Venues Archives: Lincoln Hall

Tom RobertsPiano, whistling and vocals
Dave KlugDrums & Percussion
WaynoVocals, harmonica & ukulele

Put on your dancing shoes and dress in your vintage swing garb as Pittsburgh’s rockin’ rhythm & jazz trio, THE RED BEANS & RICE COMBO, serve up a delightful musical gumbo in their premiere appearance at historic Lincoln Hall in “A Saturday Nite Fish Fry” on Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 PM in Foxburg.

DISCLAIMER:  No actual fish will be fried at this event!  But there will be dancing at the back of Lincoln Hall for those who want to shake a leg.

The Combo features the world celebrated early jazz stride pianist, Tom Roberts (a Foxburg favorite) on piano, whistling, & vocals, along with Dave Klug on drums and his custom-built “Kluger Soundboard,” and Wayno on vocals, harmonica, & ukulele.

Why are they called The Red Beans and Rice Combo, you might ask
… because you can get fries or a biscuit with the combo but you’ll always choose the biscuit because that’s the way they ROLL – as they serve up a very cool mix of classic New Orleans R&B,  50’s rock ala Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, Mose Allison, Tom Waits, Slim Galliard and Louis Jordan –  – all with a side of wit and humor.

IT WILL BE A SUPER FUN TIME!

The fun-loving , sharp-dressed band has been gigging around Pittsburgh for a little over a year, and quickly developed a reputation for delivering a danceable mix of New Orleans R&B, early rock & roll nuggets, and barroom ballads, with a jazzy dash of Tin Pan Alley, and ALL with wit & humor.

And you can dress in vintage garb… putting on those blue suede shoes!  Ladies and gentlemen attending the show are welcome to dress up as formally or casually as you’d like, with speakeasy attire or vintage 50’s swing finery particularly encouraged.

Join us for an elegant, fun, and funky evening, and don’t leave your dancing shoes at home!

Tickets are Adults $15, Students $5 !  Beverages available by donation.  Buy online or reserve by calling 724-659-3153. 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Wayne, Tom Roberts, and Tom Klug

Tom RobertsTOM ROBERTS 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.”

Tom 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.  He is excited to share his latest project, The Red Beans & Rice Combo, with friends in Foxburg.

DAVE KLUG has translated his quirky brand of humor into a successful illustration career for the past 350 dog years. His drawings have captured the eye and imagination of clients such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Scholastic. He is a regular contributor to Highlights Magazine and has been commissioned for larger than life murals for The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh PA, and the world famous Primanti Brothers Restaurants.

Dave is also a household name when it comes to music, drumming for some of the Pittsburgh area’s best bands since the 1980s. It’s always a treat to see and hear Dave performing with one of the vintage drum kits he has rescued and restored.

Dave never strays very far from his passion for animals, and is committed to many Animal Charities including Animal Friends in Western Pennsylvania. His Veterinary Supply Store, Klugworld, creates a full line of client communications materials for animal care professionals across the country.

Wayno® is a Pittsburgh-based cartoonist, illustrator, pop artist, writer, and musician, whose name is in fact a registered trademark (hence the “circle R” symbol). He shares a special musical chemistry with Tom and Dave, and has a taste for obscure old tunes about food and drink.

He was gag writer and colorist for Dan Piraro’s Bizarro daily comic panel for more than five years, and is also a frequent writer for Hilary Price’s Rhymes With Orange comic strip. His own cartoon panel, WaynoVision, launched in 2014.

Wayno’s humorous illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Nickelodeon Magazine, Pittsburgh Magazine, he has designed many beer labels for East End Brewing Company. He’s mounted several one-man art exhibits, and was a Visiting Artist at the Manchester Craftsmens Guild in 2013. In 2010, Animal Friends selected him as the Honorary Artist for their Black Tie & Tails gala, which raised over $400,000 for the pet adoption & resource center.

Wayno is a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, and serves as the chair of the Pittsburgh Chapter of National Cartoonists Society.

For more information, please visit:

TomRobertsPiano.com

Klugworld.com

GoComics.com/WaynoVision

facebook.com/RedBeansCombo/

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to welcome back to the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer the keyboard artistry of one of America’s most sought after concert organists and recording artists – WALT STRONY – with his soaring melodies and refreshing arrangements on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall – to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Paul McKissick, rebuilder of the McKissick Mighty Wurtlizer in Lincoln Hall.

Acclaimed as one of America’s most original and interesting theatre organists, Walt Strony  has been inducted ito the American Theatre Organ Society Hall of Fame and is the only organist to have been voted “Organist of the Year” twice by ATOS.

“Strony has become one of the rare breed of today’s younger theatre organists to have developed a style uniquely his own. While looking backwards, respectfully to the masters of the theatre organ tradition, he manages to look forward with a refreshing approach in all his musical arrangements. It is a style that is inventive, harmonically interesting, and above all, right for today.”

ARCA has asked Walt Strony to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Paul McKissick, as he is one of Paul’s favorite theatre organists and one of the first to have performed on the refurbished instrument, the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer.  It has been installed in Lincoln Hall since ARCA’s first performance season in 2006.  (See full story below)

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20, Students $5.  You may purchase tickets online here or call to reserve:  724 659-3153

Immediately following the concert, ARCA Members donating at the Bronze level ($100) and above are invited to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Paul McKissick,  at a post concert reception at RiverStone Mansion.   If you wish to become a member and join the festivities, you may click on Members.

