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SAVE THE PIPES ~ Help preserve an important piece of Fairfield's (and Vermont's) history!

Meet Stephan Conrady,

 Genius of the Pipes

 

Stephan was born in Bonn, Germany, and spent most of his life in Kordel, along the banks of the Moselle River. He started playing the piano at age 6 and wanted to become a concert pianist, but there were a “whole lot of musicians better than I was.” Living so closely to the Archdiocese of Trier, he became fascinated by the grandiosity of the pipe organs. Vitezslav Vorbornik, a Czech organist, pianist and composer took Stephan under his wing and taught him how to master this instrument. He played during morning services at the Christkoenig Kirche and Jesuiten Kirche in Trier, the Protestant Church is Bitburg, St. Amandus in Kordel, and in 1981 was invited to play for Bishop Stein on his 75th birthday.

 

In 1982, Stephan applied for an apprenticeship with an organ manufactory in Trier. He was accepted into the program, and completed his 3-year apprenticeship (6 months ahead of schedule) in 1985, receiving official status as a pipe organ and harmonium builder from the Oskar Walcker Institute in Ludwigsburg, one of the most famous and accredited trade schools for organ building in the world. From Orgelbau Oehms, in Trier, he worked on organs in Koblenz, Frankfurt, Saarbrücken and Offenbach in Germany, and in Roeser, Hosingen, Bacharage and Luxembourg-Ville in Luxembourg. In 1986 he was part of the team that built the organ of St. Michael in Hammerfest, Norway, the northernmost Christian church in the world.

 

In 2013, Stephan met his future wife, Claudia Blatzheim and spent a couple of years traveling between Germany and the US. He and Claudia were married in 2015, and the couple moved to Alburgh, VT in 2016, where they live today. Stephan is the organist at the First Congregational Church in St. Albans, and works part time assisting Claudia with her gardening work at the Tyler Place Family Resort in Highgate Springs.

 

Stephan’s expertise offers tuning in equal and historic temperaments, as well as all kinds of re-leathering work, action renovation, and pipe repairs for organs of any style. When asked what it was about our organ that interested him, Stephan said, “Well, it’s a beautiful instrument. I felt sorry for it.”

 

We are so lucky to have found you, Stephan, and are excited to follow along as you resurrect the organ at The Meeting House on the Green!

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Help us restore the historic
135-year-old tracker pipe organ at The Meeting House on the Green.

Our goal is


$12,000



You can donate securely
online, or at this link: www.gofund.me/d7e24692 or send your contribution of any amount, large or small, in an envelope
to:

Meeting House on the Green ~ Save the Pipes!
53 School Street, Box 16
East Fairfield, VT
05448

A Little History of the

East Fairfield Tracker Organ

The Builder: Edward H. Smith was born in St. Armand Quebec in 1837, and died in Montgomery, VT in January, 1889. Initially Smith worked under the supervision of one Charles Allen, a wealthy farmer from Enosburg, but in 1886 according to the St. Albans Daily Messenger, "E. H.Smith has dissolved his partnership with Chas. Allen in the manufacture of pipe organs, and goes in with his brother, James E. Smith at Black Falls, {Montgomery} where they will continue the business of making organs."

Smith was the only significant nineteenth-century organ builder in northern Vermont, and while his work was confined to a narrow period between 1883 and 1889, he supplied a number of instruments to local congregations. It is believed that he built and installed at least seven organs in northern New England, although none with his name plate survives. Our organ is one of three Smith organs left in the state; the other two are in Hardwick and Bristol. 

Originally built for the First Congregational Church in Swanton, it was moved to East Fairfield in 1913. It was listed in "The Bicentennial of the Pipe Organ in Vermont, 1814-2014" report as being "extant but severely damaged. " 

Its days of silence and inactivity are soon to be over! Join us in the restoration of this fine old instrument!

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The MEETING HOUSE
ON THE GREEN ~ E. Fairfield, Vermont

Strengthening community through historic preservation & the arts.

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