Biography

All About Ron

Ron Rhode has been a major performer in the theatre pipe organ world for more than four decades.  Since 1974 his concert career has taken him across the US from coast to coast, into Canada, England, and Australia.  Ron is known for his “traditional” theatre organ style, playing music from the golden era of the “Unit Orchestra”, the 1920’s and 1930’s.  

Growing up in Illinois, and moving to Phoenix in 1973, Ron played theatre organ for Organ Stop Pizza in Phoenix and Mesa for 21 years.  He has continued a career in church music, which started at his Illinois home church, Port Byron Methodist Church, and is currently service musician at 1st United Methodist Church in Phoenix.  In his non-musical life, Ron taught 2nd grade and Library Science for Mesa Public Schools, Mesa, AZ, until his retirement after 20 years. Since that time, he had been teaching 5th and 6th grade Class Piano for Arizona School for the Arts, Phoenix, AZ, and has since retired as of May 2019.

Another ongoing facet of Rhode’s life has been his legacy of recordings on many of the finest theatre organ installations to be found!  He has received great reviews for both the technical production and the musical artistry. An old/new recording is now available! Recordings can be purchased through his new website:   ronrhode.com

Milestones and accomplishments include:

  • 10 years/seasons as Accompanist for Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix
  • Currently starting his 22nd year as organist for GateWay Community College film classes each semester, playing silent films so students experience the history of film before sound
  • 20 years as organist for the “Silent Sundays” silent film series at the Orpheum Theatre, Phoenix
  • 10 years of installing and playing a 3-manual 23-rank Wurlitzer pipe organ in our home, and recording the CD “Home”
  • 1989  Recorded an unreleased album that was lost, but recently recovered, produced for sale as a CD, and called “Vintage Rhode”!
  • 2 CD’s given highest ratings by CD Review Magazine: "Unforgettable" 10/10, and "Please" 10/10
  • Organist of the Year by American Theatre Organ Society at the Detroit, MI National Convention in 1989  

Current Recording - "Vintage Rhode"

"Vintage Rhode" is a glimpse at the heritage Ron has left from the years past!  A CD recording from 1989, made in the late evening hours after work, was forgotten about and just recently found while cleaning out some warehouse storage.  The organ recorded is Ron's old favorite in the original Mesa Organ Stop when it was 4 manuals and 28 ranks of pipework.  What better for vintage Rhode than Rhode's vintage Wurlitzer!

Purchase CD