….A story by John Gale, MD
My love of music began when I was four years old and asked my parents if I could play the accordion. Although I switched to piano lessons after one year, it was the spark that would eventually lead me to the Colorado Symphony.
I took piano lessons for five years until I was a sophomore in high school, and then I switched to organ lessons my junior and senior years. The organ was located in a church in Damascus, Maryland, where I grew up. But this was no ordinary organ. In 1960, Metropolitan Methodist in Washington, DC, replaced their organ and the ‘old’ organ was purchased by a local banker in Damascus for use at the Damascus United Methodist Church (DUMC). The organ is a rare Skinner Organ wherein only 887 were built. The organ at DUMC is one of the 26 organs that remain unaltered. To take a peek at the history of the organ and to see and hear the 6,000 magnificent pipes of the Skinner Organ – Click Here.
The experience of playing this organ was one of two of my most thrilling musical experiences of my life. The massive and varied sounds of this beautiful organ just lift you off your seat – it is glorious. I never miss an opportunity to play it when I go home for high school reunions.
I moved to Denver in 1978 and pursued my medical career. I enjoy my practice in Golden, Colorado and am dedicated to helping my patients make the best decisions for their preventative health.
The second most thrilling experience for me was when my daughter, Miranda, who was a member of the Colorado Children’s Chorale, was to sing at Boettcher Auditorium. I decided that I wanted to sing with her so I attended one of the tryout sessions and was accepted. Ultimately, I was able to fulfill the dream of singing on stage with Miranda!
Thus began my journey of singing with the Colorado Symphony. The types of programs I have had the honor of participating in range from Mozart Requiem, to Beethoven No. 9, to Danny Elfman. We sing every summer at the Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado, with the Philharmonic Orchestras from Philadelphia, New York, and Dallas. We also sing at the Aspen Music Festival each year.
Singing with 200 other singers and a full orchestra behind you is glorious. It’s all about the musicians who love music and singing together – it’s like a family.
Music is the other side of my brain…the joy and the thrill. It is simply beautiful.