UNION CITY, Ind. On April 10, at 2:30 p.m., the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society, www.cicatos.org, presents Organist Joel Gary at Firehouse Pipes, located at 226 North Plum Street.
Firehouse Pipes was established in April 2010, and is home to a 1926 Page pipe organ. It is a three manual, 12 rank organ, originally built in Lima, Ohio, and most recently purchased by Dick and Linda Wilcox and transported from Florida to Union City in 2010. With the services of Carlton Smith Pipe Organ Restoration of Indianapolis and David Bottom Pipe Organ Restoration of Lexington, Kentucky, the Page pipe organ was restored and a Uniflex relay was installed. This organ serves not only as entertainment for the community but also as the test instrument for Dick Wilcox, owner and developer of Uniflex Relay Systems, a pipe organ control system sold internationally.
The concert on April 10, will feature organist, Joel Gary, from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gary became interested in music at an early age. Starting with the piano, he moved to the organ at the age of nine. He attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and Red Wing Technical College in Red Wing, Minnesota. His organ teachers include William Elliott, Joseph Sullivan and George Shirley. He has established himself as a church and theatre organist, as well as a teacher of both styles of organ playing.
Growing up in Grand Rapids, he became acquainted with the theatre organ at “The Roaring Twenties” later re-named “Good Time Charley’s” Restaurant. In 1989 he joined the staff as organist until the business closed in 1991. His affair with this well-known Wurlitzer organ continued as he worked with the G.M. Buck Pipe Organ Company in restoring and installing this instrument in the new Grand Rapids Public Museum.
For several years Gary worked in the pipe organ maintenance and restoration business. This eventually led to a keen interest in the modern digital computer organ. Since 2000, he has been employed by Westfield Organ Company in Grand Rapids, representing Allen Organs. He is currently Director of Music and Organist at East Congregational Church in Grand Rapids and is a staff organist at the Grand Ledge Opera House in Grand Ledge, Minnesota. He has performed for several chapters of the American Guild of Organists, www.agohq.org, as well as the American Theatre Organ Society, www.atos.org. His other interests include antiques, Grand Rapids history, home improvement, computers and classic automobiles.
Gary is a member of the American Guild of Organists, serving the Grand Rapids Chapter as Educational Coordinator and director of the Pipelines program. Pipelines is an annual event that introduces fourth grade students to the pipe organ. He is also a member of the American Theatre Organ Society and President of the Great Lakes Chapter.
“We are thrilled to have Joel bring his talents to Firehouse Pipes and Union City. His performance is one you will certainly not want to miss,” said organizers.
The concert is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited. For questions concerning the concert, please contact Linda Wilcox at 765-232-4675 or [email protected] Please watch for additional events coming soon to Firehouse Pipes under the direction of Philip Brewer at [email protected]