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

Music Blog

Musically Speaking – January 13th, 2023

Happy New Year!  All hopes and optimism return as we start anew this year.  Challenges can be overcome and we can create the goodness we want to see and be in 2023.  Our theme for January is Finding our Center, and success toward our shared world can rest on finding and knowing who we are, collectively and individually.  Our choir will be singing two anthems on January 29th that remind us of just that.  I have to admit that I love these two pieces of music and I love that our choir is growing!...

Musically Speaking – December 9th, 2022

I am excited!  I just met lots of new folks at the Newcomer’s lunch and the energy in the room was awesome.  As I remember this time last year, we were ready to open our arms to each other for celebrating the holidays, singing together, being together;  and instead we needed to scale everything back to save ourselves from a Covid outbreak.  Now, we are ready to spread our wings, to embrace people new to us, and to sing our hearts out together for the holidays. We have so much to be thankful...

Musically Speaking – November 11th, 2022

I recently read an article by The Dalai Lama and Daniel J. Levitin, titled Suffering, compassion, and being a perpetual student.  The perspective from The Dalai Lama about how thinking collectively restores us to an inner equilibrium especially resonates with me:  “…feelings of compassion, empathy, and loving kindness, which (will) shift our focus outward, restores us to happiness.”  That is what we are all about at First Parish.  And in our lives at church, there is no where that this is more...

Musically Speaking – October 14th, 2022

I remember preparing for the first time singing/playing Missa Gaia, the Mass for the Earth by Paul Winter and others.  It was to be my special project as a requirement to be a credentialed music leader through the then, UUMN (Unitarian Universalist Musicians’ Network).  Choir members had learned some challenging music, we had instrumentalists as part of our performance.  We had aligned ourselves with local “Green” organizations such as Trees for Watertown and Watertown Citizens for Peace,...

Musically Speaking – September 9th, 2022

Happy fall and welcome back to First Parish!  I am looking forward to seeing you at our church in the coming month!  In anticipation of the church year, I have a few questions and few answers to share. A foundation to my questions fall into the ideas of themes for the year.  The concept of “themes” is still relatively new to me.  1) Rev. Sophia’s overall plan for the year is:  Sowing the Seeds. 2)  The theme for the month from Soul Matters is:  Belonging.  3)  If I have a theme for music at...

Musically Speaking – April 8th, 2022

Spring time is when the earth awakens anew.  With all the wonders of nature—birds singing, colors emerging, the promise of warm weather—all raise our spirits.  “Awakening” is our theme for April and the word suggests both looking back as in a revival of interest in something, and looking ahead as in coming into awareness of something new.  “Awakening” is what we are doing right now as we evaluate our vision for our community at First Parish and explore our own involvement in the life of the...

Musically Speaking – March 2022

“Renewing our Faith” is the theme for March.  This week, I found myself wanting to answer Reverend Sophia’s challenge to answer the question posed to us in her homily on March 6th:  “What is Faith?  What do you have Faith in?”  I know that Faith means something different for each of us.  As for me, I have Faith in people, and I have Faith in the process that sustains me as a musician. First, a definition:  I think of Faith as complete trust, a strongly held belief.  Faith is a foundation that...

Musically Speaking – February 11th, 2022

As I think of “Widening the Circle” as our theme for the month, I find it is just about perfect for me right now.  I love hearing that pandemic numbers are going down, enabling us to begin our return to hybrid worship.  Last night, we had a hybrid Vespers that was lovely.  I could write this column just about how slowing down and sitting with stillness widens our internal horizons.  The best thing is that we can begin to see beyond the confines of the pandemic to reach into the world to really...

Musically Speaking – January 14th, 2022

Welcome New Year! Each month, I like to present myself as a ray of hope and light.  I like to be uplifting with new ideas for music to make you smile throughout the month.  This month, that is not so easy.  We have rightfully and temporarily pulled back to virtual worship.  We have really loved being in person last fall in our hybrid services.  It has been awesome creating choir anthems again with in-person singing, albeit masked and distanced.  We are ready to start a new piece for the choir...

Musically Speaking – December 10, 2021

“Opening to Joy” is the theme of worship for December.  Music does fit right into this!  What is more wonderful than music?  Some of my most memorable oboe playing is at the holiday season.  There are pieces by Bach (Christmas Oratorio) and Handel (The Messiah), many arrangements of seasonal carols, pieces that tell the Christmas story—for example, there is a performance next weekend of The Brown King, an oratorio by Margaret Bonds, that tells the story of Balthazar, one of the wise men. ...

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!

February 2023