“Safety Last” with Harold Lloyd – Silent Film at the Brook Theatre, Bound Brook, NJ

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GSTOS and The Brook Theatre are proud to present Harold Lloyd in Safety Last with live organ accompaniment by Ian Fraser

Safety Last! is a 1923 American silent film starring Harold Lloyd. It includes one of the most famous images from the silent-film era: Lloyd clutching the hands of a large clock as he dangles from the outside of a skyscraper above moving traffic. The film was highly successful and critically hailed, and it cemented Lloyd’s status as a major figure in early motion pictures. It is still popular at revivals, and it is viewed today as one of the great film comedies.

Ed Alstrom at Rahway Senior Center – Hits of 1964

April 3, 2:00 p.m.  

Rahway Senior Center
‘It was 60 Years Ago Today: The Hits of 1964’ 

Ed Alstrom will saddle up the Rainbow Room ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ organ and take it for a spin through a wonderland of popular songs from the year 1964. It is a wonderfully diverse range of music, and chock full of all-time hits. To give you an example of this, the Beatles made their entrance onto the world stage that year, but they were knocked out of the Number 1 spot on the charts at one point by… Louis Armstrong singing ‘Hello Dolly’! 

Come out and hear this marvelous classic theater organ, built in 1934 for the Rainbow Room in NYC, and lovingly restored and cared for by the Garden State Theater Organ Society (GSTOS), as it renders these fabulous songs we all know and love!

Ed has done many concerts on this organ, and gave its inaugural recital in 2012. He is a church organist/music director by trade, and also the organist at Yankee Stadium.

ANNUAL DONATION REQUEST

Members and Friends are asked once a year to offer a donation to our organ preservation and restoration mission.  This is part of our long-term financial plan that will be able to support our organ collection into the future.  There are a few reasons that I will present why this is important.  

We own five pipe organs.  This collection includes excellent examples of organ builders and styles.  It also presents an expense because of the rapidly increasing cost of materials and because these organs are all in the century-old range.

Our Crews have gotten smaller.  In this edition, alone, we post two Closing Chords and we lost another member a few months ago.  This has created a smaller number of workers to do the same, unending job.  We found it necessary to farm-out work to organ repair companies and they are not volunteers as are our crews.  Thus, we have incurred new expenses.

We offer many of our concerts and presentations open-door and free to the attendees as part of our mission to keep theatre organ music alive and current.  The artists are paid professionals and compensated for their expertise from years of study.  We must pay royalties and copywrites.  And we maintain a web-site that is a resource to the community to keep this musical art form in the public eye.

Membership dues do not cover the cost of operation, insurance, and associated costs of doing business.  We have an investment team that works to build our financial portfolio.  And we ask for financial support from those who have a preservation mind to support us as well.  Every member of our administrative team and crew is strictly volunteer.  All money and donations go directly to our projects and programs.

At this time of year, when organizations appeal for year-end donations, we hope that you find GSTOS to be privileged to receive your support.  And, as a preservationist of this art form, we hope you will take advantage of our musical offerings!  Remember, we are a 501.c.3, tax-exempt organization and all donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  

Donations will be recognized at the following levels:

    Post Horn- over $500

    Tibia- up to $500

    Concert Flute- up to $250

    Vox Humana- up to $100

    Kinura- up to $50

Once compiled, we will print an Honor Roll of Donors in the first edition of the 2024.

Thanks for your consideration,

Luke Staisiunas in concert at Rahway Senior Center

Luke Staisiunas at The Fargo Theatre, Fargo, ND

Luke Staisiunas earned his Master’s Degree in Organ Performance under Dr. Adam Pajan and Dr. Damin Spritzer. He also earned his Bachelor’s from OU under Dr. John Schwandt and Dr. Pajan. During his time at OU, he performed with the Symphony Band, OU Chorale, OU Percussion Ensemble, as well as playing continuo for the Vitam Musica Foundation’s orchestra. In addition, he is active as a transcriber of orchestral works for organ, as well as compiling scores for silent film accompaniment.  He is active as both a classical recitalist, theatre organist, and church musician. Highlighted concert appointments include the ATOS national convention (2019), Spreckels Rising Stars concert (2019), Guthrie Oklahoma Scottish Rite Cathedral Christmas Concert (2019),  and numerous other performances both in the Midwest and East Coast since then.

