Music at First Parish of Watertown
Music at First Parish engages our community and adds a spark to every listener and participant!
As part of weekly church services, we share in singing hymns.
Services are enhanced by either piano or guest musicians who express a wide variety of styles that include Classical, folk, jazz, ethnic and world music, as well as popular music and music composed by contemporary artists. Those artists are often part of our congregation or friends from the musical community in the Boston area.
First Parish has an adult choir that rehearses weekly and sings at a church service once per month.
We have a full rock and roll band that plays at some services, too!
There are times that our music director hosts a family choir event, usually on multi-generational services, in which people learn the music prior to the service and then share the songs at that service. We have a wide variety of talent in our congregation and have had some wonderful youth and children singing at church services.
Charlyn Bethell, Music Director
Guy Urban, Pianist
Creating Virtual Music
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for everyone, including the music program here at First Parish. Since March of 2020, First Parish has been web-streaming its services and programs and not meeting in person. This will continue through May 2021.
The members of the FPW Choir have stepped up to this challenge by creating virtual choir performances that are included in the services, both for hymns that the congregation can sing with at home, and in stand-alone anthems that employ video collages. Our instrumental musicians from the congregation have also accompanied some of the hymns, as well as created instrumental ensembles for musical meditations and interludes. Members of the FPW Band have also joined forces with the Choir, adding percussion and guitar to some of our performances.
Musically Speaking Blog
Updates and reflections from 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...
I recently was asked to fill out a survey for one of Mark’s students who is studying UU polity. Polity is defined as “a form or process of civil government or constitution, an organized society”. I think of polity as how the church is run—how we do what we do. The...
This is the time of year when we reflect on the highlights of the fall, winter and now spring. I have just written the Annual Report for Music, and I would like to share some of that with you now. In the fall, with the current chair of the Worship committee (this year...
First let me say that our choir has been amazing! They have not had a Thursday night off for months. (We usually have one per month.) Preparing for Missa Gaia made us all hunker down to be ready for Music Sunday. Choir members have shown up, practiced their parts,...
This month is an exciting one for the First Parish Choir! We are in the home stretch getting prepared for Music Sunday, which will be Sunday, March 3rd this year. (Our usual time for Music Sunday is the first part of May.) I remember feeling this way last year as...
From The Directors
Our good friend Chris Jolliffe was a guest musician here, singing three songs that he wrote. A number of people expressed interest in Chris’ music, so below are a few samples of his songs, including “I Never Went Fishing With My Uncle Dave”, which he sang at the service.
Anyone who is interested in talking to Chris or finding out more about his songs can contact him at:firstname.lastname@example.org