What happens when an architect and an engineer put an 18x32-foot organ in an old dairy barn in Williamsburg, Michigan? A collection of antique instruments gains a home, and the Music House Museum is born.
Since opening in 1983, the reimagined barn has housed a one-of-a-kind collection of automated musical instruments spanning from the 18th century to the 1950s. The collection continues to grow each year and includes music boxes, player pianos, nickelodeons, magnificent organs and more. Every instrument has been restored to its original-playing glory using period-conscious materials to maintain authenticity. One of the most extensive restorations was on the jewel of this collection, the 1922 Mortier Dance Hall Organ, “Amaryllis.” Originally built for the Victoria Palace in Ypres, Belgium, the piece made its way into the collection in the ’80s and is one of less than 100 large dance organs left in the world.
Enthralling more than 450,000 visitors since its opening, guests have participated in guided and self-guided tours, which also include a miniature Traverse City display that was housed in Clinch Park from 1931 to the early ’70s and donated to the museum in 1991.
See all of this and more when you attend these Music House Museum events.
Continuing last year’s special addition to the silent film series, Interlochen Arts Academy guest instructors Hajnal Pivnick and Dorian Wallace of Tenth Intervention will accompany a special episode of the BBC’s Planet Earth II, “Jungles.” The performance will combine beautiful images with the duo’s exceptional musical talent.
This show features Vocalist Edye Evans Hyde, Pianist Terry Lower and Violinist Barry Ross.
Singer and actress Edye Evans Hyde has been performing for more than 30 years in West Michigan, Los Angeles, Asia and Europe. Edye has shared the stage with world renowned blues singer Linda Hopkins, Michael Bolton and actress Connie Stevens. Art Pianist Terry Lower has been a fixture on the Michigan jazz scene for 30 years. He is both a dazzling soloist and a superior accompanist. Dr. Barry Ross founded the Kalamazoo College and Community Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, now the Kalamazoo Philharmonia. For 32 years Barry performed as Concertmaster and Assistant Conductor of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. During his almost 50 years in Michigan he has appeared as conductor, concertmaster and concert violinist throughout the country.
CHARLIE CHAPLIN’S “MODERN TIMES” ACCOMPANIED BY ANDREW ROGERS | August 16 & 17
The Music House Museum presents Modern Times, a 1936 American comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin in which his iconic Little Tramp character struggles to survive in the modern, industrialized world. The film is a comment on the desperate employment and financial conditions many people faced during the Great Depression, conditions created, in Chaplin’s view, by the efficiencies of modern industrialization. The movie stars Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman,Tiny Sandford and Chester Conklin. This wonderful film is accompanied by Andrew Rogers. His amazing skills on the museum’s Wurlitzer Theater Organ add the soundtrack to the film.