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Organist

Michael J. Olmstead Sr w
Michael Olmstead
as born and brought up in St. Albans, attended Holy Angels Elementary School and graduated from Bellow Free Academy in 1973.  He started playing piano at the age of five under the watchful eye of Florence Bostwick who was the first graduate of Holy Angels school and the first organist at Holy Angels Parish as well as a beloved family friend.  He also took lessons from the Sisters of Holy Cross at Holy Angels and studied for four years with Leroy Ritter,  formerly associated with the University of Vermont Music department.

Mike started playing the organ at Holy Angels when he was just six years old under the Sisters guidance.   In 1985 due to the need for an organist at that time, Mike sat on the bench as organist and has been playing since then, minus a brief hiatus from 2003 to 2006 when his employment took him away from home for awhile.  Some may remember that Mike also played Dixie land and swing music with a quartette for 30 + years for private clubs, weddings and other such occasions as well as a 16 year engagement playing for ballroom dancing in the Burlington area.  In the past five years  Mike and Jeanne Begnoche have joined together to share their gifts of music for masses at Holy Angels, other local churches, worship services,  community centers, funerals and weddings.

Some folks may not realize that Mike, along with The Andover Organ Company, combine their efforts in keeping the 1892 tracker pipe organ in tune and in working order.   Many laborious hours of lovingly repairing ciphering notes or broken trackers between tunings are done by Mike on his own time.

Although Mike has made his living for over 30 years in the railway industry, now with Rail America, based out of Jacksonville Florida (with offices in the Railway Building on the corner of Lake and Federal Streets) his passion is playing church music on the tracker organ at Holy Angels.  Mike often refers to the gift he gives the Parish at Holy Angels of accompanying the choir, the masses he and Jeanne do together, other special services and repairs to the organ between tunings as his way of “repaying and thanking God for the gifts He has given me”.