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Everything posted by carrick

  1. I'm not sure how many people on this forum will be aware of this, but it's certainly worth drawing attention to even if it is not in the UK. The American Organ Institute at Oklahoma University has been running for around 13 years and has grown considerably since those beginnings and teaches all manner of organ playing, be it classical, theatre or electronic. Alongside studying that, students also learn how to maintain/build those very instruments through the maintenance of some 100 pipe organs in the state of Oklahoma. It is also home to several archive collections which are of international importance. In June 2019, Oklahoma University decided to close the AOI, citing financial reasons for the decision, despite the AOI being self funded. The university also turned down a $5 million donation in order for the programme to continue for several more years. A website has been set up for people to support the AOI and for further information. There is also an ongoing petition. https://www.savetheaoi.org/
  2. carrick


    Horace Finch at the 3 manual, 13 rank Wurlitzer of the Empress Ballroom (A room larger than St Georges Hall in Liverpool) in Blackpool Winter Gardens with a selection of Harry Warrens music from the 1930's, played in Horace's individual style. https://youtu.be/cGBdQT7BlOU
  3. This may be of interest to some folks on here. Over the past couple of years I have been working on transferring my collection of Reg Dixon 78rpm's over to YouTube. I have some 500 in the collection, though some of these are duplicates (which have come in very handy!) , and I don't yet have all of his 78rpm output. As well as that, I'm also uploading what other organ 78rpm's I have, and may collect in the future.
  4. carrick


    Another magnificent Live broadcast thanks to Dickinson Theatre Organ Society!
  5. Copyright is now 70 years, but anything released 50 years before the year that law was passed (2014?) is now in public domain. Tbh, if you haven't made your money out of a recording in that 50 years, it's not going to happen now lol.
  6. Hmmm, a Hammond in a big room can create quite a punch for what it is, it's still an impressive sound, though it might not be to everyone's taste, likewise for pipes too.
  7. "Regulator" is a common word in theatre organ terminology for bellows. Yes, you can just turn off the tremulants (and the Tibias).
  8. You need some rock solid regulators for that. Compton regulators behave themselves and can pull it off well, provided you don't use celestes or any tibias. Wurlitzers need a bit more care, as the regulators usually want bounce. I don't believe for one second that anyone can say they aren't a fan of theatre organs, it just takes for you to find the style of playing that you enjoy. That's the beauty of it!
  9. Both the Empress Ballroom and Opera House are in the Winter Gardens. Wobulation devices are there to be used, though, I will admit it takes a few minutes to get used to them after being used to hearing the straight sound. Concert wise, May might be the only other date at the Opera House this year, getting the dates for concerts can be tricky as it's a very busy venue. Hopefully, there will be more dates later in the year as the theatre and the organ are 80 years old this year. Concerts in the Empress Ballroom aren't happening as yet, but that is on the cards for the future. Tower Ballroom concerts are like hens teeth now, the last one was 3 years ago for Phil Kelsalls 40th anniversary, this year marks 125 years of the Tower Building, and 90 years of Wurlitzer in the Tower Ballroom, so I reckon there might be a possibility of a concert there this year.
  10. There are three Wurlitzers in Blackpool. 1:- Tower Ballroom :- Yes, it is amplified. The organ can be heard perfectly well on the ballroom floor without amplification, however, the spaces along the sides of the ballroom floor where the "audience" sit misses the sound, so it was amplified for their sakes. These days, with how current sound technicians operate, it is often cranked up to silly levels which aren't needed at all. All it needs is a "push" into the sides of the room. 2:- Empress Ballroom - This is a "hybrid" (as it isn't purely Wurlitzer, yet!). It was installed in 2014. The Empress Ballroom is a bit larger than St Georges Hall in Liverpool, almost twice the size of the Tower Ballroom. No amplification needed at all, it's pretty loud on the ballroom floor 3:- Opera House - The last new Wurlitzer to come to the UK from the Wurlitzer factory. It's installed understage and speaks through the orchestra pit. Some of the sound of the organ misses the stalls seating a little. So, for concerts, mild "amplification" is applied to give the sound a little push into the stalls, you'd never notice it was amplified though, as I make sure you can't each morning before the concert.
