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Grandma's olde pump organ. Click here to return to the main Archives page.

Volume Four - Issue Four

Contributing Editors

The Control Room - Richard Mogridge - Webmaster
Console Up! - Tom Hoehn, Lead Editor
The Skandia WurliTzer - Per Olof Schultz, Associate Editor
MidiTzer Boot Camp - Russ Ashworth, Associate Editor
Mighty Hauptwerk - Jim Reid, Associate Editor
Desktop Goodies - Fred Willis
NYTOS Field Reporter - Eugene Hayek

Office of Operations

Walnut Hill Productions
1233 Sims Street
Ridgecrest, California 93555
Phone - 1-727-230-2610
10AM to 6PM PDT
Email - slowdog294@yahoo.com

TOP STORY

The Skandia WurliTzer Project

By Associate Editor Per Oluf Schultz, Stockholm, Sweden

Click here to download a 640 x 480 JPG image showing a guest artist at the console of the Stockohlm City Hall 5/138 Pipe Organ.
Our guest organist playing Alley Cat on the City Hall's 5/138 Pipe Organ.

Last Monday on April 3rd of 2006, we had an official meeting where our non-profit society was formed for the purpose of restoring a Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ known as the Skandia WurliTzer, a Style E 2-manual 7-rank instrument. This is required since the City must have a receiving body, not a person, in order to transfer the organ. This is now done, and the remaining thing is to have a few papers signed.

A few small details remain, like getting some funds (not too easy.) For the meeting, which took place at the City hall, we had brought down some WurliTzer parts such as examples of the pipework and a few toys including the surf machine. We also played a film clip from the 40's where the organ was demonstrated. Also there was a clip from a Jelani Eddington concert in Australia where he played a similar two manual instrument.

We fired up the big City Hall organ and played some theatre style tunes on it. The guy who did that is an accomplished church organist, but he also plays various instruments in a dance/jazz band. One distinguished guest was the last resident organist at the Skandia (early 40's). He is well in his 80's and we could not persuade him to play anything though but he told stories from his time at the console. I did show the MidiTzer on my laptop but without a keyboard.

It's fun, isn't it?

Per Schultz
Office of Hardware Engineering
Walnut Hill Organ Club

DAILY NEWS

04/30/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 22,358 visitors to our site since January 1st of 2005 and the 32,208 since we went online on April 4th of 2004. God bless all who come here, for you are welcome in the Land of the King as we aproach 33,000 loyal partons!

04/29/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 22,293 visitors to our site since January 1st of 2005 and the 32,143 since we went online on April 4th of 2004. God bless all who come here, for you are welcome in the Land of the King as we aproach 33,000 loyal partons!

04/28/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 22,243 visitors to our site since January 1st of 2005 and the 32,093 since we went online on April 4th of 2004. God bless all who come here, for you are welcome in the Land of the King as we aproach 33,000 loyal partons!

04/27/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 22,200 visitors to our site since January 1st of 2005 and the 32,050 since we went online on April 4th of 2004. God bless all who come here, for you are welcome in the Land of the King as we aproach 33,000 loyal partons!

04/26/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 22,164 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

04/25/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 22,125 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

04/24/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 22,056 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

Walnut Hill Reaches Another Milestone!

Today marks another milestone for Walnut Hill Productions. Since we rolled back the hit counter after the 2004 trial run, we have had 22,000 visitors. Add the 9,850 loyal patrons we had during the nine months of our first year of operation and the grand total is 31,850 happy campers in the Land of the King.

The Mighty MidiTzer continues to gain in popularity with over 10,000 downloads to date worldwide. The 51st Annual ATOS Convention in Tampa, Florida draws near as we ready for a record attendence. New websites about the TPO are going up and attendence is strong.

So, if anybody tells you that the Theatre Pipe Organ is fading into history to be forgotten, tell them to stop by here and read the news!

04/23/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,998 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

MidiTzer 260SP v.0.66 BETA downloadable!

Click here to learn more about how to get your copy of the MidiTzer 260SP virtual TPO today!