Walt Strony

Walter Strony is one of America’s premier concert organists. He made his public debut in 1974 at the age of 18 and has since established himself as one of few organists equally at home playing both theatre and classical organ.

Mr. Strony has performed hundreds of concerts from coast to coast in the United States as well as in Japan, Australia, England, and Canada. In addition, he has performed at many conventions of the American Theatre Organ Society and the American Guild of Organists.

In July 2007 he performed the first solo organ recital to be presented in many years at New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the American Theatre Organ Society’s 2007 Convention.  In June 2016, he was featured for the second time in an evening concert on the famous Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia — the world’s largest fully functioning pipe organ.

He is the only living organist to have been twice voted “Organist of the Year” by the American Theatre Organ Society – in 1991 and 1993. In 2011, he was inducted into the ATOS “Hall of Fame.”  He has performed with the Calgary Symphony; Allentown Symphony; El Paso Symphony; and Symphony Silicon Valley.

In addition to his fine reputation as a concert organist, Mr. Strony is well known for his many recordings. His first CD “Phoenix” was rated 10/10 by CD Review — the highest rating given by this prestigious publication. He has recorded over 31 albums with his most recent CD (2013) being recorded on the Aveni Wurlitzer in Gates Mills, OH — an instrument that he designed.

As an author, he is well known for his book “The Secrets Of Theatre Organ Registration”, which has become the standard reference book on this subject.  He is currently working on its expanded 2nd Edition, which will be released in 2017.

In addition to being one of America’s most sought after concert organists, he is well known for his work as a pipe and digital organ consultant-tonal finisher.  His work in this area has taken him to both theatre and classical instruments across the country and around the world.  In 2008, the Allen Organ Company commissioned him to design a new four-manual instrument – the Walt Strony Signature Series Organ.

Walter Strony was born in Chicago in 1955, and began music lessons at the age of seven. His theatre organ teacher was the famous Chicago organist Al Melgard, who for many years was the Staff Organist at the Chicago Stadium. His classical studies were with Herbert L. White and Karel Paukert.

He lives in California’s Gold Rush Country, which is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, fine dining, and collecting contemporary art and Art Deco items.

This well-rounded musician brings a wealth of experience to any organ console. This experience has brought him the reputation of being one of America’s most original and interesting sounding concert organists. As one reviewer noted – “Strony has become one of the rare breed of today’s younger theatre organists to have developed a style uniquely his own. While looking backwards, respectfully to the masters of the theatre organ tradition, he manages to look forward with a refreshing approach in all his musical arrangements. It is a style that is inventive, harmonically interesting, and above all, right for today.”

 

The McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer

McKissicks

Join us as we celebrate the 90th birthday of Paul McKissick, whose vision and genius in completely rebuilding the instrument has created this treasure for ARCA and Lincoln Hall – one of the best examples of this class of theatre organ.

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.

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.


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.

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McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ – www.denniskeyesphotography.com

 

Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Players

Jennifer OrchardViolin
Shu ZhanViolin
Marylène Gingras-RoyViola
Mikhail IstominCello
Dimitri PapadimitriouPiano

Back by popular demand, the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Players return to Lincoln Hall on Sunday, May 7, 2107 at 2:00 PM to perform an inspiring program that seems to exude the joy and exuberance of spring! It promises to be a glorious afternoon of world class chamber music right in the intimacy and crystalline acoustics of Lincoln Hall – as the beautiful Allegheny River Valley is in full bloom.  

The concert includes the thrilling masterwork, Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat Major, as well as Gustav Mahler’s piano quartet and Antonín Dvorák’s Terzetto and the hauntingly beautiful second movement from his “Dumka” Piano Quintet.  

The extraordinary PSO Chamber Players artists include Pittsburgh Symphony violinists Jennifer Orchard and Zhan Shu, violist Marylène Gingras Roy, and cellist Mikhail Istomin, joined by Pianist Dimitri Papadimitriou.  Appearing in ARCA’s inaugural classical concert in 2005 with mezzo soprano Katherine Soroka, Jennifer Orchard and Mikhail Istomin have become audience favorites; they have appeared in nearly every ARCA season and frequently with violist Marylène Gingras Roy, who most recently performed in the Schubert “Trout” Quintet with pianist David Allen Wehr in the Duquesne University “Schubert on the Bluff” program.  It will be a love fest for their fans as they return to perform some of the most lyrically beautiful chamber music ever written!

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After the concert, join us for a Meet the Artist reception at the Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop, from 4 to 6 PM coinciding with the Red Brick Gallery exhibit Magic & Mystery:  Painters Bruce Pipman & Jason Floyd Lewis at 17 Main Street, Foxburg.

Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20, Students $5.  Call to reserve at 724-659-3153 or buy online here.

arca_pgh_symph_spring-15 - Version 2The Chamber Players is an acclaimed group of Pittsburgh Symphony musicians performing in mixed ensembles raging from two to eight artists.  Previous appearances on the stage of Lincoln Hall have made this group an audience favorite.  Their performances are noted for an eclectic mix of traditional repertoire along with rarely heard works and new compositions-a display of daring and intelligent programming presented with uncompromising artistry.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette states: “They appealed to the heart and the head, offering a warm, seductively luxurious sound and an impressive precision and unity of purpose”.

Mikhail ‘Misha’ Istomin, Pittsburgh Symphony Cellist and the group’s Artistic Director says: “Our concerts with favorite chamber music treasures, new musical flavors and stirring experiences will engage and involve you with both the music and musicians for intimate and informative performances, taking chamber music back to its roots as an evening among friends”.

