I made my Radio City Music Hall debut yesterday, playing for the graduation ceremony of the School of Visual Arts. I improvised 90+mins of music while the graduates came up and received their diplomas...17 groups in all. I used the RCMH's 9-foot Steinway grand, which was placed extreme downstage right, where I had a clear view of the stage and a jumbotron over the audience that showed a closer view of the proceedings.
RCMH house organist George Wesner played the Wurlitzer theatre organ for the processional and recessional of the ceremony. I got a chance to meet and chat with Wesner as well as Richard Bishop, who maintains the organ, before the "show" got started. Everyone working behind the scenes at Radio City was great to work with -- very friendly, efficient and professional. Here's a photo of the organ console.
The challenge in doing a program like this was in coming up with enough of a variety of music so it wouldn't all sound this same while still having a reverent feel. It all worked out fine, and I managed to improvise a number of themes, and also used an "alma mater" motif I'd come up with for SVA earlier in the week.
In other news, I've released another score on altscore.com -- actually six scores for shorts on disc one of the Harry Langdon Collection: Lost and Found DVD set. I've also just found out that the Kino DVD due out in June of the Langdon features The Chaser and Three's a Crowd have Lee Erwin's organ scores on them. None of the scores Lee recorded for Raymond Rohauer in the 1970s and 1980s for the Keaton shorts and features as well as the Arbuckle/Keaton shorts, are available on home video, and so these I believe are the only ones of these recordings Lee to become available. Lee's scores for the Killiam editions of Thief of Bagdad and The Eagle are on DVD releases.
Up next this coming week are shows of The Kid Brother with Harold Lloyd at the Cinema Arts Centre, and a couple of shows at the Museum of the Moving Image for groups of school kids and seniors, plus some more recording for altscore.
See you at the silents!