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Ryan applies passion for music with Madison Community Band

Conductor Dave Ryan accepts the audience's applause at a Madison Community Band concert at Bridge Street Town Centre. CONTRIBUTED
Conductor Dave Ryan accepts the audience’s applause at a Madison Community Band concert at Bridge Street Town Centre. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Dave Ryan believes the Madison community has a well-rounded set of assets — from the city’s steady growth to numerous venues for fine arts.

When Ryan was seven years old in the early 1960s, his father was transferred from Endicott, N.Y. to Huntsville when IBM started working on the Saturn program. Ryan graduated from Lee High School in Huntsville and Auburn University.

After Auburn, Ryan worked in Columbia, S.C. four years and then returned to North Alabama in 1990. “Rather than settle back in Huntsville, we chose Madison due to the affordable housing, incredible growth opportunities that the city had and the school system,” he said.

“In 1990, although the system was part of the county, the schools inside the Madison city limits were known for superior education and opportunities for the student,” Ryan said. “With two small boys at the time, this was a major concern.”

In his view, Madison “is not too big, offers a great family atmosphere as a bedroom community, excellent health care facilities, good shopping and enough cultural opportunities to satisfy anyone.”

“I have a lovely wife, Rhonda, of 36 years and three great children,” he said. Their children are Mike of Huntsville, Matt of Charlotte, N.C. and “our recently married Katie, who is currently attending the University of North Alabama studying nursing.”

For the past 23.5 years, Ryan has volunteered as music director and conductor of Madison Community Band (MCB). “I am also a co-founder and charter member of the band,” he said. In addition, he is an accomplished trumpet player.

With MCB, Ryan seeks and schedules performance opportunities, coordinates logistics for each performance, ensures adequate rehearsal facilities, provides appropriate music for each venue, rehearses with the band and “provides opportunities for young musicians outside of the rigors of the school program.”

“I don’t see music as a hobby … it is more of a passion for me,” Ryan said. When he has spare time, he enjoys photography and camping as hobbies.

When the Ryans’ children were younger, Madison Street Festival was a favorite event for them. “Now, we enjoy Christmas Card Lane. It’s a joy to see such amazing artwork depicting the various interpretations of Christmas and the holiday season,” he said.

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