  11. Adding to the variety... Blackpool Opera House's Mighty Wurlitzer, the last to be shipped to the UK by the Wurlitzer company, is 80 years young this year. The only Wurlitzer to be installed in a true theatre in the UK, it is still used for shows and events, as well as concerts. The next concert will be on the 14th of May at 2 pm (doors 1:30). With tickets just £6.50, it's a cheap and easy way to support an instrument that marks the end of an era. Tickets can be booked online at - Tickets Or you can book from the box office on the day, or by telephone :- 0844 856 1111
  12. No problem at all! 57 ranks at those prices work out between £570,000 to £860,000 from new. Percussions, traps, effects are all available second hand, and you can always have a digitally sampled piano, there are some pretty impressive samples out there for things like Kontact software etc. The possibilities these days in organ building are almost limitless, with the exception of space and budget.
  13. @MusingMuso For your benefit, here's a spec straight from the Civic Hall Compton console, working in sides reading from left to right. Row 1 is the bottom stop rail, Row 3 is the top stop rail. The Krummet was replaced by the Sax. Left Stop Jamb Row 1 - Pedal 32ft Harmonics of 16ft Harmonics of 16ft Bombarde 16ft Posaune 16ft Trumpet 8ft Bombarde 8ft English Horn 4ft Bombarde 16ft Piano Cymbal Tap Triangle Crash Cymbal Bass Drum P Bass Drum F Choir to Pedal Great to Pedal Swell to Pedal Solo to Pedal Solo Octave to Pedal Row 2 - Effects Fire Bell Surf Train Whistle Steam Boat Sleigh Bells Break - Pedal 32ft Sub Bass 16ft Contra Bass 16ft Open Bass 16ft Salicional 16ft Violone 16ft Sub Bass 16ft Bourdon 10 2/3 Quinte 8ft Octave 8ft Salicional 8ft Flute 5 1/3 Twelfth 4ft Fifteenth 4ft Flute IV Fourniture Row 3 - Swell 16ft Violone 8ft Geigen 8ft Viola de Gamba 8ft Viole Celeste 8ft Rohr Flute 4ft Geigen Octave 4ft Viola 2ft Fifteenth IV Mixture 16ft Double Trumpet 8ft Trumpet 8ft Hautboy 4ft Clarion Sub Octave Octave Tremulant Solo to Swell Back rail - Solo 8ft Violone Cello 8ft Viole Celeste 8ft Harmonic Flute 4ft Harmonic Flute 8ft Clarinet 8ft Orchestral Oboe 8ft Kinura 8ft Brass Sax 8ft English Horn 8ft Tuba 8ft Trumpet 4ft Tuba Clarion 8ft Tibia Clausa 4ft Tibia Clausa 12th Tibia Clausa 2ft Tibia Clausa 4ft Glock 4ft Xylo 4ft Vibraphone Chimes 8ft Grand Piano Unison Off Sub Octave Octave Tremulant Great to Solo Sub Great to Solo Unison Great to Solo Octave Great to Solo Quint Great to Solo Tierce Left Stop Jamb Row 1 - Choir 2ft Tibia Clausa 2ft Tibia 12th 2ft Fifteenth 1 3/5 Tierce II Acuta 8ft Horn 8ft Posaune 8ft English Horn 8ft Tuba 8ft Brass Sax 8ft Kinura 4ft Vibraphone Triangle Tap Cymbal Tap Chinese Block Castanets Tambourine 8ft Grand Piano 4ft Grand Piano Octave Great to Choir Swell to Choir Solo to Choir Tremulant Row 2 - Great 4ft Xylo Tremulant Sub Octave Octave Solo to Great Swell to Great Choir to Great 16ft Grand Piano 8ft Grand Piano 4ft Grand Piano Break - Choir 16ft Salicional 16ft Bourdon 8ft Violone Cello 8ft Open Diapason 8ft Gemshorn 8ft Tibia Clausa 8ft Salicional 8ft Vox Angelica 8ft Claribel Flute 8ft Lieblich Gedeckt 4ft Tibia Clausa 4ft Salicet 4ft Flauto Traverso 4ft Lieblich Flote 2 2/3 Nasard Row 3 - Great 16ft Double Open Diapason 8ft Violone Cello 8ft Open Diapason I 8ft Open Diapason II 8ft Open Diapason III 8ft Stopped Diapason 8ft Tibia Clausa 4ft Octave 4ft Principal 4ft Tibia Clausa 2 2/3 Tibia Clausa 2ft Super Octave 12th 2ft Fifteenth IV Fourniture IV Harmonics 16ft Contra Posaune 8ft Tromba 8ft Horn 8ft English Horn 8ft Brass Sax 8ft Kinura 4ft Clarion 4ft Glock As for prices for a new organ - I've always gone along the lines of others, budget for £10-15k per rank and you shouldn't too far off the mark. A new English Horn (theatre organ) will cost about £3500 for the pipework, plus the cost of the chest, winding, labour.
