Welcome to our museum dedicated to the history and innovations of the Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, Vermont. The company was world-known for manufacturing reed, pipe, and electronic organs and operated for nearly a century. Organizers have established a 501(3)(c) non-profit corporation in the state of Vermont for the purposes of building this museum in the historic slate-sided factory buildings that still stand. We hope you will get involved in this noble effort to preserve the instruments, the history, the stories, and the music, of all those touched by Estey organs.
Engine House Gallery
The Estey Organ Museum remains open Saturday and Sunday afternoons through October 12, 2014, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. It is also open by appointment, and visits can be arranged upon request. The museum is located in the Engine House of the Estey Organ Company’s factory buildings at 108 Birge Street (rear) in Brattleboro, Vermont. Visit to see exhibits about Estey reed and electronic organs. Explore the unique Walk-Through Pipe Organ, and explore a century of organ building in Brattleboro.
Several new exhibits, organs and artifacts have recently arrived in the Engine House: photos of Estey pipe organs from around the country; “Women of Estey” biographies, both family members and employees; and several organs in excellent condition procured from North Carolina and Indiana. There is still time to see them!
Estey Organ Museum mourns the death of Alan O. Dann on September 7, 2014, at the age of 80. Alan succumbed to metastatic bladder cancer and is survived by his wife, Dr. Deirdre Donaldson; his son John; his granddaughter Ruby Dann; his foster son Pedro Mendia-Landa; his brother Robert; and three well-adored cats. Alan’s career was illustrious and varied, from education at the Kent School in Connecticut, Harvard College, Columbia University, and the University of Connecticut, to service in the Navy and Naval Reserve and work for Southern New England Telephone and AT&T. An organist, Alan played services for a number of churches in southern Vermont, and he was always singing – with Friends of Music at Guilford, Brattleboro Community Chorus, and Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus, among many other settings. Alan generously contributed his time and talent to The Commons, the Vermont Progressive Party, Hilltop House, the League of Women Voters and the Marlboro Historical Society. Members and friends of Estey Organ Museum owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude: Alan was a co-founder, Past President, grant writer, floor painter, note-taker, docent, researcher, diplomat, cheerleader, and overall hero. The museum will gladly accept donations in any amount in Alan’s memory, as per his wishes. He will be sorely missed.
The Board of Trustees, the Managing Director and members of Estey Organ Museum extend their deepest sympathy to John Carnahan, Trustee Emeritus and museum Treasurer, and his wife, Mary, on the death of their daughter, Sarah K. Carnahan. Sarah died on March 25, 2014, at age 53 after a short illness and leaves her husband, Alfredo Quintero; her three daughters, Anna Mary, Elizabeth Nadia, and Natalie Margaret; her brother Paul; and her sister Susan Vodrey. Sarah, a resident of Dobbs Ferry, New York, was a teacher in the Irvington, NY, school system, teaching grades 2-4. Donations can be made to the Irvington Education Foundation (www.iefonline.org), PO Box 93, Irvington, NY 10533.
Remembering John Wessel
The Estey Organ Museum mourns the death of good friend and former Estey employee John Wessel on January 7, 2014. Click here for an article on John that appeared in the Organ Historical Society “Atlas” in Summer 2013. Our condolences go to John’s widow Sophia and their family.
Brattleboro History Center
Don’t forget that there are Estey artifacts in the Brattleboro History Center, located in the Masonic Center (next to First Baptist Church). If you’re downtown during open hours, stop by: Thursday and Friday 2-4 pm, Saturday 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
The Brattleboro Pipe Organ Tour on Saturday, May 17th, was a huge success, with nearly 50 people in attendance for all or part of the tour. Managing Director Phil Stimmel and guest organists Alan Dann, Bill McKim and Ed Boadway entertained and educated the crowd at seven different venues around town. (Click here for the full schedule.) Alan Dann and John Carnahan were presented with certificates of appreciation for their work on behalf of the museum in a short ceremony held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church; their wives, Deirdre Donaldson and Mary Carnahan, made surprise appearances!
Guilford Visitor Center, Route I-91 North: Phil Stimmel mounted a beautiful Estey Organ Museum exhibit at the center during June and July.
