Notes From the Music Department: September 2019

by Eric Lane Barnes, Director of Music

Hello, friends! As September approaches I find myself eagerly anticipating a new season of music and joy. I am filled with gratitude for East Shore—I feel a wonderful sense of home here. We are blessed with an abundance of creative spirit in our community, and I want to do all I can to encourage and nurture all those wonderful sparks.

ESUC Mighty Choir

The ESUC Mighty Choir will resume weekly rehearsals on Thursday, September 12, at 7:30 pm in the sanctuary. I strive to make the rehearsals fun, engaging and enlightening, and to present music that is accessible, interesting and spiritually relevant – music that makes a connection with choir members and congregation alike. We sing a rather eclectic mix of songs, from popular contemporary songs to works written specifically for UU congregations, to original pieces, to songs from musicals, to various classical pieces and more. The ESUC Mighty Choir sings approximately twice per month and presents two in-service concerts per season. This year our holiday service concert will be at the 11:00 service on December 15. The choir also sings at various ESUC events; the next such event will be the East Shore Live Halloween Concert taking place on Saturday, October 26.

I would like to extend an exuberant and warm welcome to any who might feel a desire to join the choir. No prior choir experience is needed. Rehearsal tracks are provided for many of the songs (generally the trickier bits). There is rarely a need to memorize songs – the choir holds folders with each performance. And while it is wonderful to have as much member participation as possible, one does not need to ‘sign up’ for an entire September-to-June commitment. So if you have felt a little tug inside that says, ‘I might like doing that’ when you see the Mighty Choir sing, come talk with me after a service. Or – just show up any Thursday night at 7:30 in the sanctuary. We will find the right place for you and will do our darndest to make you feel at home and comfortable.

East Shore LIVE

A new, exciting season is being planned for East Shore Live, the performance series that East Shore Unitarian Church presents every spring from January through June. Last year we saw fantastic concerts from Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers, The Half Brothers, Princess Guy, Lisa Koch and Phil Scarff, who performed with John Chmaj and Cascade Jazz. As soon as we have contracts signed, we will let you know about the performers who will be appearing in 2020.

We are looking for a few good volunteers who can help steer and manage the task of producing these shows. There are two specific positions we are seeking: 1) a committee chairperson, and 2) a ticketing lead person. Attendance at monthly meetings are a part of these volunteer positions, as well as a certain amount of organizational work on your own time. You can find out more about the duties for these roles by emailing Eric Lane Barnes at music@esuc.org.

Two Possibilities

Some members have expressed interest in forming a drum circle. This would be a fun and empowering way to connect body and spirit with rhythmic energy. This could be a regular group that would meet on its own determined schedule, and possibly be part of a Sunday service every once in a while. There are several large drums and smaller percussion instruments at East Shore—drums could be found for anyone who would like to participate.

There are countless ways theater can be part of a church community, from periodic readings of plays to concert versions of shows to full-on productions of musicals. Several in our community have skill and experience in theater. Others have little experience but perhaps a great desire to explore what it might be like to take on a role. This could be a group that meets regularly (again, on its own determined schedule) or one that would meet specifically to take on a project. Creating a show based on member stories is also a powerful way to connect head, heart and spirit.

If either of these above opportunities are of interest to you, please contact me at music@esuc.org.