This was posted at Walnut Hill VTPO on Yahoo! Music Groups by fellow WHOC Officer and Associate Editor Jim Reid today. We quote him below:

From: Jim Reid, Office of Software Development, WHOC
Date: Sunday April 23rd, 2006 at 9:51 PM
Subject: MidiTzer 260SP v.0.66 BETA downloadable!

"A couple of hours ago, Jim Henry put his new creation up on the MidiTzer Forum for downloading of the beta test! A bit over 4.5MB, it downloads very quickly and sets up with a just a couple of mouse clicks.

I have it on a Kingston DataTraveler stick right now, and will take it into the organ in the living room shortly.

Jim does ask that any who download this beta DO send in comments and of course, reports about any issues found.

You can "activate" this beta version for 60 days, again with a mouse click, but it cannot be registered as it will be replaced with a whole new version when ready. Again, this is for active beta testers!

Enjoy!

Jim"

04/22/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,925 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

Ben Model and the Mighty MidiTzer
On the Radio in New York City

Click here to read an article about Ben Model and his Mighty MidiTzer by Joe Baqrron at VirtualORgan.com
Ben Model and the Mighty MidiTzer
with Jeanine Basinger, head of the film department at Wesleyan Collage

Joe Barron, webmaster for VirtualOrgan.com. had this to say over at Yahoo!'s Theatre Organ SoundFonts newsgroup today. We quote him below:

From: Joe Barron
Date: Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 at 1:01 PM
Subject: Ben Model and the MidiTzer on the Radio in New York City

"Ben Model has started his 12 part Silent Series at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. It is titled Rediscovering Roscoe: The Careers of "Fatty" Arbuckle. It is a retrospective of the work of comedian Rosco "Fatty" Arbuckle.

The programs run April 20th and 29th and will repeat on May 1st and 15th of 2006. They feature Ben Model accompanying the features with the Mighty MidiTzer.

Ben also was interviewed on WNYC 93.9FM Radio to discuss the film series and the MidiTzer. You can hear this program on the web.

Click here for more details about what Ben is doing with the MidiTzer and to hear his radio interview."

04/21/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,868 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

Rosco "Fatty" Arbuckle On The Radio Today!
Friday April 21st 2006
WNYC Radio Leonard Lopate Show

Click here to visit the official Rosco 'Fatty' Arbucke website!
Silent Film Star
Rosco "Fatty" Arbuckle

Jim Henry, Creator of the Mighty MidiTzer and member of the Walnut Hill Wall of Fame, sent this to us as a private letter today. We quote him below:

"Hi Richard.

Here's some exciting news that you'll want to circulate as quickly as possible from fellow MidiTzerian Ben Model:"

Last night's opening of the Fatty Arbuckle retrospective was a big hit -- the 2 programs played to a packed theatre! The response to the MidiTzer was very enthusiastic and positive. Several people came up to me after the first show and took a look, asked questions, and wrote down your website. In my spoken introduction, I talked up the MidiTzer and gave out the website URL. There was a guy who came up from Baltimore just to hear it!

Thanks so much for turning me on to the MidiTzer and for all your help and support along the way. I got photos of me loading my keyboards into the trunk of a New York City taxi and will post them once I've had a chance. I'll also get photos of me set up and/or playing at MoMA, and we can write up a news item for the MidiTzer site or newsletter.

I'm going to be a guest on the Leonard Lopate radio show on WNYC today; the program is on from 1:00 to 2:00 (I'm guessing my segment may be later in the program). You can listen to the broadcast on a radio at WNYC 93.9FM or online with your computer. Go to --

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes/2006/04/2

-- and in the upper left corner where it says "Listen Live" click where it says "MP3" if you use iTunes or click where it says "Windows" for the WMA version.

If you miss the show, you can listen to it later on today at the WNYC Leonard Lopate Show website above as an MP3, streaming audio or podcast. I'll try to squeeze in a plug for the MidiTzer among all the Fatty Arbuckle talk.

Ben

The Leonard Lopate Show
Friday, April 21st, 2006

Click here to listen to the Leonard Lepote Show on WNYC 93.9FM Radio

On today’s show, two construction workers describe the toughest job of their lives: clearing the debris after 9/11. Then, Ron Blomberg on being one of the first important Jewish players for the Yankees. Plus, a retrospective of the films of Rosco "Fatty" Arbuckle. And this week’s Please Explain segment is all about kidneys!

