Manasota Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society

J. Tyson Forker Memorial Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ

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2019 Concert Season


Jan 20, 2019 2:30 PM

Musical Concert

2012 American Theatre Organ Society Organist of the Year


Feb. 17, 2019 2:30 PM

Silent Film Accompaniment

1998 American Theatre Organ Society Organist of the Year


Mar. 17, 2019 2:30 PM

Musical Concert

2003 American Theatre Organ Society George Wright Memorial Fellowship

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.

Tickets in advance are $15 each, and $18 at the door.
This amazing device is old, almost 100 years old, in fact. The folks in our organization treat it with great respect. If you have an interest in the functionality of this instrument get involved by joining our club.

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.

Society Meetings

Besides our concert season (January through March) our chapter holds several Society Meetings. They are in October, November, December, April, and May of each year. We begin at 2:00 PM with light refreshments and socializing. Afterwards, we assemble in the auditorium for a short business-meeting. During this time we discuss theatre pipe organs, performers, and technical aspects. After our meeting we enjoy a free performance by a well-known artist from here in the USA. These virtuoso performers also appear in such venues as churches, and even sporting arenas. What’s a hockey game without an organist?
After our guest-performance we open the console for anyone in attendance who wants to take her for a spin. When was the last time you got to fly a 747 while simultaneously pedaling a bicycle? Well…this is nothing like that, but we promise that you’ll feel like you’re flying when you take the controls of this beast.
Please join us for these informal meetings and consider becoming a member. Our meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

Upcoming 2018-2019 Society Meeting Guest Performers

Theatre organist Ron Carter at the Manasota Theatre organ Society Forker Memorial 4/32 Wurlitzer


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 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.

READ MORE about Ron


NOV 18, 2018 2:00 PM

Society Meeting - Guest Performance

1992 American Theatre Organ Society Organist of the Year

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.

READ MORE and hear Sample Music


DEC 16, 2018 2:00 PM

Society Meeting - Guest Performance

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.



APR 14, 2019 2:00 PM

Society Meeting - Guest Performance

Lifetime Achievement Award Atlanta Theatre Organ Society

McCall was honored with a first prize in the ATOS Hobbyist Division in 2002 which led to a professional career as a theatre organist. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Atlanta Chapter ATOS following his solo concert at the Rylander Theatre, October 16, 2010.
In addition to being an honorary member of Manasota ATOS and an active member of the Atlanta Chapter, he is a lifetime member of England’s Theatre Organ Club and the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Society. His recordings are featured on ATOS Theatre Organ Radio and “Hot Pipes.”

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.

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