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

Music Blog

Musically Speaking – September 2023

I write this while visiting my family in the Pacific Northwest  I hope you are still in the same aura of calm as I am even as the summer winds down. We all look forward to being together again as our church season begins anew. Welcome Samantha!! There is much to look forward to. The theme of the year is LOVE. We welcome a new way to experience love and I know we will explore (with curiosity, enthusiasm, kindness, empathy) this theme together.  I know that music will be part of the glue that...

Musically Speaking – June 9th, 2023

I am delighted to speak about the many generous, hard-working, and creative musicians at First Parish as we close out the church year.  I think of all the music that was presented as worship that helped to make this a transformational year.  I refuse to name names because I could err by omitting someone.  There are singers, players of Classical music, players of band music.  There are soloists and ensemble players.  There are those who created our monthly Vespers.  There are those who spoke...

Musically Speaking – May 12th, 2023

The great activist, actor and singer, Harry Belafonte, recently died at age 96 (he wrote “Turn the World Around” in our Teal Hymnal).  Belafonte has been and will continue to be important in our lives.  Although he was probably most well-known as a singer and actor, he was, most importantly, an activist.  He said he was an “activist who became an artist.” He was born in Harlem, NYC in 1927 and later lived in Jamaica from 1932 to 1940, giving him a foundation in Jamaican music.  He dropped out...

Musically Speaking – April 14th, 2023

Resistance Through Music This topic makes me excited looking backward, looking at now, and going forward.  Social movements and resistance have always been propelled with music.  Think of spirituals created and sung by the enslaved people on plantations….their songs and the way they sang literally kept them alive.  The same can be said for those incarcerated working on chain gangs.  There is the Civil Rights movement with so many great artists creating such monumental music that it is a style...

Musically Speaking – March 10th, 2023

Once again, I find myself in celebration-mode.  At First Parish, have so much to celebrate: We love our minister. We have many new members at First Parish and people are returning to the sanctuary for Sunday Worship services. We reach people who cannot be there on Sundays with hybrid services done by our wonderful team of tech support. More and more people are getting involved in church activities. We are creating shared ministry by digging into committees that frame our life at church. ...

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 – February 10th, 2022

About Hand in Hand The theme for our church services this month is Love. Like many emotions, love can be associated with the experience of music.  But there is one way that music can literally become Love in action, and that is what our church hospice singers group Hand in Hand experiences every time we sing for people in the final stage of life. Hand in Hand is a group of dedicated singers from and on behalf of First Parish who mostly sing for people in hospice.  This group is five people...

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,...

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!

September 2023