ATOS 2017 Awards
Several distinguished ATOS members were recognized at the 2017 awards ceremony at the convention in Tampa.
Organist of the Year
Jerry Nagano (na-GA-no, not NA-ga-no) was born and raised in the Los Angeles area where he began his musical training at age ten. From the very beginning the movies played a major role in his musical life. It was because of attending a silent movie show accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer that Jerry took an interest in the organ. After instruction on electronic organ for a period, he had a chance to study with organist Gaylord Carter, the very person who played for that silent film years before.
During his college years, Jerry was also the organist at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium playing their fabulous Moller Pipe organ.
Upon moving to Northern California, Jerry became a member of the staff of the Stanford Theater. For ten years he was the featured artist at the famed Ye Olde Pizza Joynt in the Bay Area, home of the "Wurlitzer in the Pizza Parlor" concept.
Aside from a very busy musical life, during the day Jerry is a Computer Systems Engineer for Stanford University.
Our Honorary Member for 2017 hails from Fergus Falls, Minnesota. He founded his own organ building company in 1954. He has been involved with ATOE and ATOS since its beginning in 1955. In 1965 he (along with others) chartered the only ATOS chapter in North Dakota, the Red River Chapter. Over many years, he has worked on many important organs, including the Fargo Theatre’s Style E Wurlitzer (soon to be completed as a 4/32), the Fergus Falls Center for the Arts, the Glasrud Auditorium in Moorhead, Minnesota, and the big Wurlitzer at Radio City Music Hall in New York. He has written technical articles for Theatre Organ Journal, and presented on technical issues at Annual Conventions.
The 2017 Honorary Member Award, conveying honorary life membership in the American Theatre Organ Society, is awarded to Mr. LANCE JOHNSON of Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Member of the Year
The 2017 Member of the Year is awarded to Tim Stephens.
Hall of Fame Award
The Hall of Fame Award is the highest award bestowed by the American Theatre Organ Society. It denotes a lifetime of service to the cause of ATOS and the theatre organ, whether by being a performer, an organ builder or technician, or by making major financial or other contributions to the cause.
Our Hall of Fame honoree is a native southern Californian. In the 1950s he heard his first theatre organ, a 235 Wurlitzer in the Crown Theatre in Pasadena, played by Billy Wright (not George!) The credits of our honoree could fill a phone book. Just a few of the highlights of his long career in the organ field include:
Has been a member of LATOE-LATOS for 55 years
Honorary member Of the Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society
Honorary life member of Theatre Organ Society of San Diego
Honorary member (2012) American Theatre Organ Society
Worked on the Rialto Wurlitzer 216 with John Curry, and the Crown Wurlitzer 235, for George Wrights concerts
Worked on George Wright’s studio recording organ
Crew Chief for installation of Wilshire Ebell Barton 3/13
Project manager of South Pasadena High School Wurlitzer installation of a 235 style with Midi
Took care of the Iceland Wurlitzer 260 special for 38 years
Total rework of the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse 260 Wurlitzer in time for the ATOS 2012 Convention with Tony Fenelon and Lyn Larsen
Worked on the San Diego Symphony Robert Morton 4/49. Total rebuild plus new ranks
He also has his own 3-40 rank Pipe Organ in his home in Valley Center with his wife Susan
The 2017 Hall of Fame Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Theatre Organ Society, is presented to Mr. PETER CROTTY of Valley Center, CA.
Industry Achievement Award
Looking past the work of the original major theatre organ builders, there is perhaps no other individual that has had such an impact on the rebuilding, installation, or construction of these instruments. His work can seen in installations across the country, in both past and present instruments, and his work is highly regarded as the finest example of theatre organ renovation.
A partial list of his work:
Paramount Music Palace - Indiana and Florida
Roaring 20s Restaurants - Michigan & Indiana
Stahl Museum - Michigan
Milhous Museum - Florida
Cardinal Music Palace - Indiana
Colorado State University - Colorado
Pasadena City College - California
Santa Monica High School - California
Founder's Church - California
New & Rebuilt Consoles:
Iowa Theatre - Cedar Rapids
Seattle Paramount Theatre - Washington
Organ Stop Pizza- Arizona
Cincinnati Music Hall - Ohio
Sanfillippo Residence - Illinois
Fullerton High School - California
Nethercutt Museum - California
The 2017 Industry Achievement Award, conveying our respect for the noteworthy work of a master technician, goes to Ken Crome.