Each member of this ensemble has an impressive list of credentials not only as performers, but also as educators, sharing their skills and love of music with students of all ages.  “One piece of great art makes all people feel the same…another piece of great art makes people feel a variety of emotions, but one thing is constant: great art always makes people….feel!”- Misha.

The concert program will feature master works by Antonín Dvorák, Gustav Mahler and Robert Schumann.

Antonín Dvorák            Terzetto in C, Opus 74 for Two Violins and Viola
     Introduzione: Allegro ma non troppo
     Larghetto

Gustav Mahler               Piano Quartet in A minor

Antonín Dvorák            Second movement of Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Opus 81
Dumka:  Andante con moto

Robert Schumann        Piano Quintet in E flat major, Opus 44
     Allegro brillante
    In modo d’una marcia. Un poco largamente
    Scherzo: Molto vivace
    Allegro ma non troppo

Mikhail ‘Misha’ Istomin, born and educated in Russia, holds a Master of Music degree from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. While still in school, he became Principal Cellist of the State Hermitage Orchestra under the direction of Saulus Sondetskis and later joined the orchestra of the Kirov Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre under Valery Gergiev.  In 1987, Istomin became the cellist of the Leningrad Conservatory String Quartet, and in 1989 the group won the grand prize in the National Soviet Union Competition of String Quartets. Later that same year, Istomin defected during the quartet’s US tour, and was granted political asylum in the United States.

Immediately following these events, Istomin joined the Richmond Symphony and became a faculty member of both Virginia State University and the Governor’s School for the Performing Arts at the University of Richmond.  Istomin was appointed Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater orchestras in 1991, and the following year he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Lorin Maazel.

Istomin is a winner of both the Passamaneck Award of the Y Music Society and the Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Auditions. He has appeared as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Williamsburg Symphonia, the Asheville Symphony, the Knoxville Symphony and others.In July of 1998, Mr. Istomin returned to St. Petersburg to perform in the Second World Cello Congress under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich.

Istomin is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Piano Trio. The Trio has released three CDs on the Minstrel Label to resounding critical acclaim. Three Graces features the chamber music of British composer Armstrong Gibbs; Phantasie is dedicated to the chamber music of Frank Bridge; the CD of Russian music includes the Piano Trio by Georgy Sviridov and Seven Romances inspired by the poems of Alexander Blok. “Encore!…Encore!” is a collection of short works for a piano trio, including compositions by Piazzolla, Schostakovich, Albeniz, Glinka and many others.

Frequent guests at major summer music festivals in the US, Canada and Europe, the Pittsburgh Piano Trio recently premiered a Triple Concerto by post-romantic Russian composer Paul Juon with The Tchaikovsky State Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Fedoseev at the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall.

Canadian violinist, Jennifer Orchard, has traveled the world performing as a chamber musician, soloist, and as first violinist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2001. Upon graduating from the Juilliard School, Ms. Orchard was invited to be a member of the world renowned Lark Quartet. As a legacy from this time period with the quartet, Ms. Orchard recorded works of Robert Schumann, Alfred Schnittke, Peter Schickele, Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Zemlinsky, Amy Beach, Alexander Borodin and the Pulitzer Prize winning quartet by Aaron Jay Kernis – one of several new works for string quartet commissioned by the Lark Quartet.

Shortly after arriving in Pittsburgh, Jennifer was invited to join the Pittsburgh Piano Trio. Highlights of their career include a tour to Russia to the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall where the trio presented the Russian premiere of the triple Concerto of Paul Juon with the Tchaikovsky State Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Fedoseev.

As well as playing with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchard enjoys staying active in the chamber music arena. Her recent release of Paul Juon’s violin and piano works was a world premiere and has another CD of Paul Juon’s music with pianist, Igor Kraevsky scheduled for later this year.

Ms. Orchard studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Szymon Goldberg and at the Juilliard School with Robert Mann. She participated in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, the Schleswig Holstein festival in Germany and the Mehli Mehta Festival in Mumbai, India.

She plays on an Andreas Guarnerius violin, dated circa 1676.

Marylène Gingras-Roy, a native of Québec City, Canada,  joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra viola section in the 1997 season, and in 2004 was promoted to fourth chair. She studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Douglas McNabney and François Paradis and graduated in 1993 with unanimous First Prizes in both in viola and chamber music. She was the recipient of Canada and Québec Arts Councils’

Scholarship Grants, enabling her to attend the Harid Conservatory, where she studied with Victoria Chiang, and then at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Karen Tuttle and Joseph DePasquale. She earned an Artist Diploma in 1997.

Marylène is adjunct professor of viola at Duquesne University and has a full private studio at home. She is also an orchestra coach for the Three River Young Peoples orchestra and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. A highly sought-after teacher and pedagogue, Marylène has over twenty years of experience with students at various levels of experience and distinction.

Marylène has also taught at summer music festivals such as: Domaine Forget, Québec, Interharmony Festival in Germany and Italy and Advanced Chamber Music Seminar in Pittsburgh.  Marylène has been featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Duquesne University Orchestra and Symphonette and she performs regularly in chamber music concerts.

She has participated in many festivals, including the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall, the Jerusalem Music Festival, the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra (where she served as Principal violist), and since 2000 the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.

Marylène’s recordings of chamber music include Leo Zeitlin’s Yedish songs and the Caprichos Nos. 2-4 by Leonardo Balada (world premiere recording) for the Naxos label. She has also recorded the Serenade no 6 for trombone, viola and cello by Vincent Persichetti.

