SUN CITY CENTER – Members of the Sun City Center Organ and Keyboard Club are tuning up for their appearance at the Community Association’s July 4 Pancake Breakfast. Its musicians are looking forward to entertaining diners from 7 a.m. to noon at Community Hall.
Sandy Gray Gundacker originally formed the club in Riverview in 1982. Three years later, when its members outgrew the facility there, the club moved to Sun City Center. Fletcher Music Center in Sun City Plaza took the club under its wing and loaned organs for members to practice on and to play at offsite events.
Members currently meet every Thursday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Fletcher’s, as construction of the Community Association parking lot continues. They will resume their weekly meetings in the Atrium this fall, when the project is expected to be completed.
“A ‘star of the week’ (club member) performs at every meeting to boost their confidence by giving them experience playing in public,” Bob Mulcahy said. “They play on one of the two organs donated by local benefactors for their use.”
The Sterling and Legend organs (valued at $87,000 and $57,000, respectively) are virtual orchestras with big band, jazz and many other genres available, Mulcahy continued. The high tech organs allow a well-rounded opportunity for all students and musicians to learn and play their favorite composers and music, he said.
Twice a month Fletcher Music Center’s Jeff Norman or Brian Lewis provide lessons to club members. During those classes, the instructor uses an organ with video capabilities. In addition to reading sheet music, the students can follow keystrokes on a video screen as the music is played. Norman has played the piano and organ since he was a child and enjoys giving lessons to the group. “This is a real active group (with) a love and passion for music,” he said.
Novices are welcome.
“Most of our members have previous experience,” Mulcahy said. “But even new students with nothing but a desire to play find the lessons easy to follow.”
Annual club dues are $10. Lessons cost $3 each and the money is donated to the instructors for their time. For additional information, visit www.suncitycenter.org/activities/dance-a-music/organ-a-keyboard-club
Dosi Loverro is a freelance writer who can be reached at [email protected]