RTOS Story – The Next 50 Years

Where do we go from here?  RTOS maintains two world-class Wurlitzers.  Both instruments are in excellent condition and installed in well maintained secure buildings.  In each instance RTOS enjoys a positive relationship with the management of the facilities. We have much to be both proud of and thankful for.  While most of the organists from the golden era are now gone, new generations of talented artists continue to discover the magic of the theatre organ and perform for us.

RTOS is doing its part to keep the music playing.  Each February for the past eight years, in a collaboration with the Eastman School of Music, students from the Department of Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards, chaired by RTOS Director David Higgs, who have expressed an interest in playing the Wurlitzer have performed a concert for the RTOS audience.  Known as The Eastman Bunch, this unique program has inspired several students to further their skills in mastering the theatre organ.

However,  RTOS is currently experiencing many of the same challenges faced by other organizations similar to ours.  Declining membership and escalating costs are causing us to carefully scrutinize our operations in hopes of containing these costs.  For 2015 we have elected to eliminate one concert per year.  While this will help to some degree, we realize that we must rebuild our membership and develop new sources of revenue to sustain operations in the coming years.

RTOS has had a proud and successful 50 years and we look forward to our 100th anniversary.

This updated and expanded version of the RTOS Story was created and edited by Russ Shaner and includes material written by Lloyd Klos and others that has appeared in previous RTOS publications.  The Editor thanks Don Hall, Richard Neidich and Dan Schultz for supplying additional information.

August, 2014