News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 15, 2012

Hall of Fame organist to appear in concert at Rose-Hulman


Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Hatfield Hall Theater will be hosting one of America’s premier concert organists, Walt Strony, for a special concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youths and non-RHIT students.

This concert, sponsored by the Alfred R. Schmidt Artistic Fund, will feature a mix of classic and theater selections on Hatfield Hall’s Allen organ.

Strony has established himself as one of those few organists equally at home playing both theater and classical organs. He has performed hundreds of concerts worldwide, including many conventions of the American Theatre Organ Society and the American Guild of Organists. He is the only active organist to receive ATOS’s Organist of the Year Award, earning the distinction twice, and was recently inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.

As one reviewer has noted: “Strony has become one of the rare breed of today’s younger theatre organists to have developed a style uniquely his own. While looking backwards, respectfully to the masters of the theatre organ tradition, he manages to look forward with a refreshing approach in all his musical arrangements. It is a style that is inventive, harmonically interesting and, above all, right for today.”

In 2007, Strony performed the first solo organ recital in many years at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and now performs regularly with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra, Allentown (Pa.) Symphony, El Paso (Texas) Symphony and Symphony Silicon Valley (Calif.). He lives in Las Vegas, where he serves as Artist-in-Residence at the First Christian Church. He is also well known for his many fine recordings. Learn more about this organist at www.waltstrony.com.

Schmidt, an accomplished musician, served as a mathematics professor at Rose-Hulman for 46 years. He accompanied the Rose Glee Club for several years and played the organ at all commencements from 1959 until his retirement in 1995. He provided generous support for organs and pianos in Rose-Hulman’s Hatfield Hall and White Chapel.