Plan your trip to the Wilds of Pennsylvania to see the autumn color so you can be in beautiful Foxburg on the Allegheny on Sunday, October 1 for the return by popular demand of the acclaimed, young organist and recipient of the American Theatre Organ Society 2021 Organist of the Year, BRETT VALLIANT at 2 PM in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall with “FROM BACH TO BACHARACH!
After the concert, Meet the Artist and enjoy a Wine & Cheese Reception from 4 to 6 PM in the Upstairs Gallery at the Red Brick Gallery for the opening of the exhibit featuring a series of plein air paintings by GEOFF DUNN depicting land and waters protected by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy which has protected a quarter of a million acres of land and waterways in Western Pennsylvania since 1932.
ARCA is grateful for the generous gift of Dr. Charles and Susan Sutherland sponsoring the return of Brett Valliant to the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer.
Join us on a golden fall afternoon as Brett takes us on an excursion of melodic favorites from the classics including BACH to classic rock, ragtime, great marches, and, of course, music of the theater including BACHARACH – all on Lincoln Hall’s glorious McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ! One of two resident organists at the iconic Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, Arizona, Brett performs on the world’s largest theatre organ and entertains thousands of patrons each year.
Acclaimed for his performances at Organ Stop Pizza, Brett has toured extensively as a concert artist throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. He also is known for accompanying and scoring silent films and appears annually at several film festivals.
In this 2022 virtual broadcast from the Organ Stop Pizza for the Los Angels Theatre Organ Society, Brett demonstrates his incomparable artistry in both lyrical and virtuosic works:
In addition to regular appearances at American Theatre Organ Society and American Guild of Organists conventions, Brett For 21 years was the organist and music director of First United Methodist Church of Wichita, Kansas, where he played a large pipe organ seen and heard by thousands in the Midwest on the church’s television program. He has also been the Artist-In-Residence for the Wichita Wurlitzer – the former New York Paramount Wurlitzer organ now housed in Wichita – on which he often performs.
Brett Valliant is an organist who enjoys opportunities to play the music he loves on the instrument he loves. Whether performing on an organ in a concert hall, a majestic church organ, or ARCA’s McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer in Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall, Brett is right at home. His incomparable keyboard artistry and ability to move people with his beautiful and emotionally evocative arrangements will be appreciated by ARCA’s theatre organ loving audience once again in this return engagement.
Tickets may be purchased online here. Tickets are Adults $25, Members $20, Students $5. Call to Reserve at 724-659-3153 and pay by cash or check at the door.
Meet the Artist at Wine & Cheese Exhibit Opening at the RBG
Following the concert, Meet the Artist and enjoy a Wine & Cheese Reception from 4 to 6 PM in the Upstairs Gallery at the Red Brick Gallery for the opening of the exhibit featuring series of plein air paintings by GEOFF DUNN depicting land and waters protected by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy which has protected a quarter of a million acres of land and waterways in Western Pennsylvania since 1932. No admission for the exhibit or reception.
Retired physician, painter Geoff Dunn has said of this exhibit: “My identity is deeply rooted in Erie County in Western Pennsylvania where my ancestor, Oliver Dunn, settled in 1797 after immigrating from Ireland. His descendants which include farmers, merchants, and surgeons have lived here until this day. All generations of us have been blessed by the natural beauty and bounty of the land as well as the precious gift of the waters of Lake Erie, its tributaries, and the waterway commencing at French Creek on which one could reach any land on the globe. Human history, encompassing multiple cultures, is as deep and rich as the post-glacial soil here. I believe it is my duty to revere and protect all that is around us. In the post-retirement, more contemplative time of my life, I have chosen plein air painting as one way to meet these obligations.”
The exhibit will be displayed in the Upstairs Gallery of the Red Brick Gallery, weekends from Friday, September 29 through Sunday, November 5, 2023.
Exhibit Weekend hours are: Fridays, 1-6 PM; Saturdays, 11 AM to 7 PM; and Sundays, 12 noon to 5 PM at RBG, 17 Main Street, Foxburg, PA 16036.
Plan to Make a Day of it in beautiful Foxburg!
Arrive early for a walk in the golden autumn along the Allegheny River trail or rent bicycles with Foxburg Tours in the morning or early afternoon!
Have lunch at the Allegheny Grille with seating overlooking the Allegheny River, or for more casual fare, at Foxburg Pizza with salads, sandwiches and pizza. Save time to savor a gourmet coffee and hand made chocolate at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista, and to enjoy a wine tasting or glass of wine on the beautifully remodeled patio at Foxburg Wine Cellars
Plan to enjoy to make a weekend of it – and extend your visit in Foxburg and spend the night in the elegantly remodeled Foxburg Inn.
And, if the Foxburg Inn is sold out – stay up the river in Emlenton at the historic Bed and Breakfast, The Barnard House.
About Brett Valliant
Brett Valliant is an organist enjoying opportunities to play the music he loves on the instrument he loves. Whether at an organ in a concert hall, a majestic church organ, or a mighty Wurlitzer in a theatre, Brett is right at home.
Brett was inspired by hearing the organ at church when he was just three years old. At age 4 he began piano instruction and soon after was studying organ as well. By the age of 12 Brett was employed as a church organist, having held onto the dream he had had at such an early age. By age 19, he had performed his first international concert tour.
For 21 years Brett was the organist and music director of First United Methodist Church of Wichita, Kansas, where he played a large pipe organ seen and heard by thousands in the Midwest on the church’s television program. He has also been the Artist-In-Residence for the Wichita Wurlitzer – the former New York Paramount Wurlitzer organ now housed in Wichita – on which he often performs.
Brett studied organ at Wichita State University as well as privately. His recordings have been featured on National Public Radio’s Pipe Dreams as well as the National Bible Broadcasting Network.
Today Brett is one of two resident organists at the iconic Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, Arizona. Organ Stop Pizza houses the world’s largest theatre organ and entertains thousands of patrons each year. Never heard of pizza and theatre organ music. Here’s Brett introducing the Organ Stop Pizza!
In addition to his playing at Organ Stop, Brett is known for accompanying and scoring silent films and appears annually at several film festivals. In addition to regular appearances at American Theatre Organ Society and American Guild of Organists conventions, he has toured extensively as a concert artist throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
In his free time Brett enjoys sailing, skating, cooking, mid-century collection, and playing the piano and accordion.
The McKissick Mighty Wurtlitzer
The Wurlitzer organ in Lincoln Hall is one of the best examples of this class of theatre organ. 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.
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 thirteen 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.