Debut progressive organ concert and dinner nearly sold out

Staff Reports Posted 8 May 2018 at 12:03 pm

Cobblestone Museum coordinating event at 3 historic churches

Photos by Tom Rivers: Andrew Meier on Saturday will perform on the 1904 Estey Reed Organ at the former Childs Universalist Church, which is now part of the Cobblestone Museum. That stop on the progressive concert includes appetizers and wine.

ALBION – A new Cobblestone Society & Museum event on Saturday combines a progressive dinner with a progressive organ concert.

The event features three very different historic pipe organs. Local musicians will play the organs, with the event also highlighting churches that are federally recognized historic sites. The event has already nearly sold out, with 65 of the 80 tickets taken.

“It comes back to this magnificent place that we have here in Orleans County with this great heritage which includes these churches,” said Maarit Vaga, the event organizer. “We’re trying in many different ways to highlight the heritage we have in this community.”

The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. with the first stop at the former Childs Universalist Church, which was built in 1834, making it North America’s oldest cobblestone church. Andrew Meier of Medina will play the 1904 Estey Reed Organ.  This unusual instrument was built for church performance in Brattleboro, Vermont, and features two full keyboards and a pedal board.

Meier, principal organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Medina, will perform selections designed to highlight church music from the early 1900s and will demonstrate the full melodic function of the instrument. Born and raised in Medina, Meier graduated from Medina High School in 1997, and graduated magna cum laude in political science from the University of Rochester in 2001 and cum laude from the Syracuse University College of Law in 2004. Appetizers and wine will be served at this stop.

Darryl Smith will perform on the 1877 Steer & Turner Pipe Organ at Christ Church, where a beef bourguignon dinner will follow the concert.

The second stop in the recital will be at Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street in Albion, where organist Darryl Smith will demonstrate the 1877 Steer & Turner Pipe Organ. This instrument is unique in that it maintains its original mechanical linkage, known as tracker action, between the keyboard and pipes.

Darryl Smith is the principal organist at Christ Church. A life-long resident of Albion, Smith graduated from Houghton College with a Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries. She currently serves as the Administrative Secretary to the President of Roberts Wesleyan College. The entrée for the progressive meal, a beef bourguignon dinner, will be served following the concert demonstration.

The final stop for the “Progressive Organ Concert” will be at the First Baptist Church where Gary Simboli will demonstrate the 1925 Moller Pipe Organ. The instrument features two separate pipe chambers and pressure driven pneumatic action. Simboli is a graduate of State University College at Geneseo and is the award winning instrumental music teacher at Albion High School.  Dessert will be served following Mr. Simboli’s recital.

Smboli will be joined by guest soloist, the Reverend Aleka Schmidt who is pastor of the First Baptist Church. She is also a classically trained soprano.

Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County historian, will also share stories and architectural highlights about the church buildings and some information about the organs.

For more information about tickets, call the Cobblestone Museum at (585) 589-9013 or check the museum’s website at

This project is made possible with funds from the state’s Decentralization Program through the New York State Council on the Arts.

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