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

Musically Speaking – January 8, 2021

To sit and dream To sit and dream about the world. Outside our world of here and now Outside our world, our problem world. To dream of vast horizons of the soul. Of dreams made whole, unfettered, free. Help me, help me.  All you who are dreamers too. Help me make our...

Musically Speaking – December 2020

Happy Holidays!  Yes, we must stay safe and well, and part of that is staying connected to each other.  Our community has never been more important than during this pandemic.  Now, with the holidays here, we are there for each other to provide light in this season of...

Musically Speaking – November 2020

Do you ever wake up with a song in your mind?  I do.  Today I woke up singing our Hymn of the Month,  The Lone Wild Bird.  This is not unusual for me.  The music around me really does permeate my inner life.  Inside my head, I tend to continue to sing music I am...

Musically Speaking – October 2020

Sometimes Deep Listening for me is to hear something new in a piece of music each time I listen to it.  To do that, the music has to be first and foremost the only thing I am thinking about.  Music at our house is seldom in the “background”.  Years ago, as a college...

Musically Speaking – September 2020

Welcome back to First Parish Watertown!  I am so very happy to see you at our Zoom worship services.  Guy and I, along with Wendy, Lauren, and Allison have become a tight collaborative unit for creating online worship.   I am also excited that we are continuing to do...