Amoeblog

South Pasadena Sat. Afternoon Organ Concert & Silent Film

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 18, 2009 03:50pm | Post a Comment



Tomorrow the Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society is hosting an afternoon of silent film w/ pipe organ accompaniment. The event will be held at the South Pasadena High School campus, which is stunning and features an amazing auditorium-- a New Deal era PWA masterpiece that houses a fully functioning Wurlitzer pipe organ. Join John Rinaudo and his hand cranked silent film projections along with Dean Mora on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ.




Saturday September 19th, 1:30 PM
South Pasadena High School Auditorium
1401 Fremont Ave.
South Pasadena, Ca
$20 at the door
Charley Chase
 
 
 

FCCLA tribute concert this thursday afternoon

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 20, 2009 11:45am | Post a Comment
Last month I posted about the First Congregation Church of Los Angeles and their enormous organs.  A few weeks have passed and I've not found the time to make it out there again, but I'll try this Thursday, July 23rd, as they're having a 10 player tribute to a long attending devotee. I believe that I had the pleasure of speaking to the man a while back; he had been coming for 50+ years and was a player himself. He explained to me and my Pal Joey a little about the layout of the organs and how they worked.  Anyhow, it should be a great concert and I think it's the last one for a few weeks, as the oragans are going to go through their annual tune-up for a while. Below I've included a blow-by-blow account of the behind the scenes action of the FCCLA Great Organs.

FCCLA
540 South Commonwealth Ave. (6th Street)
Los Angeles, CA
90020


Bob Mitchell 1912 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, July 12, 2009 02:36pm | Post a Comment

Bob Mitchell


The original ballpark organist for Dodger Stadium and the last surviving working keyboard accompanist from the silent-film era, Bob Mitchell, has died. He was 96.

The native Angelino, born in Sierra Madre in 1912, died this past week from congestive heart failure at Hancock Park Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles.
 
From the first Dodger game played at the Chavez Ravine Stadium in 1962 until 1966, Mitchell was the keyboardist on the Wurlitzer double-keyboard organ with a 25-note bass pedal board. Up until that time he was best known as founder of the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir and its director for over 60 years. They appeared in more than 100 motion pictures, starting with 1936’s That Girl from Paris. Other films included the classics Going My Way starring Bing Crosby from 1944 where they sang “Ave Maria” and 1947’s The Bishop’s Wife. The choir was also documented in the 1941 Academy Award nominated short Forty Boys and a Song. Over the years more than 600 kids between the ages of about 8 and 16 performed in the Mitchell choir. Alumni include members of the Modernaires, the Lettermen, and the Sandpipers.

In 1924 at the age of 12, Mitchell began playing organ at the old Strand Theater in Pasadena, improvising soundtracks to silent movies. But with the advent of talkies and The Jazz Singer in 1927, Mitchell's first career as a silent-film accompanist was about over by the time he was 16. 65 years later, in 1992, he once again sat at the organ accompanying films at LA’s Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Avenue. His last public performance was this past May when he opened the Last Remaining Seats film series at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown LA.
 
Bob Mitchell began taking piano lessons at four years of age. He attended the New York College of Music before returning to Los Angeles in 1934; eventually he graduated from what is now Cal State L.A. and Trinity College in London. During the Second World War Mitchell served in the Navy and played keyboards for the Armed Forces Radio Orchestra under the direction of Meredith Willson, who later wrote The Music Man.

MIchael Jackson Organ Tribute

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 5, 2009 11:25pm | Post a Comment
I know that the world is currently inundated with MJ news. That said, I figured that since I made a church organ related post last week, I should follow it up with the footage from Robert Ridgell's tribute to Michael. Although the Trinity Wall Street Church's organ is an electric facsimile of a pipe organ, I'll give them a pass, as it seems their old pipe organ was taken out by 9-11 debris & fallout.

Choral, Organ and Brass Concert July 2nd FREE!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 29, 2009 10:30pm | Post a Comment

In the confusing sprawl that is Los Angeles, you never know what alternate realities are hidden from block to block. Some of our best kept culinary secrets are tucked away in minimal blight or carted around in taco trucks, secret museums are hidden in bank basements, powerful soothsayers and Santaria healers rent corner spaces from struggling car stereo shops. But due to the overwhelming topography of LA, we can miss out of things that are not hidden at all. In fact, some of these "secrets" can take up city blocks. Case in point, the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. The beautiful Neo-Gothic church is just behind Lafayette Skate Park in the Westlake area and quite visible from Wilshire. If you need an escape from the drug dealers and fake I.D. guys in MacArthur Park, this is the place. Every Thursday @ 12:10 they open the doors to the public and give free organ concerts. Their organ happens to be the largest on the planet, so it's quite a privilage to attend these concerts. This Thursday, July 2nd, there will be a special concert @ 2:00pm featuring brass and choral ensembles as well as the organ. It might be worth an extended lunch break...



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