Welcome to the world of the Grande Page Pipe Organ!
The Embassy Theatre 2023 organ and silent film events will take place May through August 2023. Additional organ shows may be added later in the year.
The Embassy offers patrons a unique and historic experience like none other! Whether you desire to focus on the Grande Pape pipe organ on its own or alongside iconic films from a century past, this lovely and melodic instrument is showcased by an array of talented organists who specialize in highlighting its thrilling music and sound effects.
The Grande Page pipe organ (4-manual, 16-rank) is lovingly maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers, and has for the past century, drawn organ fanatics—at times, party train-cars full of them—to hear this magnificent instrument played, by some of the greats—including our beloved Buddy Nolan. We hope to honor this history and invite the community to join us as we re-visit silent cinema classics and feature organists Dave Wickerham, Clark Wilson and Cletus Goens, who will lend context to the films and music at each event.
TICKETS are free for 12 and under, 65 and over, and members of the Embassy. All other tickets are $10 (plus applicable fees) and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. To avoid Ticketmaster fees for general tickets or to obtain FREE tickets, please visit the STAR Bank box office at the Embassy (260.424.5665) at 125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The theater lobby will be open to patrons one full hour prior to show-time.
These are general admission events. Sensory kits and hearing assist devices are available at the STAR Bank box office at the Embassy Theatre.
A full listing of program events, follows:
- Saturday, May 20, 2023, 7:30PM – Buddy Nolan Memorial Concert featuring organist Dave Wickerham
- Sunday, June 11, 2023 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), B&W silent film, featuring organist Clark Wilson
3:00PM | 133 min – starring Lon Chaney
- Sunday, June 25, 2023 – Our Hospitality (1923) plus One Week (short, 1920) B&W silent films, featuring organist Cletus Goens
3:00PM | feature is 65 min & short is 25 min – starring Buster Keaton
- Sunday, July 16, 2023 – The Ten Commandments (1923), B&W silent film; featuring organist Clark Wilson
3:00PM | 136 min – starring Theodore Roberts
- Sunday, August 6, 2023 – Why Worry? (1923) plus Bumping into Broadway (short, 1919) B&W silent films, featuring organist Clark Wilson
3:00PM | feature is 63 min & short is 25 min – starring Harold Lloyd
Dave Wickerham Bio
Dave Wickerhamwas born in Encino, California in 1962. He began playing the electronic organ at the age of four and had his first pipe organ experience at age ten. His musical education started at age seven.
When he moved to Arizona in 1976, he became Associate Organist at the famous Organ Stop Pizza Restaurants in Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson. While in Arizona, he continued his musical studies with Roseamond Crowley, one of the few remaining descendants of the Louis Vierne line of organists. He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson on a full scholarship, pursuing classical organ studies for six years with Dr. Roy Johnson.
In 1984, Dave moved to the Chicago area to become Staff Organist at Pipes and Pizza in Lansing, Illinois. In addition to his performance there, he concertized frequently, as well as ministering musically and serving at various churches.
August of 1990 found the Wickerham family – Dave, his wife and two young children – moving to Wisconsin, where he was one of the featured Staff Organists at the Piper Music Palace in Greenfield, a position he held for 10 years.
In the spring of 2000, Dave ushered in the new millennium with a limited special engagement, as a featured organist at “Roxy’s Pipe Organ Pizzeria,” part of a $26,000,000 expansion phase at the FIESTA Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Wickerham’s, Dave, Rhonda, and now three great kids, spent two years there before returning back home to Wisconsin in August of 2001… For the next three years, Dave resumed his position at the Piper Music Palace and was also the Principal Organist at Williams Bay Lutheran Church in Lake Geneva, WI. He enjoys concertizing frequently to many audiences including various chapters of the American Theatre Organ Society.
In April of 1999, he took great pleasure being a feature artist in Melbourne, Australia for the convention of the Theatre Organ Society of Australia for which he received rave reviews. He returned “Down Under” for a six-week concert tour in Australia and New Zealand during the summer of 2003 and 2012, as well as October/November of 2015.
Dave also enjoys recording and has recently “sold out” his fourth CD “Sounds of Music” recorded on the famous 5 Manual, 80 Rank Theatre Organ at the Sanfilippo Residence in Barrington, IL. There are NEW recording projects that are soon to be completed and released as well as additional video concerts.
After seven years as Organist – Curator with the legendary Milhous Collection in South Florida, Dave and his youngest daughter currently enjoy living in Upper Michigan in the historic town of Crystal Falls. Dave has three grown kids, two married with children of their own. So, with six grandchildren and concertizing, there are many opportunities for travel.
The title sponsors for the 2023 Buddy Nolan Memorial Concert are Thomas and Penelope Mathiesen.
Activities at the Embassy are made possible in part by Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne and the Indiana Arts Commission.