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Mens Choir on Mothers Day

A Note from Bill, our music director

While vacationing on Mt. Desert Island this summer, I had some time to meditate on the important role 
of music in our lives. Surrounded by the splendor of nature, the beauty of the mountains, lakes, and sea, 
I was able to hear things that in Boston were quite obliterated by the roar of traffic and din of city life. Suddenly the sound of whispering pines, lapping of waves on the shore, and above all, the many warblings of birds, of which there are many varieties on this island. Their songs reminded me of a wonderful poem by an 11th century monk, translated by W.H. Auden:  

           “How foolish the man who does not raise his voice and praise with joyful words, 

      as he alone can, Heaven’s High King—–

            To whom the light birds with no soul but air, all day, ev’rywhere, Laudation sing.”

This text is beautifully set by the American composer Samuel Barber in his song cycle, “Hermit Songs”.

 Our souls are also inspired by air, in our inhalation, exhalation, and especially when we bring our voices together in a “joyful noise”, as Isaiah asks of us. The birds of course do not read music (as far as I know), nor do they rehearse, and it seems that they don’t strive for “perfection” as we think of it, and yet their choirs bring joy to our hearts, and make us want to wake up in the morning, maybe a trifle early sometimes! So their lesson to us is this: singing the praises of God and Creation do not require musical training, but rather the desire to evoke sounds from our innermost being, the pure joy of singing.

 I want to encourage any of you who feel like they have a song in their souls to sing to join us this year in the Union Church Choir. On the second and fourth Sundays of the month (this September, for example, the 14th and 28th) we will have a “Same Day Singers Choir”. This simply means that you arrive on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. for a short rehearsal, and then we sing our anthem (easy to learn by ear) during the service.  We will explore different settings of the Lord’s Prayer during September, including the lovely setting by Durufle as well as the more familiar one of Malotte.

 The Children’s Choir will meet regularly after each service at 11:30 for a half hour. We will start rehearsals on September 14th, and there will be more information about this in the bulletin.

 Also, on an exciting note, Jandi Dennis has expressed interest in starting a Gospel Choir at the church, and I will be coordinating with her the see if there is sufficient interest in the congregation to get a group of you together—-sounds like a lot of fun!

Wishing you all the joy of song,

 Bill Merrill, Music Director

Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully With a loud noise. –Psalms 33, 2-3

The music program is one of the great strengths of the church and a source of joy for the whole congregation.

We have a talented adult choir on Sundays and the children’s choir for special occasions such as the much-loved Christmas carol and Christmas Eve services, as well as Easter and Children’s Sunday.

The adult choir is comprised of men and women who love to sing and who enjoy being part of the musical tradition at the Union Church. The choir is open to newcomers at any time. Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings at 7:30 at the church and again at 9:00 a.m. on Sundays, just prior to the service. The children’s choir meets immediately after the service to fit as well as possible into their families’ busy schedules.

“If anyone would like more information regarding singing in the Choir, please contact Bill Merrill, Music Director, at 617-522-7633. Parents interested in having their children join the Children’s Choir should feel free to speak to him following the Sunday service. The first Choir rehearsal is on Thursday evening, September 6th, at 7:30 pm. No sight reading ability is required, just a desire to sing with the Spirit and make beautiful music together.”