Doug Benton celebrates 50 years of music ministry Feb. 9

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Doug in tux.tif

Doug Benton

Probably not many church musicians can say they have served for 50 years, but the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church’s Director of Music Ministries has already done so. Doug Benton began his professional career as a Church Musician in October of 1963 while a sophomore at Camelback High School in Phoenix. That job was at his church, Bethel Methodist Church, on Seventh Street and Osborn, in Phoenix. Doug was paid a whopping $5 per week! He was given the opportunity to play the “Mighty Hammond” when the church’s organist was in a car accident and was not able to play any more. Two years later, Doug was fired from that job, by a new Pastor, for playing Bach on the organ, rather than “church music”! But, of course, this gave him another opportunity to grow as an organist and choir director at his next job, Capitol Methodist Church.

During these 50 years, Doug has served several Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist churches here in the valley and for a short time in the San Francisco Bay area. He has served the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church since June of 2003, where he directs the Chancel Choir, Canyon Carillon, Youth Handbell Team, GCUMC Orchestra, and accompanies Joyful Noise (kids choir). He also plays the organ for the 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. traditional services, produces the church’s performing arts series and works with the Gold Canyon Arts Council on their Canyon Sounds programs and their annual Gold Canyon Arts Festival, both of which are hosted by the church. In his spare time, Doug writes and/or arranges music for his various ensembles.

A special program celebrating Doug’s accomplishments will be held Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. at the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church. This program will feature some special guests, including the incredible pianist, Chris Rice, who will play Franz Liszt’s famous Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. This work is important to Doug, as he decided to become a concert artist as a result of watching Bugs Bunny playing this work on a cartoon when he was in fourth grade! Also featured will be local pianist Linda Jones, who will play a piano/organ arrangement of Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze with Doug. The church’s Chancel Choir, Canyon Carillon (adult handbell choir) and the Agape Brass Quintet with timpanist Keith Kassner will also perform during the program. Doug will play music of Bach, Barnes, Benton, Beethoven, Franck, Vierne, and his concert transcription of Jimmy Webb’s MacArthur Park. 

This event is open to the public at no charge as a free will offering will be received. All the proceeds from this program will go into the church’s “Pipes for the Organ Fund”. Everyone is asked to please bring at least one non-perishable food item per person for the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church Food Bank. The church is located at 6640 S. Kings Ranch Rd, one block north of Hwy 60 (Walgreens on the corner) in Gold Canyon, four miles east of Apache Junction. For more information, please call the church office at 480-982-3776.

Staff (4682 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Rancho Linda Vista celebrates 50th anniversary

    June 6th, 2018
    by

      On Memorial Day weekend, Rancho Linda Vista celebrated 50 years of growth as a creative community.   The ranch […]


    In Your Biz: Wild Cow Gallery – Cactus Moon Foundation

    May 30th, 2018
    by

    Located on Magma Ave., you will find the Wild Cow Gallery, home of the Cactus Moon Foundation.  As you enter, […]


    American Legion Heroes of the Copper Corridor

    May 30th, 2018
    by

      The American Legion is a wartime veterans’ organization which supports service to veterans, service members and community. They have […]


    Exploring the Art of Chris Lucic

    May 16th, 2018
    by

    Painting, photography, sculpture. Oracle artist Chris Lucic has his hand in many different mediums in his journey. But what has […]


  • Additional Stories

    Arizona Elk Transported to West Virginia

    May 16th, 2018
    by

    Elk were once the most commonly distributed member of the deer family in North America, living everywhere except the Great […]


    Oracle Piano Quartet makes debut; Voices in the Oaks to perform PDQ Bach’s Oedipus Tex

    May 9th, 2018
    by

      On Sunday, April 22, 2018, the Oracle Piano Quartet made its inaugural performance at the Oracle Center for the […]


    Young pianist to perform at Oracle Center for the Arts

    May 9th, 2018
    by

      The grandson of two Oracle residents will play selections of Bach, Beethoven and Schumann this Saturday at the Oracle […]


    Ray grad publishes book on sneakers

    May 2nd, 2018
    by

      A former Kearny resident has written a book which is getting good reviews. The book, titled Kicks: The Great […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger