The North Suburban Home Organ Society

Eastern Massachusetts Premier Group for Those Who Love the

HAMMOND ORGAN and OTHER
ELECTRONIC KEYBOARDS

Welcome to our new 2017 Concert Season.

Conveniently located in the main auditorium of the WOBURN, MA, SENIOR CENTER
144 School Street, Woburn, MA


Next NSHOS Concert is Friday, May 5, @1:30pm 2017 and features

Don Sansom & Eric Larson

NSHOS VP Jim (Lightning Feet) Gregory played our last concert. As you can infer from the nickname we've conferred on him, Jim does phenomenal pedalwork. Nobody else can touch him when it comes to getting the most out of a Hammond pedalboard. There was only one performer who possibly outplayed Jim on pedals, and that was the late Virgil Fox, who played a piece called Perpetual Motion in which he played all 16th notes and, using specially made shoes, was able to play simultaneous heel-and-toe four-note chords. But Jim has been doing a lot of pedal practicing lately and he is fast approaching Virgil Fox. A close second to Jim was another player who played the Flight of the Bumblebee as a pedal solo, but Jim has now exceeded that performer's speed. Even George Wright, the world's greatest theater organist of all time never pedaled like Jim is doing now.

I can't remember all the songs Jim Played, but he started off with his version the the well-known Greek Dance Misirlou. After a few more selections, he then played his arrangement of Baby Elelphant Walk, and later on, a selection which I believe is called Wipeout. Both of these numbers we can pretty much consider as being "Jim's songs," because even though he didn't write either of them, he has worked out and polished such elaborate arrangements of both that they might as well be considered "Jim's Songs." In my estimation, these were the special highlights of his program, during which he included some amazing pedal solos.

For May, another all-time favorite NSHOS artist will be with us again, Don Sansom. This program, will be mostly a duet program in which Don will be mainly playing an electric piano and I will join him on the X66 Hammond. Also, if all goes according to plan, the C2 Hammond will be missing for this meeting. It's going to Waltham, to the shop of Nelson Barden where we will be giving it a complete overhaul. When we bring it back for the June Meeting, you will see that instrument sporting some interesting new capabilities. However, it will still first of all be a Hammond C2, fully capable of doing everything that it did before, plus some nice extras.

Later on this coming year, we're going to do another NSHOS special program which we will announce the month ahead, and that will be to feature a program on one of the more elaborate pipe organs in Eastern Massachusetts. For that event, we will be using the fabulous three manual 40+ rank pipe organ of the First Congregational Church in Ipswich, an instrument on which I have been doing some major work for the last several years.

If you think a church pipe organ only has certain sounds and can only play slower music or hymns, you're in for a real surprise and a treat as you will hear how this instrument can handle show tunes and pops, contemporary songs and do amazingly good imitations of many other instruments as well. So definitely plan to attend this program of which we'll provide ample advance notice. See what can be done on the real deal; a large, comprehensively-equipped pipe organ. Joanne McMahon, the church's organist, and I will share the playing duties, using both the pipe organ and also a grand piano. Joanne was for many years a music teacher in the Ipswich, MA school system, and she continues today with a busy schedule of private lessons. An excellent sight-reader as well as a by-ear performer and improvisor, Joanne brings a degree of polish and excellence that is a real treat to hear in her performances.

There is plenty of parking around the church, no stairs involved at all to enter the building, and this is a large instrument with different sections in all four corners of the sanctuary. Talk about multi-channel stereo sound! This instrument will really define stereo. We've been installing new pitman style electro-pneumatic action along with state-of-the-art solid state control so this instrument can really do some serious and impressive music/making.

And another big plus is that we'll do this on a Sunday afternoon. So even if you work or have other weekday activities that prevent you from attending our Friday events, you'll be able to attend this one. We're looking at July (most likely) for this event.

 

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picture of Ed Wawrzynowicz

Figure 1. "Big Ed" Wawrzynowicz on the X66 at our February, 2015 Meeting.

Don Sansom

Figure 2. Don Sansom presiding at the X66.

general view of our instruments

Figure 3. Ready for a concert! X66, Keyboard and in background, our former A100 Hammond Console.

jim Gregory surrounded by electronic gear and keyboards

Figure 4. Surrounded by electronic equipment and keyboards, Jim Gregory entertains at our February concert.

Jim Gregory using 4 keyboards and the X66

Figure 5. Notice the use of four MIDI equipped keyboards, one on the top of the X66 console, one one each side of Jim, and one behind. All were set up and Jim used all of them at various times in his program.

Ed Surette playing the Hammond C2

Figure 6. This is an over-all view of the setup we used for our December meeting. In the picture, group treasurer Ed Surette plays on the Hammond C2. A digital signal processor along with a mixer and power amplifier are on the center table, X66 console to left, and on extreme left, the house piano.

 

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