Our music director, Benjie Messer, will be taking sabbatical this spring and summer. He’ll leave on Jan. 1, and return on Aug. 1. Using this extended time for study, reflection and rest is a tradition for religious professionals, and we’re pleased to offer it to Benjie.
During that time, Benjie will take a complete break from the roles and responsibilities of being our music director, including being in touch with us. Please do not contact him during this time.
Many folks will be helping fulfill Benjie’s job duties in his absence. Take a look at our Music Sabbatical Personnel to get to know them! You’re also welcome to read our Sabbatical Delegation Plan, which lists each of the music director job duties and assigns it to a member of the music sabbatical team.
Benjie says, “Thank you all for the opportunity for this break, and the assurance that I can return to the job in August. I look forward to resting deeply, and to developing as a musician and artist.”
Our congregation features music prominently in worship and involves many members in making music together. Singers, instrumentalists, and listeners meet happily at UUCP, and it’s hard to imagine a community-wide event without music. Our program is largely based on individual initiative, so feel free to propose something new, but the ensembles listed below are some easy ways to get involved. Meanwhile, please enjoy a selection of our music videos. You can view more on our YouTube channel.
Our choir meets every Wed. night in the sanctuary from 7:00-9:00pm, and sings in Sunday service every few weeks. They sing a wide variety of music, and no previous singing experience is required. This spring, the choir is led by Jessica Elder and accompanied by Christine Kyhn.
Our band welcomes guitar players, bassists, keyboard players, percussionists, singers, and anyone else who likes making music in a small group. They generally read chord charts rather than fully notated parts, and draw from folk, country, rock, and jazz. This spring, the band will be led by Bob Davis.
Our “Open Strings” ensemble welcomes violinists, violists, cellists and double-bassists to rehearse and perform together in occasional services. Member Susan Morris coordinates the group.
Do you sing or play an instrument? Want to join or start a musical ensemble? Let Music Coordinators Susan Morris and Donna Featherston know, at email@example.com. UUCP has a history of ensembles in many styles (orchestra, jazz, a cappella, African drumming, ukuleles) and some of those may return.
Other musical events throughout the year that are open to the whole community—evening sing-alongs, no-talent talent shows, live-streamed concerts, singing meditation workshops, and more—will be included in UUCP’s weekly Compass email newsletter.
Do You Have Suggestions or Questions?
For more information about any of our music-related activities, or to suggest a new activity, please contact Music Director Benjie Messer through the form below.