Seasons Archives: Fall 2016

Photographer Ray Rossi-World Views

Ray RossiPhotographer
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Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts and the Red Brick Gallery proudly announce its next exhibition “World Views” featuring photographs of passionate world traveller Ray Rossi from October 7 to November 13, 2016. 

This Exhibit will have two Meet the Artist receptions.  Red Brick Cooperative Artist Ray Rossi were on hand to greet the public on Sunday, October 9 during the Foxburg Food, Art & Wine Festival and on Sunday, November 6 from 4 to 6:00 PM after the 10th Anniversary Classical Concert of the Renaissance City Winds at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.

Gallery hours are Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information on the Exhibit call 724-659-3153.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

Ray Rossi

Artist Statement

Although I possess little to no formal training in photography, I have always had a strong interest in capturing the eye’s image. I didn’t enter into photography as a serious art form until I retired from my “real” job, teaching middle school. I had the privilege of influencing the minds of middle schoolers for 32 years. As it turned out, teaching them had as much influence on me as I on them.

My subject matter was that of geography and world cultures. Both of these areas intrigued me as a young student and inspired my desire for travel and discovery. As a youngster I would spend countless hours looking over maps of the world, learning all the continents and the countries that were contained within. Nothing was so remote or distant that it would cause my imagination to disregard the possibility that I would someday visit many of these venues.

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My first of many adventures came the very day I retired from teaching. I left school at noon on my last day and boarded a plane for Germany three hours later. That adventure took me to the Bavarian Alps, the lake region of Italy, Florence, and Rome. I also visited my ancestral home of Castro dei Volsci where my father was born. I had the pleasure and honor to say a prayer in the very church in which he was baptized.

Having had my appetite whetted, my next adventure happened on the British Isles. I spent 17 days with rail pass in hand traversing all across southern England. Boarding the train at Victoria station my journeys took me from the East at Leeds Castle to the West at the village of Bath. From there I hiked the Scottish Highlands conquering 10 Munroes, the 4000 ft. elevation mountains that make up most of the Highland region. This trip was followed by an exciting sojourn to one of North Americas most interesting locations, Newfoundland. The raw beauty that I found there stayed with me for many years. Newfoundland’s culture is truly unique. The people have managed to carve out a placid style of living in an otherwise harsh environment.

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Hiking, in conjunction with photography, soon became my life’s passion. If one is to be considered a serious trekker one must set his sights a little higher so with this in mind I decided to fulfill one of my most desired trekkes… Machu Picchu. Accompanied by two of my close friends we booked a flight to Cuzco Peru where we back packed for four days and three nights up the Inca trail to the fabled lost city of the Incas. Nothing could have slaked my thirst for adventure more than this. Or so I thought while standing at the top of the Incan trail.

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I soon asked myself if I could ever top the Peru trip;  my question was quickly answered. After a splendid 15 day hiking adventure in the South Island of New Zealand, followed by three weeks in the wilds of Alaska, my most adventurous trip was realized….climbing to the base camp of Mt. Everest.

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This trip exceeded my most vivid expectations. The wonderful shots that I was able to capture lead to my first art exhibit at the Red Brick gallery. Photos of Everest, the people, the children along the way and of course the magnificent scenery left me with the desire to share my vision with others.

rossi-everest-little-girlAlthough my camera equipment is modest I still feel that the eye for composition is equally important. I don’t utilize special printers for my work but with the help of my wonderful son-in-law Jeff Daverman and his terrific studio, at never better.com, I am able to have much of my work put on canvas.

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Ray Rossi & Barb McKissick

Much of the success of my work both in the photography realm and in the beautifully framed work is attributed to my framing partner, Barb McKissick.

Barb and I started our framing business, Framin Raymond, in 2001. Barb has that rare ability to look at a painting or any piece of art and immediately tell you what it needs to bring out its full beauty. Her gift of color is outstanding. Barb has worked in several fields where color is an essential part to the success of the finished product and without her enormous talent Framin Raymond would not exist.

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The public is invited to a Meet the Artist reception on Sunday, November 6 from 4 to 6:00 PM after the 10th Anniversary Classical Concert of the Renaissance City Winds at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.

Gallery hours are Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information on the Exhibit call 724-659-3153.

Autumn Colors Plein Air Painting Retreat

Andor Paposi-JobbPainter and Teacher

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AUTUMN COLORS – PLEIN AIR PAINTING RETREAT

MITCHELL PONDS INNE, NINEVAH, PA

October 10-13, 2016

with

ANDOR PAPOSI-JOBB, PAINTER AND PROFESSOR EMERITUS,

CLARION UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF FINE ARTS

Presented in cooperation with Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts

mitchells-pondIf you are longing to escape to the tranquil countryside this fall and revel in the beauty of western Pennsylvania’s autumn colors, while acquiring instruction that further develops your artistic skills – then the Plein Air Painting Retreat is for you from October 10 – 13 when the foliage is in full color!

Every artist relishes the opportunity to paint outside in the midst of a scene which speaks to their creative spirit. Particularly in autumn, it is an artist’s special joy to capture the vivid tones and special light this vibrant season brings.

Renew your artistic spirit and be inspired by sixty acres of serene countryside with ponds and glorious vistas at Mitchell Ponds Inne.

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The country elegance of seven bedrooms (some available for double occupancy) are reserved exclusively for Retreat artists in two 1800’s era buildings – The Carriage House and a Victorian era farmhouse.

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Ten bountiful and delicious meals are included in the price of the charming and up-to-date accommodations. All rooms are air-conditioned and non-smoking, most have private baths, and some have kitchenettes, living rooms, porches and parlors. Paint all day and refresh yourself in the rustic, gracious serenity created by Mitchell Ponds Inne owner, Mary Ann Moulin.

Full information on accommodations follows with rates.  To make a reservation for accommodations for the Autumn Colors – Plein Air Painting Retreat at MITCHELL PONDS INNE, contact Mary Ann Moulin at 814-797-1690.  www.mitchellponds.com   Click here for Patricia Sheridan’s article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, October 3.

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The instructor for The Retreat is the internationally acclaimed landscape artist and portraitist, Dr. Paposi-Jobb.

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Artists may choose as their primary medium either oil, watercolor or acrylic. Techniques will be demonstrated and there will be demos in all three mediums, instruction at all levels as needed, critique and lots of painting time. Class time will be structured, yet open enough to accommodate the artistic spirit!  All levels are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Prior to enrolling, Dr. Jobb asks that each artist contact him for a private phone conference to discuss preferred media, supply list, goals and questions. Please contact Andor Jobb directly at 412-894-8749 to register for the event.

The cost of the Autumn Colors – Plein Air Painting Retreat is $275, which includes twenty hours of instruction and additional discussion and consulting time from Dr. Jobb.  Payment is to be paid to Dr. Jobb on the first day of the Retreat. There will be no refunds for missed classes.  Full information on accommodations below.

