The Tywyn Wurlitzer

Visit the stunningly refurbished Neuadd Pendre. A concert here is a great experience.

GET CREATIVE - PLAY THE MIGHTY WURLITZER - SUNDAY 3RD APRIL 2016.

JOINTLY WITH BBC Cymru and the Arts Council of Wales, The Tywyn Wurlitzer Group invites a limited number of musicians with at least a basic keyboard ability to take advantage of the teaching skills of leading Theatre Organist David Lowe and adapt their playing technique to the multi keyboard and variety of pipe voices of the Mighty Wurlitzer Cinema organ.

The programme will commence at 10.00 am, when David will demonstrate the organ to those about to partake. There will follow separate individual tuition sessions and the opportunity for those involved to demonstrate their acquired skills. If you are interested in taking part in this opportunity, please do not delay but contact John Smallwood, the owner of the organ, on 07788 481 892 or at johnavs@uwclub.net as soon as possible. As the day will probably continue until about 6.00pm participants are advised to bring food with them. Liquid refreshments will be available. To offset expenses and hall hire we will ask participants to make a donation, but no fixed fee will be charged. Guests may also attend, but all are requested to maintain a respectful silence while tuition is taking place. There will be facilities available for chatting and partaking of refreshment in an adjacent room!

We do hope that several will take advantage of this rare opportunity, and that the BBC will be present.
Introduction
Tywyn Wurlitzer
The some 657 pipes, together with the other instruments, are contained in two chambers behind the stage of Neuadd Pendre. The Bluthner Grand Piano can now be played remotely from the organ console.

Built in Tonawanda, New York State in the United States of America, the 3-manual 9-rank Wurlitzer Organ was originally installed in the Granada Cinema, Woolwich in South East London in 1937 where it was officially opened by no less a personality than Reginald Dixon, best known to everyone as 'Mr Blackpool'. The organ is now owned by John Smallwood of Tywyn who has generously arranged its permanent loan to the people of the town through the Tywyn Town Council.

Read more about the this history...
Tywyn Wurlitzer News…
Our concerts are now attracting regular and large audiences to our smartly renovated hall, which is receiving widespread commendation in the area.

We only present the top organists in the UK and sometimes from abroad. The fame of Tywyn’s Wurlitzer Organ means that it is sometimes difficult to choose from the many organists attracted by its reputation.

In particular we are grateful to our good friend, organist David Lowe, who played the opening concert in 1996, and is often around helping in its maintenance and in particular with the tuning, which is so important. To tune the organ completely can take up to four or five hours – sometimes not helped by a pipe being extremely reluctant to be tuned, which can take up to ten minutes to sort! David also regularly tunes other Theatre organs throughout the UK.

Since the opening in 1996 there have been several improvements to the organ, including the addition of the Orchestral Oboe, which was acquired from the USA, and the phantom piano, a 1910 Bluthner Grand modified to be playable from an organ console in the 1930s. It still needs some improvement, and can, of course, be played as a conventional piano, which often happens when needed by other users of the Hall.

2016 will be the 20th birthday of the Wurlitzer here at Tywyn, and we are beginning to think of ways to celebrate the achievement. Watch this space!

The organ is available for private practice at reasonable fees subject to the availability of the Hall. It is also available for use for parties and other events at the Hall. Just contact John Smallwood on 01654 710994.

Thank you for your interest and support. We hope to see you at our events.

(Photo courtesy of Mark Laflin)

Mark Laflin - A Handful Of Keys - At The Tywyn Wurlitzer

Mark Laflin - A Handful Of Keys CD (At The Tywyn Wurlitzer)

Released October 2012 - More Information

I Want to Be Happy • Alfie • Handful of Keys • Salad Days (Selection): It’s Easy to Sing / We Said We Wouldn’t Look Back / Out of Breath / I Sit in the Sun / Time of My Life / Looking for a Piano / Oh, Look at Me / Saucer Song • As Long As He Needs Me • That’s Entertainment • Punch (from Puppet’s Suite) • The Arcadians (Selection): Opening Chorus (Act II) / Chorus of Waitresses / The Pipes of Pan / Arcady is Ever Young / Opening Chorus (Act III) / Charming Weather / Truth Is So Beautiful / Arcady Is Ever Young (reprise) • The Spirit of Youth • Alone Again, Naturally • Just One of Those Things • Annie (Selection): Hard Knock Life / Maybe / You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile / Tomorrow / I Dont Need Anything But You • Dainty Miss • Gigi (Selection): Gigi / The Night They Invented Champagne / I Remember It Well / Waltz at Maxims / Thank Heaven for Little Girls / Gigi (reprise) • Overture - Zampa
Alfie
As Long As He Needs Me
Alone Again, Naturally
Handful of Keys
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Neuadd Pendre, Tywyn, Gwynedd
When first built in Brook Street, Tywyn in around 1912 it was for use as a Drill Hall for the Territorial Army. Since that time Neuadd Pendre has seen many different uses - army foot drill and weapons training; sports; leisure and social activities such as whist drives; Bingo sessions, small bore rifle club range, committee meetings and, in fact, anything that the hall and its rooms could be used for.

Of course, dances were very popular indeed during the war years and the hall heard many different languages spoken by the many thousands of British and foreign service personnel stationed in and around Tywyn. It eventually became the responsibility of Tywyn Town Council which is committed to its use as a youth club.

Following the successful application for a National Lottery grant from the Arts Council for Wales, extensive work has been carried out in the hall's extension and refurbishment and in the installation of John Smallwood's private Wurlitzer Theatre Organ which is becoming known nationwide as The Tywyn Wurlitzer.
Specifications
It is a three-manual nine-rank Wurlitzer, a pipe organ similar basically to a concert or church instrument. The main differences are that the pipework plays at a higher wind pressure than a church organ and much heavier tremulants are provided but can be turned on or off.
Its nine ranks of pipes are Tibia Clausa, Vox Humana, Trumpet, Concert Flute, Violin, Violin Celeste, Diaphonic Diapason, Clarinet. Orchestral Oboe Tuned percussions are Xylophone, Cathedral Chimes, Glockenspiel and Vibraphone.
The some 657 pipes, together with the other instruments, are contained in two chambers behind the stage of Neuadd Pendre.
The Bluthner Grand Piano can now be played remotely from the organ console.

It also has numerous non-tonal percussions such as Cymbals, Drums, Castanets, Tambourine, Triangle, Sleigh Bells, Fire Gong, Boat Whistle, Door Bell, Horse Hooves, Bird Whistles, etc., all of which are actual instruments and are played pneumatically.
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