Music at First Parish of Watertown

When you attend a worship service at First Parish, music is one of the reasons you come back! We want music to engage your body, heart, and soul, and it is always performed live in our sanctuary. Hymn-singing and piano music in many styles are part of our weekly ministry.

Services are often enhanced by guest musicians who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Classical, folk, ethnic, world music, some jazz, 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.

The First Parish Choir meets weekly to rehearse, and we sing in a church service once per month. Again, the music we sing reflects a wide variety of styles to uplift both choir members and the congregation. The choir music we sing reflects the UU monthly themes.

Musicians at First Parish often collaborate on their own, which speaks to the huge amount of talent and interest in the arts that exists in our church community. You need only look across the aisle to see someone who might be happy to create something with you for our annual variety show. This was exactly how our First Parish rock n’ roll band began. Now, the band provides and supports the music at select worship services.

Our music directors welcome input from our community about what they want our music program to be. Please feel free to approach us!

Hand in Hand Hospice Singers serve the wider community in Watertown and beyond. Sponsored by First Parish, this group travels to hospice sites to sing for people who are ill or at the ends of their lives, bringing joy and serenity to their days. They rehearse weekly.

Musically Speaking Blog

Updates and reflections from Charlyn Bethell, Music Director

Musically Speaking – May 2024

What a busy time it is, and what a blessing “busy” is! Our theme is “pluralism” and we are busy in many directions. We are also doing things we have not done before. Let me explain. The First Parish Choir would, this very week, be getting ready for Music Sunday, as...

Musically Speaking – April 2024

I am writing this while in isolation, down with Covid. Maybe my brain is fuzzy, but I am particularly optimistic right now. Our choir sang last week without a conductor, and they sounded great! I cannot tell you how wonderful this feels. They were ready, but who knew...

Musically Speaking – March 2024

This is the time to reflect on our world at First Parish, as this month ends the fiscal year at First Parish. Two things come to mind: finding a new song for singing our children out, and adding to the fullness of RE time for our children. First, as I mentioned a...

Musically Speaking – February 2024

February is Black History Month. When I think of honoring Black Americans, I think of the wonderful and unique music they brought to our culture: jazz and spirituals come to mind. This makes me think of the Fisk University Jubilee Singers. Fisk University was founded...

Musically Speaking – January 2024

My view from the chancel on Christmas eve, at both evening services, was a sea of faces. So many people attended church that evening! Coming to OUR church for all the reasons one comes to church: to be uplifted, to be renewed, to be transformed, to be in community, to...

Music Calendar


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