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HAL meets 'Organ Grinder'


Mon, Apr 11th 2022 01:30 pm

The Historical Association of Lewiston’s next program is titled “Mechanical Organs – An Evening with the Organ Grinder.” Dan Wilke will present this event at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah Fellowship Hall, 915 Oneida St.

Wilke, from Buffalo, will present this “fun and very musical program.” He developed a fascination with self-playing automatic musical instruments at age 3 when he was mesmerized by the sounds of a Wurlitzer band organ on a merry-go-round at Olcott Beach. The interest became more serious six years later when he acquired the first item in his collection, a Victorian-era pump organ. Following that was his first Victrola at age 10, and a player piano at age 12. In his early 20s, Wilke acquired his first German-built street organ, and has had the honor of being “Buffalo’s Only Organ Grinder” for 35 years.

For this presentation, Wilke will feature six instruments from his personal collection, including two German street organs, 125-year-old organettes and even a Spanish barrel piano!

This community event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served. Hand sanitizer will be available.

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