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 – November 11th, 2022

I recently read an article by The Dalai Lama and Daniel J. Levitin, titled Suffering, compassion, and being a perpetual student.  The perspective from The Dalai Lama about how thinking collectively restores us to an inner equilibrium especially resonates with me: ...

Musically Speaking – October 14th, 2022

I remember preparing for the first time singing/playing Missa Gaia, the Mass for the Earth by Paul Winter and others.  It was to be my special project as a requirement to be a credentialed music leader through the then, UUMN (Unitarian Universalist Musicians’...

Musically Speaking – September 9th, 2022

Happy fall and welcome back to First Parish!  I am looking forward to seeing you at our church in the coming month!  In anticipation of the church year, I have a few questions and few answers to share. A foundation to my questions fall into the ideas of themes for the...

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...

Music Calendar

Choir Rehearsal

Thursday December 01, 2022
7:00PM - 8:30PM

December’s theme: Wonder. Music will be from last year: What Child is This and Riu Riu Chiu We sing for the Christmas Eve service. We sing rounds at the January 1st service.


Choir Rehearsal

Thursday December 08, 2022
7:00PM - 8:30PM

December’s theme: Wonder. Music will be from last year: What Child is This and Riu Riu Chiu We sing for the Christmas Eve service. We sing rounds at the January 1st service.


Choir Rehearsal

Thursday December 15, 2022
7:00PM - 8:30PM

December’s theme: Wonder. Music will be from last year: What Child is This and Riu Riu Chiu We sing for the Christmas Eve service. We sing rounds at the January 1st service.