Theatre Organist: Eric Fahner

Eric Fahner
Eric Fahner

A native of Jersey City, N.J., Eric Fahner has lived in Clifton since 1987. At age 10 he began organ lessons with Frank Segedin of Weehawken. Four years later he started a 5 year study of church organ music under Dr. Julia Anderson, Director of Music at William Paterson University.

In addition, Eric has been mentored by two prominent organists. He was the last student of famed silent film accompanist Lee Erwin, before Erwin’s death. Eric’s studies with Lee included Theatre Organ styles and improvisation for silent films. He also studied both church music and improvisation for silent films under Dorothy J. Papapadakos, former organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in NYC.

Over the years Eric grew to be a skilled sight reader and improvisationalist at the organ, piano, and electronic keyboards. While home in the USA he plays a Hammond Commodore and a Yamaha keyboard. When at the family home in Germany, his instrument is a Technics F-3 keyboard.

Eric has played in many church venues in the New York metropolitan area, as well as in Germany, Austria, France, and England. His principal church organist positions have been at the Roman Catholic churches of St. Mary, St. Michael, and St. Anne in Jersey City.

Besides his music, Eric has earned a bachelors degree in International Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University / Wroxton University England, and a masters degree in Elementary Education from Fairleigh Dickinson.

He has concertized for GSTOS, The American Guild of Organists, the West Point Cadets, and the Jersey City Film Society. He is one of the house organists at the Bob Balfour Memorial Wonder Morton at the Landmark Loew’s Theatre in Jersey City. Eric has also played preshow music / intermissions at the Biggest Little Wurlitzer at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, and he aspires to one day play for a silent film.

Eric is also a talented artist and aficionado of old theatres and historic cathedrals. He has created color drawings in tribute to famous theatres, many of which are long gone or now changed beyond recognition. Each drawing shows the theatre’s interior with organ console. He also has drawn the exteriors of a number of English, French, and German Cathedrals. Eric’s work is available to purchase by contacting him at fahner@alumni.fdu.edu. He offers 8 x 11 color copies, either matted, or matted and framed. He also welcomes other commissions if a good photo of the theatre can be obtained. Five of his drawings were featured in the September/October 2008 edition of Theatre Organ, the Journal of the American Theatre Organ Society.

Some of America’s most beautiful historic theaters in Eric’s portfolio include:

Loew’s Jersey, Jersey City
Brooklyn Fox
Brooklyn Paramount
Loew’s State, Times Square
Loew’s Kings, Brooklyn
San Francisco Fox
Roxy Theatre, NYC
Orpheum, Souix City, Iowa
RKO Palace, Rochester, NY
Pascack Theatre, Westwood, NJ

New York Paramount
New York Paramount Theatre
by Eric Fahner
Loew's Jersey
Loew's Jersey Theatre
by Eric Fahner