ABOUT DR. ANDOR PAPOSI-JOBB

fullsizerender_2Internationally renowned for his skills as both a landscape artist and portraitist, Dr. Andor Jobb brings to his teaching a panoply of rich artistic and human experiences.  He was born in 1934 in the Village of Papos, Magyarorszag (Hungary). He spent his early years in Budapest, and while a student at that city’s prestigious Applied Art Academy, he fought in Hungary’s famous 1956 Freedom Fight. When his beloved country’s bid for freedom failed, he escaped by hiking over the border into Austria and immigrating to the United States.

Dr. Jobb attended Kent State University in Ohio and received his BFA and MA from that institution. He served as a Professor of the Fine Arts at Clarion University of Pennsylvania until his retirement in 1991. From 1991-93 he was a Professor of Fine Arts at the Miskolc University in Hungary, and after returning to the USA continued his career as a professional artist. Andor continues to teach painting on a private basis in his hometown of Emlenton, Pennsylvania.

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On Sunday, September 11, Dr. Jobb gave a seminar on landscape painting for an attentive and appreciative audience in Lincoln Hall in Foxburg, presented in cooperation with Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts.  Both Dr. Jobb and Jae Brown served on the founding Board of Directors of ARCA, and were instrumental in both developing and marketing programs in its formative years.  A beautiful portrait of ARCA founders, Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee photographed by Jae Brown and painted by Andor Jobb graces the walls of Lincoln Hall.

In his lecture, Dr. Jobb provided an analysis of the origin of artistic terms, defining them in a universal sense spanning thousands of years dating back to the ancient Sumerian civilization.

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Dr. Jobb defining terms in Lincoln Hall

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Dr. Jobb teaches compositional perspective in Lincoln Hall

Dr. Jobb then provided an overview of composition and perspective, which he studied at the Applied Art Academy in Budapest and features in his teaching today.

Several of Dr. Jobb’s framed landscape paintings from his private collection were on display. Included were a painting of fireflies and one he made for his mother as a Christmas card at age 10.  Certainly Dr. Jobb was a precocious and extraordinary talented young artist from his early years, also as noted below in Andor’s artistic statement about his introduction to plein air painting as a boy.

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Dr. Jobb commented on several of his other landscape paintings shown in the “Jobb on Plein Air Painting” section and those of several of his students.  (See art work below by Dr. Jobb’s student, Ray M. Forquer, world renowned for his landscapes depicting Civil War scenes.)

Jobb enjoys landscape painting as a form of recreation, but also finds the field of portraiture enthralling. In November of 2015 he was commissioned to portray Vladimir Putin in an oil portrait for Mr. Putin’s closest friend. His many commissioned works – portraits and landscapes – are cherished works of art in many homes and institutions around the world.

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Fireflies

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Commissioned portrait of Vladimir Putin

Andor’s portraits of outstanding judoka from twenty-one countries are featured in a book – THE JUDO GREATS – now in its fourth printing. Andor is a still-competing world judo champion and 8th Degree Dan. His HUN judo Dojo at Clarion University of Pennsylvania is celebrating its 53rd year and is the second longest running dojo in the United States.img_3043

Andor has very recently undertaken a commission of 911 Hero, Jeremy Glick, a young judoka on United Airlines infamous Flight 93. Mr. Glick’s brave final words, “Let’s roll….” embody the courage and initiative found in judoka. The painting will be unveiled in November 2016 in Ft. Lauderdale.

However, most of all, Dr. Jobb enjoys teaching – his special métier.

Andor Job is very proud of his various past students who have become successful professionals.  One of Dr. Jobb’s most renowned students is Ray W. Forquer, world famous for his landscapes depicting Civil War Scenes.  During Ray’s first summer art class, Dr. Jobb would sit on a stool behind Ray as he painted, and tap him on the shoulder with a yardstick when he mixed the colors ‘wrong’!  Below a Forquer watercolor from Andor Jobb’s private collection and one of Forquer’s Civil War renderings.

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SCHEDULE & RETREAT/ACCOMMODATIONS RATES

PLEIN AIR AUTUMN RETREAT – OCTOBER 10-13, 2016

DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULE

MONDAY – October 10th

Check In – 8-9:30 AM

Meet and Greet – 10 AM-12PM

Welcome Luncheon 12-1 PM

Class 1-5 PM

Dinner 6:30 PM in the Inne’s Dining Room

  • NB: Mitchell’s is BYOB, so this is your opportunity to enjoy those special wines from your collection in a celebratory setting.

At the Welcome Meeting each artist will introduce themselves to the group and take a tour of the grounds in order to select the scene they intend to portray. (NB it will be necessary to capture ‘your scene’ for constant reference. You may use your phone, tablet or digital camera.)

After lunch the assembled artists will receive the day’s class that will include instruction regarding various techniques for presenting and blocking a scene. The artists will then set up at their chosen site and begin the creation of their painting.

 

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY*  – October 11-12

8:30 AM Breakfast

  • The artist’s day starts with breakfast. (Coffee will be on hand each morning in the dining room from 7 AM for those who are early risers.)

Class 9 AM-12 PM

Luncheon -12 PM

Class 1-4 PM

  • On Wednesday 4-6 PM an informal sharing discussion with Andor and the group. Pointers for preserving, matting and framing will be shared.

Dinner 6:30 PM

 

THURSDAY – October 13th

8:30 AM – ‘Goodbye’ Breakfast

Class 9 AM – 1PM

Luncheon – 1 PM

The Retreat ends at 3 PM

 

INSTRUCTION FEES

Each student will be charged $275 for twenty hours of instruction and additional discussion and consulting time from Dr. Jobb.

This amount is due upon registration, to be paid to Dr. Jobb on the first day of the Retreat. There will be no refunds for missed classes.

 

Three Nights Single Occupancy Lodging w/Meals Included

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Rooms may be shared, reducing lodging by 50%.   Meal fees would not be reduced. Double occupancy pricing is available upon inquiry.

Tax and gratuities are included in the above pricing.

All of the below Packages will be in addition to Dr. Jobb’s fee for art classes.

PACKAGE   A 

Room with private bath, queen sized bed                        $330 + 218 = $548

& private exterior entrance

In the original carriage house

PACKAGE  B  

Room with private bath, twin beds                                $330 + 218 = $548

In the original carriage house

PACKAGES C & D

Two bedroom suite (queen bed) with integral

large living room, kitchenette and bath. Per room:          $420 + 218 =$638

In the original carriage house

PACKAGES E, F & G

Bedroom with antique full size bed and shared bath
in a private three bedroom Victorian house with              $225+218=$443
two parlors and lovely porches.

The above prices do not include Dr. Jobb’s art instruction.

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Andor Jobb’s Artist Statement on Plein Air Painting

I was yet in kindergarten in the capital city of Budapest, Hungary, when on a group-outing I observed one of our teachers (male) set down nearby and set out his art supplies to paint his landscape…

I was so thoroughly taken by that that of all of my group-outing time I spent just watching him capturing that particular scenery, splashing water around as he cleaned his brushes often.  The other teachers did not mind my fascination and let me stay outside of the group activities.  In the mean time I wondered how a man could do what he was doing. Soon I found myself often at the chalkboard in the kindergarten rendering my own “compositions” of scenes…

andor-mountain-2Time passed and I was in my second grade when on a beautiful day with my brothers and friends we went to swim in the Duna (Danube) river which was near to our apartment building. There I saw a man sitting on a small three-legged stool brushing in  wonderful colors onto a canvas in front of him fixed on an easel. I stopped and asked if I might watch. My brothers and the other kids urged me to continue on to the river, but I chose to stay behind and watch the man paint. I never knew colors existed like the ones progressively appearing on the painter’s canvas… Next I begged my mother to provide me with paper and paint. I joined local libraries to access books with contained scenes and illustrations from which I could copy.

