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The Arts

Waring named Estey museum board president

BRATTLEBORO—The Board of Trustees of Estey Organ Museum has elected Dr. Dennis Waring of Guilford as president of the board for a one-year term.

Waring, author of Manufacturing the Muse: Estey Organs and Consumer Culture in Victorian America and five other books on musical instruments, is one of the foremost experts on Estey organs and the Estey Organ Company.

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

He is an authority on the music of the United States, a specialist in areas of African and Latin American music, and an organologist (one who pursues the scholarly study of musical instruments).

Waring holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Kansas and a doctorate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. He has taught in public schools in the U.S. and Canada and at Wesleyan, Brown University, Trinity College, and the University of Connecticut.

As a master teaching artist, he was honored as Connecticut State Troubadour for 2003 and 2004. As a master instrument maker, he invents and manufactures instruments of all kinds.

Estey Organ Museum, at 108 Birge Street rear (off Canal Street), has continued fulfilling its mission in a limited way throughout the coronavirus pandemic. It has a robust presence online at its website,, is working on a virtual tour, and opened on several recent weekends in compliance with pandemic safety guidelines.

As part of its mission to collect, preserve, and interpret the physical and cultural heritage of the Estey Organ Company, the museum boasts in its main Engine House 20 beautifully crafted instruments dating to the mid-1800s. Volunteers periodically offer organs and organ parts to “re-home.”

Other trustees and principals of the museum include vice-president Valerie Abrahamsen, treasurer John Carnahan, secretary Karen Rosen, bookkeeper Barbara George, and trustees Les Nicholas and David Ryan. The museum is also served by a team of a dozen volunteer docents.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #583 (Wednesday, October 14, 2020). This story appeared on page A8.

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