Radio City Music Hall Wurlitzer

Here are some photos taken on Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall. I was there as part of an invited walk-through of RCMH held by SVA’s creative and tech teams for their annual graduation exercises. Last year I played piano for their graduation, improvising 15-or-so pieces of music while graduates came up one-by-one to get their diplomas. You can read my posting from May 2008 by clicking here.

This year we’re trying to see if I’ll be able to use the Music Hall’s Wurlitzer for the ceremony, and this was a chance for me to saddle up and acquaint myself with the organ, and also to give the SVA people a chance to hear how quiet the instrument can be so it doesn’t overpower the Dean(s) reading off people’s names.

Here’s a view of the whole console. There’s actually two of ’em, and this is the main one, on the house left side of the stage.

A closer view of the console. There are 4 manuals (organ lingo for “keyboard”) and 58 ranks (sets of pipes), plus tuned percussion. The little white buttons are thumb-pistons where combinations of ranks are stored.

Notice the swiveling organ seat used here, rather than the wide wooden bench. The concept behind the “Howard” is to give an audience a clearer view of the organist’s footwork.

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