Then the hard times of WWII. were upon us and after the German’s defeat, the Soviets occupied Hungary. I was like other children enrolled in the pioneer (soviet form of boy scouts) movement. Instead of going to church, we had to travel on the weekends across the country and even across the borders into other neighbouring countries to sing communist songs and praise the new soviet system. However I always took my art supplies with me and got behind and under trees to capture scenes that were available to me – rain or shine. The teacher comrades regularly let me do my art rendering because they ended up taking my pictures home with them. Occasionally on a longer trip  I was allowed to paint postcard size landscapes which I could mail home to my mother…

My painting of scenes never stopped, only enriched by painting portraits of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and the Hungarian communist Prime Minister Rákosi…

Regardless of the place, the scene, the times, and the life’s conditions the beauty of mother-nature surrounds me and us, from which one cannot escape…

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Jason Floyd LewisPainter
Mark DeWaltWoodworker
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Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts and the Red Brick Gallery proudly announce its next exhibition showcasing the work of Red Brick Gallery Cooperative Artist, Painter Jason Floyd Lewis, and Guest Artist and Woodworker, Mark DeWalt, from Friday, August 26 to Sunday, October 2The Red Brick Gallery is located at 17 Main Street in historic Foxburg, PA. Gallery hours are Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The historic Gallery on the bank of the Allegheny River in Foxburg is an ideal venue for this exhibition of landscapes by Jason Floyd Lewis depicting the beauty of western Pennsylvania and woodworking furniture and sculptures by Mark DeWalt, using wood from native forests and salvaged artifacts.

Both Jason and Mark are well known to area residents; Jason Floyd Lewis is a charter artist/member of the Red Brick Gallery Cooperative whose works grace the walls of the Gallery and Gift Shop and the homes of his many fans and friends.  His stunning oil landscapes range in size from exquisite miniatures to breathtaking large canvases; landscapes in graphite and colored pencil are subtle in nuance and detail. Jason’s interest in conveying mood, emotion and the effects of light, air and humidity takes the viewer on a journey into the mind of the forest scenes he depicts.

Guest artist Mark DeWalt will be presenting his woodworking art for the first time in Foxburg. Mark’s love of the textures, colors, character and potential of wood is revealed in the beauty of his fine craftsmanship, from wood vases fashioned from trees in Penn’s Woods to rustic furniture crafted from barn siding, fence posts, flywheels and harness parts.   Mark also is the pianist, composer, and leader of CATRO, the Pittsburgh Jazz band. CATRO is much beloved by ARCA audiences from their appearances during numerous jazz festivals and Poetry and Jazz concerts in Lincoln Hall.

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This Exhibit will have two open house receptions – a reception to open and close the exhibit.  On Saturday, August 27 Artist and CATRO pianist, Mark DeWalt, and a bassist will perform in the second floor gallery during the Meeting the Artist Opening Reception from 4:00 – 7:00 PM.  Come on in and enjoy a late summer afternoon on the Allegheny River in Foxburg viewing stunning landscapes and wood creations which reflect the beauty of our area.

Then return for the Reception on Saturday, October 1 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM as ARCA holds a birthday party in the Red Brick Gallery and outdoor garden, immediately following the 10th Anniversary Wurlitzer Organ concert in Lincoln Hall at 2 PM performed by beloved and celebrated organist David Wickerham.  CATRO will be playing in the Red Brick Gallery garden, weather permitting, or inside in the event of rain.  ARCA’s 10th Anniversary celebration will feature Catro’s music and birthday cake in the garden with wine, lemonade, sweets and savories on the first and second floors of the gallery… a joyous way to celebrate ten years of ARCA bringing Glorious Music and Art to the beautiful Allegheny River Valley.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Jason Floyd Lewis

Rocky Forest Stream, colored pencil, 10x14

Jason Floyd Lewis, Rocky Forest Stream, colored pencil

Jason Floyd Lewis grew up in Clarion, PA. He received a BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design where he studied drawing and painting. He went on to earn a MFA in Drawing at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Currently, Jason lives in Clarion, Pennsylvania and shares a studio space with his wife, Amanda.

Artist Statement

My artwork represents the landscape as I have observed it. The paintings and drawings represent real places, most of them near my home in western PA. Most of the places I choose to represent are in some way memorable, such as rivers, roads or other significant landmarks. I am interested in the way human activities coexist and intermingle with the natural landscape in rural areas. In my recent work, I have focused on forest interior spaces, exploring the more rugged terrain of wooded areas. I am also interested in depicting the various effects of light, air and humidity that can transform the mood of the landscape.

Summer Morning Mist, oil, 24x16

Summer Morning Mist, oil

Winter Fog with Evergreens, oil, 24x12

Winter Fog with Evergreens, oil

My goal is to depict the landscape in a naturalistic way. I use photographic reference in the studio to produce my finished works, however, I do not consider myself to be a photorealist. The photos are a tool used both for designing and for recording facts about my subject. As I work, I refer to the photographs, but also rely on my memories of observing the landscape and on my recollections of paintings done by other artists whom I admire. I work in thin layers of paint, building up detail and color contrasts gradually until I am satisfied with the visual impact of the representation.

In my work, I try to balance my strict attention to realistic detail with a freedom to manipulate the overall structure and effect of my images. I try to use gradations, lines and rhythms to create a sense of space and time in a dynamic way. My goal is to orchestrate works of art that not only emulate the beauty of the landscape but also operate as an expression of my personal response to it.

Forest Interior with Large Stone, graphite and chalk, 11x22

Forest Interior with Large Stone, graphite and chalk

Mark DeWalt

Curly maple low table

Curly maple low table

Mark DeWalt is a fourth generation woodworker located in rural western PA about one hour north of Pittsburgh. Fine craftsmanship and a creative process informed by the materials being used result in furniture that feels both fresh and traditional. Local forests, salvaged artifacts and reclaimed lumber provide the raw materials for the work. In addition to custom pieces, restoration work is also done; continuing the pattern established by his father, grandfather and brother.

Artist Statement

Woodworking has provided both economic stability and artistic opportunity for four generations of my family. I grew up handling and manipulating wood; learned to see it’s beauty revealed through works of fine craftsmanship, and learned to love it’s textures, colors, character and potential.

Always living in a rural setting, I have found great inspiration in the natural and historic forms that surround me. I enjoy blending materials from diverse origins to create something new while incorporating time-tested techniques. Recent works have been fashioned using figured lumber, barn siding, fence posts, flywheels and harness parts.

