Ken Double Wurlitzer Duo – CANCELLED re COVID-19

Ken DoubleWurlitzer Theatre Organ
Daniel MataVocalist

COVID-19 CANCELLATION Announcement 

The health and safety of our Members, Patrons, Guest artists and Red Brick Gallery customers are of paramount importance to us.  In the face of the current pandemic and in the best interest of everyone involved, ARCA’s Board has made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all ARCA events through the end of May, including Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop hours and exhibits.

The performances canceled include:

  • April 4 – Lisa Bleil and Friends – Jazz Ballads to 80’s Dance Songs
  • April 28 – FAST TRACK – Star-Studded Bluegrass Veteran “Super-Group”
  • May 3 – Deanna Witkowski – SoulSongs: Crossing Boundaries from Chopin to Cole Porter
  • May 17 – Ken Double & Tenor, Daniel Mata – Wurlitzer Organ DOUBLE Duo

We are deeply saddened not to be able to share these unique music and art experiences with you over the next two months. In mid-May, we will reevaluate recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, the President’s Task Force and Governor Tom Wolf’s office and proceed based on the best information available, regarding resuming ARCA’s Summer schedule of concerts and gallery exhibits.

We sincerely appreciate your understanding as we work through this uncharted territory together.  We look forward to sharing inspiring music and art with you again very soon as we emerge from this healthy and eager for the spiritual enrichment that live performances and art exhibits provide.

Sincere wishes for your protection, health and safety,
Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts Board of Directors

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RiverStone Center for the Arts is delighted to bring back renowned theatre organist, KEN DOUBLE  for a “DOUBLE BILL VARIETY SHOW”, performing on Lincoln Hall’s McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer with young, talented tenor, DANIEL MATA  at 2:00 PM on Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Theatre organ lovers will be spell bound by Ken’s dazzling arrangements that will show the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer and its percussion instrument “toy shelf” to its full glory!  “This will be anything but an organ recital,” says Ken Double.  “It’s a show that will introduce you to the theatre organ in a new context and with a dynamic young tenor performing audience favorites.”

Organist Ken Double has performed frequently around the country with tenor Daniel Mata, in a program combining light vocal classics and, as his heritage would indicate, “cross-over” Latin hits as well as songs from the Great American Songbook.  A recent graduate of Belmont University, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Hearst Scholarship, Daniel’s vocal skills were apparent early in life.  At age 14, he won the Stars of Tomorrow contest in Atlanta; has performed on the stage of the Atlanta Fox Theatre; sung at the Basilica at St. Peter’s in Rome; performed with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra; and is proudly announcing his first CD recording, Born To Sing, a dual effort with Ken Double at the organ.

Tickets are $20 for Adults and $5 for Students.  Call to Reserve to 724-659-31533 or buy online here.  Cash and checks are accepted at the door.

 

Make a Day of it in Foxburg

Driving over for the Concert?  Plan to make a full spring-day of it on the banks of the beautiful Allegheny River in Foxburg.  Arrive early and stop by the opening exhibit of the Red Brick Gallery 2020 season. Gallery hours are Sunday, 12 noon to 4 PM.  

Also plan to enjoy Spring in full bloom on the beautiful Allegheny River – walk or bicycle along the River or have lunch outside on the deck overlooking the river at The Allegheny Grille or at Foxburg Pizz, enjoy wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars  and have gourmet coffee, ice cream and a handmade chocolate dessert at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.

About the Artists

Ken Double, Theatre Organist

One of the preeminent theatre organists and recording artists of the day – Ken Double shares the great privilege of being one of the two organists who perform at the Atlanta Fox Theatre on famed Mighty Mo, the great Moller organ.

During his concert career, Ken Double has performed all over the United States in addition to seven tours of Australia and New Zealand and two trips to Great Britain, including stops in Seattle, WA; Wilmington, DE; Tampa, FL; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; the famous Casa Loma in Toronto.

In addition to his hundreds of concerts, he has ten CD’s to his credit, including  The Music of Casa Loma, the first-ever recording on the Mighty Wurlitzer in the Great Hall of Toronto’s historic castle.  Ken is thrilled with the opportunity to return to scenic Foxburg, PA for another visit with the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer.

Ken Double has smoothly moved from two performing careers in his nearly 40-years on stage, on radio and on television. His broadcasting career included play-by-play work for the NBA Indiana Pacers, Purdue basketball, the Indy 500 and 17 years of NHL, IHL and AHL hockey.   After 33 years in broadcasting, he put the organ lessons of his youth along with his “gift of gab” to work in a new career.

A Chicago native who now calls Atlanta home, Ken began organ lessons at age 8; while in college in Indianapolis played the organ at Tommy Bartlett’s Water Show in Wisconsin Dells; for sporting events at Market Square Arena; has performed hundreds of concerts all over the world; and has 18 recordings to his credit, including his latest, Let’s Play Two, which features two private installations in North San Diego County, CA.

Ken takes pride in having performed the Grand Opening concerts on the restored theatre organs at the Long Center in Lafayette, IN; the Wurlitzer at Manual High School Indianapolis; the Page pipe organ at the Anderson, IN Paramount Theatre; and at the Indianapolis Warren Performing Arts Center Barton organ, all where for many years, Ken called home.

Ken has performed all over the country in addition to his seven tours of Australia and New Zealand, and two trips to Great Britain.

He operates Ken Double Entertainment; is the current president of the ATOS chapter in Atlanta; is President of the Long Center Theatre Organ Society in Lafayette, IN; and after leaving ATOS’ top post, he is now assisting the effort to restore the mammoth Midmer-Losh organ, “The largest musical instrument in the world,” at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City as the chief fund-raiser for the Historic Organ Restoration Committee.

Ken is thrilled with the opportunity to return to scenic Foxburg, PA for another visit with the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer.

Sportscaster, musician, promoter, executive – Ken has worn many hats in his professional career with an aim at having fun and getting paid for it! Or, as the song goes, “Nice work if you can get it.”

DANIEL MATA, Tenor

 

Daniel Mata is a Classical/Crossover singer from Atlanta, GA who applies his talent and extraordinary voice to everything from light Classical to Latin to standards from the Great American Songbook. Daniel has performed on the stage of the Atlanta Fox Theatre; sung at the Basilica at St. Peter’s in Rome; performed with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra; and is proudly announcing his first CD recording, Born To Sing, a dual effort with Ken Double at the organ.

A recent graduate of Belmont University where he was a recipient of the prestigious Hearst Scholarship, Daniel was born in Venezuela and is one of triplets. Daniel’s journey with his family to the U.S. is a great success story.

ARCA’s McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer 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.

Named for Paul McKissick, who lovingly and painstakingly rebuilt the instrument over eleven years, 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 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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