Under the direction of Sadie Sonntag the choir provides music for Sunday services at least two services a month from September through June. This year the choir will take the month of July off and return to the 2nd and 4th Sunday schedule in August. Check back here for upcoming choir performances.
Sun13Jan20199:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary
In a sermon at General Assembly, 2016, Rev Nancy McDonald Ladd lamented the "fake fights we waste our time on," like "what color to paint the church bathroom." Elsewhere, there are people struggling against injustice. We create our turf, plant our flag, insist that we do this thing according to these rules. Others may have no turf, nor a flag to plant, nor even a single rule to protect them.
The truth is we all struggle, some more than others, but when we bind each other's wounds, we grow stronger, and we heal.
From the crush of wealth and power something broken in us all
Waits the spirit's silent hour pleading with a poignant call,
Bind all my wounds again.
Even now our hearts are wary of the friend we need so much.
When I see the pain you carry, shall I, with a gentle touch,
bind all your wounds again?
When our love for one another makes our burdens light to bear,
find the sister and the brother, hungry for the feast we share;
bind all their wounds again.
Ev'ry time our spirits languish terrified to draw too near,
May we know each other's anguish and, with love that casts out fear,
Bind all our wounds again.
Composer Peter Cutts, and lyricist Kendyl Gibbons are responsible for this illuminating piece which the choir will sing Sunday the 13th under the direction of Sadie Sonntag.
Sun27Jan20199:15 AM onlySanctuary
Sunday the 27th, the Choir will perform a piece composed by Mark A Miller to words from an anonymous Jewish poem. We will also sing a short work by Doug Bowes. In keeping with the Theme of Grace and the Topic of Everyone Belongs, the short piece is titled "Grace".
Let all of us around the table remember those who have the least,
And do whatever we are able, that everyone may join the feast.
The longer piece is called "I Believe". It is not the one made famous in 1953 by Frankie Laine. This one has simpler words.
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining.
I believe in love even when I don't feel it.
I believe in God even when God is silent.
We all believe in things, even though the details of our beliefs differ. The one unifying principle in Unitarian Universalism is that everyone belongs. We all have a place at the table. We all have a right and a purpose on this planet. We all need grace.
Sun10Feb20199:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary
Sunday, February 10, the Choir will perform a piece requested by Worship Associate Sharon McCarty. In her words:
Recently Joe and I attended a John McCutcheon concert, where he featured his favorite Pete Seeger songs. When he sang "Turn, Turn, Turn", I got teary. Thematically this was the perfect song for the February 10th service, which I have been planning with our guest minister, and speaks to my life these days! Plus it is based on a portion of the Bible's book of Ecclesiastes, which was one of the readings at our wedding all those years ago. A fortuitous combination, so I had to ask if the choir might sing it.
The Choir enthusiastically approved and we're ready to present the song this Sunday.
To everything... turn, turn, turn...
There is a season... turn, turn, turn...
And a time for ev'ry purpose under heaven.
Sun24Feb20199:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary
Sunday, February 24, the Choir will perform a piece by David Greenberg with words by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Greenberg is an American poet and songwriter. Emerson was an American poet and essayist. Put together they make beautiful music. The piece is called simply "Music" and it is beautiful.
Let me go where'er I will, I hear a skyborn music still:
It sounds from all things, all things old,
It sounds from all things, all things young,
From all that's fair, from all that's foul,
Peals out a cheerful, cheerful song.
The theme of the service will be Surrender and Letting Go. This poem/song explores the beauty in the mundane, the hope in the mean, the light in the dark. Through it we learn to let go of the need for perfection, and accept that imperfection is okay.
Sun10Mar20199:15 & 11 AMSanctuary
15th century Indian poet and mystic, Kabir, wrote many poems. In 1915, 100 of these poems were translated into English and published in a book titled Songs of Kabir. A hundred years later, in 2014, Elizabeth Alexander took one of these poems and set it to music. The choir will perform this challenging piece, with its close harmonies and mysterious progressions, on Sunday, March 10th.
You are in us and we are in You.
Each distinct, yet ever united.
You are the tree, the seed, and the cell;
You are the flower, the fruit, and the shade...
You are the immanent Mind in us;
You are the Soul Supreme within the Soul.
You are in us and we are in You,
Blessed are all who see You.
The theme of the month is Truth. Truth is sometimes elusive. Truth sometimes stares you in the face. Truth can be painful, liberating, enlightening, mysterious. Truth is Life. Truth is Death. Truth presents Itself here as Supreme Being. Blessed are those who see Truth.
