Dan Dorty • Director of Music and Organist

Dear Derry Church Family,

As summer comes to a close and fall swiftly approaches, I hope this letter finds you well and you are enjoying these warm days and beautiful blue skies. Where has the time gone? As you may imagine, our August has been chaotic and unpredictable. However, during these past weeks, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of prayers, letters, cards, flowers, offers of meals, and care embracing Sarah and me. Your unwavering spiritual strength and support have touched our hearts beyond what we can put into words. You have surrounded us in love, lifted us up, and encouraged our faith throughout this journey; thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

An update: my medical team has scheduled bypass surgery via laparoscopic robot for October 17 at UPMC Harrisburg. The prognosis is favorable, and recovery is roughly six weeks. My cardiology and transplant teams feel that despite the narrowing in my heart from nearly eight years of dialysis, I will live a long, healthy life after two stents and this upcoming bypass. Praise God, my gratitude to all who have overseen my medical care. In the interim, my cardiothoracic surgeon has cleared me to be back at the organ console and piano, directing and staying active to keep my heart healthy until the 17th. Thank you for your continued prayers throughout these next months.

On  August 24, the Sanctuary Choir began rehearsing for the fall season and will sing for the first time on Sunday. Repertoire ranges from well-known hymn arrangements to Mendelssohn’s Verleih uns Frieden (sung in German), Look at the World by John Rutter, and a world premiere of Psalm 13: How Long, O Lord, by composer Yakov Lychik, on September 24.   If you’d like to join the Sanctuary Choir for an exciting season of great music, please contact me or speak to any choir member on Sunday mornings following worship!

Terrific Tuesday kicks off next Tuesday, September 12, with dinner beginning at 5 pm in Fellowship Hall, followed by rehearsals for our children’s and youth music and God’s Hidden Hands Puppet ministries. Tuesday evening worship moves to an earlier time, 6:00-6:45 pm in the Chapel. Derry Ringers rehearse in the Music Room from 7:30-8:30 pm, and we need two more ringers to fill out the five-octave choir. If you can read music and are interested, please contact me!

At 4 pm Sunday, September 24, Tyler Canonico, nationally acclaimed organist and Minister of Music and Organist at Market Square Presbyterian Church, and I will present an Arts Alive concert of piano and organ duets in the Sanctuary. The concert will feature works of classical composers, hymn arrangements, and movie music including Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and more! Come hear our Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ and Steinway & Sons concert grand piano in action for an afternoon of exciting music!

Christmas at Derry concerts are set for Sunday, December 10 at 2 pm and 5 pm. The concert entitled “Gaudete!” meaning Rejoice, will feature the Sanctuary Choir, Derry Ringers, acclaimed tenor Christyan Seay, lyric coloratura soprano Nina Cline, soloists from Derry Church, orchestra and percussion, with harp, organ, and piano accompaniment. Join us as we paint the scene of the manger, bright shining star, wise men from afar, and angels singing on high as Mary and Joseph adore the newborn babe, wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger!

As we look forward to this exciting season ahead, I ask for your prayers for a speedy recovery and for God’s healing hand to be upon me. Once again, thank you for your love and unending prayers; words may never fully express my gratitude.