Coffee Break at the Guilford Visitor Center. The museum hosted a successful Coffee Break on Saturday, July 19, 2014. We are grateful to the many people who donated money, supplies and food to make this fundraiser a success – more than $750 was raised for the work of the museum! Phil Stimmel entertained visitors not only with information about organs and the museum but also by playing a portable Estey reed organ. We hope to repeat this event in future years.
Approximately 40 members and guests attended our Estey Day celebration and Annual Meeting on Sunday afternoon, September 21, in the Engine House. An enjoyable program, “Vermont Song,” sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council, was presented by Linda Radtke and Arthur Zorn. At the Annual Meeting, the late Alan Dann was remembered, and three people were elected to the Board: Jesse Hamilton, Jody Oakman and Cindy Wilcox. Congratulations!
Check out a report on the Maker Faire, held in Burlington, Vermont, in September. Estey Organ Museum was represented by Dennis Waring, Vice President of the Board of Trustees.
Estey Organ Museum Founder Ned Phoenix, and Estey instruments, were featured at the concerts of the Windham Orchestra on Sunday, Oct. 27, and Friday, Nov. 1, when “The Social Waltzes” of Frederick Palmer were performed. Palmer was a 19th-century “dental surgeon, lawyer, postmaster of Brattleboro, socialite and family man, organist, violinist, flutist and composer,” and Maestro Hugh Keelan arranged Palmer’s 1844 pieces to include parts for parlor organ. The orchestra also performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4. Congratulations to Mr. Phoenix, Maestro Keelan and the Windham Orchestra! The Annual Meeting was held at the museum on Thursday evening, September 26, 2013. Exciting decisions were made about the museum’s future and will be reported as time goes on. German organist Hans Hielscher returned to Brattleboro on Sunday, October 13, 2013, for a beautiful concert on the Estey organ at First Baptist Church. Audience members enjoyed refreshments before and after the concert, chatted with Hans, and purchased some of his CD’s. Check out Herr Hielscher’s website (in German). Help Continue To Build The Estey Organ Museum You can help us make the full Estey Organ Museum a reality here in Southern Vermont. There are many ways to get involved:
Estey Organ Museum will be open for special extended hours the weekends of June 22 – 23 and June 22-23 to welcome members of the Organ Historical Society who will be traveling to and from the OHS 2013 Annual Convention being held in Burlington June 24-29.
The museum is located in the former Estey factory complex on Birge Street in Brattleboro, and features displays of various styles of reed organs as well as a playable, walk-through, 1915 Estey pipe organ. Many of the other instruments on display are also playable, and visitors of all ages are encouraged to take a turn at playing them.
The museum will be open this coming weekend Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23, from 10 to 4 p.m. each day. In addition, there will be a special open day on Monday June 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring gallery docent and host Edgar A Boadway from Claremont, NH. Boadway is a founder of the Organ Historical Society and is a leading Vermont organ historian. He has long had a special interest in Estey organs and his vast knowledge and lively commentaries will provide a unique treat for Museum visitors.
For the following weekend, June 29 and 30, the Estey Organ Museum will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will again feature Ed Boadway all day as docent and host for gallery visitors. On Sunday, June 30, the Museum will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Estey Organ Museum is located at 108 Birge Street just off Canal Street (also Route 5). The public is invited to visit the museum during any and all of the open times, including the special days hosted by Ed Boadway. Admission is by donation. The gallery is accessible for those in wheelchairs.
For more information, call 802-254-8398 or visit esteyorganmuseum.org.
The Estey Organ Museum presents Cheryl Duerr and Edwin Lawrence in a program for Organ and Flute on Saturday, February 16 at 7 pm at First Baptist Church, 190 Main Street, in downtown Brattleboro.
Cheryl Duerr, MM, AAGO, Region I Councillor, American Guild of Organists and Edwin Lawrence, Dean, Berkshire Chapter, American Guild of Organists will be performing works by by Saint-Saens, Langlais, Franck, Rachmaninoff, and Howells. There is a $15 suggested donation at the door to support the work of the museum.
Cheryl Duerr currently serves as Region I Councillor for the American Guild of Organists. Previously, she has served the Guild as Regional Education Coordinator and has been a member of the National Nominating Committee. She has served on Steering Committees for the Morristown, 2011; Hartford, 2013; Boston, 2014; and New Haven, 2015, Conventions. She served the Bridgeport 2010 and Boston 2011 POE (Pipe Organ Encounter), POE A, POE T in a number of capacities – faculty, presenter, dorm mom, volunteer coordinator, and CONO rep; Boston Chapter Executive Board, Program Committee, Nominating Committee and Young Organists’ Initiative.
