home, whoever chooses to host the meeting for a particular Tuesday. This month on the first Tuesday, the meeting was held at the residence of Bob Leonard, organ techinician for the All Faith Chapel, NAWS, China Lake.
Bob Leonard at the console of the Technics.
In the picture above, we see Bob Leonard getting the Technics Digital Organ ready to play. This instrument has a floppy diskette reader that can load all sorts of stuff including voices and songs. He has loaded data and is prepping the switching for the first player.
Clifford Anderson at the console of the Technics Digital Organ.
First up at the console was a fellow Bob Leonard has known for a long time, Cliff Anderson.
Eleanor Winnemore at the console of the Technics Digital Organ.
Next up is one of the club's fine ladies from Ridgecrest, Eleanor Winnemore.
Cyrus Roton at the console of the Technics Digital Organ.
Third in line to play was Cyrus Roton, famed organ technician for the city of Ridgecrest and one of the Ridgecrest Organ Club's founders. We should have had the recorder rolling, for Cyrus put on a great show.
The Bone Doctor at the console of the Technics Digital Organ.
Finally, the Bone Doctor took the bench and gave a mini-concert for all to enjoy. After Doc finished playing, Eleanor invited him to come out to her place to play her instrument. It was also noted that next month's meeting would be held at her home.
Bob Leonard at the console of the Technics Digital Organ.
After everybody had a go on this fine instrument, Bob Leonard took the bench and showed us what the instrument could do, both with playback autimation and the various voice libraries in his collection. It was amazing, indeed.
Members of the Ridgecrest Organ Club enjoying the music.
In this picture, we see three of the members of the Ridgecrest Organ Club enjoying the music this great machine makes. From left to right, Bob's wife, Dovie, Pearl Loyal, and Cyrus Roton. The theatre organ sample set sounded quite realistic and had a wonderful reverb as if it were in a large auditorium.
The Theatre Organ Bob Leonard Built
During the meeting of the Ridgecrest Organ Club held at Bob Leonard's house, we got to see the large electronic Theatre Organ Bob built. This instrument is not playable today, but it used to house custom tone generators. Today, the console is all that remains. It is for sale if anyone is interested. The price has not yet been set. The Bone Doctor has expressed and interest in it.
The console of the Theatre Organ Bob Leonard built.
Bob had told Doc about the console during their work at the All Faith Chapel, and Doc was anxious to see it. Many pictures were taken. The console is made from solid wood and has been polished to a mirror gloss with a clear coat over natural stain. Sitting on the top lid is a set of Conn Electronic Pipes.
The stop sweep of Bob Leonard's Theatre Organ.
Here, we see the stop sweep of the console. Note that there is room for many more stops in the horseshoe. The stop tongues are not engraved, rather, the labels are printed. Also note the large number of black coupler stops.
The left bolster curve.
Here, we see the left bolster curve of the horseshoe containing the Pedal and Acccompaniment stops.
The center bolster and back rail.
Moving around to the center of the horseshoe, we see the Great stops, and on the fallboard below, the light blue Tremulant stops.
The right bolster curve.
Moving on around to the right side of the horseshoe, we see the Solo stops. Doc asked Bob if any of the manuals have second touch. The answere was no. This console would be ideal for the VTPO project Doc has in mind, and that is, building a MIDI controller for a 3/19 specification.
The Second Ridgecrest Organ Club Meeting
The second bi-weekly meeting of the Ridgecrest Organ Club was held at the home of Julia Stortz in Lake Isabella, about an hour's drive from Ridgecrest, California on March the 14, 2007.
Lake Isabella shining in the sun.
In this photo, we see the grand vista of Lake Isabella, a man-made water resavour near the town of Lake Isabella, California.
The town of Lake Isabella.
In the picture abaove, we see the town of Lake Isabella basking in the Southern Califonia sun from high on the mountain.
The Julia Stortz residence.
This is the beautiful home of Julia Stortz in Lake Isabella, where the meeting took place.
The music room at the Julia Stortz residence.
This is the music room at the home of Julia Stortz, containing the wonderful Technics Digital Organ we got to play.
The Keydesk of the Technics Digital Organ.
