FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Embassy Theatre has announced the first of its Grange Page pipe organ events of the season. On Sept. 25 the theater will be hosting Magnificent Melodies with Ken Double on at 7:30 p.m.
Magnificent Melodies with Ken Double will feature Double‘s masterful talent featuring songs ranging from pops to standards to Broadway. The audience hear classics such as “All I Ask of You” from Phantom, “Serenade” from The Student Prince, “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” and many more.
The theater said the concert is free to children 12 and under as well as those 65 and up. Embassy members can also claim two free tickets per member. Free tickets must be obtained directly through the STAR Bank box office.
Tickets are $10 per person for those age 13-64 (plus applicable fees) and can be purchased at fwembassytheatre.org, ticketmaster.com and the STAR Bank box office at the Embassy Theatre at 260-424-5665 located at 125 W. Jefferson Blvd.
About Ken Double
Double loves to boast that he has been “paid to have fun twice in life!” The native of Chicago spent 33 years broadcasting sports, including many events in Indiana and especially in Fort Wayne. But there was that interesting secondary career that is now front and center. Double started organ lessons at age eight, and about the time he was growing bored with it, a high school teacher introduced Double to the magic of the theater pipe organ. In that world, they call it the ‘WOW’ moment. Double was hooked. He steered his lessons to the theater organ, including a final year under the great Al Melgard, famous organist at the old Chicago Stadium.
Double’s concert credits include seven tours of Australia and New Zealand, two trips to the UK, countless concerts in Canada and hundreds across the US. He was instrumental in the installation of the Wurlitzer organ at the Long Center in Lafayette where Ken will play his 40th annual concert in 2022. There are highlights at the Embassy Theatre, too. Double was invited to play the very first Buddy Nolan Concert in tribute to the Embassy Page, and he teamed with Dyne Pfeffenberger for several memorable duet concerts.
For 10 years, Double was the national president of the American Theatre Organ Society. He has more than 20 recordings to his credit, including the new Magnificent Melodies on Mighty Mo, recorded on the massive 4/42 Möller pipe organ at the Atlanta Fox Theatre.
About the Grand Page
The Embassy would not have its rich history without the Grande Page pipe organ. Its significance is instrumental. In the 1920s, movie and vaudeville palaces like the Embassy were opening throughout the United States. One thing theaters could not do without was the theater pipe organ, which, along with orchestras, accompanied the silent films of the day.
Installed in 1928 and built by the Page Organ Company of Lima, Ohio, the Embassy’s Grande Page pipe organ is one of three of its size built, and one of two still in its original home.
Over 1,100 pipes fill the main pipe chamber and solo pipe chamber in the Embassy Theatre on either side of the stage, ranging in size from 16 feet to only seven inches. Instruments include the marimba, harp, piano, glockenspiel, xylophone and the “toy counter,” containing snare and bass drums, cymbals, Chinese gong, castanets, tambourines, tom-toms, triangle, wood block, steamboat and train whistles, sirens, fire gong, telephone, claxon, sleigh bells and chirping birds. The complete range of instruments and sound effects helped organists convey the emotions, characters and story lines of each silent film to flicker across the screen back in its heyday.
When the Embassy was faced with the wrecking ball in 1972, community leaders and volunteers, led by Robert Goldstine, banded together to form the Embassy Theatre Foundation. Their goal was to protect the building for the good of the community and preserve the home of the Grande Page pipe organ. Through the efforts of these volunteers and the support of the community, the successful “Save the Embassy” campaign raised the $250,000 necessary to rescue the building from demolition with just two days to spare.