Marylèneʼs viola is by Italian maker Umberto Muschietti (1929).


Violinist Zhan Shu
joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2014-2015 season. Before coming to PSO, Shu spent 8 seasons as a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, where he also served as Acting Associate Concertmaster for the 2008-2009 season. Shu has previously served as concertmaster of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and Symphony of Southeast Texas, and as guest concertmaster of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in Iowa, EOS Repertoire Orchestra in China, Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan and Scheleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra in Germany.

Shu has won numerous competitions, including the first prize at the Friday Woodmere Music Club Young Artist Competition in New York,  the Midland-Odessa Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Indiana University Concerto Competition, the Mannes College of Music Concerto Competition, the Texas Music Festival Concerto Competition, and price winner of the New Jersey Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Central Conservatory of Music Violin Competition and the China Youth Violin Competition. The recordings of Shu’s performances have been heard on WQXR’s McGraw Hill Young Artists Showcase in New York City, WUSF in Tampa, KUHF in Houston and NPR. Shu has appeared as soloist with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra,  the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Indiana University Philharmonic, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the Mannes College of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra and the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China.

As an active chamber musician, he performed regularly with the Present Music and Colectivo Coffee Chamber Music Series in Milwaukee. Shu has also been invited to participate in Sarasota Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival and Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin.

Pianist Dimitri Papadimitriou has distinguished himself as an artist of refined musicianship and personal verve. A passionate avid of chamber music, Dimitri has recently collaborated with principal musicians from major European and U.S. orchestras, including Noah Bendix-Balgley, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Andrés Cárdenes, former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. A musician of versatile skills, he has lately developed an interest in conducting that led him to a successful debut on the podium with Chausson’s Symphony in B-flat major and Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School. Currently a faculty member at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music in Pittsburgh, he also serves as the Artistic Director of the ‘Carnegie Mellon Chamber Series’, a newly found series that brings together members of the CMU faculty and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Before moving to the U.S., Dimitri was residing in Ireland enjoying a flourishing career with engagements in some of the country’s most prestigious venues and festivals, while completing his Doctorate in Music Performance. A native of Greece, Dimitri at age sixteen won first prize at the international chamber music competition ‘Classical Heritage’ of Moscow, made his debut with the Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra with Rachmaninov’s ‘Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini’ and following an outstanding success, he was invited to perform Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto for a national broadcast. A graduate of Indiana University and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, he has participated in a plethora of festivals throughout Europe and the U.S.

 

Madrigal Dinner dates 2016 jpeg

A perennial Holiday Season favorite, The Madrigal Dinner Theatre, returns for two evenings, December 2nd and 3rd, to Foxburg’s candlelit Lincoln Hall.  Come join us for a Holiday Wassail Toast, Medieval Feast and holiday entertainment fit for a King and Queen!

The Madrigal Dinner Theatre has been a sell-out each year.   Be sure to reserve your spots early since only 79 seats are available for each performance.  You may buy tickets online here or reserve by calling 724 659-3153.  As of November 30, ONE SEAT IS AVAILABLE for the Friday, December 2 performance and THREE SEATS ARE AVAILABLE for the Saturday, December 3 performance – by telephone reservation only, cash or check at the door.

Madrigal Dinner-Lincoln Hall 2014

Madrigal Window DecorationsLincoln Hall is transformed into a candlelit Medieval banquet hall with banners and coats of arms reminiscent of England in the Middle Ages.  This re-creation of a Medieval period Boar’s Head Festival dinner is replete with choral musical selections – madrigal songs and holiday carols – woven within a Christmas play with pageantry and costumes, all while enjoying a multi-course medieval feast and wassail toasts to the season.

Madrigal Dinner Producer Cathy Powell was inspired to create the event after experiencing a medieval dinner at Bunratty Castle near, Limmerick, Ireland in 1992. The Medieval Madrigal Dinner is based on the Boar’s Head Ceremony. It is the oldest continuing ceremony of the Christmas season, presented as early as 1340 at Queen’s College in Oxford, England and in time becoming part of Christmas celebrations in the great manor houses of England.

5254c8c2-b79c-46eb-8472-645cc07e14fbThe king and queen arrive in grand flourish and invite all in attendance to share in a festive dinner. A prayer is offered by a monk to bless the meal. The Madrigal Singers, adorned in period costumes, entertain with madrigal songs and traditional holiday carols. They serve each course of the holiday feast, unfolding at the same time the Christmas story set to music. Think of it as an ancient form of dinner theatre.

You’ll believe you’re experiencing musical Yuletide cheer and conviviality as if living for a moment in a bygone era.  The ancient Boar’s Head Festival being reenacted around the Christmas story is not one of times past and gone – but rather is a living story told by modern day minstrels, echoing within each of us the spirit and love of the Season.

 

ABOUT THE CONCERT

The Madrigal Dinner has become a Foxburg Christmas Tradition since it moved from Emlenton’s First Methodist Church to Lincoln Hall nine years ago! This year the Madrigal Dinner marks its 21st Performance Season.

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts and the Madrigal Singers transform Lincoln Hall into a grand banquet hall reminiscent of Medieval England. Candlelit tables, banners and coats of arms give one a sense of the majesty enjoyed by a select few.

The king and queen arrive in grand flourish and invite all in attendance to share in a festive dinner. A prayer is offered by a monk to bless the meal.  The Madrigal Singers, adorned in period costumes, entertain with madrigal songs and traditional holiday carols. They serve each course of the holiday feast, at the same time unfolding a story set to music. Think of it as an ancient form of dinner theatre.

