Ypsilanti Citizen Community Lincoln Schools

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Cranking out the tunes

Photo by Christine Laughren

Dozens of turn-of-the-century band and street organs will be playing throughout the park and Depot Town today and Saturday. The entertainment comes as members of the Midwest chapter of the Musical Box Society meet for their 34th annual Band Organ Rally.
Bombadill's

Classic organ music plays in Ypsilanti

By Dan DuChene
Jul. 31, 2009    ·    2:15 a.m.


Ladies, grab your fox furs. Gentlemen, put on your homburgs.

Pedestrians walking or cycling through Riverside Park this weekend will be reminded of stick candy and penny-farthings when they hear the mechanical organs playing for the public.

Dozens of turn-of-the-century band and street organs will be playing throughout the park and Depot Town today and Saturday. The entertainment comes as members of the Midwest chapter of the Musical Box Society meet for their 34th annual Band Organ Rally.

Dubbed the “happiest music on earth” by the group, mechanical organs were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Event organizer Dale Dohler said street organs are typically associated with organ-grinders cranking the instrument with the help of a talented and earnest monkey.

Dohler said band organs often include more percussion instruments, such as drums and symbols, and usually provided the tunes for carousel-riders. He said these larger instruments were often marketed to replace full bands because of the multiple instruments they could operate mechanically.

He said there would be 14 band organs, ranging in size from 10 feet to 20 feet long. There will be approximately 30 of the smaller street organs around the park and Depot Town.

The mechanical musicians will be performing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The event is free and open to the public.

Dohler said the 84 people turning the cranks and operating the machines hail from all over the Midwest. He said the enthusiasts are attracted to their craft by the music, machinery and history.

“They love music, but can’t play,” he said. “Some people are mechanics.

“It’s a wide range of interests.”

Dohler, an Ann Arbor resident who owns a street organ, has been a member of the group since 1977.

He said the organs crank out music through a variety of methods, from rolls of sheet music to a large-scale version of the rotating cylinders in a music box. Unfortunately, he said there isn’t going to be any monkeys at the event.

He said the group tends to visit different cities each year with its event, so it could be a while before the organs play in Ypsilanti again.



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