Creativity is a powerful aspect of human experience and spirituality, and music and the arts celebrate and nurture our creative selves. At First Unitarian, music and the arts are important parts of our worship services and community life.
Music at Sunday Services
A special part of our Sunday worship is provided by the wonderful musicians who bless us with their gifts. Vance Bass leads our contemporary worship band, Spare Parts, which performs at both services on the first Sunday of the month. Our choir, The Chalice Singers, sings at both services once or twice a month from September through May, under the direction of Susan Peck.
On other Sundays, First Unitarian welcomes singers, instrumentalists, and performance groups. We enjoy a wide variety of musical styles in our worship.
Guidelines for Guest Musicians
The Director of Music is in charge of arranging musical performances for worship. She generally auditions musicians, often by going to a concert or listening to a CD. Please call the church office at (505) 884-1801 or e-mail her for more information.
Musicians provide music for both of our Sunday services (9:30 am and 11:00 am). The prelude begins 15 minutes before the start of the service as people arrive. This is a quiet time in the Sanctuary, and church members will give you their full attention. The order of service includes a musical interlude and an offertory. The Director of Music will work with you to select pieces that complement the sermon theme.
Musicians who are church members usually donate their time, while visiting musicians are paid for their service. Guest musicians may sell CDs during coffee hour at a table in our courtyard or foyer.
The Chalice Singers Choir
Our choir, the Chalice Singers, is part of the church’s mission of religious education, mutual support and social bonds, and the search for authentic expression.They sing repertoire supporting UU principles and beliefs, evoking an emotional understanding of these ideas.
No audition is necessary, and church members and friends ages 16 and older are welcome. While singing experience is helpful, it is not necessary. Choir members only need the ability to match pitch, willingness to learn, and commitment to attend weekly rehearsals. If you’re unsure of your vocal range, come 15 minutes before rehearsal to check in with the director. You can email email@example.com with questions.
The choir is a great way to make new friends in the church, with social opportunities throughout the year—we’d love for you to join us!
Sol Singers is a new group for singers of all ages and abilities to “learn music by heart; take love to the community.” This intergenerational chorus learns music in the aural tradition, with repertoire drawn from UU hymnals, folk traditions, world music, pagan chants, healing songs. Singers are invited to suggest songs for the group to learn. The Sol Singers are available to make pastoral care visits in the community, bringing the healing power of music to those in need of comfort. Sol Singers meet 5:30-6:30 pm on Mondays in the Social Hall.
The Spirit Singers
This energetic youth choir is for kids in grades K-5 and is directed by Director of Music, Susan Peck. New members are welcome! The Spirit Singers rehearse on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month from 12:30 – 1:15 pm. The choir performs in worship several times throughout the program year. For more information, contact Susan at 884-1801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Hall Art Gallery
First Unitarian’s Arts and Aesthetics Committee oversees the Social Hall Art Gallery, which serves as a visual art ministry by offering a space for spiritual contemplation adjacent to the Sanctuary.
The committee seeks a diversity of shows in a variety of media, with content appropriate to the church. We include two-person and group shows, a November show with church members’ work, and an occasional juried theme show. We schedule our shows about a year ahead with 7-8 exhibits, each lasting 6-7 weeks. Besides enriching our Social Hall setting, the art provides income for the church, with 30 percent of sales going to the church budget.
Information for Artists
Our selection process begins in January with an invitation to artists to submit images for a screening. From the screening, the committee chooses the artists who will then be invited to bring actual work for committee review. Each spring we schedule exhibitions for all of the following calendar year.
Artists may sell their work, and mark pieces with prices in the gallery. On Sundays the Arts and Aesthetics Committee handles the sales of any pieces currently hung, and the church retains a 30 percent commission on all sales from the gallery, with 70 percent going to the artist.
If you would like to be considered for a show at First Unitarian please contact the office at 884-1801.