Theatre Organist: Candi Carley-Roth

Candi Carley-Roth
Candi Carley-Roth


A native of the West Coast and blind since birth, Candi Carley-Roth began picking out melodies on the piano at the age of five. She would listen for hours as her brother practiced his piano lessons and then work on duplicating the music. At age seven she began experimenting on a neighbor’s Hammond spinet organ. A circle of friends developed into a home organ club which raised the money for her first organ. As a youngster Candi studied piano with Sylvia Green and Alice Cormier. At age 15 she was a classical piano student of Nella Betinger. She won a scholarship for classical piano from the Braille Institute’s Women’s Auxiliary, and by age 17 was studying classical organ with Richard Purvis, the staff organist at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.

In 1973 she appeared on the “Stars of Tomorrow” program at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, and in 1975 began her first job as house organist at Theatre Organ Pizza. For the next seven years she was organist at the Great American Wind Machine Pizza in Receda, California where she made her first recording “Candi.” Subsequent recordings followed: “Just for You,” “Sweet City Woman,” and “Joy.” In 1985, she performed at the national convention of the Theatre Organ Society of Australia, in Sydney.

Following her marriage to Mark Roth in 1986, Candi branched out to playing keyboards, and sang for the White Horse Band, a Country and Western group. Since moving to Pennsylvania in 1990, Candi has concertized on the Magnificent Möller at the Trenton War Memorial and performed at the 1992 ATOS Convention in York Pa. Along with her concert work, she is an accomplished church organist.

With the above background, it is no wonder that Candi describes her concerts as being “different.” Her vast repertoire includes Dixieland, Gospel, Pop, Rock, Hymns, Country & Western, Classical, Broadway Hits, and Old Standards. A natural performer, she is sure to bring the house down.