<--snip-->

A Tribute to Fatty Arbuckle

Ben Model describes the 54-film retrospective he co-organized for MoMA’s tribute to Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, the slapstick silent star whose career was cut short by scandal. After he was acquitted of murder, he directed movies under a pseudonym.

04/20/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,850 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

04/19/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,813 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

04/18/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,775 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

04/17/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,613 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. God bless all who come here.

04/16/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,505 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005. We are now totalling 31,355 happy campers since we opened our doors in April of 2004. God bless all who come here.

Featured Organ for April 2006
3/15 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
Williams High School, Burlington, N. C.

Click here to visit the Featured Organ for the Month of April 2006, the 3/15 Mighty WurliTzer installed at Williams High School in Burlington, North Carolina.
Stop sweep of the 3/15 Mighty WurliTzer installed at
Williams High School in Burlington, North Carolina.

Our Featured Organ of the Month for April 2006 is the 3/15 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed in the auditorium of Williams High School in Burlington, North Carolina.

This feature has been a might late in the making, but we finally got the page going. It is still under heavy construction but we already have many pictures and four songs on the page so far. To learn more about this great instrument and listen to some music recorded on it, click here.

Enjoy!

04/15/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,430 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005, ending our trial run on the internet prior to going mainstream. Recent additions of new music have spurred massive visitation to the Land of the King. God bless all who come here.

04/14/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,338 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005, ending our trial run on the internet prior to going mainstream. God bless all who come here.

Eugene Hayek Submits More
Mighty MidiTzer Recordings!

Click here visit Featured Artist Eugene Hayek and listen to his new Mighty MidiTzer recordings!
Eugene Hayek's Mighty MidiTzer installation.

On April 10th, Eugene Hayek sent in six more songs he recorded at the console of his Mighty MidiTzer Style 216.

To hear these new songs, visit his Featured Artist page and scroll down to his MidiTzer Music section, then look for the April 10th entry, wherein he tells us how he did these using six computers.

Enjoy!

04/13/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,170 visitors to our site since we reset the hit counter on January 1st of 2005, ending our trial run on the internet prior to going mainstream. A grand total of 31,020 fine folks have walked through our front door since the site went online in April of 2004. God bless all who come here. We can never thank you enough for making Walnut Hill one of the most popular destinations for TPO enthusiasts in cyberspace.

Dwight Finger's
Grant Union High School
Organ Page

Click here to visit Dwight Finger's Grant Union High School George Wright Memorial 4/21 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ page!
Dwight Finger at the console of the
George Wright Memorial 4/21 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ
installed at Grant Union High School
located in Sacramento, California

Fellow Theatre Organ Academy member Dwight Finger was given the opportunity to play the George Wright Memorial 4/21 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed at Grant Union High School located in Sacramento, California.

He recorded his performance on this fine organ. To hear his rendition of New York, New York, visit his new page and click the song title below his picture showing him seated at the console.

04/12/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,099 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

CoyoteNET Digital System Solutions
To Deliver New Computer!

Click here to learn about the Dell XPS-400 Computer.
Dell XPS-400 Platform

CoyoteNET Digital System Solutions sold a new computer to a client in Inverness, Florida. The happy recipient of the new machine, Kenneth Rowley, asked us to build him a computer with which to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and Microsoft Combat Simulator.

As those who have visited the CoyoteNET Digital System Solutions website know, our machines are very expensive, being taylored to the needs of the working professional. However, we are also a Dell distributor, holding this great company in high esteem. As a result, we turn to Dell for most of our home installations.

Knowing we could not beat Dell for quality and price, we went to Dell for a solution that would fit Kenneth's needs. We found the answer to be the XPS-400 platform featuring the Intel Pentium 4 D Extreme Edition 2.8GHz dual-core processor. With 1 GB of DDRII RAM and an ATI Radeon X300 128MB video card, this machine is more than up to the task of running these simulators under Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005 Edition.