Here, we see the keydesk of the Technics Digital Organ. This wonderful machine can sound like just about anything you program into it, from
Club members gathered to share some music.
Here, the members of the club are listening to some great music as they wait for their turn on the bench.
Julia Stortz at the console.
First on the bench was Julia Stortz. Even at 94 years of age, she still plays great, sitting stately at the console of her magnificent Technics Digital Organ.
Earl at the console.
Next to take the bench was Earl. He had alot of fun entertaining us.
Bob Leonard at the console.
Bob Leaonard followed Earl and gave us some fine renditions of some of his favourite tunes.
Cyrus Roton at the console.
Cyrus Roton followed Bob at the console and blew our socks of with some wonderful theatre organ arrangemnets.
The Bone Doctor at the console.
Last up was the Bone Doctor, who played several arrangements using some Robert Morton voices loaded into the organ.
Julia Stortz poses for the camera.
After everyone had a go, Julia poses proudly for the camera at her beautiful organ. We all had a super time and enjoyed some fine fellowship, indeed.
RELOCATION FUND DRIVE
Although we are settling in at the new location, Walnut Hill Productions is still in somewhat of a bind from a business perspective. Household and personal expenses are taking a hefty slice out of the money Doc gets, as he is disabled and on a fixed and limited income. Replacing his personal property and the musical equipment lost after the relocation will be very expensive.
Most of the company's original equipment was left in Tennessee due to the high cost of shipping. The items must eventually be replaced. Below is a list of the items we are needing for the studio in order to get back to the recording sessions Doc would like to complete, including albums from the Sub Urban Cowboys and Doc at the Mighty MidiTzer.
- Fender Precision Electric Bass Guitar
- Yamaha FG335 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar
- Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar
- One or more MIDI controller keyboards
- Two low impedence balanced mic cables
- Two boom stands for the microphones
- Conn 650 Analog Theatre Organ with MIDI kit
We do not have current pricing or availability of this equipment, but it is conservatively estimated that we will need to raise over 4,000 dollars to eventually aquire everything on the list above.
When we finally relocate to a residence big enough for an electronic three manual Theatre Organ, we will be looking for the Conn 650 mentioned above. We will also install a digital piano. Our end goal is to construct a portable four manual console for the Walnut Hill 4/36 Mighty WurliTzer Virtual Theatre Pipe Organ, to be powered by jOrgan running a custom disposition and font set from Allman Music of Saint Petersburg in Florida.
Doc and Tom Hoehn have created a Pay Pal account for easily and securely receiving contributions from all who want to see this relocation take place, which will allow Walnut Hill to make major strides forward for the King of Instruments.
Below is a listing of those who have genorously contributed funds to date:
- Tom Hoehn
- Gareth Howells
- James Reid
- Cyrus Roton
- William Spalding
- Larry Chamberlin
- Kent Allman
- Fred Willis
- Joseph Loewy
- Ronald Shreve
- Dan Rowland
- $ 50.00
- $ 50.00
- $ 80.00
- $ 50.00
- $ 50.00
- $ 25.00
- $ 50.00
Funds received to date: $1,355.00
There are other pledges pending. Anyone can contribute as much or as little as they see fit by clicking the "Make a Donation" button above. You can also send checks via standard mail to the following address, should you choose to not use the Pay Pal account. Please make checks payable to Richard Mogridge, with the words "Relocation Fund" in the memo line. The address is:
Walnut Hill Productions
1233 Sims Street
Ridgecrest, California 93555
If you have questions about the relocation fund, you can call the Bone Doctor at the Walnut Hill Office of Operations to learn more.
That telephone number is 1-727-230-2610.
All contributors will get recognized at the site should they choose, or they can remain anonymous, simply by letting the Bone Doctor know their preferences via email.
This is a major move forward for Walnut Hill Productions, one of the fastest growing TPO sites on the internet. Become a part of history by making your donation today. Please help us to continue the work we are doing as we continue to grow, adding new features and more services such as broadcasting audio and video for all to enjoy. You'll be glad you did.
We are thanking you in advance for your generosity and support in this grand endevour.
God bless, and happy playing.
The Bone Doctor
Member ATOS/President WHOC
House Organist and Webmaster
Walnut Hill Productions
"It's all about the King of Instruments!"