SALSA with a Healing Touch: Dorothy Jensen

SALSA—Society of Awesome Latter-day Saint Accompanists

I am pleased to introduce you to this week’s SALSA—Dorothy Jensen. Not only did she fulfill a career in the healing arts, but Dorothy continues to bring healing and comfort to others through her music. What a blessing to have an organist serve her fellow ward members in this way! Do they have any idea how lucky they are??

Take a moment to get acquainted with Dorothy as she share memories of Junior Sunday School, love for her sister and some of the challenges of playing prelude music. Then go to Questionnaire and tell us your story!

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Dorothy Benson Jensen—Idaho

Tell us a little about yourself.  I’ve lived my life in Idaho with the exception of three years of nursing school in Salt Lake City. My formal music training includes 10 years of piano lessons and a 6-week organ course at our stake center when I was 15. It was a good time for me to learn to play the organ because I could play all the hymns and Primary songs by that time. Now, as a retired RN, I’m giving piano lessons one day a week and serving as ward organist and choir accompanist.

What was the first musical calling you received? Junior Sunday School organist in 1957. It was great as my girlfriend led the music. The next year in Senior Sunday School, we alternated as the organist and music conductor until we graduated from high school and my sister took over.

Do you play any other instruments besides the organ?  Piano, clarinet and then bass clarinet in band for 7 years. I love both the piano and the organ.

What are some of your favorite hymns? O God the Eternal Father, Our God Is a God of Love and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

Do you have a favorite prelude or postlude piece? How Great Thou Art for prelude, and God Be With You Till We Meet Again for postlude.

What sort of things do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Camping, four wheeling in the mountains, embroidery, making quilts, reading.

What is one of the challenges you face as an LDS organist? Setting the tone for Sacrament Meetings and Stake Conferences. There is not much reverence in the chapel. I call it “music to visit by.” It doesn’t matter how loud or soft anyone plays. Though it’s better if a general authority is visiting.

What is one of the blessings you have received through accepting the call to serve as an organist?  I feel I can bear my testimony each week with well chosen hymns for prelude.

Is there anything else you would like to share about you or your experience as an organist? My youngest sister was a music major at BYU and a great organist who passed away suddenly at age 26 in 1971, and I always feel as if I’m playing for her too. I’ve always prayed for the inspiration of chosen pieces to be able to touch or soothe someone’s troubled heart as music has done this for me.

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Thanks for introducing yourself to us, Dorothy!

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Are you or someone you know ready to join SALSA? Just go to the SALSA questionnaire, fill it out and submit. No cost, no obligation, no contract and no fine print. Just a wonderful opportunity for lds organists to get acquainted!

btw If you accepted the call to sit on that organ bench, you are awesome!  If you think you’re not, please see The Calling.

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