Friends of the Wurlitzer
Contribute to the Legacy
Feel the Music of the iconic Fargo Theatre Wurlitzer as never before! The Red River Theatre Organ Society (RRTOS) has been presenting weekend movie prologues, Silent Movie Night, and Noon-Hour concerts at the Fargo Theatre since the 1970’s, but many have not yet experienced the full potential of the Mighty Wurlitzer! With over 1,800 pipes that range in size from over 16 feet tall to the height of a pencil, numerous percussion instruments and sound effects, the Mighty Wurlitzer has a greater sonic capacity than an entire symphony orchestra and can play any type of music from Bach to Rock! Help us bring more LIVE Theatre Organ to the Fargo/Moorhead area! With your help, we aim to make the Fargo Theatre Wurlitzer a concert-ready instrument fit for frequent pops concerts and silent films performed by professional Theatre Organists from around the globe, right in Downtown Fargo! What can you do to help?
Become a Friend of the Wurlitzer!
By becoming a friend, you receive advanced notice of upcoming Theatre Organ events, invitations to get up close and personal with the Wurlitzer and special events, and discounted tickets to our major productions! Community support and involvement is necessary to keep the Theatre Organ scene alive in the Fargo/Moorhead Area, and the work that we do would not be possible without the generous gifts of those who want to keep the music playing! To become a friend of the Wurlitzer, you can join now online by donating to the RRTOS through our account at the FM Area Foundation (see below for instructions), download, complete, and mail the information form below, or email for other gifting options (such as stock, property, etc.)
For a mail-in donation, please download and fill out the form below to become a friend of the Wurlitzer! Mailing instructions are provided on the form. Credit cards are processed through the FM Area Foundation. Checks may be made payable to Red River TOS. We greatly appreciate your contribution and look forward to serving you even more in the months and years to come!
The work we do would not be possible without the support of our Friends listed below and those who wish to remain anonymous. Thank You!
Concert Flute (A quiet but fundamental rank of pipes): $50-$99
Bob & Linda Gylland
Oboe Horn (Gentle sounding reed pipes): $100-$299
Mike & Barb Hardy
Viol D’ Orchestra (Strident pipes that texturize the ensemble): $300-$499
Robert & Bonnie Ames
Tibia Clausa (The “heart” of the theatre organ sound): $500-$999
Tuba Mirabilis (Powerful pipes with a smooth, soaring tone): $1,000-$4,999
Post Horn (The loudest pipes in the Mighty Wurlitzer): $5,000+
The RRTOS is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization, and all donations are tax-deductible.
We gratefully appreciate your contributions of time, talent, or treasure!
Gifting through the FM Area Foundation
Gifting to the RRTOS is easy! With the help of the FM Area Foundation, donations can be made securely online on their website (via the button below). The FM Area Foundation also allows stock transfers in addition to online donations - for more information about gifting stock to the RRTOS, email firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations are tax deductible. If you would like your donation to be used for a specific purpose, please indicate it in the comment section on the FM Area Foundation donation page. Thank you for your support!
Donations made through the FM Area Foundation are counted as a contribution to the Friends of the Wurlitzer program.
What are your donations going towards?
Our recent projects:
Roll Cymbal Action Repair
We are still working out some electrical "bugs" in the console, but are happy to have our Roll Cymbal back in the organ! The roll cymbal action uses the two piano hammer style mallets at the bottom of the photo for a smooth orchestral suspended cymbal effect. Directly above the felt mallets is the crash cymbal action, which strikes the cymbal with a wooden ball. (December 2018)
French Trumpet Installation
The French Trumpet has been built and installed, completing the Orchestral Chamber! The new French Trumpet pipes are the gold, bell-shaped metal pipes. Next on our list is working out the electrical and computer issues in the Wurlitzer's Console, releathering various parts (regulators, percussions), and preparing the organ to be suitable for professional concerts.
The Diapason wind chest is finished (built by Lance Johnson of Johnson Organ Co.) and was installed with the 61 diapason pipes in the Orchestral Chamber. All that is left to do is connect the electronics to the Wurlitzer's relay and the rank will be playable from the console.
In this picture, the new diapason pipes are installed on the far left. Behind them will be a three rank mixture, the pipes of which have been temporarily removed for the installation of the new pipes. On the far right side is the Krumet rank and in the background is one of the offset chests for three of the larger French Horn pipes.
The swell shades for the Orchestral Chamber (which affect the volume of the pipes) are located right in front of the diapason pipes. Just above the swell shades is where the side wall meets the ceiling in the auditorium.
French Horn Installation
Pictured are several ranks from the Orchestral Chamber - the newest of which are the wooden French Horn pipes built by Johnson Organ Co. There are 61 pipes in the French Horn rank with the larger bass pipes on several offset chests within the chamber.
The ranks pictured (from left to right) are Gamba Celeste, French Horn, Gamba, and Krumet.