Madrigal Dinner 2014.2

Madrigal Dinner in Lincoln Hall 2014

The menu for each night is representative of typical medieval dinner fare of the time and is yours to enjoy–spoon in hand!  This year the menu created and prepared by Julie Findlan Powell of Little It Deli includes from 15th century England “Pullus Iuvenis” (stuffed chicken with bread pork stuffing with raisins and eggs) and “Brawn en Peuerade” (pulled pork in wine sauce) and from 16th century Ireland “Colcannon” (mashed potatoes with cabbage, bacon and cheese). Finishing the meal are cooked carrots with cinnamon and butter, fresh baked bread, and bread pudding with vanilla rum sauce for dessert. Of course, no meal back then was complete without continuous goblets of wassail and this beverage flows freely.

The meal is divided into courses and each is heralded with a traditional song. A play is performed between courses and a concert of choral music concludes the festivities. The dinner is intended to imitate a meal that might have been served during the Middle Ages.

DSC03473 Madrigal Cast

Madrigal Dinner 2008 in Lincoln Hall – Trevor Hile, Norma Baum, Cathy Powell, Anna Lowrey, Julie Findlan Powell

Madrigal Dinner producer Cathy Powell is grateful to all who have helped created this popular holiday event: “What started as an idea to add entertainment to a long forgotten event, “Christmas in Oil Country”, has become a tradition in its own right. The Madrigal Dinner could not have happened without the dedication and participation of many people. I feel so much gratitude for my family and friends (who also feel like family because they’ve participated for so many years) for taking time out of their busy lives to rehearse, perform, make costumes, cook, and serve this dinner.  Words can’t express the love I have for these wonderful talented people. While my son Jeffrey Powell has been a singer and my daughter Jennifer Lowrey has served as musical director since its inception, most gratifying is that some of my grandchildren also have joyously embraced this tradition and now sing in my place. I couldn’t be happier.”

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Jump start your family’s Holiday enjoyment with this Foxburg Christmas tradition presented by the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts!

The Madrigal Dinner has been a sell-out each year.   Be sure to reserve your spots early for these 20th Performance year events — because only 70 seats are available for each performance.

Madrigal Dinner ticket prices will be announced soon.  You may buy tickets online here or reserve by calling 724 659-3153.

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The History of Emlenton/Foxburg’s Madrigal Dinner

The First performance of the Madrigal Dinner was held in The Emlenton United Methodist Church Social Hall in November 1994 providing entertainment for an annual Emlenton event begun the year before called “Christmas in Oil Country”.

The Madrigal Dinner, sponsored by The Emlenton Civic Club and The Emlenton United Methodist Church, was conceived by two owners of Bed and Breakfasts in Emlenton, Terry Johnson-Cooney (owner of Apple Alley) and Cathy Powell (co-owner of The Barnard House). Cathy Powell had been inspired by a medieval dinner that she experienced at Bunratty Castle near, Limmerick, Ireland in 1992.

Carrying the Boar 2008 - Jim Robertson, Ken Hanby & Bruce Donaldson

Carrying the Boar’s Head 2008 – Jim Robertson, Ken Hanby & Bruce Donaldson

The Medieval Madrigal Dinner is based on the Boar’s Head Ceremony, which is the oldest continuing ceremony of the Christmas season, having been presented as early as 1340 at Queen’s College in Oxford, England.  In time the Boar’s Head Ceremony became part of Christmas celebrations in the great manor houses of England.

The Derrick article and photo below show former ARCA Board member “Lady” Roberta Newton, “Sir” Terrence Johnson-Cooney, “Lady” Jenny Powell and the Boars’ Head.

Madrigal.Articles Page 1 copy

Producing the first Madrigal Dinner took intensive planning as well as the cooperation and hard work of many Emlentonians. Cathy Powell served as Producer for the event, lining up the singers and organizing all details of the first Boars Head Celebration. Cathy provided the music and background material on the event used to develop a script following the customs of the medieval boars head dinner.

Terry Johnson-Cooney also contributed background literature and an abundance of brocade fabric from drapes hanging in his residence prior to its transformation into Apple Alley Bed and Breakfast. There was enough fabric to make many of the costumes used in the first performance. Cathy’s future daughter-in-law, Julie Findlan, who at the time was obtaining her master’s degree in costuming at Penn State University, took charge of costuming the group; she used the donated fabric and borrowed some items from the university. Under Julie’s guidance, several volunteers helped sew the costumes. Area resident and pianist, Roberta Newton, took charge of instrumental music which in the first season was harpsichord and brass. Roberta engaged instrumentalists from Clarion University and played her own harpsichord.

Over 100 people attended the first Madrigal Dinner in Emlenton in 1994. Because of its popular success and the considerable efforts of so many, it was decided to make it an annual event.

This article from the Derrick in 1996 – the third year of the Madrigal Dinner – shows Jeff Powell making one of the toasts to the evening.  Even to this day Madrigal Dinner attendees raise their glasses of wassail throughout the evening to celebrate the season as audience members and singers make toasts to the season.

Madrigal 1996 copy

This photo Progress News article from 2007 –  its last year in Emlenton’s United Methodist Church – shows the richness and detail of the costumes worn by the Madrigal Singers, which began more than twenty years ago as costumes refashioned from brocade drapes.