  14. @MusingMuso Wolverhampton was 53 ranks as the instrument was, for the most part, pretty much a straight job. With the theatre additions, that took it up to 57 ranks. The 53 ranks alone make it the largest they built from scratch to have been installed in a civic building. Southampton comes in at 50 ranks.
  15. Now here's one I'm pretty sure you'll all enjoy. I had the privilege of watching Richard Hills at the 3/66 Kimball organ of Dickinson High School....via live stream! It's still there for folks to watch so, enjoy while it remains.
  16. Something a little different, Chicago organist David Rhodes at the ex Gaumont Manchester 4/14 Wurlitzer which is now at Folly Farm in Wales.
  17. Let us first learn the difference between the organ and the organ pipes.....there is no difference. As for the £250 per pipe.....the solution was simple to me. Test 1 pipe, if it has asbestos in it, then treat them all the same. Apparently, the blower intake was external too, so how the asbestos would have gotten into windlines etc is beyond me.
  18. Whilst it was never intended for the organ to be re-installed, the council's case for removing the organ was all rather shaky in the first place, before there was ever any mention of asbestos. If you read the reports (written up by people who haven't the foggiest idea about pipe organs) on the WCC planning website, there are quite a few falsehoods about the instrument and its significance. They are basically using the refusal of Heritage Lottery Funding as the reason for removing it, going as far as to say because it was refused funding, it was not worthy of preserving. As Mr Reynolds states in the meeting I linked to earlier, HLF are only interested in restoring visible pipe organs....
  19. This is a webcast from a council meeting held on the 5th December 2018. You may have to turn your volume up pretty high, as the volume of the video is rather quiet. https://wolverhampton.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/384749/start_time/2504000
  20. https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2019/02/23/asbestos-riddled-organ-posed-no-risk-to-public-health-council-claims/?fbclid=IwAR1jUU3KvMPGLNDRrlt1lbGLjf1VDFRr4l2GC79L8MiyFgJXIWG_b8nAaR0 Now, if the "asbestos riddled" organ, which was only presumed to be contaminated, posed no risk to public health, why was it scrapped? Lets assume that the council are correct in their assumption that asbestos fibres were in the pipes whilst the organ was being used, then for all those years, surely it will have been throwing asbestos fibres out into the auditorium every time it has been played.
  21. For those who didn't see the post made on a separate forum that Colin Pykett linked to, I will copy and paste it here for others to read. "The organ was not a theatre organ, it was concert organ, the vast majority of it is a straight instrument, capable of being used for both classical and popular music. The organ was installed in 1938 when the hall was constructed. The organ included a melotone unit as part of the specification. This was rumoured to be down to John Compton's insistence that the organ had theatre ranks, however, the organist responsible for specifying the organ did not want theatre ranks/percussion on the organ. So a melotone was added. This was soon removed by Arnold Richardson very early in the history of the organ. In the work done by Hawkins in 2001, a new transmission system was added to the organ, 4 theatre organ ranks and percussions were added to take place of the missing melotone. Three of the new ranks added were constructed new by Booths of Leeds, Brass Saxophone, English Horn and Kinura, as well as a Moller Tibia Clausa – which was of an enormous scale and sufficient to carry the other 56 ranks of the instrument when used in “theatrical” mode. It could be argued that these additions made the instrument more along the lines of what John Compton had intended in 1938. They certainly have been much appreciated by visiting organists as it allows for a much more flexible specification without destroying what was there originally.Let me make this clear – No changes were made to the original specification other than additions/borrowing. Nothing was removed and the original specification of the instrument was present (minus the long removed melotone). There was no new console, the console is original. The Ex Blackpool Empress Ballroom Wurlitzer console was purchased in 2004 to be connected to the organ as a secondary console. This never transpired. The Ex Empress Ballroom Wurlitzer console is now back in the Empress Ballroom. In 2015 it was decided that the organ would be removed from the hall. According to the council, reports showed that in the event of a fire on the stage, the organ prevented effective smoke extraction and it would not be re-installed, but it would be placed into safe storage until funding and a home could be found for it. The hall closed in late 2015 – the organ was still in use up till this point. The council had been advised by Historic England that the organ be removed before any asbestos work was carried out in the building, and for its safety during the ongoing building works in the hall. The council did not carry this out despite offers of removal to storage at no cost to the council. They chose instead