BTOS to honor late founder

The Binghamton Theatre Organ Society will dedicate its 2017-2018 season to its founder and volunteer executive director, Paul F. Stapel, who passed away recently.

Stapel, a native of Muskegon, Michigan, came to this community to serve as executive director of the Binghamton Symphony Orchestra (now the Binghamton Philharmonic) from 1983 to 1986.  He later was instrumental in the merger of the Art Theater and Art Mission to become the ART Mission and Theater and was its first executive director.

In 2008, Stapel was a recipient of the Broome County Arts Council’s Heart of the Arts award.

In recent years, he devoted his time and efforts to the theater organ society, which presents silent movies with organ accompaniment and organ music concerts at The Forum in downtown Binghamton. Members of the BTOS are devoted to maintaining and showcasing the county auditorium’s Robert-Morton IV/24 Theater Organ.

The BTOS Board of Officers issued a statement praising Stapel’s “dedication, perseverance, compassion and support of the arts in our community.”

At the start of the first BTOS performance of the season, a 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 screening of the 1923 Lon Chaney silent classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Stapel’s accomplishments will be acknowledged and memories will be shared.

Broome Arts Mirror was not able to obtain any details about Stapel’s passing. He would have turned 77 on Oct. 13.

Click for pressconnects.com article about Paul, published 10/13/17.

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