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 12th, 2023

The great activist, actor and singer, Harry Belafonte, recently died at age 96 (he wrote “Turn the World Around” in our Teal Hymnal).  Belafonte has been and will continue to be important in our lives.  Although he was probably most well-known as a singer and actor,...

Musically Speaking – April 14th, 2023

Resistance Through Music This topic makes me excited looking backward, looking at now, and going forward.  Social movements and resistance have always been propelled with music.  Think of spirituals created and sung by the enslaved people on plantations….their songs...

Musically Speaking – March 10th, 2023

Once again, I find myself in celebration-mode.  At First Parish, have so much to celebrate: We love our minister. We have many new members at First Parish and people are returning to the sanctuary for Sunday Worship services. We reach people who cannot be there on...

Musically Speaking – January 13th, 2023

Happy New Year!  All hopes and optimism return as we start anew this year.  Challenges can be overcome and we can create the goodness we want to see and be in 2023.  Our theme for January is Finding our Center, and success toward our shared world can rest on finding...

Musically Speaking – February 10th, 2022

About Hand in Hand The theme for our church services this month is Love. Like many emotions, love can be associated with the experience of music.  But there is one way that music can literally become Love in action, and that is what our church hospice singers group...

Music Calendar


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