Music Director and Organist

Dory Light

Dory Light was raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  She attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she studied piano, voice, organ, and choral conducting. A sought after accompanist on both piano and organ, choral vocalist, and voice coach, Dory freelanced in the Philadelphia area.  She was the principal organist at Paoli Presbyterian Church and professional vocalist for the Philadelphia Oratorio Society.  She has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Main Line Symphony and Allentown Symphony.  She also performed at the Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, and the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Dory moved to Colorado in 2002 where she established LightHouse Studio, a private music studio where she teaches voice and piano to students throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. You have probably seen Dory singing with the Aspen Choral Society, various churches in the area and playing in the pit for Aspen Community Theatre.  She also has worked with a number of school productions, directing music for Colorado Mountain College, Theatre Aspen, and various children’s theatre productions in the area.

Dory lives with her husband and husky/lab, David and Cyrus, in New Castle.

Contact:office@aspencommunitychurch.org

 

 

 

 

Music in Worship

Music has long been a vibrant part of the Methodist tradition. Charles Wesley wrote over six thousand hymns, including the popular Easter hymn “Christ the Lord is risen today” and the Christmas carol “Hark! The Herald Angels sing.” The Aspen Community Church enjoys a worship service with strong congregational hymn-singing complemented by choral anthems and soloists.

Click here to listen to a sample of our congregational singing of “O Come, All Ye Faithful!” from a Christmas Eve service.

Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir performs anthems during the summer season and for special church seasons throughout the remainder of the year. If you are interested in being a part of the Chancel Choir, we would love for you to join us … even if it’s only for a few Sundays! Contact our music director, Dory Light, at office@aspencommunitychurch.org for more information.

Piano

Our 1918 7’ Steinway Model B grand piano has a splendid “Golden Age” tone, as well as a remarkable dynamic range. The Steinway can be heard in public chamber music concerts and solo recitals that frequently take place at the church along with providing special music and solos during services.

Organ 101 – I Didn’t Know That ….

There was a lot of press coverage on the near miraculous survival of the Notre Dame pipe organ. The flames didn’t get it and the fire hose water was channeled to the side of the instrument by stonework detail. So the daily recitals will be heard again! We thought we would take this opportunity to share a few facts about the history of the organ and specifically about the organ here at Aspen Community Church.

The organ is far and away the oldest musical instrument still in use today. Records from ancient Greece show a primitive pipe organ as arly as 200 B.C. It found its way into churches around 800 A.D. and it was Mozart who coined the phrase “The King of Instruments,” though he wrote very little for it. That said, surprisingly it is not the piano with the most repertoire, but rather the organ. There are a huge number of compositions from the Renaissance and the Baroque period. Historically, the piano is the new kid on the block.

The pipe organ has grown in size over time. The Notre Dame organ at 8,000+ pipes is large but by no means the biggest. That honor goes to the Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia's Macy's department store, with 28,750 pipes. One pipe makes one sound. Truthfully, the Boardwalk Auditorium organ in Atlantic City is bigger, but only about one fourth of it is playable. There are 61 keys on an organ keyboard and a normal sized organ has 2 to 3 keyboards. The Wanamaker organ has six keyboards! And while there are such things as mixtures (which have more than one pipe per key), there aren’t a lot of them in an organ. Our church has the largest pipe organ on the Western Slope with over 2,000 pipes. Our pipes run from the size of a pencil to more than 16 feet tall. Organs like Notre Dame’s have bass pipes more than 32 feet high. Trinity Church in Denver has a 32 foot pipe that’s so big you could crawl into it.

The organ is called the first great synthesizer for its ranks imitate many orchestral instruments (a rank is a set of pipes for one sound). You will find strings on the organ – and in the case of the Wanamaker organ, there are 150 ranks of string sounds. But an organ the size of Notre Dame has only five ranks of strings. Our organ has two ranks of strings. Pipe organs also have many kinds of sounds: flutes and reeds and brass galore – trumpets, trombones, French horns, oboes, bassoons and even something called a vox humana (human voice). We have one of those!

We don’t have daily recitals like Notre Dame, but we do offer several recitals every year. Come check them out and hear the sounds of “The King of Instruments!”

Jon Busch
Aspen Community Church Organ Curator

Dory Light
Director of Music

About the Organ at Aspen Community Church

The current organ is only the third in the church’s 125 year history. The first instrument, a Vocalion reed organ much like Victorian parlor organs, survived well into the 20th Century. Albert Schweitzer played it on his only trip to America in 1949. In 1961, the church installed a 1920’s era modified “theater organ” of seven ranks, which was proving unreliable by the time the Wicks organ came to Aspen.

With generous donations from the community, the current organ has increased its ranks to 32, becoming one of the largest pipe organs on Colorado’s West Slope. It contains over 2,000 pipes ranging in size of a pencil to more than 16 feet. It was purchased from The First Lutheran Church of Boston and rebuilt by the Wicks Organ Company and installed in Aspen Community Church in 1999.

The organ is capable of playing most of the extensive literature written for the organ. World renowned soloists perform recitals on it regularly. Most are free.

Detailed specifications are available on the Organ Historical Society database.

Audio Sample #1 (Courtesy of Kurt Schakel, organist)

Audio Sample #2 ( Courtesy of Kurt Schakel, organist)

 

 

Annual Carol Sing

 

Our annual Carol Sing, lead by Aspen Music Festival and School CEO Alan Fletcher, is a popular community-wide event. A fun evening of sing-a-long traditional Christmas carols and songs is followed by cookies and hot chocolate downstairs in the Fellowship Hall.