ATOS Annual Convention 2012
Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego
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Convention Video

Convention 2012 News and Notes

Monday, July 2, 2012

The weather in Los Angeles is cool and clear.

Convention registration is 335. Twenty-six Sierra Chapter members are at the convention.

Scott Foppiano opened the convention this morning with a virtuoso performance on the Great Organs of First Congregational Church in Los Angeles.

After lunch, we saw and heard Lyn Larsen's latest design creation, the Trousdale Castle Wurlitzer which includes the post horn from George Wright's Pasadena recording studio. Chris Elliott played a wonderful concert to premier the new organ.

Our final concert of the day featured Tony Wilson at the Old Town Music Hall 4/22 Wurlitzer.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

At the Membership Meeting, it was announced that the ATOS archives have been successfully moved to the AOI ahead of schedule, and graduate students are working on the collection.

There was no Young Organist Competition in 2010 or 2011, but this year we had three outstanding competition finalists. Lyn Larsen introduced Justin LaVoie, 17, from Michigan, Stephen Kucera, 18, from Kansas, and Anthony Meads, 22, from England. Justin studies theatre organ with Jelani Eddington and Stephen's organ teacher is Scott Foppiano, so their amazing playing was not a surprise.

The evening concerts at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on the 5/28 Moller featured "young" Mark Herman and "old" Walt Strony. Walt had a little fun describing the age difference between the two artists! They delivered great performances and received standing ovations from the enthusiastic audience.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

During the day, we enjoyed several seminars and mini-concerts at the convention hotel. Lyn Larsen and Simon Gledhill presented "The Art of Playing Theatre Organ." Bob Ralston and Mark Herman played mini-concerts on Allen organs, and Tony Fenelon played a mini-concert in the Roland room.

Tonight, we were bussed to the Hollywood Bowl for a spectacular fireworks show with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and guest vocalist, Barry Manilow.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The weather has been cool all week, and it was overcast when we arrived in San Diego this morning. First stop was the 94-year-old Spreckles Organ Pavilion and its 4/73 Austin. Dave Wickerham delivered a masterful performance playing everything from classics to jazz. Dave really understands how a municipal organ should be played.

Next stop was Trinity Church and the 4/24 Wurlitzer that was previously installed at Arden Pizza and Pipes in Sacramento. Jerry Nagano did a fine job showing off the organ's tonal resources.

Our last concert, before returning to Los Angeles, was at the beautifully restored Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego. Chris Gorsuch and Jelani Eddington performed on the 4/24 Wonder Morton and a Steinway Model D concert grand. Their closing duet was George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue which brought down the house with a standing ovation and shouts of bravo.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Today was the last day of the convention, and we were treated to two very special events. Chris Elliott provided a masterful accompaniment for the silent film comedy Ella Cinders (1926) at Plummer Auditorium, and Tony Fenelon played piano and organ duets with himself by using the MIDI recording feature on the 3/17 Wurlitzer at San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. Tony then played the piano with Lyn Larsen at the Wurlitzer to end the convention on a high note.

The annual awards were presented at the convention banquet.

Award of Special Merit — Robert Trousdale

Hall of Fame — Stu Green, Garrett Shanklin, and Paul Van Der Molen

Honorary Member — Bucky Reddish

Organist of the Year — Mark Herman

Organ Student of the Year — Stephen Kucera

2013 Convention — Atlanta

2014 Convention — Indianapolis

2015 Convention — Philadelphia