Crunch Time

It’s getting a little crazy for me as I put the finishing touches on my new audio CD.  It’s amazing that the organ itself is the driving force behind my song selections and also the interpretation.  Those of you who follow my blog realize I have a target date of May 7th to complete the finished product.  This is when the annual home organ festival will be taking place in Palm Springs, CA sponsored by Desi’s Music Centers…..always a wonderful and exciting event.

It continues to be fun to experience the latest concepts from Roland Corporation where technology is key.  The introduction of the Atelier 900 Platinum has the music industry buzzing.  At last, the actual timber of the various sounds has been contoured such that the surrounding nuances are automatically in place for the player.  In other words, flutes, saxophones, brass, etc. effects are programmed to release the appropriate amount of breathiness, attack and decay features, plus crystal clear tones and rhythms.  It’s kind of like a smart phone.  It does the thinking for you leaving more time to simply enjoy making music.

I’ve completed recording all the data and now the graphics are being produced in preparation for the final product.  Keep an eye out on my web site,, for this current release titled “Passion for Platinum” appearing soon.  What an exciting time to be a musician.

Rosemary Bailey




I Feel Like I’m Conducting an Orchestra!

Why do I feel I should don a black tuxedo, complete with tails?  Maybe it’s because I’m feeling quite masterful when setting the instrumentation for my next conquest….the Spellbound Concerto by Miklos Rozsa.  You may remember a movie from the 40’s by that name.  It was a classic collaboration of David O. Selznick (producer) and Alfred Hitchcock (director) starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck.  A thriller, to say the least!  The plot hinges around the psychosis of a murderer.  Except, in true Hitchcock fashion, the guilty party turns out to be an entirely different person than the one the viewer has been led to believe throughout the film.  Confused yet?  Anyway, the musical score reflects this aura of danger, apprehension and mystery.  My challenge is to transcribe this Academy Award Winning score to suit the Atelier organ while preserving the realism created by the composer.  A bit tricky, but also a fun task.

So I set out this weekend to accomplish just that.  How?  Well, the music itself supplies the dissonance to make the harmonies seem a bit edgy.  Funny, if one were to take the idea a little further, the result would be offensive to the ear.  But this work stops just short of that point.  And, just to make it even more of a challenge, a love interest develops in the plot.  So part of the notation is truly warm and beautiful.  Such a terrific suite to learn and to perform.

And I’ll be doing just that in Palm Springs this May at the annual Desi’s Music Center organ spectacular.  It’s a three-day event where folks from all over the country convene to not only experience professional concert artists in action but also glean practical application of what they’ve heard through daytime music workshops.  Part of the continued success of the festival is the hands-on aspect of the gathering where the pros like me gladly offer playing critiques and suggestions to those who aspire to advance their skills.  We all stay at the same Hilton Hotel, dine together and enjoy the various planned activities.  It’s always great fun as well as educational for the attendees.  If you’re interested, log onto and click on Music Extravaganza for more details.  I hope to see you there this May.  Come and say “hi”.

So it’s back to preparing for these exciting few days.  Of course, I’ll also be featuring other less dramatic music while there.  The newly-introduced Platinum model Atelier console organ from Roland Corporation provides me with instrumentation ranging from Latin to Dixieland…..and everything in between.  Fortunately, I am able to store my sound registrations on a memory stick making it very convenient to “switch gears” while on stage.  It’s nice to know that the music industry continues to use today’s technology in improving their products.  I’m lucky to be a part of the promotion of these magnificent instruments.  I feel empowered by them!

I enjoy bringing these blogs to you and I hope you enjoy reading.  Please visit

We’ll talk more later.  Bye for now.

Rosemary Bailey



Making the Most of a Rainy Weekend

Well here we go with what some may categorize as a dull, dreary, wet couple of days.  Sure, the surfing and golfing folks are affected by inclement conditions…but I don’t participate in those kind of hobbies.  I guess the most dangerous part of my use of spare time would involve the possibility of getting struck by lightning while seated on the organ bench.  This actually did happen to me years ago while playing a concert in Arizona.  Fortunately, the strike hit a large tree just outside of the building I was in.  Incredibly loud, but no harm done except for scaring me to death.  Oddly enough I continued performing until the end of the chorus of the song.  The next strike knocked out the electrical power…so that was the end of that.

