The Rochester Theater Organ Society owns and maintains two Wurlitzer theater organs and utilizes them to present an annual concert series.
Additionally, the Society promotes the education of new performers through a relationship with the Eastman School of Music and the annual presentation of a concert program performed by their students. The RTOS also provides public school programs to Rochester area high schools students and sponsors masters classes for interested individuals.
If you are not familiar with the history of RTOS and the Wurlitzer pipe organ company, a whole section of this site is dedicated to telling this story. The section main menu item, RTOS History and Legacy, which contains many pages of our relationships with the Wurlitzer Company and the RKO Wurlitzer. Included is a section which tells the Story of RTOS and our activities since its creation.
The two RTOS instruments are documented on this site through a set of pages which describe, picture and illustrate their appearance and specifications.
Four Manual, 23 Rank Wurlitzer (From the RKO Palace Theatre)
The specification of the RTOS Wurlitzer requires many pages to provide the history and evolution of the instrument, its installation and specification. This and the following sections of this page are designed to point the reader to this extensive history and documentation.
Auditorium Theatre Placement
The sound of an instrument such as the RTOS Wurlitzer is significantly affected by the room into which it speaks as well as how the instrument in installed, commonly called its “placement” To see how the organ is placed, click on the button to the right.
Photographs of the RTOS Wurlitzer’s organ pipes can be viewed on a separate page by clicking on the button to the right.
The stop list or specification for the RTOS Wurlitzer is fundamentally the same as it was when originally installed in the RKO Palace theatre in 1928. To accommodate its current usage and locations, a few subtle changes have been made in over the 50 plus years it has been installed in the Auditorium Theatre. To evaluate the two “states” of the specification, they can be viewed by clicking on either of the two buttons to the right.
Three Manual, 12 Rank Wurlitzer (Eisenhart Auditorium)
The RTOS also maintains a Wurlitzer theatre organ in the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Eisenhart Auditorium. The details of that installation can be seen by clicking on the button to the right.