The machine arrived today via UPS ground shipping at Walnut Hill in Clearwater, Florida for configuration and testing. Kenneth will take delivery of the system on Easter Sunday evening, April 16th, 2006. We are planning to go onsite for a three day visit with Kenneth to install the new computer and give a free seminar on its operation.

We are also planning some R&R outside the hussle and bussle of city life as guests of this fine friend and his dear wife, Vanessa. And there you have it, another satisfied CoyoteNET customer!

04/11/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,061 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

San Bernardino's California Theatre
Style 216 2/10 Mighty WurliuTzer Project

Click here to download a 5520 x 6000 JPG image showing the Little TPO that could!
Style 216 2/10 Mighty WurliuTzer
Picture colorized by Fred Willis

This was posted on Theatre Organ SoundFonts April 11th of 2006 by Paul Kealy, fellow Walnut Hill Wall of Fame member. We quote him below:

"After an exciting meeting today, I meet with the manager of the San Bernardino California Theatre tomorrow for serious discussion about the restoration of the theatre's Style 216 2/10 Mighty WurliuTzer.

This is the planet's final remaining Style 216 2/10 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ still at home in its original theatre. Although years have modified it's condition, there is hope that it can be restored to a pristine condition.

This is an historical instrument and significant to the Theatre Organ SoundFonts newsgroup because the Style 216 is the MidiTzer template model. If we lose this instrument, a chapter of history is forever closed.

San Bernardino is an unusual place. Several times during the past years, we have led the nation in homicides, and the downtown area where the California Theatre is located has seen extremely difficult times. It was completely gutted and major stores joined under a central roof years ago in a failed effort to revitalize.

The major theatres, the Ritz, the Studio and Crest, as well as the major Fox theatre are no longer there. Most recently a cinneplex was erected where major stores once stood, adjacent to this rather beautiful California Theatre.

The city has spent millions to investigate creating a giant lake replacing several acres of downtown, sort of a Texas River Walk wannabee, that may or may not ever happen. So there is much concern for anything on the city agenda.

The city purchased this theatre and is renovating it with several millions of dollars, and of course an organ project is not high on their list.

The adjacent mall recently vacated by J.C. Penney and Montgomery Ward is a veritable ghost town of bargain stores awaiting possible large scale housing development from a new developer.

The recent riot following a concert at the National Orange Show facility two miles south (The Rolling Stones' first American concert was at the Orange Show - and it has a rather checkered career as rock concert venue) has halted concerts there, creating this California Theatre as a more desirable venue, although not for rock-oriented events with mosh pits. Have any of you BEEN to rock concerts lately??? Concerts, as has most of contemporary society, have changed.

The last thing we need is insensitivity from those concerned with the theatre and the organ itself. So, my main role, as has been with the successful Route 66 Rendevouz (the number one attended event in the state of California), All-City Easter Sunrise productions, Patriotic firework productions and Christmas dinner desert theatre and TV event, is mostly to check the overview.

I do believe the project is in good hands.

Good things can happen. So many cities have lost their way in the strife and politic to preserve an organ, and we do not want that to happen here. I am utterly amazed at how successful have been the efforts of such as Robert Fray and others.

THe California Theatre currently provides road shows (current season includes Ms Saigon, Fosse, Grease, etc), as well as orchestra concerts and other events.

The desire to preserve this Mighty 216 has several key players, and I believe they will achieve a worthy result.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers."

Paul Kealy

On behalf of Paul Kealy, Robert Ridgeway, care taker of the 5/80 Jasper Sanfilippo WurliTzer, posted this on the Theatre Organ Home Page Mailing List. We quote him below:

"I cut my teeth on this little gem when I was in high school there in 1962. I agree it MUST be preserved. When I played it, someone had liberated the Posthorn and Don Vaughn (I think) had replaced it with a Moller Tibia.

The California Theatre marquee, as I recall, was a kaleidoscope of neon colors but the auditorium was rather plain, although the acoustics were great. Somewhere, there is a Daguerreotype photograph of me at the console."

