Everyone, please resubmit your e-mail address info to the Rochester Theater Organ Society so it can be confirmed. We want to keep everyone informed of our activities. Use button to the right.

President’s Letter – Save the Dates!!!

We are very happy to announce the plans for the Fall live concerts!  It was great to be able to see our concerts on You Tube in the comfort of our recliners when it was cold and snowing – but we are ready to get back to work at the Auditorium.

We have the following Fall concert dates:

October 17           David Peckham

November 14       Donnie Rankin

December 19       Nathan Avakian

Governor Cuomo has just lifted most of the Covid restrictions. We will be meeting with the Auditorium management and will stay up to date with requirements as Fall approaches.  We will send out information in the next Blower, which we are currently preparing, and in our email blasts. Please be sure your email address is up to date.

 I’d like to have ushers/guides to help welcome people back and meet any spacing requirements that may be in place.  If you would like to assist (remember the yellow shirts – convention style!) please let me know.  (CVS250@gmail.com)

The Fall concerts will be included in your 2020 membership.  We will begin offering 2022 memberships this Fall at the same price as 2020.  A great way to introduce RTOS to your friends is to buy an extra membership and ask friends to join you each concert.  It is a great treat for your guests and a wonderful way to get the word out about our great organs.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in Fall!

Mean while our live events have been suspended due to COVID-19, we have videos available on our YouTube Channel.

Chris Van Stean, President RTOS

The Rochester Theater Organ Society presents our next event…

RTOS Season Opening Program on October 17, 2021 at the Auditorium Theatre.

David Peckham

Stay tuned for further details.

RTOS Console

Be sure to checkout the latest news on our NEWS page here.

A sound you won’t forget: The “Unit Orchestra.”

The theater organ or “unit orchestra” was created during the silent film era to provide musical accompaniment to movies before they had sound.  In addition to uniquely voiced pipes, they contain a wide array of tuned percussions and many sound effect devices.  After sound became part of the movie experience, the instruments’ use included intermission performances.  The theater pipe organ developed into a concert instrument as the HI-Fi records released in the 1950s made their sound popular again.  

The RTOS instrument, from the former RKO Palace theatre, is now presented to the Rochester community in a series of concerts and silent movie events. 

Below are four short samples of the sound of the RTOS Wurlitzer at the Auditorium Theatre. All were recorded on this instrument and demonstrate the various sounds that a theatre organ (and organist) can create.

Listen to a jazz orchestra sample.

Listen to a marching band sample.

Listen to a string orchestra sample.

Listen to a symphonic orchestra sample.

Two free sources of theatre organ listening are located at the bottom of this page.


Learn about RTOS

The pages of this website document the history of the RTOS instrument, present information and links about theatre organs and provide essays about past organizational activities.

The “RTOS Story” has been updated with new photographs. 

Learn more about our social activities by visiting our Photo Essay’s page.


Want to be better informed about RTOS activities?

The Rochester Theater Organ Society has launched an e-mailing service.  The goal is to provide monthly reminders of RTOS events and activities.  To join the mailing list, you must register your e-mail address.  A website page has been created to allow you to register.  The page on this site is available by selecting the button to the right.  


RTOS On YouTube

The Rochester Theater Organ Society operates a YouTube Channel. to subscribe and explore our program materials, click on the button to the right.


Hear theatre organs using ATOS Radio

If you click on the image to the right, a new browser window will open to a link taking you to the ATOS Theatre Organ Radio streaming service.  This service plays theater organ music 24 hours a day and will provide you with many different organ and artist selections.


Another Web Hosted Theatre Organ Source

Another source of theatre organ programming is the HOT PIPES weekly broadcasts and bi-weekly podcasts.

The button to the right provides access to their home page, which includes links to their podcast playlist library.

For the very best in theatre organ
entertainment from around the world.