As I write this, I am at a quick stop in Seattle before flying on to Spokane following a 4-day stop in Portland. Keeping the folks at Delta busy again.

Met with Columbia River Chapter leaders and members and played a short chapter program at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland. The fine 3-manual digital will soon start to transition to the long-awaited pipe organ. Exciting especially for a venue that is a popular movie destination and provides a lot of theatre organ music for patrons.

Also met with Jon Palanuk, or “JP” who is the brains behind the International Youth Silent Film Festival. There is much to benefit ATOS in this program as the young, teen filmmakers create their silent masterpieces to a theatre organ score. June 8th marks the festival’s international awards ceremony with Hollywood elite joining young people from all over the world who have entered this competition. Wonderful support from Dr. William Worden is most appreciated in this effort that truly introduces the theatre organ to a wide scope of young people.

Other meetings included Rob McIntyre, Gem Theatre in Athena, OR, and a wonderful opportunity for a new installation there, and a new headquarters location for the Oregon Chapter. And we spent a few minutes with officials at Cleveland High School, home of the Kimball theatre organ. Work on the building and work on the organ was a topic of conversation for school officials and members of the Columbia River chapter, including Rob Kingdom, Mike Bryant and Jonas Nordwall.

The Spokane stop includes a Wednesday playing seminar for members, and a Thursday night concert for our friends at the First Nazarene Chapter – drawing big crowds for their concerts, by the way. More on this in a post-concert report. The trip concludes with a visit to the Puget Sound Chapter and a concert Sunday.

Prior to all this, I ran down to Tampa to assist the Lightning hockey team. I sub’d for an NHL Stanley Cup playoff game; had a blast; and started thinking about our brethren who have played sports events. Dave Calendine plays for the Redwings and dreams of a great new installation in their new arena. Dan Minervini did some playing this past season for the New York Rangers. (Remember the old joke “Who’s played for the New York Rangers, the New York Knicks AND the New York Yankees? Eddie Layton!)

Donna Parker, at age 14, was the youngest sports organist ever when she played for the LA Dodgers. Gaylord Carter used to play for LA Kings hockey games. No question there are others in our past who played the organ for sporting events who also played a lot of theatre organ. I fear we might get hundreds of names, but bring ‘em on!

I will arrive in Atlanta Monday evening. Remain for two days. And part of that time will be spent putting the finishing touches on an important video project. I am completing a 12-minute fundraising message that also focuses on the short-term and long-range future for ATOS and the theatre organ.

I will be visiting with six key individuals during my next trip – Houston, Dallas, LA and Phoenix – and ask them to view this message with an open mind. Input from these four – financial or otherwise - plus members of the fundraising committee and the board will help fine-tune this message; and will hopefully create the next major step for ATOS in fundraising. It is a very exciting time; this outreach is vital to our future; and the initial answers we receive will speak volumes about where we are headed. And it will make for an interesting point of discussion when we get together in Cleveland in July.

I hope you are making your plans. Just 6 weeks away from all those great pipe organs, in all those glorious theatres, in the hands of all those fantastic players!!

Will chat with you again soon.