After a 10-month console restoration project, the Grande Page Pipe organ will be back on the Embassy stage on June 14 for the annual Buddy Nolan Tribute concert sponsored by Hylant.
Last Oct. 8 the Grande Page console left the Embassy Theatre and was taken to Indianapolis for console and electronic interface restoration. ³This restoration project has been on our list for almost five years and, thanks to a Foellinger Foundation grant, we now have the dollars needed,² said Embassy Executive Director Kelly Updike.
Carlton Smith Pipe Organ Restorations has repaired and fine-tuned some technical aspects of the instrument. The process cost $68,000 which included a $27,075 Limited Asset Improvement grant from the Foellinger Foundation. The console is tentatively scheduled to return to the Embassy on June 4.
The Grande Page pipe organ is the reason the Embassy Theatre was saved from being torn down in 1974 when a volunteer group of organ enthusiasts rallied the community to save the building. One of the Embassy¹s most famous organists Buddy Nolan, started an annual concert and that tradition carries on today.
The Buddy Nolan Tribute concert, June 14, 7 p.m., will feature organist Ken Double who played the very first Buddy Nolan Tribute concert in 1978. Double has had a lengthy career in broadcasting and music and is currently the president of the American Theatre Organ Society.
Following the Buddy Nolan Tribute concert the Embassy Theatre will present three black and white silent films in which the Grande Page pipe organ will provide musical accompaniment as it did when these movies were new.
June 22, Peter Pan; June 29, Metropolis; and July 6, Ben-Hur. All movies will start at 7 p.m. Discussion will take place before and after the movie led by Jane Martin, communication professor at the University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts. These movies are also sponsored by Hylant.