Madrigal 2007 copy

Terry Johnson-Cooney was the first Lord hosting the dinner and Debe Southworth was the first Lady. In 1994 ten singers provided the vocals for the first madrigal dinner: Sopranos; Carrie Morrison Armogost Jennifer Powell,  Cammy Werkheiser,  Altos: Norma Baum, Cathy Powell, Kristin Baum, Tenors; Dick Carr, Jeff Powell, basses; Jerry Baum, Bruce Donaldson. The group always has been under the vocal direction of Jenny Powell Lowrey.

The first boar’s head used was made of paper machete as seen in the photo above – and not very realistic. Since then the Madrigal Dinner has had three authentic boar’s heads. One was purchased on e-bay and another resulting from a boar hunt in the west provided by singer Ken Hanby’s son-in-law, Dr. Michael Evancovich. The third also was acquired by Dr. Evancovich.

Food for the first dinner was prepared and provided by the members of the Emlenton Methodist Church, eaten without the aid of a fork to follow the customs of medieval times.  The meal also has changed over the years.  Julie Findlan-Powell initially researched medieval recipes, from which group members prepared dishes and then voted on their favorites. After tweaking the recipes to appeal to the contemporary pallet, the Madrigal Dinner meal served in ARCA’s Lincoln Hall is derived from those original recipes.  For many years dinners were catered by Cindy and Rod Morrison, parents of madrigal singer Carrie Armogost.  In recent years dinners have been catered by Little It Deli, restaurant owned and operated by Jeff Powell, Julie Findlan-Powell, and Kristie Palmer.

Early decorations were traditional greens and candles on the tables. Throughout the years, many decorative effects have been created to enhance the madrigal experience. The colorful flags emblazoned in Lincoln Hall are based on authentic family crests of many of the singers and were designed and sewn by former singers, Alice Shoup and Cathy Powell.

Over the year costumes also have changed. A second more complete group of costumes were designed by Julie Findlan-Powell.  The costumes worn today have been purchased from a costume company. A tambourine and an Irish drum have been acquired. In 2000 the madrigal group made a CD of songs sung at the dinner, which were made available for sale at the dinner.  Because in 2006 no dinner was held, the Madrigal Dinners of 2015 mark the Twentieth Anniversary Performance Season.

All of the madrigal singers in the group reside or have roots in the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley or Knox area. Over the years the group has been blessed with many talented instrumentalists, some of whom sing and perform brass fanfares. It truly is remarkable that in such a sparsely populated area a group of talented and accomplished people have come together, providing harpsichords, lutes, and Irish drums; contributing their talents to costume and cater; and creating and maintaining the excellent quality of entertainment which this event provides. Some of the younger singers are third generation and even more passionate about singing in this group than their parents; one young woman returns from her college in Berea, Ohio to participate.

renaissancechoirMost wonderful is that so many attendees have traveled long distances to attend the Madrigal Dinner since its inception. Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is proud to be celebrating the group’s Twentieth Anniversary Performance.

Become one of the devoted Madrigal Dinner participants who have treasured this experience and returned year after year to experience its wonder and magic.  We invite you to open your 2015 holiday season with us on either Friday or Saturday, December 2 or 3, 2016 at 7:00 PM in Lincoln Hall.  We look forward to toasting the evening and celebrating the Season with you.

 

 

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.

mckissick_wurlitzer-1

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!
Dane Vannattervocalist
Daniel Maypiano
Paul Thompsonbass
Mike Tomarosaxophone
Dane Vannatter

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts will welcome back by popular demand nationally acclaimed vocalist and recording artist, Dane Vannatter, on Saturday evening May 21, 7:00 PM.  Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall will be aglow with candlelight and nightclub cabaret table-style seating, a perfect setting for a relaxing, romantic night out, enjoying this masterful entertainer and cabaret artist and his jazz trio of consummate musicians.

Performing songs from his recently released, celebrated fourth CD – Give Me Something Real – you won’t want to miss his inimitable style of intimate cabaret singing. “His voice has a floating quality that gets in your head and won’t leave…his music is a swinging, soaring adventure!” The Boston Globe

And be sure to wear your dancing shoes so you can take a spin with your sweetheart at the back of the hall.  Wine and beer will be available by donation.

In his last visit to Foxburg Dane left the audience begging for more of his unique vocal artistry and sensitive interpretations of the classic American songbook. Dane’s singing runs the gamut of emotions, as he performs heartfelt passionate, humorous, joyous and touching songs that span seven decades.   Once again, an outstanding trio of jazz artists will provide the background over which Dane will display his vocal palette of emotional colors.

dane vannatter trio 2014

Daniel May, Dane Vannatter, Tony DePaolis, Mike Tomaro

The jazz trio backing Dane is composed of nationally-known jazz artists whose careers go beyond live performance into the areas of composition, movie scores, touring, recording and education. Joining Dane in creating musical magic in the intimacy of a Lincoln Hall’s acoustic and cabaret environment will be Daniel May (piano), Paul Thompson (bass) and sax superstar Mike Tomaro.

Enjoy a romantic night out enjoying smooth and grooving jazz in a candlelit night club style setting. With table seating for the cabaret, seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your tickets or your table early!

