Organist Returns to Delaware State Fair for 8th Year
Dennis Robinson is the owner of Grand Master Organ Co. in Allentown, Pa. His interest sparked at age eight while attending a Philadelphia amusement park and the rest has been history.
This organ will be sitting at the Delaware State Fair entrance throughout the duration of the event, playing non-stop music.
An organ the size of the one sitting at the fair can go for about $225,000 and typically takes 3-4 years to build. Robinson travels across the country from June until October visiting fairs with this organ and playing music for the crowds. He says the job can be very rewarding.
“When the people come in, it builds their spirit right away and they are ready to go on the amusements and have some fun because this is a sound of yesterday,” Robinson said. “Even in the evening as they walk out, they’re tired, they’re out of money, the kids are kranky, when they come to the organ it winds them up, the kids are all dancing, everyones happy.”
During the months when Robinson is not visiting fairs, he is building these detailed organs and restoring old organs.
The organ has changed over the years with a lot less moving parts and the lack of an operator.
“As far as the music itself, it’s controlled electronically off a little PDA the size of my palm and it just plays it’s heart out all day long,” Robinson said.
There’s a huge variety in the types of music these organs can play including a little rock n’ roll and some big band tunes. Robinson says ‘If you can write it, score it, he can play it.