OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Fans won’t bring their sticks on this night.
“No fights either,” chuckles Lance Luce, who would be playing organ at a Detroit Red Wings hockey game if he weren’t here.
“I would say this will be a much more polite crowd tonight.”
His fingers have been twitching for a chance to play one of four surviving instruments like the 1935 Kilgens that’s played Christmas songs on radio and television for generations of Oklahomans.
Luce says, “This organ is a ‘ripper’, as they say. It really goes. It’s got a lot of power.”
He took lessons as a kid, but Lance’s parents took him to a concert where he organist rose from beneath the stage and that was it.
“I went, ‘I want to do that’,” he recalls.
Luce has a regular Sunday church gig, and for Red Wings home games, but he travels the world playing concerts partly for the chance to play instruments like these, each one different.
“There’s no speakers, no amplifiers. There’s no technology,” he insists. “It’s all done with air moving through pipes, or air going through hammers to hit things.”
There are still lots of people out there who remember Ken Wright at this bench playing sound effects for radio shows, station breaks, or performing concerts of his own.
The old WKY Kilgen came out of mothballs and an extensive rebuild 5 years ago to a home built for history, and a hall built for big sound.
This performance will be played to a season’s worth of music that a receptive audience is already eager to hear, to quote a Christmas song “right this very minute”.
Find more information on the WKY Kilgen organ or Lance Luce’s performance online.
Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union