As a technician, he has most recently worked for the Red River Pipe Organ Company and the former American Organ Institute shop, in Norman Oklahoma. During his time at the Red River firm, he was active as both a shop and field technician. During his time at the AOI, he oversaw the design and installation of a control system for the Schlicker studio organ as part of his Organ Technology coursework. 

He is quite versatile as a church musician, equally at home with traditional liturgy and more contemporary styles of worship as needed.  He is also an experienced substitute, serving a variety of denomination

Directions:  From the south: Take the Garden State Parkway to exit 135 (Clark and Rahway), stay right and turn onto Brandt Avenue. Follow directions below from *. From the north: Take the Garden State Parkway to exit 135 (Clark and Rahway), turn left under the Parkway, and exit at the first right onto Brant Avenue. *Continue on Brant until it ends and turn left at the traffic light onto Westfield Ave. Follow Westfield for three traffic lights. (The road changes name at St. Georges Ave. to West Grand Ave.) At the third light, turn right onto Irving Street. Go two blocks and turn right onto Central Avenue. (You will see the Union County Arts Center on the left corner as you turn.) Go two blocks on Central and turn left onto Esterbrook, The Senior Center is two blocks ahead on your right. Park in the free lot behind the center, or on the street.

The Balancing Act with Eric Fahner

@ Union County Arts Center

Erich Fahner at the UCPAC Wurlitzer

One of our members and staff organist for Union County Performing Arts Center, Eric Fahner, was called on recently to play the Wurlitzer for a television show. Montel Williams has a Lifetime show called “The Balancing Act.” The cable program features unique people and places. They were recording an upcoming segment at the Arts Center with Eric playing while an interview and taping took place

Summer Youth Adventure – 2018

Student Youth Adventure 2018

Written by Luke Staisiunas

The organs for the week provided a wide and varied selection of instruments, to give the students good playing experience on different types of instruments, and installations, that they might encounter during a concert career. The main teaching organ was the Page at Stephenson High School, a recent installation from the Atlanta chapter. The Page was built as a jazzy organ, and as such features brighter, bolder sounds than a Wurlitzer, including some color stops not often found. These include a gorgeous French Horn, and a Copper Saxophone, which unlike the Wurlitzer Brass models features longer resonators, creating a different tone color well suited for solo lines. The Clarabella flute was another sound not often found, very closely resembling the orchestral instrument in the upper octaves of the stop. Those three stops alone are worth a trip back to Atlanta, not to mention the Krumet Horn undergoing renovation, a twin to the famous set found at Mundelein Seminary. (It will be installed and playing for the 2020 Convention, put it on your calendars and book your tickets—you won’t be disappointed!) Day trips included a visit to the famous Atlanta Fox (my new favorite in-theatre organ!), with its world-famous Moller organ, with 13 ranks of strings and countless color reeds giving it a very warm orchestral tone. A very different instrument to the Page, it provided a different pallet of sounds from which to work, in a MUCH larger room. A trip to Alabama provided a chance to play Big Bertha in the Alabama theatre, another contrasting organ in a contrasting room! Lastly, we visited two residences, one outside of Birmingham with an absolutely stunning recently built Walker digital organ, replacing a small pipe organ destroyed by fire.  The other was an Allen in a private studio attached to a home outside of Atlanta.

At the end of the week, the students performed in an informal recital for the visiting parents, and members of the Atlanta ATOS chapter. This was an opportunity to show off how much progress they all made in such a short time, as well as showcasing the talents of the future performers and technicians of ATOS. All in all, the week was a worthwhile experience, and very worthy of continued support! Of all the programs that ATOS supports, this is one of the most important, as year after year, new students with an interest in the theatre pipe organ come to join, and many continue to return!

 

Written By:  Brett Miller

This year’s Summer Youth Adventure was held in Atlanta Georgia. All of the students had the opportunity to play the fantastic instruments around the region. These included the Atlanta Fox, Stephenson High School, the Alabama Theatre, Fred Dove’s residence 3-manual Walker and our other hosts on their Allen GW-4.  There was an equally fantastic team of instructors. This year my fellow students and I received instruction from: Jonas Nordwall, Donna Parker, Martin Ellis, Jelani Eddington, and Chris Elliot. 

The Summer Youth Adventure has always been a week to which I look forward. With GSTOS’ support throughout  the past couple of years I’ve been able to advance  my knowledge and build life-long friendships as a result of this great program. With such wonderful instructors I find myself learning so much within the five day span, each instructor and guest covering a different subject. I can’t express enough my gratitude to the GSTOS membership for their support!