Any MMDers in the area of Rochester, New York, who may have been
planning to go hear the newly MIDI-fied Stinson 165 band organ at
Ontario Beach Park had better put their plans on hold. All is not well
there after all. It seems my post in the MMD last week was premature.
The band organ is too loud for the employees! Ever heard that one
I admit I've never been around a band organ for quite the length of
an entire work shift, but we've heard this so many times at so many
carousels, and I'm having a bit of trouble just accepting it.
I personally know of a band organ enthusiast who traveled more than
an hour yesterday to hear this band organ, only to find recorded music
again being used at the carousel, the organ sitting in silence just
like it did for so long before the MIDI conversion. The carousel has
been open for the season no more than three days!
The carousel building is acoustically very good for a band organ,
unlike the modern glass building in Salem, Oregon (discussed many times
in the MMD) and the Strong Museum right here in Rochester (where, as
far as I know, the organ is not used).
The Ontario Beach building is an old wooden building, with exposed wood
ceilings, and large garage door-like windows that can be opened all
around except at the corners of the building. And unlike the Salem,
Oregon, organ, the Ontario Beach Stinson does not have any brass
A Plexiglas shield had been installed on the front of the organ in the
past. This can be seen in Rick Inzero's photo of the organ in the MMD
picture gallery, the third picture down on the following page:
There is talk of constructing a new one for the organ now. Other than
that and possibly sound-absorbing panels in the surrounding corner of
the building, what can be done??
So now we have a band organ in perfect condition, just overhauled by
its original builder. It will dependably play by MIDI for years to
come. It should never have to be silenced by mechanical problems
again. And now they say it is just too loud!
It is absolutely mind boggling to me that they are actually considering
simply not using the organ, after all of the money that was just spent
on it. The carousel patrons would again walk by and look at the organ
and wonder why it is not playing, as if nothing had been done to it!
I know this because it is exactly what they were doing yesterday!
I apologize for the length of this post, but if you've read this far
you can tell I'm a little bit angry. I can say for sure that I will
be in contact with the parks department again, and whomever else I can
think of. I would invite any discussion or suggestions from MMDers
about this problem.
[ Organ pipes can be voiced to play very softly, but then the
[ sound isn't as exciting. What does the management of Ontario
[ Beach Park really want? -- Robbie