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




“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

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

Hard Work….But Ohhhhh So Much Fun Too!

“It’s good to be back home.  I’ve just completed a two-week tour of Florida where I had bookings for a variety of event types that kept me on my toes.  However, all the trauma was offset by the fact that I enjoyed reconnecting with family and friends who reside in the state.  Some twenty folks with whom I am acquainted managed to link up with me.  This was truly terrific and a welcome release for me in the midst of preparing for some serious performances.


First off was two “command performances” at the Kirk of Dunedin near Clearwater, FL.  I’ve played there several times before but only every other year.  The reason for this is the alternation of artists who are asked to be part of the Fall/Spring concert series.  If you get a chance, log onto to take a look at this magnificent pipe organ installation which is expertly maintained by Mr. Terry Charles.  I had a ball!  Fortunately, all ground rules are off when it comes to song selection.  I included everything from Hungarian Rhapsody #2 to “One” from A Chorus Line.  Fortunately, the audiences were very accepting and appreciative of my diverse program.  I look forward to the 2013 season when I have already been asked to return.


Then it was off to Fort Myers for another Volare seminar which I presented for two days.  The attendees were very satisfied with the materials and suggestions I gave them.  If you recall, Volare is my way of passing on playing tips and performance secrets that enhance anyone’s playing skills.  But be forewarned, this course isn’t for sissies!  Let’s face it, certain criteria are consistent with a successful result.  For example, scales are a must…no getting around it….gotta do it.  Once one begins to believe in this necessity, I find the participants are willing to follow my lead.  Some of them actually began the regiment after the first day of instruction despite my specific request they “lie low” and get plenty of rest in preparation for day two of the seminar.  Oh well, I guess if they feel compelled to immediately put into practice what has been given to them during Volare, there’s no stopp’in em!  Go!


Afterwards, I drove over Alligator Alley to the east coast of the state ending up in the Merritt Island area, very near Cape Canaveral.  This was a repeat of the previous scenario.  It seems wherever I go throughout the country presenting this “how to” mini music course, the people I work with are all on the same page.  They have been taught how to play the notes.  But what they are looking for now is to improve their ability to create interesting arrangements, register the organ more dramatically, develop technical skills, etc., etc.  These concepts are the universal theme of the Volare program.  It’s apparent to me that geographical and demographical factors are non-existent when it comes to learning music.  Actually, age isn’t even an issue.  All of my Volare family members are on the same page.  Frankly, these men and women are looking for ways to sound more like professional musicians.  My job is to convince them that although their aspirations may not always be totally realistic, the notion that they will play better utilizing more complex harmonies and melody lines along with corresponding dynamics, is.


If you haven’t noticed, I love what I’m doing these days.”

Visit my website at




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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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By popular demand !!!! Not what you’re expecting

Okay, I have been encouraged to depart from the music stuff to blog a bit about my culinary skills….they’re not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  Being half Italian, it’s only logical I know a little bit about cooking.  The other half is English….that’s the “Bailey” part.  You can guess which side of the family I gravitated to on holidays even as a child.  Let me see….do I want overcooked boiled beef with unseasoned turnips or do I prefer homemade lasagna with grandma’s meatballs and Italian sausage?  
I don’t think I’m alone in regarding food from Italy to be the best.  Believe it or not, my second choice is Japanese cuisine!   Love it, cooked or not. 
But as the season for decent tomatoes winds down, I am compelled to make the simplest of red pasta sauces combining a mere seven ingredients and more importantly, taking only thirty minutes to prepare.  The secret to its success lies within the tomatoes themselves.  They must be as ripe as possible…somewhat over-ripe is even better.  If you know the vegetable manager at your store, he may even set aside tomatoes having perhaps a small defect or bruising which makes them unsellable.  But for our purposes, the bad parts can be cut off using a paring knife and the rest of the tomato works just fine.
As you read through the recipe, please don’t think I forgot to list the onion or meat components.  There aren’t any!  Now, before you decide not to read further, please give this sauce a chance.  Its taste is intense so use it  sparingly on the pasta (rigatoni, penne, farfella, etc., not the fettuccine or linguine type) so that the sauce lightly coats the pasta.  This is what I call a last-minute dish guaranteed to satisfy your family or unexpected guests (who will think you slaved away all day preparing it)! 
Make sure to have on hand some fresh Italian bread as well as grated Parmesan cheese in the house as well.  I happen to like the bread plain for this dinner seeing as there will be an abundance of garlic already in the gravy.  As much as I adore garlic bread, I think it’s too much of good thing for this recipe. 
If you’d like, serve it with a European salad of some kind…….remember, salad comes AFTER the main course in Europe.  It naturally creates a refreshing, palate-cleansing finish to the meal.  Romaine lettuce mixed with a bit of arugula, endive, dandelions, mustard green or rapine are all good options to create a refreshing complement to this pasta dish loved originally by the common people of Old Italy simply called, Salsa Fresco.” 

