Sounds of Grace
Tom Hoehn is a native of St. Joseph, Missouri. He began playing the organ at an early age. By the age of twelve, he was playing in church. Tom studied classical and popular organ through high school and college. He could not walk by an organ of any kind without sittting down to play it. He moved to Florida in 1974 and has been active in the church and theatre organ fields since his arrival. He has appeared as the organist for the Florida State Fair, Tampa Bay Rowdies Soccer Club, and Boston Red Sox Spring Training in Winter Haven, Florida. He was one of the original four organists at J. Burns' Pizza & Pipes in Tampa, Florida along with Don Baker. During this time Tom studied with the former New York Paramount organist. In 1981, Tom moved to the new J. Burns' Pizza & Pipes in Winter Haven, Florida and remained there for four years. Tom was the charter-signing secretary for the Central Florida Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society in 1978. Tom has performed on many Theatre Pipe Organs in his career, including the 2/7 Grande Barton at the York Theatre in Elmhurst, Illinois and the 3/10 Mighty WurliTzer at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove, Illinois. He also travelled to Mundelein, Illinois and played the 4/19 Howell Wurlitzer at University of St. Mary-on-the-Lake in the the George Cardinal Mundelein Auditorium. The console for this organ was originally installed in the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Illinois and was played by the legendary Jesse Crawford. He has also played the world's largest privately owned Theatre Pipe Organ, the magnificent 5/80 Mighty WurliTzer at Jasper Sanfilippo's Place de la Musique in Barrington Heights, Illinois and the 4/74 Wurlitzer at Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, AZ. The list of instruments played is extensive from small to large, 2 manuals to 5. Tom performs for area and regional organ clubs throughout the state of Florida. Recently, he has expanded his coverage into other parts of the United States as well. His concerts consist of a mix of show tunes, standards, and semi-classical music. He enjoys playing medleys of Broadway and movie musicals, novelty numbers, classical selections and hymn tunes. Many times during a performance he will turn around to the audience and ask for requests. After getting three or four of them, he will proceed to weave them into a medley of from five to ten minutes in length. The audiences very seldom 'Stump the Organist'. He has also played for pre-shows at the Tampa Theatre in Tampa, Florida on the 3/14 Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ on Saturday afternoons and evenings, rising up on the lift out of the stage floor. Mr. Hoehn just completed a 4 show engagement at the Rylander Theatre in Americus, Georgia providing the accompaniment to the Sumter County Players production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's 'King and I'. Mr. Hoehn makes his living working the overnight shift as lead technical representative, offering telephone technical support to over 28,000 accountants around the world. Tom is also the organist at First United Methodist Church in Clearwater, Florida, where he plays for two services every Sunday and accompanies two vocal choirs. He also rings bells in the handbell choir at the church and sings tenor in the Chancel Choir. Tom is a great musician with a unique style that is fresh and very human. His pedal technique is amazing indeed, and he makes fine use of the extensive toy counter on this majestic instrument, one of the finest WurliTzers in the world. He stands to go far in the Theatre Pipe Organ world!