2009 SPMH Annual Meeting

At the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall Annual Meeting on Monday, September 21, 2009 in the Music Hall ballroom, members and guests were treated to a preview of the recently restored RKO Albee Theatre organ. Following a cocktail reception, American Theatre Organ Society president/organist Ken Double performed a medley of songs designed to demonstrate the many sounds the Mighty Wurlitzer organ can produce.

Ron Wehmeier, restorer of the Albee Wurlitzer organ and a new SPMH board member, introduced the guest of honor, Mr. Ken Double, president and CEO of the American Theatre Organ Society. Before sitting down at the organ, Mr. Double -- who had never before been to Music Hall -- described how thrilling it was for him to be in such a beautiful historic structure. He emphasized how important it is that we as a society save buildings like Music Hall, and instruments like the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer.

Double's choice of musical selections demonstrated the wide range of the Mighty Wurlitzer. Mr. Double played such favorites as ''Voices of Spring'', ''Somewhere Over the Rainbow'', ''Love is a Many Splendored Thing'', the Beach Boys favorite ''Sherry'', and the ever-popular theme from ''Phanton of the Opera''.

Mr. Double emphasized that the Wurlitzer in Music Hall's ballroom is "world class" and a glorious opportunity to introduce people of all ages to theatre organ music. He then kept everyone's attention by giving a "tour" of the organ and demonstrating its capability and many sounds, from the concert flute and rich string family, to the special effects whistles and bells.

In closing his performance, Mr. Double played and sang ''It Had to Be You'' and dedicated to Norma Petersen.

At the business meeting, SPMH president Norma Petersen welcomed new board members Lisa Allison, Bill Henrich, Mary Ellyn Hutton, Donald Siekmann and Ronald Wehmeier. She also recognized newly-elected vice presidents Kathy Janson and Steven Monder.

left to right: Joe Hollman, president, OVC-ATOS; Ken Double, president, ATOS; Ron Wehmeier
Joe Hollman, president, OVC-ATOS; Ken Double, president, ATOS (American Theatre Organ Society); Ron Wehmeier. Wehmeier refurbished the Albee Wurlitzer organ.

Norma Petersen, president, SPMH, welcomes the crowd to this special event
Norma Petersen, president, SPMH, welcomes the crowd to this special event. Not only is it the 2009 SPMH Annual Meeting, but it is also the first concert on the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

Ken Double, president, ATOS - American Theatre Organ Society, with the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer
Ken Double, president, ATOS - American Theatre Organ Society, with the Albee Mighty Wurlitzer

Ken Double with Janelle Gelfand, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Ron Wehmeier
Ken Double with Janelle Gelfand, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Ron Wehmeier

SPMH Board members (left to right): Ed Rider, Bob Howes, Maureen Dillon
SPMH Board members (left to right): Ed Rider, Bob Howes, Maureen Dillon
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