Music and Choir
Music is an integral part of the First Unitarian experience, both in the services in the Meeting House and in Youth Chapel.
Jeff Allard, our interim music director, is a talented choir director, organist, pianist, and singer. He plans and leads the music component of most worship services, in collaboration with the minister and the Worship Committee, and plays organ and piano.
Two main music groups engage many members of our congregation: the First Unitarian Choir and the Community Band. Our congregation also has a variety of talented adult and youth musicians who provide music for our lay-led summer services and at special events throughout the year, including talent shows, a Wassail after the Christmas Eve service, and singalongs during Coffee Hour.
The First Unitarian Choir, often praised for their high-quality contribution to worship services, plays a vital role in most Sunday services. They perform a range of music from renaissance pieces to 20th-century classical to American spirituals. Guest instrumentalists and vocal soloists often accompany the choir on designated pieces. Christmas and Easter services usually include guests playing a variety of instruments that may include harp, tympani, trumpet, oboe, flute, or strings.
The Community Band is a collection of singers and instrumentalists who love music and provide a simple, accessible pathway to music performance and appreciation in the church. Folk, rock, jazz, blues, show tunes, world music, pop music, even hymns and classical music are all Community Band’s interests. They welcome all instrumentalists and support musicians’ growth at all levels. Experienced musicians learn from fresh new ideas, and new members learn techniques from practiced musicians. The Community Band serves the church in a variety of ways, from sing-alongs to Sunday services.
Music for Youth Chapel services is provided by Kristi Martel, interim youth music director. Kristi also directs SoulSongs, a group of singers and instrumentalists that includes children, youth, and adults. SoulSongs performs contemporary music for Sunday services several times a year.
First Unitarian’s Music Committee works in partnership with the music director to set goals for a music program that brings a vibrant spiritual ministry to the church, enhances and complements the worship services and Spiritual Pathways programs, and serves the church’s long-range goals.
In addition, the Music Committee along with the music director: recruits people to participate in musical groups and projects; helps interested newcomers find a place in the First U music program; assures protection and maintenance of the organ and other musical instruments; maintains the hymnals and printed music collections; provides updates on the music program to all church communications media; formulates the annual music budget; and facilitates special fund-raising that benefits the music program. At any time when there is no music director, the Music Committee continues to assist in carrying out these responsibilities. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.