News Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

Ninth graders experience organ informance seminar

Last Friday, as the 2007-08 school term draws  to a close, Tyrone ninth graders adjourned from their sweltering English classroom on the second floor to the air-conditioned large group instruction room, where their English teacher and Presbyterian organist Richard Merryman presented a digital organ informance seminar.
Playing a $25,000  “Allen Traveling Organ,” supplied by Virgil Cannarsa of Altoona’s Music Emporium, Merryman conducted his ninth grade English students on a musical journey describing the organ’s use in weddings, at silent movies in Tyrone’s Wilson Theatre during the 1920s,  as well as in Pittsburgh’s baseball stadiums and hockey arenas.
After defining the organ as an orchestra equipped with trumpet, principal, string, and flute sounds, Merryman improvised a musical essay using “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”  as his melodic thesis statement.
In the photograph, ninth grader Brandon Parks poses with organist Merryman at the console of the $25,000 Allen Traveling Organ.
Since its birth in 1938 in Macungie, PA, the Allen Company has built over 80,000 organs on all seven continents, ranging in price from $15,000 to $500,000.
In the Tyrone area, the Presbyterian, Christ Methodist, Wesley Methodist, Warriors Mark Methodist, Bible Baptist, Northwood Chapel, and Assembly Of God churches all are equipped with Allen Organs of assorted sizes and ages.