to leave the instrument in situ.In August 2018 after a long silence with regards to the future of the instrument, the council approved planning permission for the disposal of the instrument due to the assumption that the organ may possibly have been contaminated with asbestos. The pipework was apparently in poor condition and it would apparently cost £250 per pipe to test each pipe for asbestos and the council was not willing to go to this expense. I'll add here that the pipework was in no worse condition than that of any pipe organ of 80 years of age, it was in pretty good condition, albeit a little dusty. Information supplied to Historic England by the council/contractors made out that the organ was not unique, that it was a run of the mill cinema organ of which there are many examples of and that the original console had been replaced in 2004, when in actual fact it was still on the organ up till 2015. It was also said that the audible and visible elements of the organ had been removed (if so how were organ concerts possible right up till the hall closed?) and because of that, it held no historic value.....It has also been stated that when approached, that the council were advised by Heritage Lottery Funding that the organ would be unsuccessful in any application for funding because HLF were only interested in more visible, less expensive organs, and not expensive enclosed instruments and because of this, it was deemed not worthy of preserving. Historic England gave the all clear for the instrument being disposed of. The reports quote £1.29 - 2.5 million for the restoration of the organ are completely off the mark, you could probably have built two or more organs of the same size for those figures. I have read elsewhere by organ builders that the lowest quote received was actually more in the region of £600k for restoration. By my own calculations, worked out at around £10k per rank, I'd have said that figure too.I would also add to this, to keep in mind that the scrapping of the organ was nothing to do with lack of money. Indeed, the council are spending £38.1 million (plus losses since the venue closed in 2015) on adding 400 new seats and a fly tower (with the organ now conveniently out of the way) in order to turn the venue into a theatre. That's around £100k per seat.....damn expensive seats!" I find it very sad that within a week or so of the organ's removal being announced, despite his poor health, after all his hard work to keep the organ playing and to keep it in use regularly, Steve Tovey died. It makes you wonder. I don't believe for one minute that HLF was refused because the organ was enclosed with no visible pipe work. Though I could be wrong, but I wouldn't think it a reasonable argument for denying funding. I have listed below a list of articles by the local newspaper, the Wolverhampton Express and Star, which has covered the story since 2015. https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/04/10/historic-organ-at-wolverhamptons-civic-hall-in-line-for-1m-revamp/ https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-news/2016/09/28/wolverhamptons-resident-organist-steve-tovey-dies/ https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2018/12/04/plans-to-restore-wolverhamptons-historic-organ-to-its-former-glory-scrapped/ https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2019/02/08/wolverhampton-council-dumps-priceless-organ-at-landfill-site/ https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2019/02/12/no-alternative-wolverhampton-council-defends-decision-to-scrap-historic-organ-pipes/ https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2019/02/14/revealed-wolverhampton-council-dumped-civic-hall-organ-pipes-without-carrying-out-full-asbestos-checks/
  22. . Your description is about as far as you can possibly get from Dixon. His style was crisp, clean, light, lively and spontanious. Your giving a snobs description of Dixon. As for Richard Hills, when I have spoken to him, he has respect for the style, and he does enjoy it when its done properly, and has been known to play in the style at concerts around the country. The whole idea of the Blackpool style is based around the sound of a dance band. That is how Dixon used to play. "Frankly, I doubt that anyone to-day would be turned on by replicating the style of "Mr.Blackpool" or any of his clones, whatever appeal it may have to a relatively tiny niche within the theatre organ world. " Thats also crap. The blackpool style gets the LARGEST AUDIENCES. Richard Hills etc are lucky if they get 100 in the door, yet book a blackpool organist, you get 300-500 in the door- It proves itself what people want to hear. Bums on seats PROVE it. I certainly cant see many "educated fleas" on here at all!!
  23. I can see what other people talk about on other forums now...this is the type of forum they mean. Its a disgrace of a forum. If this is the type of attitudes applied elsewhere in the organ world..........no wonder its a bloody mess!
  24. Ah, what have I said that people dont like? Im still on topic. It still all comes down to the organist being able to entertain.
  25. Its a sad reality unfortunatly. Even people who work in the church`s know little about the organ, if they have one. Tis a shame.
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