A Ray of sunshine

Dear Editor:

I didn’t know Ray Adams well, except for the few interview sessions we had and the times we bumped into each other on the street, but there was something intensely special about him. He was real. He was himself. And he was a serious and committed talent.

The raw honesty. The self-deprication. The vision. As a composer eking out a frugal existence in Aspen, his road was a solitary one.

I was intrigued by his duality – the humility and the ego, the former born from the vision. This contradiction got him into trouble and into dark periods, which fed the periodic bursts of creativity. I listen to his works, and they are sublime.

At our last interview, sitting at a park bench, he talked about love and life, his son, his dedication to his art and money – the lack of which made him smile. He laughed like a man who has accepted his fate laughs – with no regrets.

After we said goodbye, I watched him cross the street. To the stranger he looked like a “regular” guy in blue jeans and sweatshirt, hair tousled in haste, lost in thought. But for those of us who know Ray, his music and his commitment to the Aspen Choral Society, we always will remember him as a great composer and a vital and irreplaceable member of Aspen’s unique community. For 35 years, Ray brought together our community – some of whom had never sung before – and elevated our lives through the sheer power and beauty of music.

Thank you, Ray!

Hilary Stunda