All posts by pittsb23_wp

Pierre Fracalanza – September 9, 2017

Pierre Fracalanza

Pierre Fracalanza

Saturday, September 9, 2017
7:30 PM
Keystone Oaks High School (Dormont, PA)

Get your groove on with a special tribute to 1960s television when theatre organist Pierre Fracalanza returns to Pittsburgh. This lively program will sometimes be groovy, sometimes be campy, and always stir up memories of your favorite 1960s TV stars and entertainers. The program features Fracalanza’s multi-media approach to theatre organ using unique projected videos to create a concert experience not only for the ears, but also for the eyes.

“I have a brand new program ready for Pittsburgh,” says Pierre. “We’re going to channel Ed Sullivan, plus many of the memorable television theme songs from the sixties. I also want to salute many of the great singers that appeared often on variety shows in the 1960s, people like Dionne Warwick, Petula Clark and even Dusty Springfield!” Also included in the proceedings will be a quiz on sixties television themes in which the audience can participate.

Pierre reflects fondly on his first visit to Pittsburgh in 2016. “I had such a great time playing for the PATOS audience last year. The people were just the best, and I immediately knew after that show that I wanted to return.”

The son of a concert organist, Pierre Fracalanza attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. In 2014, Pierre was a featured artist at the American Theatre Organ Society’s annual convention in Chicago.

As usual, tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance. Students are admitted free with ID. Use the following link to buy your ticket online today!

Silent Movie – November 4, 2017

Silent Movie

Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie

with live accompaniment by David Peckham

Saturday, November 4, 2017
7:30 PM
Keystone Oaks High School (Dormont, PA)

Mel Brooks’ hilarious 1976 tribute to Hollywood’s silent era contains only one word of dialogue (and the movie is in color)! Starring Mel, Marty Feldman, and Dom DeLuise, plus cameos by other famous celebrities, Silent Movie is a classic spoof of silent filmmaking.

Live theatre organ accompaniment will be provided by David Peckham, the 2016 American Theatre Organist of the Year and house organist at the Clemens Center in Elmira, NY.  Educated at the Eastman School of Music, David’s lively score on the PATOS 3 manual Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ will give patrons the authentic silent movie experience.

Brooks and Peckham:  silent cinema at its best!  Don’t miss it.

As usual, tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance. Use the following link to buy your ticket online today!

Ken Double and Skip Stine – March 3, 2018


Ken Double and Skip Stine

Saturday, March 3, 2018
7:30 PM
Keystone Oaks High School (Dormont, PA)

Gifted theatre organist and entertainer Ken Double will return to the PATOS Wurlitzer at Keystone Oaks Auditorium on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 7:30PM, this time with former Harry James trumpeter Skip Stine.

This brand-new “Double Play” program will salute the great Harry James Orchestra, with which Mr. Stine performed and recorded in the 1960s and 1970s.

“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.”

Ken and Skip have performed together dozens of times since 2007, reviving the sweet trumpet solos on Harry James hits such as “You Made Me Love You” and “I Had the Craziest Dream”.  The duo also has two CD recordings to their credit, both of which feature Ken’s theatre organ and Skip’s trumpet.

Ken Double is a former sports broadcaster and arena organist who retired from announcing in 2008, now devotes himself full-time to his theatre organ career.  Ken also was executive director of the American Theatre Organ Society for ten years until 2016.

Skip Stine is a graduate of the United States Navy School of Music.  He played for numerous big name orchestras and singers in the 1960s, including Buddy Morrow, Frank Sinatra  and Tony Bennett.  His career culminated with a long association with Harry James, appearing not only with the band on the Las Vegas strip, but also in numerous studio recordings and concerts across the US and Europe.  Skip currently teaches music at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, PA.

“Ken’s last appearance in Pittsburgh (with Venezuelan singer Daniel Mata in May 2017) was such a crowd pleaser and musical triumph,” says Dale Abraham, President of PATOS.  “We eagerly await his new program on March 3rd.”

Admission is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.  Students are free with ID.  To order tickets online, please click on the following Showclix link:

Jay Spencer – September 22, 2018

Jay Spencer accompanies The Mark of Zorro

Saturday, September 22, 2018
7:30 PM
Keystone Oaks High School (Dormont, PA)

The Mark of Zorro, a swashbuckling 1920 silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks, will be presented with live theatre organ accompaniment on Saturday, September 22, 2018, 7:30pm at Keystone Oaks Auditorium in Dormont.

Silent film organist Jay Spencer, the house organist at the Palace Theatre in Canton, Ohio, will accompany this landmark film on the 3 manual PATOS Wurlitzer theatre organ.

This is the film that launched the movie career of Douglas Fairbanks.  He was a 1920s screen idol famous for playing action heroes in such pictures as “Robin Hood,” “The Black Pirate,” and “The Three Musketeers.”  His marriage to another screen idol, Mary Pickford, was the most famous in Hollywood, affording both even more popularity among the film-going masses.

“This film hasn’t been shown in Pittsburgh for quite some time,” according to Dale Abraham, president of PATOS, “so this is a great opportunity for film buffs to experience the movie with live organ accompaniment, exactly the way it was presented in 1920.”

Jay Spencer is an expert silent film accompanist and has appeared in Pittsburgh many times, most recently for PATOS in 2016 with “The Cat and the Canary.”  He’s celebrating 25 years as house organist at the ornate Palace Theatre, home of the only Kilgen theatre organ still playing in its original venue.  The Kilgen was installed in Canton’s Palace in 1926.   “It’s played practically every weekend,” says Mr. Spencer.  “The people love it here.”

The love of organ runs deep in Jay Spencer’s family, too.  “Both sets of my grandparents owned organs, and my dad’s mom played piano for silent movies in the 1920s.” Jay also has three organs in his own home.

As for performing with silent films at the Palace Theatre, Jay muses, “I can’t believe I get to do this, playing this instrument that is 92 years old and still going strong.”

To purchase tickets, please click on the following link:   Admission is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.  Students are free with ID.


Nathan Avakian – November 3, 2018

Nathan Avakian

Saturday, November 3, 2018
7:30 PM
Keystone Oaks High School (Dormont, PA)

The always energetic organist Nathan Avakian returns to Pittsburgh with his presentation of International Youth Silent Film shorts, along with solo concert selections.

Nathan’s silent shorts were filmed by youth under his tutelage just a couple of years ago.  A rarity:  silent films made in the 21st century!  Nathan will accompany six films live on the PATOS Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ.

Nathan, just 26 years old, will also present modern musical selections from his youthful repertoire between the silent shorts. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear theatre pipe organ music with a modern update!

To purchase tickets, please click on the following link:   Admission is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.  Students are free with ID.