Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards
The Auditorium Theatre houses the 4-manual, 23-rank RTOS-Grierson organ. This world-famous instrument was rehoused from the RKO Palace Theater, built in 1928, just before that luxurious, 3000 seat movie house fell to the wrecking ball of urban renewal. Wurlitzer opus 1951 was a 21 rank Special, designed by the RKO Palace organist Tom Grierson. A flagship instrument for Wurlitzer, opus 1951 was voiced for the theatre on installation (at the height of production, the Wurlitzer factory in North Tonawanda was turning out an organ each day and the less-important installations were simply voiced in the factory). The quality of this instrument is reflected in the large number of albums that have been recorded on it over the years. Of particular note is the exceptional beauty of the Tibia Clausa ranks. At some point while still in the RKO Palace, the Brass Saxophone rank was stolen; this was subsequently replaced by a Post Horn. A replacement Brass Saxophone rank has since been installed, and the addition of a second Vox Humana—in the Main chamber—brought the instrument to its current 23 ranks. Most recently, RTOS received a 16′ octave of metal diaphones, which provides the bass of the Horn Diapason rank; this complements the larger-scale wooden diaphones of the louder Diaphonic Diapason.