12 inch Redbud Vase

12 inch Redbud Vase

31 1nch tall Spalted Maple and BlackWalnut Table

Spalted Maple and BlackWalnut Table

CATRO

Pianist, composer, and leader of CATRO, Mark DeWalt is the creative force behind the Pittsburgh Jazz band called CATRO. Their inspired sound truly comes from the heart – An expression of life’s joys & passions.

These master musicians’ experience includes touring, recording, and performing in Jazz, Rock, Latin, Classical and Educational capacities all over the world – experience which they then bring to the many special events, weddings and parties for which they perform right here in the greater Pittsburgh region.

Mark DeWalt & Phil Terman

Poet Phil Terman, Dave Kana, & Mark DeWalt in a Poetry & Jazz Concert-Lincoln Hall

 

Renaissance City WINDS

Barbara O’BrienFlute
Renate SakinsOboe
Alix ReinhardtClarinet
R. James WhippleBassoon
David LintzFrench Horn
Nathan CarterettePianist
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Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the first classical concert in Lincoln Hall in 2006, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts proudly presents one of Pennsylvania’s leading chamber music ensembles, The Renaissance City Winds, with celebrated pianist, Nathan Carterette, in a richly varied and entertaining program on Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.  Known for promoting the fine art of wind chamber music since 1975, The Renaissance City Winds have been hailed in the press for being “Nothing short of brilliant” [Olean Times Herald], Playing with excitement, musicality and daring [WQED-FM], “Expert wind players… attractive program… enjoyable” [New York Times].

This concert is not to be missed, as it is a “first” for ARCA, bringing world class wind playing to its audiences in a refreshing and delightful program of accessible classical music.  Anyone who has ever played a wind instrument would LOVE this concert – and be sure to bring along with you all the young people you know who are in a school band.

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In celebration of its Tenth Anniversary Performance Season, the concert will open with a visual presentation of photos from ARCA’s ten years of concerts, festivals and events. Immediately after the concert the audience is invited to enjoy a reception in the Red Brick Gallery on Main Street and Meet the Artist opportunity in conjunction with Ray Rossi’s photographic exhibit, “World Views”.

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20 and Students $5.  To reserve tickets to be left at the door in your name, payable by cash or check, call 724-659-3153.

Honoring Past Board Members and Executive Directors

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Members of Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts’ founding Board of Directors

Before the November 6 concert of The Renaissance City Winds, special tribute was given to ARCA’s early Board members and previous Executive Directors. Beginning eleven years ago a group of visionaries and culture lovers devoted their time, energy and resources to make their dream of creating a thriving arts center on the banks of the beautiful Allegheny River in Foxburg a reality. Since then, tens of thousands of people have enjoyed concerts, festivals, events and art gallery openings. ARCA has become the cultural jewel of the region. Join us in celebrating their generosity, dedication and determination, without which ARCA would not have reached this milestone.

Early ARCA Board members included Jae Ann Brown and Andor Paposi-Jobb, Lou and Rose Kalinowsky, Arch and Roberta Newton, Sue and Gerald Peairs, Tom and Margo Rudd, Arthur and Patricia Steffee, Bob and Karen Watson, Bud Irwin, Randy Silvis and Adam and Ann Weiss (Adam also serving as ARCA’s first Executive Director).  They were joined soon thereafter by Mike and Sally Vereb, Tom and Nancy Hovis and Ron and Connie Hambrick Rennard.

ARCA’s current Board of Directors includes Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee, Nancy and Tom Hovis, Ron and Connie Hambrick Rennard, Kurt and Joanne Crosbie, Kathy Soroka, Barbara Bott, Jack and Millie Armant and Pat and Bob Berans.  John Soroka is Executive Director.

The Founding of Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts

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For hundreds of years the scenic allure of the Allegheny-Clarion river valley  has attracted settlers whose foresight established the business and social structure of the towns of Foxburg and Emlenton. Since the mid-19th century, arts and entertainment were brought to the valley to enrich the community – whether touring variety shows and musicians, silent movies or Emlenton Civic Club presentations.

Arthur & Patricia SteffeeWhen Dr. Arthur Steffee and his wife Patricia began refurbishing the Fox estate and establishing Foxburg businesses in the late nineties and early millennium, they envisioned the arts as a hub of community and cultural life – drawing people to appreciate the refreshment of the arts in this stunningly picturesque valley.   Hailing from Cleveland, they had fond memories of going to Blossom Music Center, the Cleveland Orchestra’s summer home, where the comingling of nature’s splendor and music’s soaring inspiration were an idyllic combination. They believed that the Allegheny River Valley deserved to have the same thing.

Inspired by their vision, eleven years ago a stalwart group of local culture lovers, educators and artists came together and began devoting their time, energy and resources to make this dream a reality. The founding Board of Directors in 2005 established the non-profit organization, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts, and began creating a center for arts and education on the banks of the beautiful Allegheny River in Foxburg.

Lincoln Hall on October 5, 2006 for Inaugural Concert

From the beginning, the generosity and hard work of these Board members and volunteers joining their ranks, established the cornerstone of ARCA; they not only developed the cultural offerings but also refurbished the concert venue itself.  The Fox family had built Lincoln Hall as a concert and community venue which opened in 1909 on the second floor of The Foxburg Free Library; however, it had long since been used as a medical center – broken up with small cubicles and a dropped ceiling.

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Lincoln Hall oil painting backdrop, Paul McKissick, & inaugural performance poster

According to founding Board member, Jae Brown, when Arthur Steffee first threw open the doors to show the Board the space, they were shocked and “gobsmacked… it was a debris-logged and entirely impassable ‘warren’ of partially deconstructed office space that precluded any passage past the foyer at the front door. It seemed impossible, looking back, but in a reasonable amount of time what had seemed an irretrievable space was redeemed by the vision and hard physical labor of many.”

Lincoln Hall

During the reconstruction an original hand painted oil painting of the river originally used as a curtain was found rolled up under the stage. Carefully conserved by Andor Jobb, who lightly cleansed the surface and reinforced the backing using rabbit glue, the painting now serves as Lincoln Hall’s stage backdrop. A beautiful seven foot Steinway grand piano graces its stage.  Noted for its intimacy and crystalline acoustics, the hall is a favorite of instrumentalists, such as the Alexander String Quartet and Members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

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Photo: Dennis Keyes

As Lincoln Hall was being renovated, considerable efforts ensued to move and install the 1929 Wurlitzer Theater Organ, which the Steffees had purchased from Paul McKissick.  Over eleven years McKissick had lovingly restored this treasure, which originally had been installed in Cleveland’s Uptown Theater and played to accompany silent movies.  Dubbed the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer, the theatre organ is one of only 24 created in its style and size.

Beginning in September 2005, Paul McKissick began putting the pipes in specially built boxes to prepare for their move to Foxburg. Over the next months, Dr. Steffee moved the boxes of pipes using a horse trailer at times, to ease loading and unloading. For the next year Paul personally, painstakingly installed the organ in its new home.