Adults: $25, ARCA Members $20, Students $5 Beer and Wine by donation.
To reserve tickets: 724-659-3153

Dane Vannatter in Lincoln Hall

Dane Vannatter

Dane Vannatter

“Vannatter is one of the most jazz-savvy cabaret singers around”.  Boston Globe

Acclaimed by Carol Sloane of Concord Records as ‘my favorite among the new young male singers’, Dane Vannatter has been celebrated for his naturally beautiful voice and tasty jazz style.  Montreal’s George Evans said, “Dane Vannatter makes it sound so easy – his style is so natural and his sound so free that one could get the mistaken impression that singing isn’t work to him at all, but as simple as breathing and just as organic.”

Dane Vannatter hails from Muncie, Indiana where his grandparents were Church of God ministers who traveled the country playing and singing for death row prisoners. He attributes his love of music to his grandmother, who lovingly taught him to play the piano and introduced him to the wonderful complexities of harmony. Equally influential in Dane’s early musical experience was his father’s love of jazz and masters of the song, such as Kay Starr and Billie Holiday. His father’s extensive and varied album collection provided the vehicle through which the young Dane began to learn and experience the art of interpreting song. Whether they use their talents in the popular or classical music genres, most singers begin to reach a vocal maturity in their late 20’s or early 30’s. It was at this age that Dane began to approach singing very seriously as a result of an invitation to participate in a contest in Boston.

Currently living in Pittsburgh, Dane has received Bistro awards for Outstanding Vocalist and for his recording, Flight, by the critics of BackStage in New York. He has been acclaimed by reviewers at The New York Post, The Boston Globe and BackStage for a style that “blends facets of cabaret and jazz with intelligence and care”.

The Boston Globe remarks: “Dane Vannatter’s distinctive style leaves an imprint on whatever music he sings. His voice has a floating quality that gets in your head and won’t leave…his music is a swinging, soaring adventure!”. He has been nominated for four MAC awards and has been a Nightlife Award finalist.

Patti LaBelle and Dane Vannatter

Patti LaBelle and Dane Vannatter

Dane has performed for several years at the annual Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention at Town Hall in New York City and performed in venues nationally and internationally. In Pittsburgh, Dane has performed for the First Fridays at the Frick series and sings regularly at the Fairmont Hotel’s Jazz at Andy’s and James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy.

On July 31, 2015 Dane was called to the stage by Patti LaBelle during her concert in Columbus, Ohio. After hearing Dane sing and inviting him to duet on her classic “Lady Marmalade” Patti exclaimed “You better sing, fool. My God!.”

Dane is a gentleman with a particular passion for lending his considerable talents in support of such noble causes as pancreatic cancer research and the Adagio Health Organization, which serves more than 100,000 Western Pennsylvanians regardless of income or insurance.

 

Dane released his fourth CD Give Me Something Real in 2015.

Dane Vannatter imageA review of the CD in Cabaret Scenes follows:

January 31, 2016
Reviewed by John Hoglund for Cabaret Scenes

Many have asked, “Where are the torchbearers for the Great American Songbook today?” There are wannabes floating around who have gotten serious star attention that’s arguably not warranted (like Michael Bublé or Diana Krall who are not quite the real deal or bore), but have been lucky enough to be churned out like butter and packaged well. But, today’s cabarets and jazz clubs have some great singers who deserve a shot. Welcome Dane Vannatter, who has been kicking around Boston, New York and, more recently, Pittsburgh clubs for almost two decades and has built a loyal following. He’s someone the Concord or Telarc labels might consider, especially since there is a paucity of good jazz vocalists on the market today.

While there’s no magic formula to being a great singer, some just have what it takes. Vannatter fits that bill. Whenever this jazz/swing singer hits the stage, he is known for putting his best foot forward. He never disappoints. His fourth CD, Give Me Something Real, is no exception. His rangy jazz tenor caresses songs with ease. Insightful phrasing matches the quality of his full-voiced vocals, which remain flawless.

Unlike his previous three albums, this particular disc has a more personal touch as he blends etched-in-wood classics with contemporary story songs that soar. This is obvious on beautifully realized cuts like “But Beautiful” (Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen), “Blame It on My Youth” (Edward Heyman/Oscar Levant) and the album’s title cut from 1998 by Clark Anderson and Meryn Warren which stands out for its heartfelt clarity. These are sung with an intelligence and bright musicality that excels with every note. A lot of heart went into recording these gems. Kicking off with a strong bass line, the frolicsome “I Love My Bed” (Bob Haymes) is a refreshing lighthearted romp that’s given a terrific arrangement. He digs deep while retaining a strong drive on the Billy Strayhorn beauty “Something to Live For.” Such versatility only adds to the surprises on this disc that mixes the old and new. One of the CD’s most intense and trenchant cuts fuses the Coldplay hit “Fix You” (Chris Martin/Jonny Buckland/Guy Berryman/Will Chapman) with Leonard Cohen’s legendary “Hallelujah.” Joining these unique songs of shattered love and sadness is inspired, making for the album’s finest cut. They unfold a tale of wrenching drama and heartbreak in a stunning arrangement that is about riveting as it gets. Vannatter shows his level of interpretive gifts with these two formidable songs. The burnished bruise in his expressive, softer moments underscores a natural vibrato that is heartbreaking. This pairing is worth the price of the album alone, which is a hands-down winner by a singer who deserves more exposure and recognition.

The exceptional band is led by Fred Boyle (piano), with Ron Ormsby (bass), Bart Weisman (drums), Steve Ahern (trumpet), Bruce Abbott (sax/flute), Jon Evans (bass), Eric Susoeff (guitar) and Daniel May (keyboard).

