with the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer Organ
Prior to Music Hall closing for revitalization, SPMH presented a ''So Long For A While'' concert and pulled out all the stops - no pun intended. The show was filled with favorites: Mark Herman, one of our favorite theatre organists, and one of Cincinnati's favorite vocalists, Nancy James, performing songs from The Great American Songbook - music of the '20s, '30s, '40s, and '50s.
Mark Herman was the youngest person ever to receive the prestigious Organist of the Year award, presented by the American Theatre Organ Society. He has been featured on several episodes of American Public MEdia's Pipedreams program and also tours internationally. When he's home in Los Angeles, Herman is President and Tonal Director of the Los Angeles Organ Company. It's Mark's fourth visit to perform on the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer.
Nancy James has been performing for more than three decades, cementing her position in the hearts of everyone in the Greater Cincinnati area. We were introduced to her when she became a regular on the Bob Braun Show and continues to make her living as an entertainer, not only singing but also as voice-over and on-camera talent.
No performance on the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer is complete without a nod and warm ''thank you'' to Ron Wehmeier, the pipe organ technician who refurbished and maintains the organ. See photos and read about his work and the installation in Music Hall.
During intermission, SPMH President Peter Koenig took the stage to thank Don Siekmann, immediate past President, who was the ''producer par excellence'' of the organ series starting in 2010. For each performance, Don hired all talent and determined the themes. He did it all, including coordinating tickets, the venue, and worked with the Music Hall stage team, led by Technical Director Gary Kidney, to ''set the scene'' with decorations and lighting, and emcee of each performance.
Performance Song List
''My Funny Valentine'' written by Rodgers and Hart for Babes in Arms
Medley from Peter Pan:
''Never Never Land''
My Favorite Things
Medley/Mash-up featuring a little Gershwin and a little Porter
'' 'S Wonderful'' introduced on Broadway in Funny Face
Mark performed a medley to accompany a montage of MGM musical classics:
''The Trolley Song'' from Meet Me in St. Louis
Mark kicked off the second half in grand fashion, with a Sousa medley:
''Stars and Stripes Forever''
''I Cover the Waterfront'' by Johnny Green
Cole Porter's ''My Heart Belongs to Daddy''
Nancy James returned to the stage and talked about her work in television in Cincinnati. She expressed her gratitude to her producer Dick Murgatroyd and everyone on the ''Ruth Lyons'' and ''Bob Braun'' programs. During a montage of photos from these years, Nancy sang ''The Way We Were.''She also performed ''When the Saints Go Marching In'' and closed the program with ''God Bless America'' by the great Irving Berlin.
Photographs provided by Philip Groshong
Philip Groshong Photography.