January 8, 2014
Faces of Fauquier: He makes music in a big way
“I love riding the back roads of Fauquier County” on a motorcycle, Clif Stroud says.
When my parents were in coffee hour after church, I would sneak up to the sanctuary to look at the organ . . . . Somehow, I figured how to turn it on and the director caught me and asked if I wanted to study it. I have been playing the organ ever since, and I love it. The organ is a great instrument and the only instrument that is capable of sustained tone.
Pipe organs have enthralled him since age 12.
“My dad would take me to concerts and I would go up after the performance and stare at the knobs and the console. I was fascinated!” Clif Stroud explained.
With grace, fancy pedal footwork and a passion for music, he serves as the organist and pianist at Warrenton United Methodist Church. Mr. Stroud plays for the 8 and 11 a.m. Sunday services, and on occasion, directs the choir.
He also helps lead an effort to raise money to buy a new console and other equipment for the church’s organ.
His favorite pieces to play? Works by Johann Sebastian Bach.
The beauty of Fauquier County attracted this native Philadelphian, who loves to ride his motorcycle along back roads.
“I can ride anywhere, unencumbered,” Mr. Stroud said. “There is so much open land. I think the county is very attractive.”
Organist and pianist for Warrenton United Methodist Church for three years. Previously the organist for Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains for eight years. Occasionally directs the church choir as a substitute.
• Why you do the job?
I have been playing the organ professionally since I was 14. My dad taught me to play piano when I was 7. I discovered the organ when I was 12.
My dad would take me to concerts and I would go up after the performance and stare at the knobs and the console. I was fascinated! When my parents were in coffee hour after church, I would sneak up to the sanctuary to look at the organ.
Somehow, I figured how to turn it on and the director caught me and asked if I wanted to study it. I have been playing the organ ever since, and I love it. The organ is a great instrument and the only instrument that is capable of sustained tone.
My son, David, 19, is a freshman at Northern Virginia Community College.
Studied the organ privately for five years with Michael Stairs, the organist for the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. Majored in psychology at Syracuse University, graduating in 1978. Studied organ for a year and piano for three years. Attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., for two summers, studying the organ and choral conducting.
• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains. Served on the vestry and helped run youth group for several years at the church.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
• Why do you live here?
When I first moved here from Philadelphia, I lived in Centreville. I moved to Fauquier to be closer to my church and my son’s school at the time, Wakefield School.
• How do you describe this county?
It’s a great place to live, and it is so close to the nation’s capital. You are close to D.C., but also have the mountains. There is so much open land; I think the county is very attractive.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I don’t think I would change anything.
• What do you do for fun?
I ride my Yamaha motorcycle. Another thing I like about Fauquier is I can ride anywhere, unencumbered. I love riding the back roads of Fauquier County.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I like visiting the wineries in Fauquier. There is one in Linden that has beautiful views. I think the wineries are a real asset to the county.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I don’t think it will be too different. There is some development, but I don’t think it will change much. It’s on the outskirts of a decent commute to D.C., and that’s a good thing. I hope it doesn’t change too much.
• Favorite TV show?
“Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO.
• Favorite movie?
“Gone with the Wind”
• Favorite book?
I read a lot of biographies, but I would have to say, “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.
• Favorite vacation spot?
Duck, N.C., in the Outer Banks.
• Favorite food?
Pot roast. My grandmother made a good pot roast.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
To maintain a positive attitude. I picked that up from my father-in-law. I think it’s really important in life to maintain a positive attitude in everything you do.
• Who’s your hero and why?
I have always admired Johnny Carson. He did what he loved to do for 30 years and left at the top of his game. No one had to push him out. I think he was an amazing guy.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I would give a portion of it to my former high school, William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, to use for their performing arts program. I had a great experience there.
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Previous Faces of Fauquier:
• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.
• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.
• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.
• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native
• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.
• His job dovetails with passion for hunting
• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.
• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people
• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.
• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.
• He lives and works in a beautiful place.
• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.
• Pretty things everywhere she looks.
• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.
• One day, he might run the company.
• FISH volunteer likes to help others.
• She sees the community’s generosity.
• Cop patrols while most people sleep.
• Pastor a constant in Calverton.
• She keeps the courthouse spotless.
• He loves working working outdoors at the park.
• She sees “everyone” at Carousel
• Library assistant works in a “fun place"
• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton
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