August 22, 2001
2001 Theatre Organist Of The Year!
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. On the final day of the American Theatre Organ Society’s annual convention, hosted this year in Indianapolis, Indiana, Jelani Eddington was named the 2001 Theatre Organist Of The Year. Donna Parker, internationally-renowned concert organist and chairperson of the ATOS Awards Committee, presented Jelani with this award, acknowledging his career as one of the most dynamic and sought-after theatre organists on the concert circuit.
Accepting the award before a near-capacity crowd at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, Jelani noted that it had been nearly 15 years to the day that he played his very first theatre organ – the 4-manual, 16-rank Page Theatre Pipe Organ installed in the beautiful Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He also thanked his mother, Louise Eddington; grandmother, Florence Arnold; former theatre organ instructor, John Ferguson; long-time mentor, Donna Parker; as well as the Central Indiana Chapter (CIC-ATOS) and the American Theatre Organ Society for their support and encouragement throughout the years. At the age of 27, Jelani has become the youngest recipient of ATOS’ highest honor of Theatre Organist Of The Year.
Jelani acknowledged that his award was particularly meaningful to him, not only because it was presented during a convention hosted by his home chapter in Indianapolis, but also because his former theatre organ instructor and long-time friend, John Ferguson, was named ATOS’ 2001 Honorary Member.
Earlier that week, Jelani Eddington and pianist David Harris presented an extremely well-received “dynamic duo” concert at the 4/16 Page Theatre Pipe Organ and 9′ Steinway Concert Grand Piano at the Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana as part of the 2001 national ATOS convention.