At Music@FourthU, we believe that music has the extraordinary power to be a whole-body, transformative experience that brings people to a deeper understanding of self.
At Music@FourthU, we work towards a world where people of all backgrounds and ages can grow and find a deeper appreciation of themselves, their faith, and their environment through the power of carefully curated music experiences.
Where we nurture an empathetic physical space for music making is where we are dedicated to justice and love for each individual person — fostering an environment in which individuals can come together and celebrate their diversity of life in the fullness of community.
Through the tangible work that enacts this Vision, we hold steadfast in doing our part to strengthen the relationship between Fourth Universalist and the needs of our greater community.
The Tangible Work
Music@FourthU brings its Vision Statement to life through various channels: from our diverse roster of professional New-York-based performers for Sunday worship, to varied external programming in our physical space, to our volunteer ministries, and more.
At the heart of Music@FourthU’s work is in fact its programming, which includes both high-level music and performers that represent a rich tapestry of cultural traditions and identities. Music selected for Sunday worship (or any Music@FourthU-featured events) is always designed to edify listeners in different ways to engage with a central theme, whether the sermon theme or Unitarian Universalist-aligned programming. To assist in this, Music@FourthU creates and archives weekly program notes (Music in OOS) that provide context for each work and performer. Music@FourthU aims also to be progressive through the featuring of music — and the hiring of musicians — from underrepresented identities, as well as through the commissioning of originally composed music for special events, among other initiatives.
Most Music@FourthU events take place in our stunning historic landmark building at 160 Central Park West, which comes equipped with state-of-the-art sound and live-streaming technology, a beautiful mahogany Yamaha GC2 grand piano, and a growing collection of music/audio gear. The music we nurture honors the tremendous capabilities of our physical space, as well as of course the diverse gamut of our listeners, which includes our in-person and global membership. In the careful and communal labor of music, Fourth Universalist Society stands proud as a space of its own kind where identities can bring their authentic, vulnerable selves to a setting that transcends the confines and traumas of traditionally coded venues/houses of worship. Through careful music strategy and programming that makes conscientious use of this philosophy, Music@FourthU thus aspires to be a physical space for all cultures, all beings, and all variance of thought. We hope to be a shining example of the union between Fourth Universalist Society and the needs of our community.
View Archives of our Sunday Programming Here:
Music@FourthU Volunteer Ministry
There are many opportunities for volunteers to perform at Sunday worship or other Fourth Universalist events throughout the year. One big vessel for such opportunities is our Music@FourthU Choir, which is run by our Director of Music, Robert Buonaspina. The vital lifeblood of our volunteer ministry, the Choir embodies our Vision to foster musical growth, to celebrate diversity, and to cultivate a deeper appreciation for oneself, one’s faith, and one’s environment.
Rather than a weekly Sunday commitment, the Choir operates on several “Cycles” during the year (for example, a Cycle of rehearsals/performances for Easter, for Pride, themed concerts during the year, etc) to accommodate the varying yearly schedules of our members. A Cycle typically includes a handful of Tuesday night rehearsals (7:30–9:30 PM), some dress rehearsals, and a performance, often on a Sunday morning for worship. A typical Cycle is around 6-7 weeks.
To view a public embedded calendar of Music@FourthU Choir events, see below:
Or, if you wish to view or add the Music@FourthU Google calendar to your calendar, just click here.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering at Music@FourthU — whether a vocalist, or instrumentalist, or a community member just generally interested in music — is invited to reach out and connect with Fourth Universalist’s Director of Music, Robert Buonaspina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Designated Teams
Music@FourthU has a dedicated team focused on exploring cost-effective methods for integrating the pipe organ back into worship (read more about the history of our pipe organ here), exploring creative solutions for integration rather than a prohibitively expensive investment. For those interested in this initiative, please reach out to Robert Buonaspina at email@example.com to learn more and get involved.
Meeting a few times a year, the Music Team is a specially appointed group of volunteers from Fourth Universalist who help develop, nurture, advise, and ensure the success of our Music@FourthU Vision, and the work of Robert Buonaspina and Cynthia Meng (Associate Director of Music) in enacting this Vision.
While the Music@FourthU Music Team has membership by appointment only, we encourage individuals with an unwavering passion to be part of the visionary planning of this Team to reach out to Robert Buonaspina at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.