Theatre Organist: David Peckham

David Peckham

Like most talented theatre organists, Dave Peckham lives, eats, and breathes pipe organs. He’s been on tour around the world. And when he’s not performing, he’s restoring and repairing pipe organs for the family business.

In his spare time, he’s the organist for the Clemens Center in Elmira, New York, providing accompaniment and sound effects for silent films or tunes before the start of a show. Like so many child prodigies, Dave began taking piano lessons at age eight, then moved to the pipe organ when he was 11. He studied liberal arts and music at the Eastman School of Music, then returned to his home in Horsehead, New York, to work at his family’s pipe organ repair shop, L.A. Peckham and Son Pipe Organ Service.

He credits his parents with giving him a musical background. ’’I was going to concerts, apparently, before I was born,’’ he said. It was his family that brought him back to Horsehead after his Eastman education. The family’s pipe organ repair business was busy repairing the Clemens Center organ after it suffered severe water damage.

Dave is married and has three teenage children. He often has the chance to tour internationally. He’s played in England and Australia as well as nationally, in states from Maine to California. He’s recorded four CDs, the most recent on the Wurlitzer installation at Rochester’s Auditorium Center, home of the Rochester Theatre Organ Society.