Robert Ridgeway

04/10/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 21,013 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Eugene Hayek at OrganMusicians.com

Click here to visit Eugene Hayek's new page at OrganMusicians.com

Eugene Hayek has a new page at OrganMusicians.com. This page features new music from Eugene, not posted anywhere else!

Be certain to visit this new page from one of Walnut Hill's Featured Artists, and if you are not a member of OrganMusicians.com, now is a great time to join one of the fastest growing websites in the TPO world.

04/09/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,955 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

04/08/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,916 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

04/07/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,816 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Dan Rowland's Wall Of Fame Page Updated!

Click here to visit Dan Rowland on the Walnut Hill Wall of Fame.
Dan Rowland's Mighty MidiTzer

Dan Rowland has submitted three new songs played on his Mighty MidiTzer.

These recordings are significant because they were done on his new CoyoteNET workstation using the latest version of the Mighty MidiTzer running FluidSynth on two SBLive! sound cards under Windows2000 Server.

The John Tay SoundFonts were loaded in the MidiTzer Style 216 for these recordings.

Enjoy!

04/06/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,751 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Mighty WurliTzer For Sale on eBay!

Click here to bid on this 4/28 Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.
4/28 Mighty WurliTzer for sale on eBay

This link was posted today on the Theatre Organ Home Page mailing list by Jonathan Ortloff.

For Sale - 4 manual 28 rank Mighty WurliTzer Theater Pipe Organ that was originally built for the Mastbaum Theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where it was installed in 1929. After removal from the theatre, it was placed in storage.

The instrument was taken out of storage in 1981 and refurbished prior to being installed in the Springdale Music Palace where it was used for ten years and then moved to the present location at 11473 Chester Road in Sharonville, Ohio in 1998, where it has entertained audiences for the past seven and a half years.

The current asking price for this magnificent organ is $350,000.00.

04/05/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,734 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

04/04/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,648 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Eugene Hayek's Featured Artist Page Updated!

Click here to visit Eugene Hayek Featured Artist page.
Eugene Hayek at the Lafayette Theatre's
Mighty 2/11 WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

On April 2nd of 2006, Featured Artist Eugene Hayek sent us two more cuts from his Mighty MidiTzer. These are representative of the major work he has been doing as he builds one of the most massive installations we have seen to date. This new set up uses five computers, each one running a copy of the MidiTzer.

Enjoy!

04/03/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,634 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Organ comes out of retirement in McKinney

By MIKE JACKSON / The Dallas Morning News

Click here to see the original article.

Click here to read the original article in the Dallas Morning News.
Jamie Owens (left) and Rick Mathews run wiring for the 79-year-old Mighty
Wurlitzer at the McKinney Performing Arts Center at the Historic Collin
County Courthouse.

Versatile WurliTzer finds home at performing arts center.

McKINNEY - Air burst from the Mighty WurliTzer's organ pipes, sending melodious sounds through the theater inside this city's historic courthouse.

Rick Mathews played Mood Indigo, a Big Band piece by Duke Ellington that could test the theater organ's ability to sound like an orchestra.

Mr. Mathews, who runs a Richardson-based organ restoration business, showed off the 79-year-old organ Thursday for the grand opening of the restored courthouse, now the McKinney Performing Arts Center at the Historic Collin County Courthouse.

"You can play an accompaniment and solo with one hand," he explained to some curious bystanders who came for the opening ceremony.

Though the event's main purpose was to celebrate courthouse renovations, it was also a coming-out for the antique organ. The instrument is a prominent feature of the balconied courtroom, which was turned into a 440-seat theater, officials said.

The WurliTzer was donated by the North Texas Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society, a group that rescues old organs, restores them and finds them homes.

"The chapter needed a home for the instrument," Mr. Mathews said. "The city had this venue. The chapter gets a place to perpetuate its purpose of preserving the Theater Pipe Organ."

Tracy Rath, who manages the center, said the city was grateful to have the organ.

"It adds nostalgia and character to the facility," she said.

The instrument also adds a historic piece to an already storied courthouse, organ society members said.

"The history of the theater organ is so important because it brings the sounds of an orchestra together in one instrument," said Richard Stewart, president of the society's North Texas chapter.

