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Wichita Wurlitzer
January 2018
Brett Valliant is Back!
Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 7:30 PM,
Be sure to put the date on your calendar!  Some people missed the October 3, 2017, show and we need your help to get the word out.  Share the newsletter with family and friends using 'Forward this email' link at the bottom. Watch for more details in the March 2018 newsletter.
View Brett's performance of "You Raise Me Up" from the October 3 event.
Remembering the Miller Wurlitzer
Watching movies at the Miller Theatre was a memorable experience.  South Pacific was the first movie I remember seeing in the theatre. Numerous movies followed, including many Disney films. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Houghton was one of the last movies that I saw at the Miller. 
That Saturday night at the Miller Theatre, after the characters sat down to dinner with the song "The Glory of Love" playing out the end of the film, I heard the Wurlitzer's organist playing another chorus of "The Glory of Love," a seamless transition between the film's soundtrack played by a studio orchestra and the Wurlitzer. The organist followed with a medley of popular songs while one audience left and the audience came in for the next show.  
I grew up listening to Diane Bish playing the organ at East Heights Methodist church, which was a very proper Casavant-Frere classical organ.  From the beginning, I understood the Wurlitzer was not an organ like I heard on Sundays but rather an instrument for entertainment, performing contemporary popular music. An instrument that allows ONE musician to orchestrate and perform using all the sounds of an orchestra. The sound of the Wurlitzer matched the elegant splendor of the Miller Theatre appointed with marble, carpet, tile, and terra-cotta with seating for almost 2,000 people.
This was 1968.  Little did I know the Miller Theatre would close in 1970 and be torn down in 1972.  - David Bernstorf, Secretary, Wichita Theatre Organ, Inc. 
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Then there was the Wichita Wurlitzer
The New York Paramount Wurlitzer came to Wichita in 1968 to be installed in Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.  Later that year, work was started to refurbish and install the instrument in Century II's Exhibition Hall.  In 1972 the installation was completed.  The Wurlitzer premiered Saturday, December 9, 1972, the same year the Miller was town down.  The Wichita Wurlitzer is the iconic theatre organ famous across the nation and around the world.  It is a more sophisticated and evolved instrument than the Miller Theatre Wurlitzer. but we must never take it for granted lest we risk losing another treasure.
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