Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego
Convention 2012 News and Notes
Monday, July 2, 2012
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.
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.
Tonight, we were bussed to the Hollywood Bowl for a spectacular fireworks show with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and guest vocalist, Barry Manilow.
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.
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