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




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

October – Fall is here

As you know by now, I always have more than a few balls in the air.  It seems to go in cycles.  But this time of the year is by far the busiest for me.
Why is it that we start to feel the momentum leading up to the holiday season so far in advance of December?  I don’t know, however the impact of supplying interesting and fitting programs with coordinated software is primary on my agenda.  Much of my day is concerned with these issues.
October promises to be multi-faceted, exciting and rewarding for me.  My Volare seminars are going full-throttle in southern Calfornia to be followed by two commitments in Florida, Fort Myers and Merritt Island.  The latter will come after a very special double concert package offered by The Kirk of Dunedin church near Clearwater, FL.  Amazing!  The pastor of this congregation not only appreciates liturgical music but also is a jazz buff!  I’ve performed at this venue many times over the years on their tremendous theatre pipe organ.  Everything from Bach to Bacharack is not only permitted but encouraged to be performed.  Because the organ is a combination of several installations married to create this magnificent instrument, almost any  type of music works well on it.  You might want to read more their monthly concert series on-line at  I will be there on October 21st and 22nd, just before leaving for the Volare seminars part of my trip.
Obviously, I will be switching musical gears during the month.  It’s times like this I truly appreciate my pipe organ background we’ve talked about before and the subsequent electronic/digital organs I perform on today.  I realize it’s the same white and black notes on both families of keyboards, but the technique required to create sounds appropriate for the instrument is the key.  Touch response, proper registrations, song selection all play a part in the realism and success of the performance.  I will be on my toes for sure during this tour.  There will be no place for distraction while concertizing and performing.
I wish all of you a cozy, secure and beautiful October.  All is good.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the colors of the season.  Stay well and I’ll check in with you soon.
In the meantime, visit my website at and look out for my monthly newsletter.  If you are not on my mailing list please send me your email address so I can add you.
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Have you thought about this?

Do you realize that the Christmas season is less than six months away?  This is when a few wise people begin thinking ahead to the inevitable….like what to give to their special friends.  I’ve never been one of those types until recent years.  It must be a sign of maturity or perhaps it’s simply due to getting older.

From my perspective, having the opportunity to perform various holiday songs is an endearing endeavor.  The down side is that performing selections appropriate for the season is so short-lived.  Usually, I begin including a few well-known tunes in my programs around December 1st or so.  As the month progresses though, more and more of these tunes seem to work their way into song list.  Strangely enough, almost magically, the mood of the seasonal presentations become a bit more liturgical in nature as the December days roll on.  I may choose to perform “Frosty the Snow Man” during a program on let’s say 12/4…..but by 12/18, I feel compelled to also include “Adeste Fideles” and  “Silent Night”.  One of the reasons for this is due to the phenomenal human voice effects available on the Roland Atelier.  Whether utilized in a solo fashion or combined with instrumental support, the various voice ranges are perfect for this type of registration.

I’ve only made one holiday music CD in my career.  Its title is “Holiday Memories” and frankly, I’m quite proud of the result.  In some ways, this disk is different from any others I have produced.  First of all, of course, the 12 songs I selected are all typical of the Christmas season.  The selections are both secular and religious in nature and range in dynamics from subtle settings suitable for carols to renditions reminiscent of huge European cathedrals.  Yes, there’s “Sleigh Ride” appearing on the recording list, but also “What Child is This?”……quite the opposite.  But there is a unique twist to “Holiday Memories”.  I decided to create it in a medley format.  In other words, there is no stoppage between tracks.  My intent in doing it this way was based on a mental picture I had of a family sitting down for Christmas dinner and playing my CD from start to finish without any breaks in the mood of the gathering.  I feel I’ve accomplished my goal by choosing to provide nonstop organ/instrumental holiday song arrangements that folks recognize and enjoy.  Hopefully, my small part in adding to the emotion of the day completes the holiday picture.

So when you’ve had enough of the summer heat and are ready to think about preparing for the most celebrated event of the year, please consider the importance of completing the scene with appropriate background music.  You also might consider a holiday music CD as a gift to those who appreciate a quality recording.  Just be sure to think ahead should you choose to purchase one….after all, listening to holiday music is only a good thing if it’s on or before 12/25.  Then, unfortunately, it’s an eleven-month wait until we hear it again.

When you have a minute, please go to my web site and check out the “Holiday Memories” disk.  It truly does make for a thoughtful gift….I’ll even autograph the CD insert for you if you’d like! 

Visit me at Http://

Have a blessed day and let’s chat again soon.



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Whats happening, seriously?

“I’m having a wonderfully uplifting time at the Rodgers Instrument offices in Portland, OR. this week.  Rodgers is one of the Roland group of companies that plays multiple roles in the creation and manufacturing of Roland Corp. products.  You may know its pivotal role in the institutional market.  Rodgers organs are featured in some of the most prestigious venues in the world.  But it also assembles the Roland Atelier home organs right here in the good old U.S.A.!  The facility in Hillsboro, OR. is quite modern and impressive not only featuring a proper concert hall but in addition houses a huge manufacturing plant.  Although the intent, sound and cosmetic influence of the two lines of organs is utterly diverse, the technology used to create all the pieces assembled at Rodgers is common to all and quite remarkable.  
My role here is one of concert artist performing on several organ models for the annual Rodgers dealer meeting.  Last evening, the entire group of some 160 people were transported to a church in downtown Portland to hear a concert played on the Rodgers installation.  It was impressive and the folks seemed to love listening to the realistic sound samples provoked by electronic pipes.  Quite a different side of the music spectrum from the home organs, you know.
Today, a separate presentation will take place featuring the introduction of a brand new Rodgers organ model along with pertinent business conversation.  But tonight will be the grand finale of the three days with a concert showcasing various organs in the Rodgers/Roland family of products.  Myself, Don Lewis and Dan Miller are the performers.  There will also be a team of gospel singers integrated into Don’s appearance.  This should be great seeing as the instrument Don is using, the Atelier 350 C, lends itself to that style of playing.
Dan is perhaps the finest classical performer I have ever heard.  He is a part of the managerial team at Rodgers and a very accomplished artist.  I’m positive he will present the Rodgers in a very satisfying and dramatic way. 
My role tonight is one of the supplier of contemporary sounds on the Atelier 350 C.  Obviously, it is a multi-faceted instrument that can be registered to reflect an array of orchestral and rhythmic effects.  So it is logical that after hearing wonderful gospel sounds from Don and tremendous classical music from Dan, I will be entertaining the audience with jazz, ballad and dixieland playing on the Roland Atelier. 
Then it’s back home tomorrow for a few days.  My next post will reveal my plans for next week when I will be appearing at a major organ festival held annually in Lancaster, PA., the Dutchland Extravaganza.”
Remember to visit me online at
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Theatre Organ

