Spring Organ Concerts Begin at Public Museum in March
If you have lived in Grand Rapids for awhile, then you might remember The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ at the Roaring 20s Pizza Parlor on 28th Street. What an exciting time everyone had when the organ would rise out of the floor for great concerts while we all munched on pizza, subs, and the like.
That all ended in 1991 when Roaring 20’s closed, but the organ was moved to the Grand Rapids Public Museum to “rise again!”
Now, the Grand Rapids Public Museum will host a series of nationally acclaimed musicians for their Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ Concert Series this Spring. The line up will include Organists Steve Schlesing, Bill Tandy, and Joel Gray.
The first concert is slated for Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. Steve Schlesing, from Royal Oak Michigan, will accompany two Laurel & Hardy short silent films on the organ. This concert will be repeated on Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m.
In April, Bill Tandy, from Kokomo, Indiana, will play music on the Wurlitzer from its heyday in the 20s and 30s. Requests are always taken at sometime during the program. Music and a little humor is the hallmark of his performances. The first concert by Mr. Tandy will be on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m., the second on Saturday April 13 at 2 p.m.
May will feature Grand Rapids’ own Joel Gary for “Made in America.” He became acquainted with the Wurlitzer organ when it was at the pizza parlor on 28th Street, playing as a staff organist. He was part of the crew that restored and installed the organ in the Museum in 1994. Joel’s first concert will be Friday, May 17 at 7 p.m., the second on Saturday, May 18 at 2 p.m.
Tickets for individual concerts are $10 general public, $8 members, $5 children through 17 years old. Tickets bought in blocks of 10 or more are $8 each. Season Ticket packages are $50 each for general public, $45 each for Museum members. Tickets are available by calling 616.456.3977 or at grmuseum.org.