Then there was the incident in Redlands, CA, when a moderate earthquake hit during my program.  People in this area are somewhat used to them…although I personally think it’s impossible to claim that…and everyone stayed seated, including me.  I didn’t particularly like my stage positioning that was directly under a huge light fixture.  This time I did stop playing until the tremor passed, then resumed at the exact spot where I had left off.  Everyone laughed and applauded.

I think the most remarkable experience I ever had while performing occurred on the east coast of south Florida.  Yes, a giant hurricane was about to come through.  However, Floridians in that area seem to have a handle on the drill necessary for these things.  Everyone had known that the storm system was coming and was apparently prepared for that possibility.  That is, everyone but me.  I was playing at an afternoon event for a Roland Atelier dealer.  Understandably, a relatively small group of listeners attended, maybe 75 or so.  I cut the program short when asked to do so by the store owner.  After all, it was getting progressively more ominous outside and dark, really dark.  But the crowd wanted me to CONTINUE!  They said, “Oh, we have plenty of time…..keep going”.  I then gave them a very short, very fast rendition of 12th Street Rag and left.  It was only later that I realized I had musically escorted in a very powerful lady, hurricane Frances.

So with these fond memories in mind, I choose to sequester myself from the droplets predicted for San Diego today.  The up side is a cozy atmosphere suitable for creating music, sipping wine and hanging out with my Golden.  That is until the next traumatic experience…perhaps involving a swarm of giant locusts?????

Hey be sure to “like” me on Facebook.  First of all, everyone likes to be liked but it will allow you to keep up with what I’m doing and also get you guessing at the Song of the Month next month.  Visit to get more details.  Until next time.

Rosemary Bailey

Meeting Up with Cindy’s group

Last Tuesday was very special for me.  I met with some ten hobbyist organists who were ready for another dose of Volare input.  For those of you not aware of what I’m referring to, Volare is my teaching program designed for amateur organs and keyboard players.  I explain the premise of the course on my web site,  One of my biggest proponents in this effort is a woman associated with the music industry by the name of Cindy Soriano.  It is through her efforts and encouragement that this week’s event took place.

It seems that there are some folks out there that consider even elementary bits of information inspiring.  They crave the acquisition of musical skills on an ongoing basis.  This is a good thing!  After all, learning music is a never-ending sport, right?  So we all convened and discussed the importance of building beautiful and logical medleys of tunes.  The first question asked of me by Marjorie had to do with my opinion about the length of an average medley of songs.  I shared this anecdotal story:

A number of years ago, a friend of mine accompanied me to a concert given by an artist whom we both knew.  It was quite enjoyable but lengthy…to say the very least.  I recall the plan for the artist’s musical arrangement.  She announced her medley to be a “musical journey across the great United States of America”.  And it was!  The medley started with a melody reminiscent of San Francisco and was to end in up in New York….a wonderful concept.  The only problem was that after almost one hour, the audience we still in Kansas City!  The moral of the story was that too much of a good thing can turn out to be counterproductive after a while.

So, I guess the moral of my story for you players out there is to keep your songs combinations entertaining, yet succinct.  In my opinion, a maximum of five tunes is sufficient for any medley content.  It can be fun to plan out these things but please pay respect to those who are the listeners.  My analogy is that as wonderful as premium chocolate ice cream is, too much of it can make you feel a bit uncomfortable after awhile.

Look for the March Song of the Month to be posted in a week or so.  Last month’s winner, Lois Phagan from Florida solved the dilemma of identifying the melody.  It turned out to be a tough one to solve…..sorry about that.  But please remember that each song posted on my web site has pertinence to the month itself.  I’ll give you one clue to the correct answer of the upcoming song……it definitely WON’T be a march.

