The music program at UUCM has been very active in the past three months. Here is a brief update:
- In September we held a two-day choir retreat at the Rinearson/Lewis house in the Catskills. We enjoyed a good balance of rehearsals and social time, which included sharing meals, singing around the campfire and hot-tubbing. We may have started a new tradition!
- We hosted a vocal workshop by professional singer and UUCM friend Lori McCann. Attendees learned about the physical components of singing and the basics of vocal technique.
- Doug Andrews has been organizing a monthly Saturday night jazz jam session at UUCM.
- In October we hosted the first Montclair Interfaith Choir Festival. The ImmaculateConceptionChurch choir, the Sacred Harp Singers, and our own adult choir performed a wide variety of music, culminating in a joint performance of “October,” specially written for this occasion and conducted by UUCM composer-in-residence Tom Parente.
- Tom Parente also facilitated a class on learning rhythm through body movement (eurhythmics) as part of our Etude Club series.
- Amy Crafton conducted the children’s choir in an intergenerational service. More performances from this group will follow in 2014.
- Our new assistant music director, Stearns Matthews, has been leading the tenor sections of both the UUCM Choir and the Chamber Chorus, performed solo several times, provided the music for an entire service, directed choir rehearsals, and prepared several senior youth for musically participating in this year’s pageant. His favorite job though is making photocopies.
- In November, singers were chosen by audition for the UUCM Chamber Chorus, a new vocal ensemble that takes on more challenging repertoire. For their inaugural performance in the services on December 8th, they sang the Bruckner motet “Locus iste.” Auditions for this group are ongoing; so if you are interested in trying out, please let me know.
Wishing all of you and your loved ones a peaceful and happy 2014!