Sun31Mar20199:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary
This song is in our hymnal under the title "My Life Flows On In Endless Song". Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry wrote the original words, published in 1868 in The New York Observer. The Choir will perform it on Sunday the 31st. The first verse goes:
My life flows on in endless song:
Above earth's lamentation,
I catch the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
We Unitarian Universalists changed the words a little in the second verse:
What tho' the tempest 'round me roars,
I know the truth, it liveth.
What tho' the darkness 'round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love prevails in heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
... and a lot in the third:
When tyrants tremble as they hear
The bells of freedom ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing!
To prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging;
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?
If you hear someone singing the wrong words, it's prob'ly me, Randy Jones. I was raised Baptist and learned the song long, long ago!
Sun14Apr20199:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary
"I Have a Voice" was written by Frank Wildhorn and Robin Lerner. It is a song that inspires rising above bullying, a powerful anthem for any kid who has felt alone and unsafe at school. The profits this song earns go to No Bully (www.nobully.org), a non-profit organization that trains schools to promote student compassion in order to stop bullying.
Educators, psychologists and lawyers helped No Bully develop a non-punitive "No Bully System", committed to preventing students from experiencing and enduring all forms of bullying. They have created bully-free campuses for over 100,000 students.
I have a voice, simple and clear.
It speaks the truth, for all to hear.
It gives me hope, it gives me faith,
It lifts me up, it keeps me safe.
I have a voice, it's mine alone.
It comforts me, it is my own.
Although it's small, I'm not afraid,
For I am strong in its embrace.
No one can say what I have seen,
Or understand where I have been,
For what I found inside myself,
Belongs to me and no one else.
If I were blind and had no eyes to see,
Still I would hear that voice inside of me.
I wish that you,
I wish that you
Could hear it too
The month of April has the theme of Salvation and Wholeness. Sunday, April 14th's topic is The Rights of Children, and the Choir will perform this piece. What is more important than the right to safety for a child?
Sun21Apr20199:15 & 11:00 AMSanctuary
A million dreams inspired Phineas T Barnum to create "The Greatest Show On Earth," filled with wonders like the Feejee Mermaid and General Tom Thumb. These, of course, were hoaxes, but Barnum believed in attracting and pleasing the public, not duping them. He described himself as The Greatest Showman and he certainly attracted and pleased a great audience.
The theme of Salvation and Wholeness continues this Easter Sunday, April 21, with our congregation's traditional Flower Communion, and an expectation of a million dreams come true!
I close my eyes and I can see
A world that's waiting up for me
That I call my own.
Through the dark, through the door,
Through where no one's been before,
But it feels like home.
They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy.
They can say, they can say I've lost my mind.
I don't care, I don't care, so call me crazy.
We can live in a world that we design.
'Cause ev'ry night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head.
A million dreams are keeping me awake.
I think of what the world could be,
A vision of the one I see.
A million dreams is all it's gonna take.
Oh, a million dreams for the world we're gonna make!
Sun09Jun20199:15 AM onlySanctuary
"Transcendence" is June's theme, something beyond the normal, physical experience of being. What can facilitate such transcendence?
A rare gift of music!. The choir will perform this soul-stirring piece from the pen of John Rutter. Set in a gently lilting tempo, it will make your heart soar.
If you could have any gift, any treasure
Taste any pleasure, then what would it be?
Search the wide world high and low for an answer
Over the mountains and down to the sea
Would you wish for youth and beauty, or wealth to make a show?
Or power and position and strength? Oh no...
For you youth it will vanish, and beauty will fade
And your wealth and position are all just a passing parade
May your soul have the gift of music, may your heart be inspired with song
May the echoes remain in your memory, like a friendship that last your whole life long
When your joy is the joy of music, all the magical sounds you hear
Everyday that you spend with music
Is the best day, the best new day of the year
The piece was written in 2007 and dedicated to Elizabeth Goodey for her 80th birthday. Elizabeth was the wife of a special friend of Rutter, Frank Goodey, who walked on in 2005. They were a musical couple who blessed the residents of County Cork, Ireland, with their talent for many years.
If you’re interested in singing with us, rehearsals are on Thursday nights from 7-8:30pm, and all fun-loving people who want to sing are welcome! To learn more about the choir, talk to a choir member during Coffee Hour after any Sunday service or contact Sadie here. Come to a rehearsal Thursday evening during the season, and we’ll all make music together.