Of course, as always, if you are interested in pipe organ, theatre organ or home organ, please feel free to visit my website at and see whats going on with Volare and Pearl.




posted by Ric Overton of

“Longer Days…..Hooray!

“Longer Days…..Hooray!
I’ve never really been a morning person, that is until about five years ago.  I don’t know what happened but I found myself rising earlier and earlier all of a sudden.  I guess the key is to curtail late night television watching.  I finally realized that staying up until 3:00 A.M., fighting sleep (and sometimes caving in to the temptation), was sort of stupid.  Most of the time I didn’t even recall what I had been watching the night before.
So this morning when I first began to wake up about 5:30, I realized the days were becoming longer again!  I like this!  Most of the time, I ly in bed for a few minutes planning my day’s strategy.  Seems like the minute I get up, the real world sets in complete with its obligations and distractions.  Strangely enough, even the animals acclimate to the change.  My golden retriever was up and ready to go when I was as were the birds.  There’s one large crow that noisily pecks at the skylight in our living room every morning.  Hope he doesn’t break it…it’s tough to sue a bird for damages.
So today’s plan is to complete the details of an abbreviated Volare course which I am presenting this Tuesday.  If you recall, Volare is my learning seminar that shows amateur keyboard players some of the secrets to musical success.  You can read more about this on my web site  There’s lots of things that are not really that difficult to incorporate into your playing…if you know how to do it.  I’ve been asked to talk a bit about techniques in creating medleys.  Great subject.  Apparently each one of these musicians have a few tunes they’ve learned to play but have no conduit to connect them into medley form.  A few of the ideas we’ll be discussing have to do with chord transformations, chromatic fill-ins, rhythm introductions, etc.  Some of this type of thing comes naturally to me….or maybe I just listen to a lot to various styles of music throughout the day….jazz, theatre organ, show tunes, whatever.  Once in a while I find myself inserting a musical passage into an arrangement that I know came from somewhere in my subliminal mind.  After all, we know the brain is an incredible storage house of information.  The challenge is to retrieve the file in our head that completes our current demand.  In music, that data could be anything from Sinatra-esque phrasing to a country banjo riff.  If we’ve heard it, it’s up in there somewhere.  The trick is to extract it to use it in one’s own playing.
I’ll be talking to you more soon and thanks for reading my weekly blog.  I certainly enjoy generating it.”
In the meantime please take a look at this newest video  and also feel free to visit my website at and see whats going on in the world of Pipe Organ, Theatre Organ and Home Organ.    Until Next Time……………
posted by Ric Overton of

Learning from my Dog

It seems that having a few weeks to strategize and prepare for activities looming in the next months is a welcome relief.  I sometimes get so caught up with the demands of my career as well as my personal life that I lose perspective of priorities.  For example, my dog responsibilities.

Here we have, of course, the best dog in the world…..ever.  She’s smart, kind, obedient and loving.  In fact, if I were able to turn her into a male human, we’d be a perfect match.  Being eight-years-old, I noticed a slow down beginning about six months ago.  She just wasn’t her old self, but then I thought, well neither am I.  Seriously, I decided to have her checked out at the vet’s office.  Through a blood test, I found out she was suffering from a lack of thyroid activity…it was too low!  I felt so badly about not picking up on this sooner but was delighted the diagnosis was treatable.  She was put on a regiment of taking a daily supplement.

So fast-forwarding to now (about a month later) and I have a puppy again!  Not actually, but she is more agile, requires less sleep, her eyes sparkle again, she’s lost eight pounds and is running around playing with dog toys.  All this because of a gland being provoked by a small pill given twice a day.  Oh, if everything in life was this uncomplicated!  It struck me that her transition from listlessness to elation was attributed to one pursuit …taking action to fix the problem.

