Manasota Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society
J. Tyson Forker Memorial Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ
2019 Concert Season
Your concert patronage supports this particular instrument in two ways. It allows us to book top-rated, renown virtuosos to play our unique Wurlitzer. And it permits us to maintain the complex nature of its electro-mechanical design.
Another great way to support the art-form is through membership in the American Theatre Organ Society. Check out the link above to learn more about ATOS.
You can also choose to support your local ATOS chapter with a Friend of MTOS Membership for $25 per year. This membership level specifically goes toward our Tyson J. Forker Memorial Wurlitzer.
Join us on the third Sunday of each month at 2:00 PM from October through April to hear theatre pipe organ music at its best. January through March will feature paid concertizing by international organists.
Upcoming 2018-2019 Society Meeting Guest Performers
Oct. 21, 2018 2:00 PM
Silent Film Accompaniment
Society Meeting - Guest Performance and Silent Film Accompaniment
Atlanta Chapter American Theatre Organ Society 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award
Ron gave an excellent performance on Oct. 21 at MTOS in Sarasota, Fl. Check out his bio for more information about him.
Ron Carter is a sought after theatre organ concert and silent film accompanist playing in theaters throughout the southeast. He is the theatre organ consultant for Allen Organ Studios of Atlanta, the house organist for both the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta Ga, and the Earl Smith Strand Theatre in Marietta, Ga. He has been a member of the Strand Theatre Board of Trustees since its inception 14 years ago having served as Board Secretary for 13 of those years. He is past Chairman of the Board for Marietta’s Pops Orchestra, Symphony on the Square.
Ron is also the former President of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society and a recipient of its 2009 Life Time Achievement Award, the American Theatre Organ Society’s 2009 Honorary Member award, and was recognized by the Cobb County Ga. Cultural Arts Board as Cobb’s 2010 Outstanding Instrumentalist.
Bill Vlasak is a native of Columbus, OH. His father, John, was a well-known violinist in Columbus and started teaching Bill to play on a 1/2-size violin at the age of six. Later on, Bill switched his attention to the piano and his talents quickly developed into a popular style of playing which launched his career as a professional musician.
Bill began study of the organ as a secondary instrument. He later majored in classical organ at Ohio State University and also held positions as a church organist. He gained an enviable reputation as a pianist in many of the “better” supper clubs and hotels in the Columbus area.
Bill has recorded seven albums and given countless performances here in the U.S. He has also performed a number of programs in England.
Christmas Music Special
All of your favorite Christmas tunes in true sing-along fashion, played by one of the best theatre organists in the entire region.
Tom Hoehn – Born in St. Joseph, Missouri. Started playing organ as a child in the 1960’s. He started playing in church while still in elementary school playing for school masses.
He later began playing all Sunday Masses at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral in St. Joseph, MO. He studied classical organ locally as well as popular (home) organ while at home. He has participated in Master Class studies with Dr. John Obetz (UMKC Conservatory) and Dr. James Moesser (Kansas University).
He moved to Florida in 1974 as the organist at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa. In 1977 he was named as one of the four original organists at J. Burns’ Pizza and Pipes in Tampa along with Don Baker, Mark Crittenden and Jim Moshier. During his tenure at Pizza and Pipes he studied with Don Baker.
His most recent CD recordings are “Calling Mr. Miller” and “Florida Fanfare” recorded at the Forker Memorial Wurlitzer, Sarasota Florida.
That gorgeous instrument up there on stage in the Grace Auditorium (and in the pipe-chambers) is a million dollar mechanical and technical wonder in its own right, but it takes a masterful organist to make it sing. Check out images of artists from previous performances, and also learn some biographical info about each.
Theatre pipe organs are immensely complex. They each require constant maintenance of their components, and vigilance about their ‘voice’. This one has more bells and whistles (we really have bells and whistles!) than you can shake a stick at. Get an inside-look at how it all works and listen to some sample music.
This modern church was built with the intention of housing a fine pipe organ. So it seems fitting that Grace Church would agree to host our Wurlitzer. We have had a long relationship with this congregation. Have a look around their auditorium.