Page 2 The Digger Shopper & News • November 8, 2011
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Ophir is hiding in 5 ads in this week’s paper. List all 5advertisers’ names below and submit your entry byNoon, Friday, November 11, 2011 atThe Digger, 2057 Mitchell Ave., or at
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Two Free Auto Handwashes Somppi’s Feather River Car Wash
Pipe Organ History and Techno Details,Part 3 in a series about Oroville’s StateTheatre pipe organIn case you aren’t as curious about pipeorgans as I am, I’d like to encourage youto skip down to the last paragraph! Foreveryone else, after you read all aboutorgans, you’ll want to get a ticket for themovie mentioned at the end of my story.Over 7000 theater pipe organs of vari-ous sizes were installed in American the-aters from 1915 to 1933. Today fewer than40 original instruments remain in theiroriginal theaters. Our Wurlitzer is madeup of parts of various organs. We haveabout 1200 pipes as compared to a smallinstrument which might have 100 to 300pipes. The largest instruments contained1000 to 3000 pipes and the pipes are in“ranks” one pipe for each of the 61 notes,more or less, and one rank for each sound.Our organ has 3 manuals and 16 ranks ascompared to Radio City Music Hall’s or-gan with 4 manuals and 58 ranks or LosAngeles Orpheum Theatre with 3 manualsand 14 ranks. Seems to me that we’re get-ting a great pipe organ for Oroville.In reading about organs I almost feltlike I was back in school learning a newsubject! There’s the console, I recognizethat part and ours is now located in the StateTheatre lobby for everyone to admire. Thehorseshoe shaped console is unique to the-ater pipe organs and is the only part of theorgan that will be visible to the audience. Ithas 3 manuals (or keyboards), with lots of
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stop tabs and a pedal keyboard. The organ-ist has control of all the buttons and ped-als that control the mechanics of the organ,similar to conducting an orchestra.Other organ parts include the relay,that’s the “brains” that takes electricalsignals from the console and directs thecorrect pipe or trap to instantly sound.The blower and the windchests are organparts involved with the pressurized airthat’s needed to produce the musical tones.Then there are the pipes, traps and the toycounter. The traps are the snare drum, bassdrum, tom-tom, cymbals, triangle, tam-bourines. There are actual percussion in-struments; a xylophone, marimba, celesta,glockenspiel, cathedral chimes and thefull-sized upright piano. Finally, the silentmovie sound effects including train andboat whistles, sirens, bird-calls, automo-bile horns and birds chirping, Usually thevarious parts of the pipe organ are at a con-siderable distance from each another, andthey are connected by miles of electricalwiring. An update to our organ involvesutilizing a PC-based solid state logic sys-tem rather then the original mechanicalrelay system.If you’re ready to see and hear a small-er electronic version of a theater organ inaction, STAGE would like to invite youto attend “Silents at the State” on Friday,November 11 for a Charlie Chaplin fea-ture, “The Gold Rush” with live organ ac-companiment by Dave Moreno. The showstarts at 7 p.m. at the State Theatre locatedat 1489 Myers St. in Downtown Oroville.Cost is $10, students $5. It will be a grandevening supporting the “Restore the StateTheatre’s Pipe Organ” project. Monetarydonations will gladly be accepted for theOrgan Project at any time. Contact JimMoll at 370-1273. For labor and mate-rial donations, please call David Dewey at589-3676.By Pamela Casner, STAGE volunteer
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