Music Blog

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...

Musically Speaking – February 2020

When I think of my identity and sense of belonging in the world, it all centers around music. There is no question that music moves my spirit and that music is essential to my life. Music has sustained me through the good times and the challenging ones. I basically think of myself as a musician and sharing music with others gives me a sense of belonging in my world. Additionally, I love helping to bring music to our church community. The sense of belonging musically to our very musical...

Musically Speaking – January 2020

February 2nd is a day filled with history from the British Isles, as Candlemas, Imbolg, and/or Groundhog Day.  It is exactly half-way between Winter solstice and the Spring Equinox.  Its roots are from the pagan and Christian beliefs about the end of Christmastide and the beginning of spring.  It is about the kindness and strength of the goddess/saint Brigid, who has come to be the patroness of fire, healing, inspiration and new life.  People weave Brigid-crosses out of straw and eat pancakes...

Muscially Speaking – December 2019

Music and Hope. Perhaps there is always hope when there is music. I don’t think that there HAS to be music for there to be hope. Music just might make it easier. This makes me think of what it is like singing in a hospice choir. (Jean Gauthier started the Wayfare Singers, a hospice choir, and I am a member.) I have learned that hope is quality of life for a person in hospice. What is comforting is a small group of people coming into your room for a “SING”. We do a “SING” at least once per...

Musically Speaking November 2019

Ah, for Musical Memories!  Take a moment and sing a song in your head.  It can be from a Broadway musical, a motown hit song, R & B, country, jazz, hip-hop, rock n roll, or from classical repertory.  It could be a song the choir sang last week or a hymn from a church service.  If you are like me, music can take you back to another time.  Music can connect us to memories.  Those memories can keep us grounded and help us remember days of yore, “who we used to be” or “the way we were”.  I...

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!

November 2020