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 2021

“Holding History” is the theme of our Worship this month, and it makes me think of how music takes us back to when we first experienced it.  Music can suspend us in time; when we think of hit songs that we loved, we go back to being that age again.  Think of the feel...

Musically Speaking – October 8th, 2021

Those of us who are fans of the PBS Newshour might have seen a musician featured that made an immediate connection with me.  Her name is Arooj Aftab, and she is Pakistani.  She is a singer, a composer, and a producer, and her inspirations are neo-Sufi idioms; many of...

Musically Speaking – September 10th, 2021

Our worship theme for September is Possibility and may be the perfect focus as we embark upon hybrid worship.  Why “the loud and the soft”, you ask?  It is a metaphor describing our services.  Musically speaking, dynamics are making music loud, soft, getting louder, or getting softer.

Musically Speaking – May 2021

“Story” is our theme for May.  Music Sunday is this coming Sunday, May 16th.  We can have music tell a story, we could tell our story ABOUT music, we could tell about our lives WITH music, and we could let music BE our story.  Our Music Sunday service is titled  “Our...

Musically Speaking – April 9, 2021

Happy Spring, everyone!  I am thinking about entertainers who sing to us.  They could be live or virtual.  They are energetic, they move their hands and their legs, they dance, they smile, and they look right at us.  Their enthusiasm is infectious.  You can tell that...

Music Calendar

Choir Rehearsal

Thursday February 09, 2023
7:00PM - 8:30PM

February’s theme: Love. Music will be: If You Want to Go, Let the Life I’ve Lived We sing at the on Giving Sunday February 26th service.


Choir Rehearsal

Thursday February 16, 2023
7:00PM - 8:30PM

February’s theme: Love. Music will be: If You Want to Go, Let the Life I’ve Lived We sing at the on Giving Sunday February 26th service.