"It's about time that governments feared the people instead of the other way around." - Henry Rollins

User login

Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 21 guests online.

Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

Find iBrattleboro on:

 Twitter YouTube

Search the Archives

Ye Olde iBrattleboro Archive

Use the pulldown to choose desired number of results.


Search the first decade
of iBrattleboro archives
at Archive-It.org
Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Friends of Music at Guilford's Founder, A. Graham Down, Remembered

GUILFORD, Vt., Sept. 6, 2014 – Friends of Music at Guilford founder A. Graham Down died August 30, 2014 at his home in Washington, D.C. He had just celebrated his 85th birthday.

Down was a transplanted Englishman—Kings College, Cambridge, class of 1952. He installed a baroque-style tracker organ in a Guilford barn to use as a practice instrument while he vacationed here, and gave its inaugural recital on Labor Day Weekend in 1966.  

He was then teaching at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, and visits from his students and colleagues inspired a number of them to move to Packer Corners Road in Guilford, along with their friends and families. As Friends of Music’s Zeke Hecker has said, “He founded more than a concert series; he founded a community.”  

Graham Down sold his summer place in Guilford in the early 1970s. A group of friends formed a nonprofit corporation to purchase the organ and keep it here, which is how Friends of Music officially began. Down considered the instrument his legacy to the town of Guilford.

His subsequent career in academia included positions as Acting Director of the College Board's Advanced Placement Program, Executive Director and President of the Council for Basic Education, and Director of the Davies-Jackson Scholarship Program of The Council of Independent Colleges, among many others. He continued to perform regularly as organist and pianist in church and at musicales in his home.

For decades, Graham Down followed the progress of Friends of Music from afar, having relocated to Washington, D.C. Finally, in 2001, he returned to perform on the organ for the first time in 32 years. He journeyed north to perform on this occasion a number of times after, with his last appearance on the Memorial Day Weekend program in 2013.

During these years, he worked on several occasions with organ technician Lawrence Nevin on re-voicing several of the stops, resulting in an overall tonal coherence which finally realized the quality he had envisioned for the instrument when he brought the organ to Guilford.

Graham Down phoned Zeke Hecker just days before this year’s festival, giving his usual encouragement for a good weekend. He noted that 2015 would mark the 50th anniversary of that first recital, and offered to return for the occasion to perform on the organ.

On the night Down died, a capacity audience was listening to William McKim play the Guilford Tracker Organ in a program including preludes and fugues of Bach and Buxtehude, composers Graham Down often favored on his organ concert programs.


Upcoming Events

iBrattleboro Poll

With my current income, I could probably afford a total (town + school) tax increase of about