Toledo Museum of Art to Offer Free Screening of Buster Keaton’s “The Cameraman” with Live Music

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The Toledo Museum of Art’s classical concert hall, the Peristyle, will transform into a movie house Thursday, Nov. 6 with a free showing of Buster Keaton’s classic 1928 silent film “The Cameraman.” Acclaimed organist Steven Ball will perform his own live musical score to the film, which starts at 7 p.m

“The Cameraman” tells the story of a sidewalk portrait photographer (Buster Keaton) who purchases an old film camera and attempts to get a job as a cameraman for MGM Newsreels in order to be close to his crush Sally, a secretary who works at the company. The movie was considered lost until a print of the film was found in Paris in 1968.

As a special feature, accomplished organist Steven Ball will play his own musical score to the film. Dr. Ball is widely recognized for his for his scholarship of silent film composition and accompaniment and is one of a small number of artists versed in the theater organ to have achieved a doctoral degree in music.

Dr. Ball is originally from West Michigan and began playing the organ at a very young age. When he was 16 years old, he was accepted as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan where he studied organ performance in the studio of Dr. Marilyn Mason. He continued to study abroad and was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship in 2002.

Prior to his 2013 appointment as organist and director of outreach for the world’s largest pipe organ located at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, he was the senior staff organist at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor and the University Carillonneur at the University of Michigan, a faculty member of the organ department, and director of the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments. In addition, he was the cathedral organist at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit.

This free performance is in conjunction with The Art of Seeing: From Ordinary to Extraordinary, the 47th annual conference of the International Visual Literacy Association, hosted by the Toledo Museum of Art.

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