From the moment he sat down at the console, organist Ron Rhode had the rapt attention of the sell-out crowd in Music Hall's ballroom for the dedication concert of the Albee Wurlitzer Organ on Saturday, November 28, 2009. While a classically-trained organist, his repertoire of old favorites from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s -- with a few ''newer'' selections, including an Elvis Presley hit and a number from the Broadway hit Wicked -- showed off the organ's range and depth. See the songlist from the concert.
Other crowd favorites included the Latin beat of ''See You in C-U-B-A,'' ''Mystics of the Noble Shrine,'' the playful tune ''The Jack in the Box,'' and ''Caprice Viennois,'' Fritz Kriesler's old WLW ''Moon River'' theme. ''It was an honor to be here,'' he said, adding that this concert was one of the highlights of his 36-year career.
Steve Loftin, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Arts Association which operates Music Hall for the city, read a proclamation from Mayor Mark Mallory declaring November 28 as ''Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Day'' in Cincinnati.
Not only were all the original concert tickets sold, but the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall decided to add
another 100 seats to the ballroom -- tickets which were sold within a day! Despite the sunny weather and other holiday
attractions, every seat was filled, and some people were standing.