Aspen composer Adams dies at 60
Ryan Summerlin March 14, 2013
ASPEN – Ray Vincent Adams, a longtime Aspen resident and composer in residence with the Aspen Choral Society, died around 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Parkmoor Village Healthcare Center in Colorado Springs. He was 60 years old.
Adams’ death followed a brief battle with two brain tumors diagnosed Feb. 4 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.
Following the diagnosis, Adams was transferred to the Denver Hospice center in Denver for several days and then to Parkmoor, which is close to the home of a family member.
He died quietly, with family members at his side and friends nearby.
Adams, who lived in Aspen since the early 1980s, first came to the valley in 1976 after graduating from the State University of New York in Fredonia, where he studied conducting and was certified as a registered music therapist.
After moving to Aspen, he studied as a conducting fellow with the Aspen Music Festival and School and participated in master classes with such conducting luminaries as Jorge Mester, Leonard Slatkin and Sergiu Commissiona.
A year after arriving in the valley, Adams began conducting annual performances of the “Messiah” by G.F. Handel, with a choir of local singers and orchestral backing.
After 35 years, “Messiah” had become the “oldest running holiday tradition in the valley,” according to the Choral Society’s website.
Adams also became known for his original compositions of sacred choral music, which the Aspen Choral Society performed at diverse venues that included Concert Hall at the Aspen Music Festival grounds.
He was married twice, first to Laurie Loeb, of Carbondale, and later to Karen Nye, of Aspen. He and Nye have a son, Spencer Adams, who lives in New York City.
Planning began before Adams’ death for a benefit concert to help his family defray mounting medical costs, now tentatively scheduled for late April. A celebration of his life also is in the early planning stages.
A benefit fund has been set up at Alpine Banks. Those wishing to donate should ask for details on how to contribute to the Ray V. Adams Benefit Account.