Grand Rapids Public Museum announces 2017 Mighty Wurlitzer Organ concert series

Dave Wickerham performs Sept. 15 and 16.

By Christie Bender

Grand Rapids Public Museum


Join the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) for the first Mighty Wurlitzer Organ concert of the 2017 series with performances by Dave Wickerham on Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16.


His performance, “Red White & Blue, An American Music Tribute,” will showcase popular music from the American Songbook, featuring hit tunes by composers such as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter.


Dave Wickerham began playing the organ at 4 years old. He then began his studies of the instrument at 7 and carried out his formal studies of the classical organ at the University of Arizona. His career of organist has led him travel across the country, as well as across the world. Throughout this career, he has been a Staff Organist at various venues including Organ Stop Pizza Restaurants, Pipes and Pizza and Piper Music Palace, as well as internationally for the Theatre Organ Society of Australia, touring in Australia and New Zealand.  Dave and his family currently live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where Dave holds the position of Co-Manager and Organist in Residence at the historic Crystal Theatre in Crystal Falls.


Shows will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16 in the Meijer Theater at the GRPM.


Tickets for individual concerts are $8 for Museum member adults, $4 for Museum member children, $10 for non-member adults and $5 for non-member children. Tickets are available by visiting or by calling 616-929-1700.


The second concert of the series will be Musical Scores to the Silent Film “Phantom of the Opera” performed by Andrew Rogers on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, October 14 at 2 p.m.


The third concert of the series will be “Theatre Organ Through the Decades” performed by Justin Stahl on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.


The fourth and final concert of the series will be Holiday Classics on Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 16 at 2 p.m. by John Lauter. This holiday classic is a sellout show, great for the entire family. Tickets are recommended to be purchased early.


The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

The Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York, manufactured and shipped Opus #1836, a “3 manual special”, to the Stanley Theater of Jersey City, New Jersey, on February 9, 1928. The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ spent two decades entertaining customers at the Roaring 20’s Pizza Parlor on 28th Street in Grand Rapids, before it was moved to its current location at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.