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The Commons
The Arts

Ethnomusicologist Dennis Waring to speak at Estey Organ Museum

Estey Organ Museum is located at 108 Birge St. in Brattleboro. The museum is open Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 2 to 4 p.m., through Sunday, Oct. 8. Admission is $5 per person, free for members. The mission of the Estey Organ Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret the physical and cultural heritage of the Estey Organ Company and to promote the continued use and enjoyment of Estey organs. The annual meeting honors the birthday of founder Jacob Estey in September 1814.

Originally published in The Commons issue #425 (Wednesday, September 13, 2017). This story appeared on page B4.



BRATTLEBORO—Adventures in writing, research, history, and music will be featured in “How the Muse was Manufactured: An Author’s Tale of Bringing the Estey Story to Life,” a talk by Dennis Waring at the Annual Meeting of the Estey Organ Museum on Sept. 17.

Waring will tell how his doctoral dissertation at Wesleyan University became the book, Manufacturing the Muse: Estey Organs and Consumer Culture in Victorian America, published by Wesleyan in 2002 and still in print.

“I would like to share the experience of what it took to write my book,” Waring says. “It is a tale of trial and error, meeting interesting and generous people, a bit of good luck, and a lot of perseverance.”

Much of the research was done locally with the help of staff and volunteers from the Brattleboro Historical Society and Brooks Memorial Library.

Waring is a local educator, instrument maker, performer, and arts consultant. As founder and owner of Waring Music, he pursues his passion in ethnomusicology — the scholarly study of all the world’s music, each within its social, historical, geographical, and cultural contexts.

He organized Waring Music as an educational organization involved with “applied ethnomusicology” through publishing, performing, teaching, composing, and providing access to resources for information, services, and products. He has taught world music, American music, and music education courses at the university level, and continues involvement in public education throughout New England.

Classically trained on the clarinet, Waring studied with the great Italian maestro, Fredric Lubrani. As a traditional folk musician, he learned to play the Appalachian dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, fiddle, Irish drum and various wind instruments. In 2003 and 2004, he was honored as Connecticut State Troubadour. He invents and manufactures instruments of all kinds and has written six books on musical instruments.

Waring’s presentation will follow a short business meeting at the Museum, starting at 3 p.m., on Sept. 17, and will be followed by light refreshments and conversation. Autographed copies of Manufacturing the Muse will be available for purchase. The event is free and open to the public.

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