Franklin Ashdown is a composer and retired physician, who pursued dual careers for 3 decades. Born in 1942, he studied piano for 12 years and was “recruited” to play the organ for a local congregation at age 13. He later studied organ with Judson Maynard and James Drake, and was privately coached in composition by Fred Tulan of San Francisco and Leonard Raver of New York’s Juilliard School.
He is a widely published composer of organ and choral music, and his works have been performed in venues ranging from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City to Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London and the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. His compositions have been featured on APM’s “Pipedreams,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s CBS broadcast, “Music and the Spoken Word.” Leonard Raver and Stephen Burns recorded his “Requiem for the Challenger” for trumpet and organ on the Classic Masters Label, and James Welch has included some of his solo organ music in his series of CD recordings for various labels. He has received several consecutive Standard Panel and ASCAP Plus awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. A resident of Alamogordo, New Mexico, Dr. Ashdown enjoys a full life as a composer and organist-choir director for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.