September 10, 2020
“Discovering the Unit Orchestra!” October Kilgen Organ Performance with Brett Valliant
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center (OHC) is proud to introduce internationally renowned organist Brett Valliant as the featured artist for its October Kilgen Organ performance entitled “Discovering the Unit Orchestra!” The performance is scheduled for Monday, October 26, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and will take place in the Devon Great Hall of the OHC. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and seating is first come, first served. Tickets are $10 for Oklahoma Historical Society members and $20 for nonmembers, and may be reserved by calling 405-522-0765. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the OHC will limit ticket sales to 100 seats and will require that each attendee wear a mask. The OHC is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.
The title of the performance, “Discovering the Unit Orchestra!,” refers to what theater organs were called when they were first introduced to the public in the early 20th century. By replacing theater orchestras with theater organs as the accompaniment for silent movies and plays, all of the orchestra was included in one “unit.”
Whether at an organ in a concert hall, a majestic church organ or in a theater, Brett Valliant is right at home. Valliant was inspired by the organ at church when he was just three years old. At age four he began piano instruction, and soon after was studying organ as well. By the age of 12, Valliant was employed as a church organist and performed his first international concert tour at age 19. For 29 years he was the organist and music director of First United Methodist Church of Wichita, Kansas, where he played a large pipe organ and was seen and heard by thousands on the church's television program. His recordings have been featured on National Public Radio's “Pipe Dreams” as well as the National Bible Broadcasting Network.
Today Valliant is one of two resident organists at the iconic Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, Arizona. Organ Stop Pizza houses the world's largest theater organ and entertains thousands of patrons each year. In addition to his playing at Organ Stop, Valliant is known for accompanying and scoring silent films and appears annually at several film festivals. In addition to regular appearances at American Theatre Organ Society and American Guild of Organists conventions, he has toured extensively as a concert artist throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.