large outdoor chalice with stone base and dark metal shallow bowl surrounded by garden plantings

Music Blog

Musically Speaking – February 12, 2021

As I have said several times recently, I have been working this year to make Black Lives Matter an overarching theme for music at First Parish.  In thinking about how to do this, I have been reflecting on how UU thinking helps give guidance.  For example, one of our UU principals is: “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning”.  And then, from the Sources of the Living Tradition: “Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a...

Musically Speaking – January 8, 2021

To sit and dream To sit and dream about the world. Outside our world of here and now Outside our world, our problem world. To dream of vast horizons of the soul. Of dreams made whole, unfettered, free. Help me, help me.  All you who are dreamers too. Help me make our world anew. I reach out my hand to you! To sit and dream To sit and read To sit and learn about the world. To sit and dream. —Words from “To You” by Langston Hughes Happy New Year, everyone!  I find myself imagining the world at...

Musically Speaking – December 2020

Happy Holidays!  Yes, we must stay safe and well, and part of that is staying connected to each other.  Our community has never been more important than during this pandemic.  Now, with the holidays here, we are there for each other to provide light in this season of darkness and comfort to anyone who might feel alone.  In that spirit, I must tell you about what the choir is doing. Besides singing for our services, many choir members are coming together on Zoom every other week to sharing what...

Musically Speaking – November 2020

Do you ever wake up with a song in your mind?  I do.  Today I woke up singing our Hymn of the Month,  The Lone Wild Bird.  This is not unusual for me.  The music around me really does permeate my inner life.  Inside my head, I tend to continue to sing music I am playing on my oboe, choir music, children’s music, and now even hymns.  I am constantly finding new ways to do old songs.  Considering the upheaval of the last few weeks, the dream lives we have could be corrupted with the political...

Musically Speaking – October 2020

Sometimes Deep Listening for me is to hear something new in a piece of music each time I listen to it.  To do that, the music has to be first and foremost the only thing I am thinking about.  Music at our house is seldom in the “background”.  Years ago, as a college student and music major, I took it upon myself to listen over and over to a piano piece by Charles Ives, the Concord Sonata.  These pieces are abstract, certainly an acquired taste;  one does not walk away from hearing Ives...

Musically Speaking – September 2020

Welcome back to First Parish Watertown!  I am so very happy to see you at our Zoom worship services.  Guy and I, along with Wendy, Lauren, and Allison have become a tight collaborative unit for creating online worship.   I am also excited that we are continuing to do what we know works along with finding ways to change things up.  I am feeling genuinely excited and open.   Music this year will include creative ways to do preludes, meditations, and hymns.  We will have a hymn of the month that...

Musically Speaking, June 2020

This month’s Musically Speaking is contributed by Guy Urban.
Charlyn is officially the FPW Music Director, and I am officially the accompanist, although it’s probably pretty obvious that we work together on almost every aspect of music at FPW.

Musically Speaking – May 2020

It occurred to me that all churches right now must be doing online services. I do not believe that any church would just stop all operations, especially during a pandemic when they are so needed. HOW they do the online services might be quite different. So, I contacted two of my respected colleagues and friends who are UU music directors, one in West Newton and one in Winchester. And, indeed, they do the musical parts of their services quite differently than we do. Each has a singular...

Musically Speaking – March 2020

Abundance is our theme of the month, and I celebrate all of us as artists with recognition and gratitude.  I am serious that I think we are all artists!  Special about us is that we are active in the church community and the general community at large as we share our talents.  Some examples:   1.  Any guest minister that has been with us has admitted that we are a fine singing congregation.  This year, we have been introducing new hymns and you all learn them and sing them with your whole...

choir singing on steps

Music engages our community and adds a spark to every listener and participant!

Weekly worship services include hymns and instrumental music.  Our pianist and guest musicians express a wide variety of styles, including Classical, folk, jazz, ethnic and world music, popular music, and music composed by contemporary artists.

Our choir performs both sacred and contemporary music in services and in special concerts.  Our band brings down the house at the Flower Service in June and the annual Talent Show!

March 2021
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