Douglas Robert Macomber
Douglas Macomber, organist and composer, has taught music and been active in church music in both Seventh-day Adventist churches and those of other denominations. He has written a number of worship-related compositions as well as worship liturgies, creative Scripture readings, and sacred plays for use in worship services.
Douglas was born in Riverside, California, one of five children of Robert Deforest and Marjorie Olsen Macomber. The father regretted having quit music lessons after a year or two of study as a child and insisted that all of his children study both piano and another musical instrument.
Douglas started studying piano at age seven, clarinet in the fourth grade, and organ during his junior year at La Sierra Academy. Two of his brothers who pursued instruments in childhood have continued to play as adults. Mick plays guitar and assists with congregational singing in churches, and Tom plays banjo and leads Summer Church, a bluegrass band that performs periodically in Arizona and California and has made four CDs.
After graduating from La Sierra Academy in 1970, Douglas enrolled at Loma Linda University, La Sierra Campus, as a music major with organ as his performance area. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in music in 1974, an organ student of Donald Vaughn. He completed a Master of Sacred Music degree at Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology, in 1977 and later earned a doctorate in music at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1995, and an MBA at the University of Colorado, Denver, in 2000.
Macomber recently provided a list of persons who influenced his development as a person and musician. Douglas Neslund, founder and director of the California Boys' Choir provided a childhood singing experience that introduced him to the joy of singing and the world of sacred music. Charlene Chalmers, academy piano teacher, inspired him to pursue musical excellence, and Don Vaughn, organ teacher at LSC, introduced him to great organ literature, organ design, and the role of the organist in congregational singing.
Robert Anderson increased his awareness about organ literature from many sources and the importance of teaching students different approaches to performing organ works. Louanne Fuchs-Long, piano teacher at Redlands University, helped improve both his piano and organ technique, which enabled him to learn literature faster with greater accuracy.
Macomber has served as director of music and/or organist in Adventist, Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian Churches, including fourteen years at the historic Central Presbyterian Church in Denver. He has been one of several organists at the Denver South Adventist Church continuously since 1984. He is currently on the staff of the Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Denver, where he is organist, choir accompanist, and director of the Cherry Creek Youth Symphony and Training Orchestra.
Macomber was a key figure in the SDA Church Musicians Guild, an organization that existed from 1970 to 1989. He served as the second editor of its publication, The Score, and in that role expanded its size and renamed it the Adventist Musician. He was elected president of CMG in 1986. In his two years of leadership he worked to place the guild on a more solid basis, brought about its incorporation, and sought to expand its membership.
He produced five annual ThanksCaring Music Festivals for Centura Health before they retired the series. In July 2011 Macomber created the Music Alive! Foundation for the purpose of teaching poor inner-city children to play an instrument. Students receive free instruments and weekly lessons from qualified teachers with the goal of their playing in an orchestra in the near future.
Douglas married Carol J. Goude, a soprano, in 1979 in Riverside, California. She has a B.A. in voice from LSC and a B.S. in physical therapy from Loma Linda University and runs a private physical therapy clinic in Englewood, Colorado. They have four children - Christina, an accomplished harpist; Jonathan; David, a singer and percussionist; and Stephen, who works with Music Alive! and teaches guitar lessons.
Sources: Information provided by Douglas Macomber, August, 2012; SDA Church Musicians Guild publications; Conversation with Macomber, 2004; California Birth and Marriage Indices, Ancestory.com.
Recordings by Douglas Macomber
French Organ Favorites– Reuter organ, Central Presbyterian Church, Denver
25th Anniversary Recording of the Hole Memorial Auditorium Casavant Organ, La Sierra University, California
Works of the French Masters – Pacific Union College Church, California.
Hymns for Organ – Reuter organ, Central Presbyterian Church, Denver
These recordings may be available at Adventist Book Centers.
Music by Douglas Macomber
A Selective Listing of Compositions and Arrangements
"Away in a Manger"(SATB, organ)
"Blessed is the Man (or woman)" Psalm 1 (SATB, piano, light drum)
"Christ is our Peace" Ephesians 2:14-22 (SATB, organ)
"Come, Eat" (SATB, Organ)
"God in the City" (Suite of three pieces for SATB, organ)
"Make a Joyful Noise" – Psalm 100 (SATB, organ, trumpets)
"O God Our Help in Ages Past" (SATB, flute, piano
"O My God – Psalm 22" (SATB a cappella)
"Our God is a Powerful God" – Psalm 97 (SATB, piano)
"Out of the Depths Psalm 130" (SATB, a cappella)
"Praise the Lord – Psalm 103" (2 SATB choruses, a cappella)
"Praise the Lord – Psalm 150" (SATB, piano, percussion
"Psalm 13" (SATB, harp)
"Psalm 42" (SSA, harp)
"Psalm 119" (SATB, a cappella
"Rain Down Your Spirit" (SATB, piano, rain stick, drum)
"Remember the Sabbath" (SATB, piano
"Shout for Joy!" (SATB, a cappella)
"Show Me Your Ways" (SATB, organ)
"Sussex Carol" (SATB, organ, flute)
"Walk Humbly With Your God" – Micah 6:6,8 (SATB, a cappella)
"Wexford Carol" (SATB, strings)
"Your Word is a Lamp" – Psalm 119" (Easy SATB, piano)
"Come, Let Us Sing"
"Exalt the Lord Your God"
"Lord God of Heaven"
"Sing Praise to Our God"
"You are the Salt of the Earth"
"Kyrie" (Lord have mercy)
"Answer Me When I Call to You"
"Lord, Hear my Prayer"
"May the Words of My Mouth" (SATB, a cappella)
"Let Your Steadfast Love"
"Our Soul Waits for the Lord"
"The Lord Bless You"
"The Peace of Christ"
"I Will Extol You" (Two high voices and piano)
"Lord, You Have Been Our Dwelling Place"
"Psalm 90" (Vocal solo and piano)Psalm 5 (Vocal solo and piano)
"Psalm 71" (Vocal solo and piano)
"Psalm 139" (Vocal solo and piano)
"Sing!" (Vocal solo, piano, flute – Text by Herman T. Roberts)
Pilgrim’s Progress – a 35-minute musical that includes eleven songs, for high school choir based on John Bunyan’s book. Written for a small choir at Fletcher Academy.