On Sunday night, the Brattleboro area lost a contributor to the community.
I first met Alan Dann through the Estey Organ Museum where we served together on the board. In this capacity, I learned of his musical abilities. Alan played organ, but also loved to sing. He would frequently be telling me of impending trips to foreign lands to sing with his college alumni choir.
Upon return, I’d hear of the amazing buildings they performed in, how the great cathedrals had excellent acoustics, and how the performance was received by the audience.
He had a turn as President of the Estey Organ Museum, helping to build the museum’s collections and resources. He also got his hands dirty, as we all did, moving organs about, setting up exhibits, and making the museum a more inviting space. Alan would volunteer to paint the cement floor each year, for example, to clean up scratches and chipping.
When Alan would take on a project, he was fully committed. He invested himself (and his time, money, and energy) into making this a better community. He got involved with the board of the Commons to help them become a sustaining organization, and was very active in local politics, usually in the Progressive camp.
He was a member of St. Michael’s, but could be seen in almsot all area churches at one time or another serving as an organist. (Alan would probably appreciate me making note to area keyboardists - churches need organists! Go get involved!)
I always appreciated Alan’s common sense. He was willing to take chances, but also was grounded enough to know what was essential. I watched him handle difficult people and situations with grace. He was willing to be the person to chart a path through difficult waters, then steer the proverbial ship to safety.
Alan Dann touched many people and will not be forgotten. I imagine he is now joining a choir of angels, lending a nice, deep, voice and, most likely, helping them plan a concert tour.
(The picture is of Alan at the Estey Organ Museum, helping to deliver the Estey jigsaw.)