Despite his quiet and genteel nature coupled with the fact that he was a relative “late-comer” to the world of the theatre organ, Lafayette, IN native Robert F. (Bob) Mertz, who passed away November 24, 2013, had a major impact in the theatre organ world in a short period of time. He was 89 years old.
News about ATOS and the world of Theatre Organ internationally.
We dubbed it A HALLOWEEN HANGOVER
This time, the travels took me to Lafayette, IN, a town I called home on two different occasions in my professional life, and a place where I jumped in with both feet into the world of theatre organ. I call it “my musical home.”
As I turn 61 this week, it is hard to imagine I moved to Lafayette in 1976 for my first job in TV, and in 1979 began working toward installing a theatre organ at the old Mars Theatre, now Long Center. Gads, does time indeed fly by. We premiered the organ in 1982.
Yup, I was on the road again, and delighted that Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes good and kept me awake. (This coming from an avowed tea drinker!) I pulled into Atlanta Sunday night/Monday morning about a quarter-to-one.
And was promptly awakened early with the pounding of hammers and the voices of the work crew re-siding our condo’s. Now, I was gone four days. The foreman knew I was going to be gone four days. They were scheduled to start on my unit BEFORE I left town. And when did they start?? The day I got back. Murphy of Law’s fame is laughing hysterically someplace.
I’m off and running again Wednesday (Oct 17, '13), including a stop with the Manasota chapter down in the Sarasota, FL area. It will be good to see John Fischer, Norm Arnold, Chuck et. al. that have focused their chapter’s energies around the great Wurlitzer at Grace Baptist Church.
From now on, either Sunday night or Monday morning is BLOG TIME every week!!
It has been an interesting start to the Fall season.
Today (Sunday, October 6), I am flying home to Atlanta after spending 18 of the past 20 days on the road. I’ve been through Florida, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, Louisiana, and of course, Georgia.
Much of what I’ve been working on involves not only the ongoing fundraising efforts, but finding homes for instruments. As I like to say, “We can’t have our playtoys if we don’t have a playpen!”
The Saenger Theatre, the most opulent and famous theatre in New Orleans, re-opened with a splash last week after a $52 million renovation. Fund raising is underway to restore the singular 4/26 Robert-Morton pipe organ. And the man most responsible for saving the theatre and the organ is not here to reap the rewards of his efforts to save his beloved Saenger Theatre and the organ.
Dr. Barry Henry passed away September 23, 2013 in his home in New Orleans following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 76. He died four days before the first shows at his beloved Saenger Theatre.
ATOS Radio is now featuring Half Hourly Webcasts of Steve Ashleys' Hot Pipes, a new show will broadcast every week at the following times - Tuesday 2pm, Wednesday 9pm, Thursday 4am - all times Eastern US. Click to listen to ATOS Radio.
Dr. William Coale Will Write Definitive Bio of Legendary Organist
NYTOS Awards Dan Minervini Scholarship, Concert Date
At the just-concluded ATOS Annual Convention, attendees were treated to one of the best Young Theatre Organist Competition performances ever, as all three candidates performed brilliantly.
Detroit native Justin LaVoie was named the winner, and in addition to his ATOS awards, was provided a $1,000 award by the Garden State chapter.
Moments after that was announced, the Central Florida chapter awarded Danny McCollum a $500 scholarship to help him continue his studies with Dwight Thomas.
GARDEN STATE CHAPTER STEPS UP WITH MAJOR DONATION
At the ATOS annual convention in Atlanta, attendees were treated to the return of the Young Theatre Organists’ Competition (YTOC). After a three-year hiatus, the competition returned with Danny McCollum, Dan Minervini, and Justin LaVoie as the three finalists performing at the convention.