Arthur & Patricia Steffee, Scott Foppiano & Sally & Paul McKissick

Arthur & Patricia Steffee, Scott Foppiano & Sally & Paul McKissick

It was determined that ARCA would inaugurate its first performance season in the elegantly refurbished Lincoln Hall on October 5 and 6, 2006 with concerts on the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer performed by Scott Foppiano; the first non-organ concert,“Shall We Gather By the River”, was performed by Katherine Soroka and Friends on November 4, 2006 with Raymond Blackwell, piano, and PSO musicians, Jennifer Orchard, violin, and Mikhail Istomin, cello.

Scott Foppiano & Katherine Soroka, Lincoln Hall 2006

Scott Foppiano & Katherine Soroka, Lincoln Hall 2006

ARCA will conclude the celebration of its Tenth Anniversary Performance Season on November 6 honoring its founding Board members and volunteers, whose vision and prodigious contributions over the years have created an arts organization hailed as “the cultural jewel of the region” and becoming a cultural destination in its own right.

Prior to the concert at 2 PM on November 6 in Lincoln Hall by the renowned woodwind ensemble, the Renaissance City Winds, a visual presentation of ARCA’s ten years of concerts, festivals and events will be shown; special tribute will be given to founding Board members, volunteers and previous Executive Directors, including Adam Weiss and Drew Orient.

Executive Director, Adam Weiss; Opening night audience, October 5, 2106; Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer organ

ARCA Members, donors, and audience members – without whom none of this would be possible – also will be thanked for their many years of devoted contributions and attendance.  Current ARCA Members will be given a specially designed ARCA mug, a gift generously provided by an anonymous donor.  These gifts also will be available for ARCA members attending December holiday concerts, and will be mailed to those not planning or unable to attend concerts to year end.  After the concert, a reception follows in the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop on Main Street in Foxburg from 4 – 6:00 PM, coinciding with the exhibit of photographer Ray Rossi’s “World Views”.

We invite you to join us in celebrating ten years of ARCA performances and paying tribute to all those who have helped make a reality – “Glorious Music and Art in the Beautiful Allegheny River Valley”. To reserve tickets, call 724-659-3153 or by online here. Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20, and Students $5.

Anyone wishing to become an ARCA volunteer may call 724-659-3153 or send an email to info@alleghenyriverstone.org.  If you wish to make a contribution to the Tenth Anniversary Season, you may do so herebecoming an ARCA Member.  Thank you in advance for your generosity.

About The Renaissance City Winds

For 41 seasons The Renaissance City Winds have brought the warmth and joy of chamber music to Pittsburgh audiences. Varying in instrumentation and size from 3-10 musicians, the Renaissance City Winds is named after Pittsburgh’s nickname and dedicates itself to performing and recording the finest music for wind instruments. It has become one of Pennsylvania’s foremost chamber ensembles since its founding in 1975.

p1010788-300x225-version-2The Winds perform concert in their annual concert series at their residency host, Carlow University, and in unique venues and elegant private homes in Pittsburgh.  In addition to the typical small concert hall of 150-600 seats, the Renaissance City Winds have performed in libraries (including the world’s first Carnegie Library), a working steel mill, gardens, Victorian mansions and modern private homes, outdoor amphitheaters, and churches and chapels of all sizes, shapes, and vintages.

The Renaissance City Winds have released CDs on the Elan and Centaur labels and been broadcast on television and public radio.  Enjoy listening to Renaissance City Winds excerpts on Soundcloud:

The Winds have toured throughout the East with appearances at Carnegie Hall (NY), the Kennedy Center (DC), Blossom Music Festival, and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence. Originally a Pittsburgh woodwind quintet, the “Renaissance City Woodwind Quintet,” the group increased its collaborations with guest artists and the frequent performance of octets and decets – most concerts used more than five players – and the ensemble officially expanded and shortened its name in 1988.

Renaissance City WindsWhile it performs music from the sixteenth century to the present, the group has received special recognition for its devotion to American music. The Renaissance City Winds have been a tireless proponent of new music for four decades.  The ensemble has commissioned many works from contemporary composers, and performed older treasures it has researched from the Library of Congress, the Harmonists, and the Moravian collection.  In 2001 it won one of MEET THE COMPOSER’s community residency grants, one of only four awarded nation-wide that year.

Not only have The Winds commissioned dozens of pieces and premiered over 100, but they also make a real effort to give second and third performances of worthwhile works; far too much fine music gets set aside after its premiere! A central part of this effort has been to perform not just the music of famous people, but to give a voice to young or obscure composers whose work deserves to be heard, especially those from western Pennsylvania.

The ensemble has captured nationally-competitive awards and grants from Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, MEET THE COMPOSER (now merged into New Music America), the Alice M. Ditson Fund, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

RCW’s bassoonist and composer, Jim Whipple, coaching students

Seasoned educators in the public schools, the Renaissance City Winds have been giving school concerts and extended residencies since their very first season in 1975-76.  The ensemble is a juried roster artist with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Arts-in-Education program.  They have presented one to two week long residencies, including lecture demonstrations for assemblies and/or classes on themes as diverse as American music of various ethnic backgrounds and music by women composers, with study guides available for elementary schools so teachers can prepare their students.

Working with sixth to ninth grades the Renaissance City Winds have conducted composer projects with students writing melodies and organizing them in logical form.  They also have presented Arts-Integration Lectures, for example, on American Music in a history class, Arts Management and Marketing in a business class, The Physics of Music in a physics or general science class and How to Listen to “Classical” Music  in general music class.  The Winds also have coached students in a variety of small groups and conduct master classes.

About Nathan Carterette

nathan-color-200x300Hailed as “wonderfully poetic,” (Westfalen Post) and “very compelling in his power and presence” (International Composer), Nathan Carterette has distinguished himself in the concert world by performing a huge range of works from Elizabethan keyboard music to music written today. His innovative programming has inspired audiences to approach unfamiliar music with open ears, and familiar music with new appreciation.

Nathan has performed in such venues as Weill Recital Hall and the Yamaha Piano Salon of New York City, the Gasteig in Munich, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe of Hamburg, and Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral. He has been presented in several universities such as the Berklee School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Radford University, Kent State University, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, and Carnegie Mellon.

His solo premieres include the U.S. premiere of James MacMillan’s Piano Sonata, the world premiere of Dafydd Llywelyn’s TimeQuake no. VII, part II (Hamburg) and several works of composer Quentin Kim, including Variations on an Ancient Korean Melody and Four Preludes. An adventuresome concerto soloist, Nathan has also played a wide repertoire of works, including Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto, op.42 with the University of Missouri-Kansas City for a Schoenberg Retrospective Festival.

Educated at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he studied with Robert Weirich, and Yale University, where he studied with Boris Berman, Nathan Carterette began his piano studies at the age of eleven with Cleveland’s legendary Birute and Anthony Smetona. A chance encounter in 2004 with Welsh composer-pianist Dafydd Llywelyn led to an invitation for intensive private study in Germany, both of the traditional repertoire and Llywelyn’s works.

Nathan has recorded both books of Bach’s monumental Well-Tempered Clavier and the complete solo piano works of Korean composer Quentin Kim. This video recording of his performance of the complete Bach Goldberg Variations in St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh is on youtube.

