Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 21

and refurbished for $1.3 million.
"The last thing it played before going silent was 'Amazing
Grace,' and the first thing it played in Johns Creek was 'Amazing
Grace' in November 2016," says Rush, who did the inaugural
honors. "And now, next year, we're planning to have the
Trinity Church Wall Street choir here to bring the whole story
full circle."

Theater standbys

For years after the Grand Theatre in Fitzgerald opened in
the early 1900s, visitors were entertained by an organ, but the instrument was lost to a fire in 1932. When the space was reopened
four years later, the organ was not part of the restoration.
But in the early 2000s, local residents rallied around the
idea of having an organ, and in 2009 the idea became reality.
"We pulled it out of a massive private residence in Illinois
and brought it here," says Cam Jordan, community development
director for the city of Fitzgerald, which owns the theater. "It had
been in a theater before it was in someone's home, and it was
the most incredible mechanical thing I'd ever seen. We took it

Organist Alan Morrison plays the 4,413pipe organ at Spivey Hall at Clayton State
University in Morrow. The instrument was
custom-designed and built by a company
in Padua, Italy. To learn more about the
organ's history, go to bit.ly/spiveyorgan.

COURTESY SPIVEY HALL

COURTESY SPIVEY HALL

COURTESY JOHNS CREEK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Jeremy Rush, organist at Johns Creek United Methodist Church, says
the choir from the organ's original home church, Trinity Church Wall
Street in New York City, will pay it a visit next year.

out piece by piece and moved it on a tractor-trailer."
Big Bart, as the instrument is dubbed, was installed in the
theater and programmed to play by itself.
"It's amazing to see the keys moving like a ghost is playing
it," Jordan says. "It's pretty special."
One of the state's most famous theater organs is the Mighty
Mo, the 1929 Möller instrument in Atlanta's Fox Theatre. One of
the Fox's resident organists, Ken Double, describes the organ as
one of the most distinctive instruments in the theater world, second in size to only the one at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
"First, it's one of only three theater organs in Georgia, along
with the Rylander in Americus and the Grand in Fitzgerald," says
Double, who presides over the Atlanta chapter of the American
Theatre Organ Society (ATOS). "But the Fox has four keyboards
and 42 sets of pipes; that's huge."
What sets theater organs apart from, say, church organs is
that many theater organs rely on electricity and wind to produce
the sound.
www.georgiamagazine.org
www.georgiamagazine.org

17
21


http://www.bit.ly/spiveyorgan http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - August 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - August 2019 - Cover4
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