Theatre Organist: Don Hansen

Don Hansen at the Theatre Pipe Organ, New Hope, PA

Don Hansen at the Theatre Pipe Organ,  New Hope, PA

Don Hansen’s musical training started at age 6 with the saxophone. At age 9 he switched to studying classical piano with a teacher who was a Julliard School of Music graduate. By age 19 he had segued into electronic organ. His affiliation with the Wurlitzer Organ Company as a teacher and demonstrator spanned a 15 year period during which time he concertized extensively for the Wurlitzer Organ Society. He was introduced to Theatre Pipes by the late Bob Mack (Robert MacIntyre) then house organist at the Brooklyn Paramount. Don spent many hours at the console of that Mighty Wurlitzer as well as at the New York Paramount where his studies continued with Mr. Mack.

Don has performed on pipes at a number of venues in our area including the Pascack Theatre in Westwood, Asbury Park Convention Hall, Union County Arts Center in Rahway, the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pa., and the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He has also presented programs to appreciative audiences on a wide variety of electronic organs for the Hammond, Tri-County, Monmouth, South Jersey, and Delaware Valley organ societies. In the early 90’s, Don played as part of a stage show for the American Movie Classics channel which was part of the Mid-Atlantic Cable Convention in the Atlantic City Convention Hall using his personal Conn 652 which they moved in for the event.

Recently, he recorded music for the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” on the Loews Jersey Wonder Morton. Over the years he has enjoyed performing mini-concerts during open consoles at the Shean, Martin, Oliver, and Heitz residence theatre pipe organs. For a several years he teamed up with the late Edna Hamilton on piano to present “Dancin’ with Hansen and Hamilton”, annual GSTOS “pipes and piano with dancing” fundraisers.

Don served as President of the Garden State Theatre Organ Society from 2002 to 2006, as well as Vice President and Program Chair from 1994 to 1996 and again in 2002.