The organ has 1,241 pipes, some as large as a chimney, others as small as a straw. But it also contains cymbals, drums, a xylophone, a marimba and cathedral chimes, the organization said.

Some of the equipment mimics trumpets and saxophones. And for comic effect, the organ features a doorbell, a bird whistle and horse hooves.

"The vox humana simulates a choir of angels humming on the horizon," Mr. Mathews said.

None of what the audience hears will be generated electronically.

"It is all pipes and wind," Mr. Stewart said.

Mr. Mathews, who owns Dallas Organ Works in Richardson, volunteered to lead efforts to rebuild the organ inside the theater. He has loved theater organs since he first heard one as a child in an old theater in downtown Denver.

He sought out members of an organ society in Denver, and they taught him how to play, he said. Along the way, he learned to repair the instruments.

"I thought I had died and gone to heaven," he said.

Volunteers worked on the McKinney courthouse organ part time for two years, he said.

The group obtained the organ from the estate of an Oklahoma man who had it in his house for 58 years. The organ was originally built for the Poncan Theater in Ponca City, Oklahoma, in 1927. The theater used it for 19 years.

"The theater organ replaced the 10-piece orchestra," Mr. Mathews said. "Even in the 19th century, there was downsizing."

During its tenure in McKinney, the organ will be used to accompany performances in the theater, city officials said.

The North Texas Theatre Organ Society is working to raise $200,000 to refurbish the organ and install it, Mr. Stewart said. Some of the proceeds from events at the theater will go toward the effort.

This story courtisy of Donald Peterson at the Theatre Organ Home Page Mailing List.

04/02/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,600 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Cantata Sunday At
First United Methodist Church

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the Chancel Choir and the Florida Chamber Orchestra performing Handel's Messiah at the First United Methodist Church in Clearwater, Florida during Cantata Sunday.
The Chancel Choir and the Florida Chamber Orchestra performing
Handel's Messiah at the First United Methodist Church

Today was a special Sunday at our church here in Clearwater, Florida. Each year, the First United Methodist Church has a program featuring the Messiah by Handel, performed by the Chancel Choir and accompanied by members of the Florida Orchestra and also our House Pianist, Doctor Rita Fandrich playing the harpsichord.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing Doctor Rita Fandrich posing for a publicity shot at the David Jaques Way Harpsichord at First United Methodist Church in Clearwater, Florida.
Doctor Rita Fandrich and the
David Jaques Way Harpsichord
at the First United Methodist Church

The church is graced with many fine musical instruments and talented musicians. Our beautiful harpsichord, lovingly cared for by Doctor Rita Fandrich, our House Pianist, is the object of this story as seen in the photographs below.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the David Jaques Way Harpsichord next to the 4/93 Rodgers/Ruffatti/Wicks Church Pipe Organ at First United Methodist Church in Clearwater, Florida.
David Jaques Way Harpsichord next to the
4/93 Rodgers/Ruffatti/Wicks Church Pipe Organ at the
First United Methodist Church

This wonderful machine was built entirely by hand in 1979 by David Jaques Way, master harpsichord craftsman. It was delivered to the church as a gift in 1980. It is what is known as a Grande Harpsichord, one having two manuals and two sets of strings tuned to 8' and 4' pitches. The manuals can be coupled so that both sets of strings sound when the lower manual is played.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the keydesk of David Jaques Way Harpsichord at First United Methodist Church in Clearwater, Florida.
Looking down at the two manuals of the
David Jaques Way Harpsichord at the First United Methodist Church

The craftsmanship of this gorgeous instrument can readily be seen in the generous gold leaf adorning the cabinet and the hand-painted decorations on the soundboard. The tone of it is astoundingly sweet, bright and clear. If J. S. Bach was alive today and he was to have played this fine harpsichord, I am certain he would have loved it.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing the beautiful flourentine decoration on the soundboard of the harpsichord.
The beautiful flourentine decoration on
the soundboard of the harpsichord.

After the service, we all went to fellow Chancel Choir member Ebbie's house for a time of fellowship for the choir in celebration of their well-received performance. There was lots of great food, fun and games for the members of the Chancel Choir.