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The Renaissance City Winds, with celebrated pianist, Nathan Carterette, will perform a richly varied and entertaining program on Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.

Divertissement, Op. 6 (1906) – FRANCE………………………………..Albert Roussel (1869-1937)

Suite of Old Lettish Dances – LATVIA……………………Andrejs Jansons Sarabumbals (b. 1938)

  1. Martinu Dancis (Mummers’ Dance)
  2. Gaismina Aussa (The Dawn)
  3. Garais Dancis (The Long Dance)
  4. Kazu Dancis (Wedding Dance)

Clapping Music (1971) – UNITED STATES………………………………………..Steve Reich (b. 1936)

Antiche Danze Ungheresi del XVII secolo (c. 1959) – HUNGARY……Ferenc Farkas (1905-2000)

Intrada: Allegro moderato
Lassú (Slow Dance)
Lapockás Tánc (Shoulder-Blade Dance)
Chorea
Ugrós (Leaping Dance)

– INTERMISSION-

“Viennese Sonatina No. 1,” K.439b – AUSTRIA………Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Allegro (from Divertimento No. 4)
Adagio (from Divertimento No. 5)…………anonymous 18th C. keyboard transcription
Rondo: Allegretto -(from Divertimento No. 4
(adapted for reed trio by R. James Whipple)

Variations on an Ancient Korean Melody (2010) – KOREA…………………Quentin Kim (b. 1956)
Nathan Carterette, piano solo

Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs, Op. 79 (1887) – FRANCE………………Camille Saint-Saëns

Hoosier Rag (1907) – UNITED STATES……………………………..Julia Lee Niebergall (1886-1968)
Arranged by R. James Whipple

Dale AbrahamWurlitzer Theatre Organist
Tom RobertsPianist
Clara Bow "IT"

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts continues it’s Tenth Anniversary celebration of the first theatre organ concert performed on the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Organ in 2006.  Join us on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 7 PM in Lincoln Hall for an evening of world class keyboard artistry and one of film history’s iconic silent films, “It”.

ARCA has had a tradition of presenting silent movies accompanied on either our Wurlitzer theatre organ OR the Steinway piano.  This year experience a FIRST in Lincoln Hall – a silent movie accompanied by BOTH piano and organ AND before intermission Piano/Wurlitzer organ duos featuring celebrated stride pianist, Tom Roberts, and theatre organist and host of 90.5 WESA’s radio program, “Rhythm Sweet & Hot,” in Pittsburgh, Dale Abraham, on the McKissick Mighty Wurtlizter Theatre Organ.

WHAT ARTISTRY – WHAT FUN!  Dale is an organist who promotes the authentic rhythmic styles of the 1920s and 1930s and Tom is a world renowned piano player most noted for his love of early jazz and considered one of the finest pianists today in the exciting Harlem stride piano style.  Announcing the release of Roberts’ first solo CD Solo Art Records stated: His new CD is one of the finest solo piano recordings in the entire Solo Art catalogue… truly a four-star session with some of the finest jazz piano you’ve heard in a long time.”

Tickets are Adults $20, Students $5 and Children Under 6 Free!  Buy online or reserve by calling 724-659-3153.

After Intermission – Clara Bow, the “IT” Girl

Clara Bo

After a costume parade at intermission (and awards for best costumes – of course), experience the Roberts-Abraham piano/organ duo as the “orchestra” for the famous silent movie, “IT”, featuring that roaring twenties siren, Clara Bow – The “IT” Girl!  Pianist Tom and organist Dale have a special love for silent films.  They have together accompanied films featuring Harold Lloyd (“Hot Water”), Buster Keaton (“Seven Chances”) and Clara Bow (“It”).

Tickets are Adults $20, Students $5 and Children Under 6 Free!  Buy online or reserve by calling 724-659-3153.  www.alleghenyriverstone.org 

Join the Costume Parade!

ARCA halloween-costumes

Become part of the Halloween FUN and festivities by dressing in Roaring Twenties dress or in a Halloween costume of your choice or present a “treat” of your own.  Halloween candy WILL be given out.

0670318a48e3b6c30e6f805bcfa9a675 - Version 3Of course, there will be a costume contest, with prizes awarded in several categories. Don’t be bashful, audience members from 8 months to 80 years old arrive in all manner of home-made or store-bought outfits… shy or outrageous, join the fun as you enjoy the world class piano and organ music accompanying one of film history’s legendary silent movies..

“It” is a 1927 silent romantic comedy film which tells the story of a shop girl who sets her sights on the handsome and wealthy boss of the department store where she works. It is based on a novella written by Elinor Glyn and originally serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine.

Because of this film, actress Clara Bow became a major star of the highest magnitude, and a result, became known as the “It girl”. The picture was considered lost for many years, but a nitrate-copy was found in Prague in the 1960s. In 2001, “It” was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Clara Bow

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Tom RobertsTom Roberts is one of the leading exponents of early jazz piano in the world today. He has performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He was the featured pianist at the International Stride Piano Summit in Zurich, Switzerland, 2001 and 2009. Tom was the pianist for Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks in New York City (recent Grammy winners for the soundtrack to Boardwalk Empire) and the pianist and musical director for Leon Redbone for six years.

Tom has performed twice at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2003, once with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops. He was featured in 2003 in solo with Dick Hyman at the prestigious Jazz In July series at New York’s 92nd St. Y. Tom has performed multiple times at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival including a solo performance at The Professor Longhair Society’s Piano Night At Tipitina’s. He has performed throughout Europe as a member of multiple ensembles from New Orleans and as a member of The Ortner Roberts Duo.

Roberts has arranged and performed music for the soundtrack of the Martin Scorcese film The Aviator; for the syndicated PRI show Riverwalk Jazz, Live from the Landing with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band; and a number of pieces for Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Recently he has composed new musical scores for the Charlie Chaplin films One A.M. and The Rink through a commission from The Pittsburgh Symphony.

dale-abrahamDale Abraham is a theatre organist who promotes the authentic rhythmic styles of the 1920s and 1930s.  He is the house organist of the Hollywood Theater in Pittsburgh where he plays the Rodgers regularly before selected sound movies and has also teamed up with pianist Tom Roberts to accompany silent movies.  The Hollywood, through its “Silents Please!” program, screens silent films on a monthly basis.  Dale also is the president of the Pittsburgh Area Theatre Organ Society, which endeavors to present the only Wurlitzer Theatre Organ operating in a public venue in Pittsburgh.  Dale also co-hosts a long running radio program, “Rhythm Sweet & Hot,” on 90.5FM WESA in Pittsburgh.

Dale’s interest in theatre organ was sparked by Hector Olivera’s concerts on the South Hills Theatre Wurlitzer in Dormont during the 1970s. Dale was also fortunate to have been an organ student of Al DiLernia, a noted Pittsburgh musician who played piano, organ and accordion.

After college, Dale was a frequent artist for the various electronic Organ Clubs that once existed in Beaver and Allegheny Counties. By 1991, Dale was elected to the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Area Theatre Organ Society (PATOS), which endeavors to present the only Wurlitzer Theatre Organ operating in a public venue in Pittsburgh. He has served as the President of PATOS since 2013.

