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 – April 8th, 2022

Spring time is when the earth awakens anew.  With all the wonders of nature—birds singing, colors emerging, the promise of warm weather—all raise our spirits.  “Awakening” is our theme for April and the word suggests both looking back as in a revival of interest in...

Musically Speaking – March 2022

“Renewing our Faith” is the theme for March.  This week, I found myself wanting to answer Reverend Sophia’s challenge to answer the question posed to us in her homily on March 6th:  “What is Faith?  What do you have Faith in?”  I know that Faith means something...

Musically Speaking – February 11th, 2022

As I think of “Widening the Circle” as our theme for the month, I find it is just about perfect for me right now.  I love hearing that pandemic numbers are going down, enabling us to begin our return to hybrid worship.  Last night, we had a hybrid Vespers that was...

Musically Speaking – January 14th, 2022

Welcome New Year! Each month, I like to present myself as a ray of hope and light.  I like to be uplifting with new ideas for music to make you smile throughout the month.  This month, that is not so easy.  We have rightfully and temporarily pulled back to virtual...

Musically Speaking – December 10, 2021

“Opening to Joy” is the theme of worship for December.  Music does fit right into this!  What is more wonderful than music?  Some of my most memorable oboe playing is at the holiday season.  There are pieces by Bach (Christmas Oratorio) and Handel (The Messiah), many...