On Saturday January 7th 2017 the RCO in conjunction with the Organ Club, arranged for a full day visit to the Troxy Cinema in Commercial Road East London to explore the Wurlitzer Organ installed there in 2015. What a day out it proved to be!
Unfortunately I did not get there until the lunch break so I missed the short concert and the guided tour of the organ rank by rank and the tour of the pipe chambers and I very much regret that as they must have been fascinating.
My late arrival was in part due to the difficulty of getting to the venue which does not lend itself to easy underground or bus connections and in part due to the Theatre Organ not being high on my list of attractions. What a mistake to make.
There was something here for all musicians and I must especially single out the presenter for the day Richard Hills. He is clearly a very gifted player of both classical and lighter music but he is also a wonderful presenter and teacher. He really brought the day to life.
So what was so special?
Well for a start it was well attended. Well over 100 people there for an organ event is so unusual. And an average age below 65 was very encouraging. The Troxy is a classic Art Deco venue that has been beautifully restored with heating and so it was a very comfortable location to meet people and chat about our common interest.
We were also joined by 3 top class performers. As well as Richard Hills, Donald MacKenzie a specialist in silent film accompaniment, and Simon Gledhill who blends a career in the City with a concert life. So all the ingredients were there for a very special day by organ standards indeed.
By the end of the afternoon I was really sad that I did not have time to stay on for the evening concert at the Troxy at 7.30 given by Simon or indeed the silent film programme to be presented on the Sunday by Donald.
When the next of these events is on I will ensure I arrive on time.
And just as an aside if we were to develop a really top class ‘Physis’ based cinema organ I would really like to know how many of you might be interested in buying one for use at home? If you could email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know I would be really grateful.
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.