The Wonder-Morton Organ in the Arlington Theatre – John Ledwon, Organist
SANTA BARBARA THEATRE ORGAN SOCIETY BRINGS IN THE NEW YEAR WITH
“WONDER-MORTON” CONCERT AT THE ARLINGTON THEATRE JANUARY 22
Acclaimed Organist John Ledwon Will Perform
In 1988 the beautiful Robert-Morton pipe organ made its debut in the Arlington Theatre, located at 1317 State Street, Santa Barbara. On Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. the Santa Barbara Theatre Organ Society will present a concert featuring renowned organist John Ledwon.
Mr. Ledwon, a member of the board of the American Theatre Organ Society, has been staff organist at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for over twelve years, where he played more than four hundred shows a year to young adults and children. He also installed a 4 manual 52 rank hybrid Wurlitzer theatre organ in his Southern California home, and produced 6 CDs on this instrument. The musical content of his concerts is post 1950 music and includes hit pop songs of the later 20th century, and musical theatre and film score selections. “The addition of post fifties music and Disney music has proven to attract younger audiences to my concerts,” said Ledwon. CDs created by the artist will be on sale in the lobby of the Arlington Theatre on the day of the concert.
2012 marks the twenty-fourth year of the original installation of the Wonder-Morton theatre pipe organ in the historic Santa Barbara theatre. The Arlington Theatre organ is one of only five large theatre pipe organs manufactured by the Robert-Morton Company of Van Nuys in 1928. “We are delighted to have organist John Ledwon performing for us once again, and we welcome the community to join us in celebrating a new year in the Arlington, and a fine performance by Mr. Ledwon on the Wonder-Morton,” said SBTOS President Bruce Murdock.
An early photo of an overview of the Arlington Theatre from the balcony included the main chambers I and II in the Spanish village on the left, and the solo chamber in the Spanish village on the right. The percussion shelf sits in back of tower at the left of the stage. The organ rises on a lift from beneath the forestage, and the ceiling is semi-elliptical which is acoustically very kind to the organ.
SBTOS is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 1987. Mayor Helene Schneider presented the SBTOS board of directors with a proclamation in 2011 to honor them for their twenty-three years of service keeping the Wonder-Morton in mint condition, scheduling concerts & silent film presentations for community enjoyment, and providing information on the history of theatre organ in America, as well as the silent films that organist have been accompanying since the 1920s.
Tickets for the concert will be on sale in the Arlington Theatre box office one hour prior to the performance. Cost $11.00 adults, children under 12 with an adult are free.