Music and Choir
Music is a central part of our life at Fourth Universalist. It is woven into our worship services, through congregational singing, our choir, and moving performances by diverse performance groups and artists.
Like our Unitarian Universalist tradition, our music draws from many sources for inspiration. Depending on the Sunday, worshippers will experience classical music or jazz, folk or pop, soul or country, and usually some combination of several. We want to keep our music interesting, relevant, inspiring, and varied.
Our congregational choir offers a wonderful way to connect deeper with our community. During normal times, volunteer singers gather in the sanctuary at 10am each Sunday to practice the morning’s music and grow together as vocalists.
Now, during the pandemic, our choir meets virtually on Thursday evenings to sing, record, and prepare music for our services. If you are interested in joining our virtual choir, we hope you’ll reach out to our Music Director, Sean Mayes, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to our choir, we regularly feature small groups of guest musicians — drums, bass, guitars, strings, woodwinds and brass. Each service is custom-designed, with music chosen either to parallel or contrast with the moods and messages of the service theme. All our services open and close with congregational singing. Hymns are led by professional and lay singers from within the congregation and include songs from both current Unitarian Universalist hymnals, Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Journey.
The church owns an 1878 Steinway grand piano that was donated by member Louise Whitfieldd upon her marriage to Andrew Carnegie. In 2013, Fourth Universalist purchased an electric piano manufactured in June 1975 by Harold Rhodes, and we frequently use this instrument in contemporary music.
Artists heard recently during our services include:
Burt Bacharach/Hal David, Samuel Barber, Bela Bartók, David Bowie, Chico Buarque, John Coltrane, Aaron Copland, Elvis Costello, Duke Ellington, Claude Debussy, The Dixie Chicks, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bill Evans, Gilberto Gil, Alberto Ginastera, Hall & Oates, Herbie Hancock, Jamiroquai, Jennie J, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Norah Jones, Scott Joplin, Carole King, Cyndi Lauper, John Lennon/Paul McCartney, Freddie Mercury/Brian May, Thelonious Monk, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mumford and Sons, Milton Nascimento, Laura Nyro, Astor Piazzolla, Manuel Ponce, Maurice Ravel, R.E.M., Domenico Scarlatti, Franz Schubert, Cat Stevens, Billy Strayhorn, Caetano Veloso, Heitor Villa-Lobos, William Walton