I guess the analogy of the story is this:  at times, we all lose sight of the need for adjustment, sometime simple, that can enhance one’s quality of life and make us happier.  I’m not only talking about physical changes but emotional ones as well.  Those of you who have chosen to pursue music on a hobbyist level have experienced this.  It truly evolves to be your “best friend”, always there for you when you feel a little blue or alone.  I think that’s the reason why so many folks enroll in amateur keyboard classes where one is surrounded by people just like you.  No one aspires to perform on a professional level, they simply enjoy hanging with those who are like themselves.  It’s a beautiful thing to watch.  A small group of people assembling weekly to learn how to play music……no age restrictions required.

So if you’re considering taking that leap of faith, my suggestion is to join a music-learning program at your local music store, the library, community center, or wherever you find the opportunity.  Just like my doggie discovered, a little additive to your daily life can make a positive difference.  There’s no pills involved here, only the high created by your own success.

Whether it is preparing for upcoming theatre organ engagements, pipe organ performances or planning my spring schedule for Roland/Rodgers Corporation or Volare projects, I love making music and you will too.  Visit me at




Three Thoughtful Christmas Gifts (no, not gold, frankincense and myrrh)

Why is it that music is part of most holiday celebrations?  When you think about it, it’s really true.  So when this Christmas time came around, I was delighted to receive audio CDs created by three separate people who share a common connection, being musicians.  I received individual music files performed by the senders as holiday gifts.  Each one portrayed a different playing style, all coming from these folks who never have met and actually don’t know about one another.  Yet their intent was the same…to remember me at Christmas time and to share their craft with me as well.

A dear friend from Cleveland surprised me with several original CDs he had recorded live at various venues in the area.  They were terrific to listen to.  Lenny is semi-retired now after enjoying a long career in the theatre organ world.  Now he brings genuine happiness to locals who attend his performances on his multiple music keyboards.  What a selfless, caring guy.  Folks often look forward to hearing him play and I’m certain find his shows tremendously entertaining

One of my newest friends, Jason, was kind enough to send along a copy of his Senior Recital CD.  He received his Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music degree at Westminster College in Princeton, New Jersey.  He is now on to assuming a position as music director of a large Catholic Church in Sarasota, Florida.  I know he will be a fantastic choral and instrumental leader.  His performance disk is truly remarkable tackling such challenging works as the Toccata and Fugue in Dm by Bach.  The entire live recording was a true work of art requiring countless hours of preparation.  I got to know him through his participation in the annual Roland Atelier Fest a few years ago (I was one of the judges).  He took first place in his division and performed flawlessly.  I also had occasion to visit with him at the ATOS Theatre Organ Convention last July in Providence, New Jersey.  I’ve heard Jason consistently progress in his technique and style which is heartening to me.  One can’t help but recall my enthusiasm of former days when the passion for playing became unstoppable.  It brings me great pleasure now to encourage and nurture the fire within those just embarking on their musical journey.

And finally, a word about a talented woman I had occasion to meet recently in Florida.  Lois attended my two-day Volare master class.  It’s a two-day situation where intermediate organ students are allowed to “peek inside my head” for ideas that result in musically advancing upward a level or two. She is a person driven to learn as much as possible about performance techniques that she then applies to her instrument at home…a very charming, upbeat sort of individual.  So you can imagine how pleased I was to receive her original renditions of Christmas songs that she had personally put together and performed on an her audio CD.  The presentation was terrific.  I even heard a few nuances in the music that she might have picked up from attending my seminar.  I’m flattered and delighted the message of Volare was of value to her.  She has the potential to take her music as far as she wants to go.  When you have a minute, check out the entire Volare success story.  I’ve brought my concepts to ten cities across the U.S. so far.  2012 scheduling is in progress.  Read more details by visiting

So there you have it.  Three separate people in various parts of the country sharing a common bond, the love of creating music.  I do know there are tons of other folks just like them around the world.  What a pleasure to discover what brings satisfaction to our lives.  Those of you reading this who are musicians, no matter how accomplished, know exactly to what I am referring.  How fortunate we are to have discovered our personal road to happiness.

When you have a chance visit my website at:

Happy New Year



Posted by Ric Overton of