Ontario Beach Park Band Organ, Rochester, NY
By Dan Robinson
I'm happy to report that the Stinson 165 band organ at Ontario Beach
Park here in Rochester, New York, is now playing again after its
conversion to MIDI operation. The beautiful 1905 Dentzel carousel
opened for the season this weekend, and the organ sounds amazing.
It's been said that band organs playing by MIDI tend to have a dull
sound. It's also been said that they sound just as good as when
played by paper rolls. After hearing the Ontario Beach organ, I must
say I definitely agree with the latter.
I know very well the Wurlitzer 165 tunes that I was hearing, and it's
hard to believe that what I was listening to was not Wurlitzer 165
paper rolls but a MIDI diskette. Put any band organ expert (without
prior knowledge of the organ's conversion) in front of it, and I am
sure they would say the same.
And now to admittedly toot my own horn a bit: I got the ball rolling
on the conversion project by writing a couple of letters to the parks
department, telling them about the MIDI system and putting them in
touch with the Stinson Organ Company. I'm certainly glad I did. The
MIDI system is non-invasive and inconspicuous, and it was the ideal
solution for this band organ. MIDI does have its place in commercial
applications such as this.
The experience of this carousel is now a complete one again.
Beautiful, rich band organ music once again fills the air at Ontario
Beach Park, on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Genesee River.
Rochester, New York
(Message sent Wed 28 May 2003, 01:50:12 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)