Click here to download a 2592 x 1944 JPG image showing members of the Choir playing Charades by the poolside at Ebbie's home.
Playing Charades by the poolside at Ebbie's home.

We had lots of fun indeed! The high point was when we all gathered by the poolside for a game of Charades. The members divided up into four teams. In the picture above, we see one of these teams doing a charade of Herbie the Love Bug from the famous Walt Disney movie.

04/01/2006

Greetings from the Bone Doctor.

I want to thank the 20,545 visitors to our site this year. God bless all who come here.

Walnut Hill's Third Anniversary!

The Third Anniversary of Walnut Hill Productions, April 2004 ~ April 2006!

A message from the Founder, Richard Mogridge, President, WHOC

This month marks the beginning of the third year for the Walnut Hill Productions website, founded on April 4th of 2004. In that short time, we have amassed over 30,300 viewers, many of whom have became dedicated regular visitors who keep coming back again and again.

We have much to be proud of here in the Land of the King. Ours is one of the few TPO sites where you can download not only dozens of high resolution pictures in abundance, but there are hours of free high quality music downloads for your listening enjoyment, as well as hundreds of links to many other great sites about the King of Instruments for you to explore.

This year marks the 51st Annual Convention for the American Theatre Organ Society, to be heald in Tampa, Florida. The Greater Tampa Metropolitan Area is blessed with several fine Theatre Pipe Organs and many great Artists, among which are Dwight Thomas, Bill Vlasac, and Tom Hoehn, along with organ legends such as Rosa Rio and Johnnie June Carter.

We have the Orlando Florida Theatre Organ Society, the Central Florida Theatre Organ Society, and the Manasota Theatre Organ Society here, three proud chapters of the American Theatre Organ Society. Each chapter has great instruments to listen to and play, including the J. Tyson Forker Memorial 4/32 Mighty WurliTzer at Grace Baptist Church in Sarasota, the magnificent 4/42 Mighty WurliTzer known as Black Beauty at Roaring 20's Pizza and Pipes in Ellonton, the wonderful 3/12 Robert Morton at the Polk Theatre in Lakeland, the 3/12 Grande Page at Pipe Organ Paradise near Wamauma, the 3/14 Mighty WurliTzer at the Tampa Theatre, the Don Baker Memorial 3/17 Mighty WurliTzer at Lake Brantley High School in Orlando, and the Kirk of Dunedin Grand Duchess 4/'100' hybrid.

Also to be found here are the 2/28 "Mongrel" at the home of MTOS President Chuck Pierson in Sarasota, and the beautiful 4/93 Rodgers/Ruffatti/Wicks at First United Methodist Church in Clearwater, the home town of Walnut Hill Productions, and the 2/9 Mighty WurliTzer at the Pinellas Park City Auditorium in Pinellas Park. There are numerous others, and if we did not mention them, note us and we shall include them here.

Since Walnut Hill went online in April of 2004, the TPO world has witnessed massive growth. The ATOS is to be given credit for much of this activity. However, other events have contributed, including many new websites going online, and a program written by Jim Henry and Crew Glasjev known as the Mighty MidiTzer, a faithful recreation of a Mighty WurliTzer Style 216 2/10 Theatre Pipe Organ that runs on your Windows computer. Yahoo! has many newsgroups dedicated to the King, and there are several new organ forums as well.

This year will see major changes at Walnut Hill, but they will not be obvious at first glance. The most major change will be the new high speed line being installed at our gracious host's Houston Texas server cluster for the Theatre Organ Home Page. This upgrade will facilitate not only faster browsing of existing material, but it will also allow us to implement new features, such as CD quality audio broadcasting and video streaming.

To all our loyal repeat visitors, a hearty thank you, indeed. We could not have done this without each and every one. To all the inquisitive folks who are stepping into the Land of the King for the first time, welcome aboard and prepare for the ride of your life!

Go back to The Walnut Hill General Store main page. Go back to the March, 2006 page. Go to the Walnut Hill Graphical Website Map Go forward to the May, 2006 page. Go forward to the Walnut Hil Website Credits page.

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