2017 Reed Organ Society Gathering....York, PA


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It's official! This fall, the ROS gathering will take place in south-central Pennsylvania, centering in York County and parts of Lancaster County. It is being coordinated by Mark Herr who was the "host" leader of the Lebanon Reed Organ Society Gathering held 4 Gatherings ago. The Weaver Organ and Piano Company, and the Everhart Organ Company (a much smaller operation), both of York, PA,   will be the featured manufacturers. The dates of the event will be October 19 (evening registration), 20, 21 and 22.

The main focus will be held at the York History Center, which has two locations that we will be using for our events...it's Historical Society Museum and the Agricultural and Industry Museum (which has a display of Weaver Organs). At the Historical Society is the 1804 David Tannenberg pipe organ, which was his last instrument. This will be featured in a concert time on Saturday, along with at least one Weaver organ.

Workshops and lectures will be held on Friday and Saturday mornings. Topics will include the history of the Weaver Organ and Piano Company, the use of the reed organ in Theatre organ music (more about this later), The "Addictive" Habit of Reed Organ Restoration, To Tune or Not to Tune to A440 and Equal Temperament...what was the original temperament for reed organs in the 19th century, Repertoire, etc. If you have an interest in developing a workshop/lecture on one of the above ideas or something else, please contact Mark Herr.

Friday evening's meal will be in the form of a mini "Oktoberfest" menu with entertainment being provided by a young (middle school) man who is a prize winning accordion and button box performer (both free reed instruments...and "walk around" organs, if you will). His name is Cody McSherry and he will be playing a variety of German music for us.

Friday or Saturday we will take trips to Lancaster County to see the restored (in process....a large instrument) two manual Burdette, which is featured as the fronts-piece picture in Fritz Gellerman's book on the American Reed Organ. This is at the home of ROS member Doug Eyman. The goal is to have it operational for the Gathering. Doug and his wife Barb have a collection of some unusual reed instruments. On Saturday evening, the plan (pending locking in the date and the fee) will see us returning to York where at the Strand-Capital Theatre, we will be "treated" to a Theatre Organ Program, which will include a Silent Movie.  Unknown to most of us, there were reed organs built for use in theatres to accompany silent movies. Our guest musician is a Lancaster County resident Don Kinnier, who addition to playing theatre organ concerts around the country, is one of the organists who plays on the Aeolian pipe organ located at Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, where he leads the Christmas Sing-Alongs.

Sunday, we hope to have a concert of reed organ music at a historical meeting house in the river town of Marietta. There is also a small one manual tracker organ located in this lovely building located in a beautiful historic town along the Susquehanna River.

As you can see, there are a lot of things happening that will connect reed organs with other related musical instruments. There are so many wonderful things to do and see in this area, that hopefully, some of you will be able to take advantage of what we are so blessed with in this part of Pennsylvania (e.g. the National Clock and Watch Museum in Columbia, the Strasburg Railroad, the Farmer's Market in York, etc). Registration Costs are being developed and hopefully, by the beginning of the year, forms will be available.

Registration Information/Register