Music

Singing at the Bedside of the Dying – August 23, 2020

For the thirty years after my father passed, I had talked to myself and others about wanting to work as a hospice volunteer in some capacity. When my mother passed a few years ago, the urge to work with hospice patients was reawakened once again. I knew I had some skills I could lend to an organization by offering administrative support, but I really wanted to do something that would allow me to engage more directly with patients and their families. As a singer/guitarist, I thought 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...

Music Sunday Homily by Guy Urban – May 3, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, a student at Wheaton College, where I used to teach, emailed me with some questions. She was writing a senior thesis on the role of music in church, and her advisor, an old colleague of mine, told her I was a church musician and she should contact me. Being totally caught up in preparing the virtual choir for today’s Music Sunday service, I struggled to find the time to think about her questions, but even when I found some time, I discovered that our current quarantine...

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 – 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...

“Mindfulness and Music” – A Music Sunday Homily by Guy Urban – May 7, 2017

"Mindfulness and Music" Homily by Guy Urban for Music Sunday at FPW   May 7, 2017 A year and a half ago, I got hearing aids.  My audiologist told me that I was border-line — my perception of higher frequencies was declining, as expected at my age, but probably not enough to require hearing aids quite yet.  But I decided to try them out. The main reason was my classroom teaching.  My mild hearing loss mostly affected initial consonants in people’s speech.  Usually this is not much of a...

November 2020
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