“The theater organ, just like its name, was used at theaters throughout America as musical accompaniment for silent movies from the end of the 19th century continuing into the 20th century.  The organist improvised music in real-time while watching the movie screen.  The mood was created by playing comical, outrageous themes in the movie’s funnier parts and more emotional music during the heart-breaking, serious scenes.  Often times, percussion traps were added to the arrangement either to embellish or quiet down the atmosphere.
The theater organ is an instrument that is a variation of the original classical organ specifically designed for use in theater performances.  Electricity was used as the power source for generating sounds.  Instead of bellows (as in classical organs), a motor-driven fan supplied the air pressure and electromagnets controlled the various tone tablets.  Horseshoe-shaped consoles were the characteristic design for the cabinets mostly out of necessity.  Otherwise, manipulating five to six rows of registration tabs while performing is virtually impossible…and a little dangerous too!  The typical overall sound character of these instruments involves an effect called “tremulent”, a combination of tremelo and vibrato.  This was new and unique to the organ and became very popular with live entertainment lovers.
In addition, the theater organ features many original devices to increase its role as accompaniment for the silent movies.  Examples are the mechanical working cymbals and drums which are controlled by toe studs located just beyond the pedals and the glockenspiel activated by playing keyboard notes.
Unfortunately, the theater organ began to go out of style with the introduction of the “talkies”.  Soundtracks soon took the place of the organist and theater style concerts were limited.  Another factor leading to the situation involved the upkeep of a theater pipe organ.  never-ending care of the pipes and the organ console itself was a major issue.  However, tireless volunteers play a vital role in salvaging and maintaining the surviving installations of today.”      
Visit my website at for notices on upcoming events and happenings.  Lots of exciting news about the new Volare program rolling out to musical venues across the country.
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An exciting month for Rosemary

It seems like everything happens at one time.  Ironically, the month of June is usually not the busiest time of the year for me.  I guess all the normal ground rules are off in today’s world.  With the exception of certain “snow bird markets”…namely some Florida, Arizona, New Mexico areas…the organ retail business seems to be buzzing.  Amazing!  Part of this is due to folks choosing to partake in home activities.  This includes finally learning to play an instrument.  Frankly, the satisfaction of pursuing any solo instrument, especially keyboard or guitar, is quite gratifying.  To accomplish this, manufacturers have integrated an array of helpful features to get you going including automatic chords and bass notes.  Is utilizing these a form of cheating?  Of course it is!  But who cares as long as music achievement arrives quicker and sounds better.  At least, that’s my opinion.
But back to this month’s schedule.  Next week will be the launch of the “Volare” seminar program we’ve discussed previously.  I’ll be off to Santa Rosa and San Jose, CA, for four days presenting creative ideas for interesting arrangements to groups of folks currently at the intermediate to advanced playing level.  We have 15-20 people registered for both two-day sessions.  I can’t wait to begin the tour.  Although I plan on keeping the presentations somewhat informal (that’s just the way I am), people will definitely take with them a multitude of meaningful information that will guide them through the hoops to enhanced performance capability.  In addition to listening and learning from my personal instruction, everyone is given a packet to take home that provides the essence of the sessions.  Along with that is an audio CD prepared by me which coincides with the written data.  So the participants will be provided with long-term remembrance of the “Volare” experience. 
I believe in the “Volare” concept and know that those choosing to attend will gain substantial musical knowledge plus various practical techniques from the short course.  Since the introduction of comprehensive keyboard instruments in the ’90s, the player has had the advantage of extracting the sounds and effects that suit their preference and style.  One has but to look in the owner’s manual to realize the procedure involved in retrieving these.  HOWEVER, now that the organist has found out how to register their favorite features, what would be the logical  application for them?  In other words,  what is the players’ responsibility in making this new-found instrumentation work for them?  How does the musician decide which effect or feature would complement the mood of the song?  Which sustain, ambiance, vibrato, etc. options are necessary to complete the atmosphere of the effect?  Some of the realism can be attributed strictly to the tone itself.  But the player must supplement that by using appropriate technique, touch, strike force, etc., that complete the intent of the sound sample.  Roland provides the tools necessary for a  beautiful musical rendition.  It is up to the artist to creatively apply these sounds and effects to their playing in a knowledgeable, confident, personal way.  In other words, the technology is captured in the instrument.  It’s up to the player to learn to manipulate, apply and personalize it.  This can be a bit challenging for some unless they are coached on how to achieve their goal of performing at a higher level of playing and arranging.  Fortunately, this is also the core concept of the “Volare” program.
More to come….          
See ya soon
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