Dane

David Wickerham - Version 2

The world renowned organist, David Wickerham, will make a return appearance for a Christmas Concert on the Mighty McKissick Wurlitzer Theatre Organ in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall on Saturday, December 12 at 2:00 PM.    ARCA is grateful to Paul McKissick, for his loving restoration of the Wurlitzer organ in Lincoln Hall which bears his name.

Join us for the joyous and generous virtuosity of David Wickerham in a performance of his Christmas favorites which many have treasured hearing on his CD, which is now out of print.  The concert will certainly be well sold, so be sure to reserve your tickets early.

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!
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A perennial Holiday Season favorite, The Madrigal Dinner Theatre, returns to Lincoln Hall in Foxburg, PA for two evenings in early December, December 5th and 6th. This re-creation of a Renaissance period dinner is replete with period musical selections woven within a Christmas play with pageantry and toasts to the holiday season.

The Madrigal Dinner Theatre has been a sell-out each year.   Be sure to reserve your spots early–only 70 seats available for each performance.

ABOUT THE CONCERT

8740421_origCan you recall an earlier time in your life when the only utensil available to you at mealtime was a spoon? Back then, were there people dressed in elegant costumes serving your meal and entertaining you at once?

The Madrigal Dinner has become a Foxburg Christmas Tradition! Each December, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts and the Madrigal Singers transform Lincoln Hall into a grand banquet hall reminiscent of Medieval England. The Madrigal Singers, adorned in period costumes, entertain with madrigal songs and traditional holiday carols. They serve each course of the meal, at the same time unfolding a story set to music. Think of it as a modern form of dinner theatre.

Lincoln Hall becomes the Great Hall setting for your experience of a Royal event. Candlelit tables, banners and coats of arms give one a sense of the majesty enjoyed by a select few. The king and queen arrive in grand flourish and invite all in attendance to share in a festive dinner. The madrigal choir, dressed in period costume, entertains with madrigal songs and traditional holiday carols. They serve each course of the meal, while a story unfolds set to music.

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The menu for each night is representative of typical dinner fare of the time and is yours to enjoy–spoon in hand! Of course, no meal back then was complete without continuous goblets of mead and this beverage flows freely.  The meal is divided into courses and each is heralded with a traditional song. A play is performed between courses and a concert of choral music concludes the festivities. The dinner is intended to imitate a meal that might have been served during the Middle Ages.

renaissancechoirMadrigal choral music originated in Italy in the 1520s. In Italy, the madrigal was the most important secular form of music of its time and reached its formal and historical zenith by the second half of the 16th century.  After the 1630s, the madrigal began to merge with the cantata and the dialogue. The rise of opera gradually displaced the madrigal. In early 18th century England, the singing of madrigals was revived by catch and glee clubs, and later by the Madrigal Society in 1741.

Jump start your family’s Holiday enjoyment with this Foxburg Christmas tradition presented by the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts!

Alvin Zhu, Pianist

Image 3The brilliant artistry of young pianist, Alvin Zhu promises to delight the Lincoln Hall audience Sunday, April 27 at 2 PM.  Having just performed a recital at New York’s Lincoln Center, Alvin Zhu will bring his big romantic style to works by Chopin, Grieg, Beethoven and Schumann. This  22 year-old award-winning and world-traveled multi-talented pianist and composer, will perform an eclectic recital program that has mesmerized audiences everywhere.

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Young Steinway Artist Pianist, ALVIN ZHU, will perform on Sunday, April 27 at 2:00 PM at Lincoln Hall in Foxburg – with a reception in The Red Brick immediately following the concert, accompanying the exhibit of artist Fritz Keck, “Oil Portraits of Historic Pittsburgh”.  After the concert, concert goers will meet the artist, Alvin Zhu, at a reception in the Red Brick Gallery and Shop located at 17 Main Street in Foxburg, as they view the first Red Brick Gallery exhibit of the 2014 season, “Oil Paintings of Historic Pittsburgh”, featuring Pittsburgh artist, Fritz Keck.  

Alvin Zhu has won numerous awards and competitions, been a featured artist on NPR and been heard world wide in recital and as a soloist with orchestras in the United States, Canada and China.  His list of teachers and mentors is a who’s who of the piano world.  Watch him on youtube as he plays Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 2 Op. 36, 1st Movement.

Born from a musical family, Alvin Zhu is continuing his grandfather Gongyi Zhu’s genetic legacy as a great performing pianist. In the short time since he was inducted as the first American pianinst to the Young Steinway Artists Roster in 2009, his talent and maturity have further blossomed. He has performed internationally to consistent acclaim while he continues the 5 year Accelerated BM/MM program at the Juilliard School, which only admits the strongest students both academically and musically.

Alvin has swept audiences around the world from New York’s Steinway Hall and Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall to Australia’s Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Park’s Performing Arts Center, Pittsburgh’s Convention Center, Canada’s Montreal Palais du Congress (Convention Center), China’s Beijing Concert Hall, venues in Beijing, Shanghai, Taicang, Suzhou and cities in Europe.

A current student of Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky at the Juilliard School, Alvin is a musician and a sensitive artist. As a child, he began lessons with his mother at the age of four and studied piano with Yeeha Chiu of Pittsburgh and Marylene Dosse. Alvin has had master classes with Gary Graffman, Emanuel Ax, Lang Lang, Murray Perahia, Leon Fleisher, Malcolm Bilson, Misha Dichter, Shikun Liu, and David Allen Wehr.

Tickets for Alvin Zhu on Sunday, April 27 at 2:00 PM  are Adults $25, ARCA Members $20, Students $10.    

 

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