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 – September 2019

Happy fall and welcome (back) to First Parish!  At this time in our church life, we are embracing some things very new with our interim minister and in the letting go of the way things used to be.  We are certainly fortunate to have Wendy Bell along this journey with...

Musically Speaking – June 2019

My first thought is gratitude for the year.  The music at First Parish is happening!  The choir has grown and, with the help of Guy’s practice files, has done more challenging and exciting music than ever before.  We realized a dream I have had of featuring Missa Gaia...

Musically Speaking – May 2019

I recently was asked to fill out a survey for one of Mark’s students who is studying UU polity. Polity is defined as “a form or process of civil government or constitution, an organized society”. I think of polity as how the church is run—how we do what we do. The...

Musically Speaking – April 2019

This is the time of year when we reflect on the highlights of the fall, winter and now spring. I have just written the Annual Report for Music, and I would like to share some of that with you now. In the fall, with the current chair of the Worship committee (this year...

Musically Speaking – March 2019

First let me say that our choir has been amazing!  They have not had a Thursday night off for months.  (We usually have one per month.)  Preparing for Missa Gaia made us all hunker down to be ready for Music Sunday.  Choir members have shown up, practiced their parts,...

Music Calendar


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