Name: Glenn Tallar
Photos by Ivan Martinez Photography
What do you do for a living?
I am one of two people who are the house musicians at Organ Stop Pizza.
What type of training do you need to do your job?
Lots of practice and lessons! You need to learn how to play the piano, to be able to read music, and then memorize that piece of music. The organ uses the same temperament as the piano. Instead of 88 keys, one organ manual has 61 keys.
Once pretty accomplished in playing the piano, transitioning to the organ will be more comfortable. The next two challenges are the pedals and registration. This is where one would need to take coaching lessons. There are so many sounds the organ can make. Unfortunately, if not registered correctly, the organ will not be musical. Next is to adventure into arranging. Unless one is studying classical organ, where music is made for the organ, theatre organists have to learn how to improvise piano sheet music to work on the organ. It’s best to always have coaching help.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
When the dinning room is packed and the applause as the console is going down for the last song of the set. The musical instrument is now approaching 100 years old, yet this “old” technology still entertains. Knowing this puts a smile on my face.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I would say deep down I always wanted to have a career playing the organ. There were just too few places where I could make a living playing. Fortunately, I lived near a pizza restaurant that still had a pipe organ in it, which is where I was able to work on my craft.
What advice would you give to a kid who wants to have a similar career?
Be sociable! Get to know the people who are interested in your same career. Social media can be a great resource for topics of your interest. Again, lessons are a must!