Since 1998, Dale has been associated with the radio program “Rhythm Sweet & Hot”, which has aired weekly on Saturdays since 1982 on 90.5FM in Pittsburgh, first on WDUQ and then on its successor WESA. From 1998 to 2006, Dale was the show’s producer and managed its syndication to a peak of about 60 radio stations in the U.S. and abroad. Since 2006, Dale has co-hosted “Rhythm Sweet & Hot” with Mike Plaskett, the program’s founder.

Tickets are Adults $20, Students $5 and Children Under 6 Free!  Buy online or reserve by calling 724-659-3153.

David Wickerham - Version 2

Celebrate 10 years of glorious music making on Lincoln Hall’s treasured McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ!  Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts proudly presents the improvisational genius and world-class keyboard artistry of audience favorite David Wickerham on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall, marking the tenth anniversary of its first theatre organ concert in October of 2006.

No one makes the Lincoln Hall’s McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre organ sound more glorious, and, with his brilliant theatre organ arrangements and improvisation of audience requests, no one entertains our appreciative and enthusiastic audience better than David Wickerham!  This is truly world class theatre organ artistry from one of the kindest, gentlest and most generous souls… evidenced by the glow you will feel having experienced his inspired, genius performance.

The concert will certainly sell out, so be sure to reserve your tickets early.  Adults $25, Members $20, Students $5.  You may purchase tickets online here or call to reserve:  724 659-3153

8-3 Lewis & DeWaltImmediately following the concert, join us for ARCA’s “Birthday party” reception in the Red Brick Gallery from 4:00 to 7:00 PM on Main Street in Foxburg coinciding with the last weekend of the featured exhibit of Jason Floyd Lewis and Mark DeWalt.  The musical group CATRO – a favorite of ARCA audiences – will be making music in the second floor gallery!  There will be Birthday cake, hot coffee, hot cider and wine on the first floor and wine, cold cider and hors d’oeuvres in the Red Brick second floor exhibition gallery and CATRO!

Dedication to Paul and Sally McKissick

ARCA’s Tenth Anniversary organ concert is dedicated to Paul and Sally McKissick.  ARCA is deeply grateful to Paul McKissick for his loving restoration of the Wurlitzer organ in Lincoln Hall which bears his name – the McKissick Might Wurlitzer.  Join us in celebrating Paul vision and genius in completely rebuilding the instrument, a treasure for ARCA and Lincoln Hall and one of the best examples of this class of theatre organ.

McKissicks

ARCA’s Wurlitzer contains seventeen ranks of pipes and is characterized by a balanced blend of unmistakeable Wurlitzer ‘sounds”.  Built in 1928 at the Wurlitzer Organ factory in North Tonawanda outside of Buffalo and numbered OPUS 1989, the organ originally was installed in Cleveland’s Uptown Theatre.  It was played for several years accompanying silent movies.  With the end of the silent film era it was subsequently purchased by Richard Wheeler, a Cleveland organist, and remained in his home until Wheeler passed.  Paul McKissick purchased it from the Haynes Company in North Canton, Ohio, where it had been in storage.

Paul lovingly and painstakingly rebuilt the instrument over eleven years and in 1999 the restored Wulrtlizer was installed in McKissick’s garage at their home in Lake Latonka near Mercer, PA.  The organ became known as the Latona Pipes, and was played in annual benefits concerts to raise money for the DeBence Museum in Franklin.  Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee attended one of the concerts.  When Paul decided to downsize and was seeking a place for the Wurtlizer for the next generation, Dr. Arthur and Patricia Steffee, ARCA’s founders, purchased it to enhance the newly restored Lincoln Hall, on the second floor of the Foxburg Free Library.

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McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ – www.denniskeyesphotography.com

Its seventeen ranks of pipes translate to 60 notes per voice or rank, more than 1200 pipes and 6,000 moving parts to make the Wurlitzer sound.  Only the relay and computer are not authentic or vintage parts on the organ.  The installation included one of Wurlitzer’s most unique features, the decorative ‘Toy Shelf’ of miniature instruments, which are displayed in a rear balcony in Lincoln Hall and are all powered by the organ. The marimba was added and all the associated drums, cymbals, bells and automatic piano produce a balanced blend of unmistakable Mighty Wurlitzer sounds.

ARCA audiences have enjoyed ten years of glorious music making on the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer by some of the worlds greatest theatre organists – including David Wickerham, Martin Ellis, Walt Strony, Scott Foppiano, Donna Parker, Jelani Eddington and Ken Double.  Jason Wiles is ARCA’s organ technician, maintaining and tuning the organ for each concert.

In 2012, the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Legacy Fund was established in honor of Paul and Sally McKissick, to maintain the organ and insure the future of this extraordinary instrument for future audiences.  Anyone wishing to contribute to this fund may do so by contacting ARCA at info@alleghenyriverstone.org.

See more on the Paul McKissick Story and the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

About the Artist

Unknown-1Dave Wickerham was born in Encino, California in 1962. He began playing the electronic organ at the age of four and had his first pipe organ experience at age10. His musical education started at age 7.  When he moved to Arizona in 1976, he became Associate Organist at the famous Organ Stop Pizza Restaurants in Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson. While in Arizona, he continued his musical studies with Roseamond Crowley, one of the few remaining descendants of the Louis Vierne line of organists. He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson on a full scholarship, pursuing classical organ studies for six years with Dr. Roy Johnson.  In 1984, Dave moved to the Chicago area to become Staff Organist at Pipes and Pizza in Lansing, Illinois. In addition to his performance there, he concertized frequently, as well as ministering musically and serving at various churches.

August of 1990 found the Wickerham family – Dave, his wife and two young children – moving to Wisconsin, where he was one of the featured Staff Organists at the Piper Music Palace in Greenfield, a position he held for 10 years.

In the spring of 2000, Dave ushered in the new millennium with a limited special engagement, as a featured organist at “Roxy’s Pipe Organ Pizzeria”, part of a $26,000,000 expansion phase at the FIESTA Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Wickerham’s, Dave, Rhonda, and now three great kids, spent a year and a half there before returning back home to Wisconsin in August of 2001… For the next three years, Dave resumed his position at the Piper Music Palace and was also the Principal Organist at Williams Bay Lutheran Church in Lake Geneva, WI.

UnknownHe enjoys concertizing frequently to many audiences including various chapters of the American Theatre Organ Society. In April of 1999, he took great pleasure being a feature artist in Melbourne, Australia for the convention of the Theatre Organ Society of Australia for which he received rave reviews. He returned “Down Under” for a six-week concert tour in Australia and New Zealand during the summer of 2003 and very recently has completed a similar tour concluding November of 2012.

Dave also enjoys recording and has recently “sold out” his fourth CD “Sounds of Music” recorded on the famous 5 Manual, 80 Rank Theatre Organ at the Sanfilippo Residence in Barrington, IL. There are two NEW recording projects that are soon to be completed and released.

