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John Lauter

October 15, 2023

Detroit native John Lauter began his organ/piano/music studies at age 14; he has studied with Marie Connors, Frank Rossi, Betty Mason, Fr. Jim Miller and Gary Reseigh. He made his public debut playing at the Redford theatre at age 16. Hundreds of movie preludes later John can still be heard there. John has presented concerts in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Wichita, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, Lexington KY, Thomaston CT, Rochester NY, Toronto and Kingston Ontario Canada and Syracuse, NY.

Lauter was a featured performer at the 1995 and 2009 and 2016 conventions of the American Theatre organ Society. In July of 2010 John was invited to England to present concerts at Tywyn Wales and at the Saltaire complex in Bradford, that performance being the final concert of the 2010 Cinema Organ Society’s convention. Lauter was the sole American presented. John has been on the staff of the Fox theatre since the 1988 reopening, and was staff organist of the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor for 17 years. In February of 2010 Lauter was heard playing the Fox theatre’s massive Wurlitzer organ on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” Host Garrison Keillor said of Lauter “the man has unerring taste”.

As a silent film score composer/performer Lauter has scored over 35 feature films. John has accompanied films at The Redford theatre-Detroit, Baldwin theatre-Royal Oak, Palace theatre-Marion Ohio, Ritz Theatre-Tiffin Ohio, The Public Museum Grand Rapids, The Toledo Art Museum Peristyle, and Casa Loma-Toronto. The Henry Ford Museum IMAX theatre contracted John to compose/perform/record a short silent film accompaniment that is part of an IMAX short subject film that was shown before every presentation at that institution for many years.

Lauter was the organist/accompanist for the Unity church of Lake Orion from its inception in 1997 until 2013 and has provided many area churches with musical services over a 30+ year period. John is currently the pianist with the 18-piece Swing City Big Band.

John is returning to RTOS for his third appearance on the RTOS Grierson Wurlitzer.


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Below are Artist’s Biographical Info for The Season’s Artists

Tim Schramm

December 10, 2023

Tim Schramm doesn’t remember when he first started playing the piano. He was just too young. At the age of 10 he was introduced to the Mighty Wurlitzer at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester and it was love at first sight. Since that time, the organ has become his passion. He played his first church service at the age of 11, and has continued to play church services, weddings, funerals, organ dedications, and theatre organ concerts.

Tim is currently a semi-retired accompanist for the Rochester City School District and full time Director of Music Ministries at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Newark, NY. He enjoys playing for many of the local theatre organ groups and for many years has been the organist at the Walnut Hill Horse Show and Carriage Driving Competition in Pittsford, NY. He also works part time for Denton, Cottier, and Daniels piano store in Rochester.

In April 2005, Tim traveled to England as an artist in the Byron Jones Organ Festivals and to concertize o Tonawanda and entertains on the Wurlitzer located at the NY State Fairgrounds in Syracuse during fair week each summer. For many years Tim served on the Board of Directors of RTOS and has served as program chairman.

Tim last provided RTOS with the Holiday Program in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.