By Aaron Ploof
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Halloween has passed and that Thanksgiving turkey is hot on our heels, but who isn’t excited for a heart-warming Christmas?
Well-known Anderson organist George Smith is more than willing to help bring that holiday cheer a month early in his annual Christmas Concert at the Paramount Theatre, 1124 Meridian Plaza.
On Friday, he’ll join wife Norma and fellow musicians and singers Adam Fraley, Karla John, Cheryl Hill, Terry Stephens, and Tim Youngblood in delivering uplifting singalong Christmas tunes. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Paramount box office or at George Smith’s Music Center, 2030 Raible Avenue.
Proceeds will help fund ongoing work in restoring the Paramount Grande Page Theatre Pipe Organ, which Smith will play Friday.
Smith’s concerts have been a regular occurrence at the Paramount since 2000, but he’s been aware of his calling ever since his early childhood years. He remembers sitting on the bench of his parents’ organ in reverent prayer hoping that God would transform it into a Hammond. That particular wish was never fulfilled (the organ still sits un-transformed in the back of his shop), but his boundless enthusiasm and faith for pursuing his dreams has never failed.
At 14, the boy was hired by a local skating rink due to a recommendation from his lifetime mentor and organ teacher, and since then he’s been surfing a continual wave of success. From Indiana to Luxemburg, Smith has traveled to countless locales.
His dedication and joyful exuberance is no doubt bolstered by his marriage to Norma and the support from both his sons, Scott and Lonnie. Each one of his family members has voluntarily joined him in managing his organ store.
Smith strongly hopes to reflect that passion Friday.
“The world can be a happy place if (we) let it,” he said.