8-10 medium ROMA or BEEFSTEAK tomatoes (very soft to the touch) 
10-12 gloves of garlic (sorry, forget the pre-chopped jar variety, it won’t work)
a hand full of chopped basil (absolutely must be the fresh stuff, not dried)
1/2 tsp. powered chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tps. dried red pepper (optional)
2 tab. olive oil
1 lb. dried pasta
Heat a large pasta bowl in the oven set on warm.
Prepare garlic by crushing gloves with the side of a large knife; remove the outside; chop gloves into  pieces.
Prepare tomatoes by removing unwanted parts and core; cut into quarters LEAVING SKIN ON; place into a blender and liquefy.
Pour olive oil into medium size pot or large skillet (it will cook down faster in the latter).
Heat oil over LOW flame; put in the prepared garlic; saute making sure not to burn the pieces (or yourself)
Make certain heat is set no more than low-medium before adding the following!!!!!!!
CAREFULLY and SLOWLY pour the blended tomatoes into the pot or skillet
Add bouillon, sugar, chopped fresh basil and red pepper; stir from the bottom until the sauce commingles.
Boil slowly until the liquid reduces (about 10-15 minutes depending on the water content in the tomatoes) to a loose paste; continue to stir occasionally, detaching and blending in any pulp sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Fill a medium-large pot 2/3 the way with water; bring to a boil (cover the pot to expedite this time always monitor the water boiling progress carefully to avoid the lid from popping off from pressure).
Pour in one pound of pasta and boil for the time suggested on the box (around 6-8 minutes); strain.
Take the large serving bowl from the oven; pour the strained pasta into the bowl; cover with pasta sauce; fold in the sauce to coat the pasta.  Remember, if too much sauce is used, the tomato flavor becomes overwhelming.
Sprinkle with grated Italian cheese and serve.  An extra basil leaf or two placed on top just befoe serving completes the presentation……and shows you to be an elegant chef, even if you’re not.  I’ll never tell.
Buon Appetito!  
Also, dont forget to “like” me on Facebook and visit my website
 Posted by Ric Overton of via

Hello everyone,

It’s time for another update about by plans for this Fall.  The Volare seminar program is really kicking off good.  My next presentation will be in the Seattle area on September 13th and 14th.  Prosser Piano and Organ is hosting this in their Shoreline store.  I can’t wait!  We’ll have the perfect set up there because this location is the primary organ teaching facility of the chain.  My buddy, Ray Harris, has done a fantastic job of recruiting attendees for the event.  I’ll be shipping my audio/visual equipment to him shortly.  I think the days are gone when simply listening to an artist play is enough.  The corresponding video influence is almost a must.  And of course I want those choosing to be at Volare to get the full emotional impact of what I am doing.


Bye for now….we’ll talk soon.  In the meantime, remember to “like” me of facebook and also to visit my website at


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