A commemoration event for local instrument maker Mr Roland Stefen was held to celebrate his life and dedication to music and supporting musicians in our community.
An avid supporter of the Wollongong Conservatorium, Roland (pictured below) passed away suddenly last year from a heart attack. At that time, due to COVID there was no gathering of family and friends.
WollCon was pleased to be able to co-host a special commemoration event (with his wife Lyn Stefen) on the 1-year anniversary of his passing, on the 6th August at WollCon.
Roland was extraordinarily generous, repairing many instruments for musicians, typically refusing to accept payment for his work. He worked with many of the WollCon teachers, supporting their students with their instrument needs, in particular Ann Lehmann-Kuit and Miffy Ryan.
WollCon music therapist and guitar teacher Ann Lehmann-Kuit fondly recalls Roland as being very creative and kind.
“Roland was an inspired instrument maker, building gypsy manouche guitars, violins and violas. His generosity was remarkable, each year he donated a violin to the Illawarra Folk Festival for their fundraising raffle.”
The private commemoration event for family and friends, involved a celebration of Roland’s life, including musicians playing some of Roland’s hand-made violins, violas and guitars.