Concert Series

Grand Ledge Opera House * General Seating * 2013 - 2014

Lansing Theatre Organ Presents the 19th Riverside Pops Season:

Music, Movies & Magic!

Fr. Andrew Rogers, Organist
Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 3:00 p.m.

From the famous Hal Roach Studios, Safety Last is a hilarious romantic comedy from the golden era of silent film, featuring one of its most enduring stars, Harold Lloyd. It includes one of the most famous images from the silent era; that of Lloyd nervously clutching the hands of a large clock as he dangles helplessly from the outside of a skyscraper high above moving traffic. In its time, it was critically hailed, and established Lloyd's status as a major motion picture star. Today it is still viewed as one of the great film comedies, recognized by both the Library of Congress and the American Film Institute. Celebrating 100 years of the genius of Harold Lloyd, Riverside Pops is proud to kick off our 19th season with this iconic film. Fr. Andrew Rogers is a resident of Fenton, Michigan and Pastor of Holy Trinity Ukranian Orthodox Church in Dearborn. He began musical studies on the accordian at age seven, winning local and national competitions, and later appeared in the orchestra of Broadway productions while attending Michigan State University. After making the switch to the organ, he concurrently studied theatre organ stylings with the late Fr. Jim Miller and classical organ with Dr. Marilyn Mason at the University of Michigan. Currently, he is on the organ playing staff of the Fox Theatre, Detroit and the Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor. His worldwide performances have brought rave reviews, and we welcome Fr. Andrew for his second performance on the Riverside Pops concert series!

Featuring silent comedy short "BIG BUSINESS" (1929)
Scott Smith, Organist
Sunday, December 15, 2013- 3:00 p.m.

Organist Scott Smith is a native and lifelong resident of Lansing, where he studied both theatre and classical organ during his formative years. Beginning as a teenager, he performed regularly on the Barton organ at the Michigan Theatre in downtown Lansing as its last House Organist, from 1972 to 1980. When the organ's new home was secured at the Grand Ledge Opera House, Scott became House Organist, beginning in 1995. He was responsible for the organ's redesign and oversaw the installation and tonal finishing. Scott was one of the original incorporators of Lansing Theatre Organ, and has served as the organization's President since it's inception. In addition to concertizing and accompanying silent films, he also lectures about various aspects of pipe organ history and his writings can be found on the pages of numerous professional pipe organ journals. He is also the owner of Scott Smith Pipe Organs, LLC, a full-service pipe organ business that services, builds and restores both theatre and church/classical pipe organs. This concert marks the 25th anniversary of his position as Organist at the Mole Hole of Marshall, where he has entertained gift shop patrons during the holidays for the past quarter century. Along with numerous seasonal favorites, Scott will accompany the Laurel & Hardy comedy Big Business, another hilarious Hal Roach film in which the boys play door-to-door Christmas tree salesmen in Southern California. A feud develops when the pair attempt to sell a tree to a potential customer with a high degree of sales resistance, and in the ensuing battle, both a house and a car are destroyed. Don't miss it!

Steve Schlesing, Organist
Guest appearance by the Celebration Choir, Lutheran Church of the Master, Troy
Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 3:00 p.m.

A basically unwritten chapter in the history of the theatre organ is that of the gospel organ, with music that successfully bridged classical with popular music. Arrangements by gospel arrangers and composers Paul Mickelson and Harold DeCou will be featured, amongst many by Mr. Schlesing himself. For several years, Mickelson was the organist for the Billy Graham crusades, eventually transitioning over to composing, arranging, producing and performing full-time. He knew over 3,000 hymns by heart and could transpose anything instantaneously. DeCou also published numerous books of hymn arrangements over several years, and both recorded and broadcast on the radio extensively. The ever-popular Steve Schlesing, who grew up listening to and performing hymns and gospel music returns for his seventh appearance at the Opera House. Steve has toured the U.S., performing concerts and accompanying silent films. For many years, he played at pipe organ equipped pizza restaurants from coast to coast, until settling in the Detroit area. Among Steve's unique credits was that of Organist for the Detroit Tigers for several seasons. Steve is currently Organist for the Lutheran Church of the Master in Troy, and remains in great demand throughout the area.

Mark Herman, Organist
Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 3:00 p.m.

While not a name generally known to the public, Harry Warren was the first American song composer to write primarily for film, and had more hit tunes than any other songwriter of the 20th century. Warren wrote over 800 songs covering a period of sixty years, publishing over 500 of them. Fifty-six feature films released carry his credit as songwriter, and if you add all the Hollywood movies in which new or existing Warren songs were used between 1929 and 1975, that number swells to an astonishing 135! Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song eleven times, he won three Oscars, and wrote such memorable tunes as: Lullaby of Broadway, You'll Never Know, On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe, I Only Have Eyes For You, Jeepers Creepers, The More I See You, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, and I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo. Mark Herman began studying the piano when he was seven years old, and began classical organ lessons by the age of twelve. By the following year, he was studying the theatre organ with the renowned John Ferguson of Indianapolis. In 2003, he won the American Theatre Organ Society's prestigious Young Theatre Organist Competition, and by 2006, he had toured Australia and New Zealand. During the past several years, he has performed numerous concerts in venues from coast to coast. In addition to playing the organ, Mark has been known to perform on the piano, and has several original compositions to his credit. This tribute to the dazzling musical output of Harry Warren is this season's contribution to our ongoing Art of the Composer series.

(All events take place at the Grand Ledge Opera House, 121 S. Bridge St. (M-100), Grand Ledge, MI. All programs/artists subject to change.)


Tickets $12 in advance from LTO Box Office or Grand Ledge Opera House office, and $15 at the door.
Season tickets available ONLY from LTO box office, and are $40 for one ticket for each performance OR take advantage of our Mix 'N Match program, where you can pay $40 for four tickets in any combination of performances.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from the following venues:

Lansing Theatre Organ, Inc.
P. O. Box 26154
Lansing, MI 48909
* Cash, money order, checks only. NO credit cards. *

Grand Ledge Opera House Office (rear of building)
121 S. Bridge St., @ River St.
Grand Ledge, MI 48837
* Cash, money order, checks, credit cards *

Ticket orders received one week or less from the day of performance will be held at the LTO box office and available as a will call.


HOLIDAY TRADITIONS (formerly Holiday Home Tour)
Saturday, December 7 & Sunday, December 8, 2013
Various organists / various times
Grand Ledge Opera House, 121 S. Bridge St. (M-100) @ River St., Grand Ledge

Scott Smith, Organist
Saturdays throughout the Christmas season - 12:00 Noon - 5:00 p.m.
(call ahead to confirm)
Mole Hole of Marshall, 150 W. Michigan Avenue, Marshall (1-269-781-5923)