After seven years as Organist – Curator with the legendary Milhous Collection in South Florida, Dave and his family currently enjoy living in Upper Michigan where he has accepted the position of Co-Manager and Organist in Residence at Crystal Theatre in Crystal Falls. This 1927 theatre is now a regional Performing Arts Center and houses a 3 manual, 21 rank Moller theatre organ that Dave also looks after. Additionaly, his wife Rhonda – at his side – works as Co-Manager of this beautiful and historic venue.

Click the Wurlitzer menu item above to learn about the history of the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer and Paul McKissick. Then, reserve your seat for this special holiday Wurlitzer concert featuring an artist who delights audiences both young and old. Once you hear the majesty and capability of a Theatre Organ, you will be hooked!
John Burgh banner.2 web safe

It’s going to be a “hot time in the old town” of Foxburg on Saturday night.  Have a late summer evening out on Saturday, September 17 at 7:30 PM in Lincoln Hall – grooving and rocking to BLUES, JAZZ & ROCK ‘N ROLL as keyboardist John Burgh and superb cross-over musicians Benny Benack on clarinet/sax and Betsy Lawrence on guitar/vocals make you think you’re on Bourbon Street. And be sure to wear your dancing shoes! These world travelled and acclaimed musicians will make you want to get up and shake a leg… but if you prefer to sit and enjoy, there will be plenty of musical variety and outrageous riffing to entertain and delight!

John Burgh’s band has been so popular with ARCA Members at annual membership picnics, with Members dancing for hours.  Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to bring John Burgh back for an ENTIRE evening of joyous music-making in Lincoln Hall with celebrated Pittsburgh musicians and band leaders in their own right, Benny Benack & Betsy Lawrence.

Adults $20 and Students $5.  By Donation, beer and wine will be available.
AND  A-C Valley Parents $15  
Since this is Homecoming weekend for Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools, A-C Valley faculty and parents who attend – after getting their children off to the Homecoming Dance – will have a discounted group price of $15 each.  Call to reserve or buy at the door saying “A-C Valley” for your special price.  Call 724 659-3153 to reserve.

These “hot” musicians will take the roof off of Lincoln Hall:

  • John Burgh has toured Europe with the Billy Price Band, recorded five albums with Gathering Field and has performed backing up Doc Severinsen, Rita Moreno and Billy Crystal.  The versatile singer, song writer and guitarist
  • Betsy Lawrence has done it all – featured in two PBS televisions shows singing and playing rock ‘n roll, country, pop and the blues AND the vocal chops to have sung with Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops, the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and the New York City Opera.
  • Benny Benack, Jr. himself is a well known band leader in the Pittsburgh area, playing  jazz, swing , big band, and Dixieland on trumpet, clarinet and saxophone.

It will an unforgettable night… as they will lift your spirits and rock your soul!

Tenth Anniversary Performance Season Dedication to Tom and Nancy Hovis

Nancy and Tom Hovis

Nancy and Tom Hovis

As ARCA is celebrating its 10th Anniversary Performance Season in 2016, it is dedicating this joyous musical celebration of John Burgh and Friends to long-time devoted and generous Board members, Tom and Nancy Hovis, who have served on its Board of Directors for many years.  Nancy and Tom are truly unsung heroes who are always anonymously behind the scenes making things happen – from reception organizing and membership staffing to providing outdoor lighting for the Christmas concert at The Church of our Father in Foxburg, shuttling audience members to and from parking, and providing horse and carriage rides at Membership picnics.  Tom and Nancy have generously brought John Burgh and Friends to ARCA to perform at the conclusion of Membership picnics for many years, to the dancing pleasure of its members.  Nothing is more fitting than for them to be honored for their many years of devoted service and contributions to make ARCA what it is today.  Thank you, Tom and Nancy!  It would not have been possible without you.

ABOUT THE MUSICIANS

The music will take the roof off – as John Burgh will be joined by two superb Pittsburgh jazz musicians, vocalists, and band leaders in their own right, Benny Benack and Betsy Lawrence.

John BurghJohn Burgh was first introduced to the Pittsburgh music scene on 1982 when he joined the Harold Betters Band playing five nights a week at the South Hills Sheraton.  John graduated from IUP in 1981 as a piano performance major, and has returned there many times to play with nationally known artists such as Billy Crystal, Rita Moreno, and recently Doc Severinsen.

John played for many years with the Billy Price Band touring Europe in 2003. He has played and recorded 5 albums with the rock group Gathering Field, playing Hammond B3 organ. Besides filling in occasionally with CLO productions like Miss Saigon and Addams Family, he enjoys playing piano for local musical productions in Sewickley. A long time member of the Balcony Big Band (18 piece jazz band), playing monthly at the Jergels Rhythym Bar in Warrendale.

Many people will remember his performances over the last 30 years in the Oil City/Franklin and Foxburg area.  John grew up in the Harmony/Zelienople area playing piano accompanying his father, who played banjo, and helping his family in the tractor salvage yard business, which he continues to this day.

Betsy LawrenceBetsy Lawrence is an original Pittsburgher. Holding a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in both Voice and Music Theater  Masters of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, she has national television credits including the currently running “Red White and Rock“, “The American Sound Track”, “More Rock at 50”, “My Music”, “The Roots of Rock and Roll”, “The British Invasion”, & “Roots in Country”. Betsy has backed up major recording such as Frankie Valli, Frankie Avalon, BJ Thomas, Glen Cambell, Connie Francis and many more.

Betsy most recently returned from Nashville TN where she appeared as a featured soloist for two PBS television shows, singing country classics and 70’s classic rock. She’s featured on national radio and television commercials as well including one for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Captain Morgan’s Rum, & the “Silver Microphone” award winning Dad’s Dog food. In the fall of 2004, she was invited to sing at the United Nations in New York City for “Nuclear Disarmament Worldwide“ headed by Ted Turner & Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as being invited to perform at the French embassy in Washington D.C. In 2008 she won the “TAE sound of opportunity” contest with her original songs.

Betsy has appeared as a soloist with The Pittsburgh Symphony under Marvin Hamlisch on the Christmas Pops series. She also has operatic credits with the New York City Opera Touring Company, “Werther” with the Pittsburgh Opera Centers young artist program, & numerous roles with the American Opera Project in New York City.Her local Music Theater credits include appearances with The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera & Pittsburgh Music Theater. Betsy is one of the most in demand vocal instructors in the Pittsburgh area. She is currently on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University as an Artist Lecturer in Jazz Voice and Operatic Studies. She also teaches at the Richard E Rauh Conservatory for Pittsburgh Musical Theater.

Benny BenackBenny Benack, Jr. himself is a well known band leader in the Pittsburgh area. The Benny Benack Band plays jazz, swing , big band, and Dixieland.  The band’s front man is no stranger to the music world.  His father, Benny Benack,  was a Pittsburgh band leader and at the forefront of the Pittsburgh jazz scene in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.  Benny Benack Jr. continues the family’s musical tradition playing trumpet, clarinet, and saxophone.  His son, Benny Benack III, is following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps as a jazz trumpeter and vocalist, currently building a name for himself in the jazz scene in NYC.

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