About The Author
L. EuGene Stroble is a rare Floridian who was actually born in the Sunshine State. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, some of his earliest memories are of his mother telling him stories about the Florida Theatre and late Jimmy Knight at the console.
Gene says: "My fascination for the Theatre Organ caught fire as my mother described the console rising from the pit and the thrilling sounds of the pipe organ."
As a birthday present someone gave Gene an LP (phonograph record) of the great Paul Mickelson playing Sunday School songs and choruses on the Lorin Whitney Robert Morton pipe organ.
He says: “I must have worn the grooves all the way through to the other side playing that record. I was entranced as only a nine year old could be by the exciting sounds and effects I heard on that disc! I remember he played "Onward Christian Soldiers" as if it were a Sousa march, complete with drum cadences and piccolo solo. I was already spellbound by the Hammond organ I had heard at church, but this was something else again, and I was captivated by the sound of the Theatre Organ from then on. I just had to get my hands on one."
Gene began playing keyboards at such a young age that he does not remember a time that he could not play.
"I gave my mother quite a start! When I was around three years old she had decided to take piano lessons and had bought an old upright. One day she was cooking in the kitchen and she heard someone playing a song on the piano in the living room. Thinking a neighbor had sneaked in to surprise her, she went to see who it was. It was not a neighbor, it was me!"
Gene began playing church organ while in the U.S. Army. "I had just completed my military training and was to leave on a Monday for Viet Nam. I attended chapel services on that Sunday. At the close of the service the chaplain made a humorous, but impassioned plea, Our fine organist is leaving the military at the end of this week. I have been asking you, and the Lord, for months for help in finding a replacement. Now, I wish no one bad luck, but if you are an organist, or you know of an organist, and you do not tell me on your way out of the chapel this morning, then you had better watch that last step!’ Not thinking I had a chance, I volunteered on my way out, and much to my surprise, I found that a full bird colonel chaplain can change things with a few phone calls!"
Since then Gene has been a church organist, organ teacher, and traveled extensively as a concert artist/product specialist, and technical writer for the Lowrey Organ Company. Gene graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia.
"My experience at BPC had a profound impact on my life." Gene says, "I had the privilege of attending the school twice; years ago, when I got out of the military, and again much later, after I made a decision to go into teaching. I was fortunate to be twice under the choral direction, and the influence, of Hildegard Stanley, who was continuously the chair of the music department there, and for this I am grateful."
In 1989 he began a whole new career as a public school music educator.
More recently he has completed this "netnovelet" of historic fiction about the silent film era and Theatre Organs, which grew out of stories he wrote for the children he teaches.
He relates; "I remembered, that as a child, how much I loved hearing my mother's stories about the 'old-timey' days, and today's children are no less fascinated by those same kinds of stories! So the circle came full around and it was my turn to be the story teller. I interviewed, researched, wrote, and read the stories to my kindergarten through sixth grade students and 'The Glorious Sound' was born!"
Gene completed his Masters degree in Education from Valdosta State University in June of 2000, Gene is busy. He teaches public school music at St. George Elementary School in Charlton County, Georgia, and he lives in Hilliard, Florida. He is the vice-president of NORFLATOS; the North Florida American Theatre Organ Society of the greater First Coast and Jacksonville, Florida area, and frequently plays concerts on his traveling Mighty Magic Music Machine Theatre Organ.
Contact Gene at: