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Blaine Gale

Blaine Gale studied piano at age 7. Since his teens he has demonstrated electronic organs and keyboards for dealers, was factory representative for Rodgers Organs in Hawaii. But he fell in love with theater organ pipes appearing at the Waikiki Theatre in Honolulu, the Avenue Theatre in San Bruno, California, in the 60s.

The silent movie era is alive and well at The Organ Loft in Salt Lake City, Utah, where for the past 16 years Blaine Gale has performed the annual series of 19 to 22 showings from September through May.

Blaine is a video producer, blending visual and music talents. This mix is evident in his dedication to promoting and preserving live silent movie accompaniment as a true art form.

The huge popularity of the silent movie series at The Organ Loft prompted Blaine to inaugurate the Silent Movie Accompanist Center for the Performing Arts in January 2003. The SMAC takes an academic approach with a curriculum that is the equal to a college course, according to Jelani Eddington who performed the first workshop/seminar for students and the general public at the Loft. It changed the lives of two students of the January class who discovered their musical vocabulary. Today three artists share the silent film series seated at the 5-manual 34-rank Mighty Wurlitzer.

Blaine’s dream is for the SMAC concept to sprout everywhere there are artists of this art form and theater pipe organs available to present silent films. Jelani Eddington joined the SMAC effort to preserve the almost lost art form. Allen Organ Co. caught this vision, and will sponsor the next famous touring artist’s workshop for the SMAC.

Musicians who can play well with their fingers are learning to play from their heart to tell the story on the screen, while being alert to audience responses. The audience is king, and the king has decreed that this art form be preserved, promoted and perfected.

References: Blaine Gale.

 
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