Allen Organs of Chicago proudly hosted an outstanding Theatre Organ performance by artist Donnie Rankin on Sunday, March 31. The attending crowd was treated to an array of arrangements that fully used the magnificence of the Allen TO-5Q.
Donnie Rankin was named the Overall Winner of the American Theatre Organ Society’s Young Theatre Organist Competition in 2007 and began studying with noted organist Jelani Eddington in September 2007. Since that time, Donnie has performed for theatre organ audiences around the world. He resides in Ravenna, Ohio, and is a staff organist at the Civic Theatre in nearby Akron.
Dave Calendine blew into the Windy City in February to entertain his CTOS and CATOE friends at the Allen Organs Chicago Showroom. He opened with a video of himself playing the specially built Allen 4 manual stadium organ at Little Caesars Arena for a home game of the Detroit Red Wings against the Blackhawks. He then segued into a rousing “Rock Around the Clock” and “Pick Yourself Up” on the TO-5Q Allen. Thanks, Dave for a very insightful afternoon.
He delighted the audience with his unique style of playing and accompaniment to two silent movies. He introduced everyone to Nick White who accompanied him with a unique collection of percussion instruments that were typical of the silent film era. Thank you, gentlemen, for the memorable afternoon of musical entertainment.
Nick is a native of Chicago and is a freelance percussionist, historian, and instrument collector. An active performer with professional orchestras all over the country, he’s a graduate of Boston University and holds two advanced degrees from The Boston Conservatory.
As a collector, White has assembled the largest collection of drummer’s sound effect instruments in the World. He presented the various instruments and their sounds on 1/20/19 to the capacity crowd and accompanied organist Jay Warren on two silent movie productions.
Steven Eaklor and Scott May present the debut of the new CD…
In 1959, the day before the organ at the New York Paramount Theatre was removed and the theatre demolished, Bob Wyatt made a recording of this historic instrument. At that time, the organ needed lots of attention and many repairs, so the recording, which was made in one take, wasn’t exactly the best production ever presented. This recording always was a favorite of Steve Eaklor’s and he always wanted to recreate it on an instrument that was tonally complete – the Allen TO-5Q was his instrument of choice – and using the latest technical recording equipment and his amazing arranging and performance genius, this new CD is the result. This debut concert provided the attending theatre organ and jazz audience a taste of the unique music that Bob Wyatt originally envisioned back in 1959 presented in today’s style.
Nathan Avakian performed this past weekend at Allen Organs in Bolingbrook, IL. He shared his distinctive talents with the audience that showcased a contemporary silent film accompaniment that was produced by students from the International Youth Silent Film Festival. Thank you, Nathan, for a most enjoyable afternoon of innovative entertainment.