The Pipe Organ – Musical Staff
CHARLIE BALOGH is originally from Trenton, New Jersey. His Musical instruction began at age 11, continuing through classical organ instruction at Trenton State College. Charlie began his professional playing career at the Phoenix Organ Stop in 1973. In 1976, Charlie moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, performing at The Roaring 20’s restaurant (subsequently changed to Good Time Charley’s). His 14 year involvement there as a performer, musical director and owner was highly acclaimed. In 1991, Charlie returned home to Arizona with his family. In addition to performing at Organ Stop, Charlie is also a leading national concert artist, has many pipe organ recordings to his credit and was named “Organist of the Year” by the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) in 2000.
Charlie has several recordings available in the Gift Shop.
A Native of Lafayette, Louisiana, LEW WILLIAMS began playing the organ at age ten and started formal piano studies five years later. At Texas Christian University, he won several competitions in organ playing, gave numerous recitals, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree and Performers Certificate, studying with Emmit G. Smith. At Southern Methodist University, Lew earned a Master of Music degree as an organ pupil of Dr. Robert T. Anderson. He also won the regional competition of the American Guild of Organists. From 1979 until 1987, he was staff organist at Organ Stop Pizza restaurants in Phoenix and Mesa. Concert work has taken him around the USA several times. He has played five concert tours in England, where he was engaged twice as a clinician at the annual Cinema Organ Society Workshop in London. A frequent recitalist at conventions of both the American Guild of Organists and the American Theatre Organ Society, he was named “Organist of the Year” by the ATOS in1988.
Lew has several recordings available in the Gift Shop.
DONNA PARKER currently resides in Portland, Oregon. While she does not play a regular schedule with us at Organ Stop Pizza, Donna plays many nights on our Mighty Wurlitzer each year, filling in for Charlie or Lew. Donna began her organ studies at the age of 7. At the age of 15 she debuted her first recording and became the official organist of Dodger Stadium and the L.A. Sports Arena in Los Angeles. She originally joined the Organ Stop staff in the early 1970’s, playing at the Phoenix location. Since that time, Donna has played at several organ equipped pizza parlors across the country. As an active concert organist as well, Donna has performed throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. In 1996 she received the acclaimed “Organist of the Year” award by The ATOS.
BRETT VALIANT, a native of Wichita, Kansas, realized his love of music at an early age. Brett began piano studies at age 4, continuing through organ instruction at Wichita State University. Brett’s professional career began at age 11, and by the age of 15 he was playing concerts around the United States. Since then Brett has appeared in Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Additionally, in the U.S. Brett has performed for the American Film Institute, as well as conventions of the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) and the American Guild of Organists (AGO). After years of filling in for Charlie and Lew at Organ Stop, Brett happily joined the Organ Stop musical staff in 2015. In addition to playing the organ, Brett’s friends know him for his love of ice and roller skaking, animals, and classic rock n’ roll.