Charlyn Bethell, Music Director


My first thought is gratitude for the year.  The music at First Parish is happening!  The choir has grown and, with the help of Guy’s practice files, has done more challenging and exciting music than ever before.  We realized a dream I have had of featuring Missa Gaia as a church service and doing it with the Waltham choir was an added bonus.  We have had some great guest musicians from outside our church, but my favorites are those from within.  We have an amazing First Parish band.  The talent show is featuring some of our youth talents, especially magicians, pianists, recorder players, actors, and singers.  We have developed a tradition of great music that we all enjoy, as listeners and as participants.  I thank you all for that.  
 
June finds me looking toward summer.  This one is quite different from the last few summers because Guy and I are not attending the AUUMM (Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries—it used to be UUMN) annual conference.  We have always gotten some new perspectives at the conference that have been valuable as we start a new season.  I am hoping I can access some of the content from those sessions online.  Here are some adventures I am considering for the 2019-2020 year:  
 
This summer, I may visit with other music directors in the area.  What are they excited about?  What worked well for them this year and what might they be planning for next year?  We have not had meetings and such connections are always affirming.
 
I have an organizational plan for the choral library, housed in my little closet by the elevator.  I did already look through it all and now I need to label the boxes, making it easy to find what I need.  That could take a couple of days, and I actually like doing such things.
 
I will explore the creation of a hospice choir with Jean Gautier, who has taken the lead on this.  She and I have both been interested in singing for people as they transition.  I would like to see how we can work together to bring this idea to fruition.  This would not be a group that would be specifically of and for First Parish of Watertown members.  Rather, it would a choir that could be aligned with a hospice service in this area, and it could be something we could access for church members.  
 
Other summer plans we have include visiting our Amy in Dallas, Texas right after the church year ends.  I will teach at a three-week Summer course in July, as I have done for many summers.  It is a course for graduate-level music teachers, and I teach them a specific teaching methodology.  I will play some music and hear some music with Guy.  I have some books to read, some hikes to take, some museums to visit.  I do not imagine being idle!
 
I hope your summer is filled with some fun outings but I also hope you are open to something new and spontaneous, maybe even surprising.  Enjoy the warmth of summer and be as active as possible.  May we all be mindful of and grateful for the amazing community we share at First Parish.  That connection will carry us into fall.  
 
Hope to see you at a summer service!