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Finding Harmony Between The Keys

Alan Logston at home, practicing with his band. Photo by Bailey Scully.

Alan Logston is a familiar face around Clark College. You might have seen him darting around campus, white hair streaming out behind him as he rushes to fix glitchy computers and connect power cords.

Five days a week, 45-year-old Logston clocks into work and begins sorting through a laundry list of IT requests by order of urgency. Tasks range from resetting forgotten email passwords and pressing power buttons, to installing software and combating malware outbreaks. One of Logston’s coworkers, David Daugherty, described him in an email as compassionate. “He is friendly and willing to help others when they need it,” Daugherty said.

Logston’s journey at Clark began nearly two decades ago when he enrolled in the CNET program, pursuing a career in information technology. While working as a lab assistant, Logston completed his degree and went on to earn a part-time position in the IT department here at Clark, where he has worked full-time for the past 13 years. “I started at Clark when we were working on 45-pound CRT monitors,” Logston said. “It was about the students then, and it’s about the students now.”

When Logston’s shift ends, He takes his creativity home with him.

At first glance, Logston’s house appears traditional. The living room is furnished with a stitched sofa, four chairs sit empty around the dining table and family photos dot the plain tan walls. However, passing through a worn wooden barrier, the scene quickly shifts from sofas and family photos to foam padded walls, speakers, recording equipment and the keyboard Logston uses to bring the room to life. For the Logstons, recording is a family event. In the corner of the room, his two sons’ heads bounce to the smooth notes while Logston’s fingers dance gracefully across the keys, eyes closed, playing the notes as if by memory.

Logston began creating music as an outlet for his condition–albinism–which crippled his vision and left him nearly legally blind. While in high school Logston attended the Washington School for the Blind,  where the curriculum was focused on the creative arts. It was there that Logston discovered his passion for music, a love that was reflected by his peers. Instead of visually reading the notes, Logston studied music through sound.

“I just hear the music,” Said Logston.

Today, Logston doesn’t play the keys as an outlet for his condition. Instead, he plays out of passion, to share and collaborate with other creative individuals and for the sheer joy of sharing that love with others.

Logston also uses his spare time to organize, promote and perform at charitable events, like last years’ H3. The musical event raised over $2,000 and 100% was donated to Transition Projects, a non profit organization that provides housing to Portland’s homeless families.

Recently, he organized and played at the first annual “Sounds of Bridgetown” on April 16. The proceeds from this years’ event were donated to Candlelighters for Children with Cancer, a support group dedicated to providing counseling and therapy for families battling cancer.

About Chase McCreary (6 Articles)
I'm a reporter for the Clark College Independent. My interests include, rational debate, deep conversation and the outdoors. When I'm not at work I'm usually reading up on current affairs, in the gym or enjoying a hike.

5 Comments on Finding Harmony Between The Keys

  1. This is a great thanks!!!

  2. Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!

  3. Egggg-celent!! 😀

  4. Congratulations Alan!

  5. Anonymous // May 22, 2016 at 2:25 pm // Reply

    very well written column.

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