Of the AGO, she says, “I’m deeply grateful for the gift of serving the region and working with so many committed and talented people.” In addition, Ms. Duerr is Director of Music Ministries for the Attleboro Evangelical Covenant, directing four musical groups who lead two diverse Sunday morning services. She is a member of the International Coach Federation and is Coach and Speaker and owner of The Concord Coaching Company. She earned her Masters in Music degree from Boston University and her Associate (AAGO) from the American Guild of Organists. She credits her sons with giving her the best education of her life.
Edwin Lawrence is Artist Associate in Harpsichord, Piano, and Organ, and Instructor in Music at Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., where he teaches keyboard musicianship labs for music theory courses, piano, organ and harpsichord. He holds a B. Mus. Degree from the SUNY College at Fredonia and has studied piano with Gabriel Chodos, harpsichord with Preethi da Silva, and organ with William Porter. He is currently Dean of the Berkshire Chapter, American Guild of Organists; Minister of Music for the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Williamstown; and Music Director for the Bennington County Choral Society.
As a producer for Dorian Recordings, he was directly involved with more than 20 recording projects. Mr. Lawrence has long associations with Vermont, having been on the faculty at Bennington College and serving as music director for the Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington. He is a founding member of the Consortium of Vermont Composers and has served as a guest conductor of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
It is noteworthy that “In the days of the LP record, Mr. Lawrence was the featured artist on ‘Organ Music From Robert Todd Lincoln’s Hildene,’ performing American music from the turn of the 20th century on the Aeolian instrument in the Lincoln home in Manchester, VT.” (Larry Nevin, well known in Brattleboro, was involved in that Hildene project.) In 1990, Mr. Lawrence received a Citation of Merit from the Vermont Council of the Arts for his contributions to the vitality of the arts in the Green Mountain State.
For more information about the museum, visit the Estey Organ Museum online at www.esteyorganmuseum.org
For more information about First Baptist Church please visit http://www.firstbaptistchurchofbrattleborovt.com/
Join the Estey Organ Museum in welcoming the Buzzards Brass Band to First Baptist Church on Saturday, January 19th at 7:30 p.m. for a fun and lively Carnival Concert.
The Buzzards Brass Band is the official performing moniker of The New Orleans Brass Band Project, Southern VT, a collaborative music workshop based out of Brattleboro VT.
Buzzard Brass Band
The New Orleans Brass Band Project was founded in early 2009 by New Orleans native Pete Simoneaux, for the purpose of cultivating a community of musicians interested in performing traditional and contemporary New Orleans style Brass Band music. This is the music of jazz funerals and street parades in New Orleans, the style that gave birth to the careers of Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and whose lineage continues to this day in the funky, driving street rhythms of groups like the Dirty Dozen, the Rebirth, New Birth & Treme Brass Bands.
The Buzzards have become familiar to Brattleboro area audiences through their performances at numerous Gallery Walks, the Strolling of the Heifers, 4th of July parades, and a host of other local community events. The group is led by Pete Simoneaux on bass drum and vocals. Other core musicians include Tim Ellis of KidsPlayce on sousaphone, Stephen Voorhees on snare drum, Scott Sizer on trumpet, trombonists Dan DeWalt and Chuck Ober, saxophonists Ron Kelley, Frank Sansone, Jon Mack & Walter Slowinski, Jim Kurty on clarinet & saxophone, & Jeanushka Fishell on percussion.
This concert will also featureNed Phoenix playing electric violin and Jon Matthew Worrall playing the huge Estey pipe organ.
Over the past 25 years, the New Orleans Brass Band revival has exploded in popularity, to the point where it has become the dominant musical form in the city, embraced and performed by young and old alike. Bands such as the Rebirth, Hot 8, Soul Rebels and Stooges have people dancing in the streets and the clubs all day, and all night long, almost every day of the year. It is our hope to be able to bring some of this energy to northern New England, utilizing the abundant talents of the Brattleboro area musical community.
There is a $15 suggested donation at the door to support the work of the museum.
Buzzards Brass Band
Saturday, January 19, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
First Baptist Church
190 Main Street
$15 suggested donation
For information on the Buzzards Brass Band, contact Pete Simoneaux at (603) 835-6051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.