Music Notes, February 2018

A note from Steve...

Steve Zocchi, Music Director
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It seems like time speeds up after the holiday season; a blink of the eye and it’s February. And the sleep deprivation of parenthood makes things all the more blurry. My twins are turning four in a few months and the baby is one. I cherish my time with them but I am grateful to at least have calm and peace for an hour each week at Church. Although preparing music throughout the week is pure pleasure, I’m always looking forward to Sunday. The meditative elements of the service each week are the only times I actually feel like a conscious entity. The rest of the week is spent merely reacting to an endless barrage of tasks and stresses. You know how it is. That moment when Ellen brings us to a quiet state and you realize you haven't relaxed your mind for a week, since the last service, and you suddenly feel much better. Or when a really good chalice lighting takes you out of your own thoughts for a moment. Or when a reading hits home and you get carried to another mental space. Or when the choir is really feeling the anthem they are singing and you're swept away by the music. I feel lucky to have this time and place to reset each week. And it’s so beautiful that we do this in community, honestly and without overly elaborate ritual or dogma; just real people, together in our quest for spiritual understanding and peace. Nobody pretending to know the unknowable, and everyone totally accepting the spiritual or non-spiritual beliefs of everyone else. For me personally it’s a perfect fit, philosophically and musically.

Thank you to everyone involved in the talent show. It was a great U.U. family event and a lot of fun. There is a lot of talent at First Parish and everyone is so cool. One of the many high points of the evening was hearing the audience singing the chorus to Alleluia. It was impromptu and totally natural, I love that.

Save the date, Saturday March 3rd. We are having a concert at 3:00pm that day, earlier than previous concerts so people with night-driving issues can make it. The Tervo family and their ensembles are playing. Jessica Gist Volk will be joining them. I will be playing also. There will be Telemann, Beethoven, Grieg and maybe some Jazz standards. We are donating the proceeds to the Malala Fund, a non-profit dedicated to women’s rights and education.

And, as usual, thank you to all the choirs. Your hard work is appreciated.

your music director,
Steve

Music Notes, January 2018

A note from Steve...

Steve Zocchi, Music Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I just want to thank everyone for an amazing Christmas Eve. Every choir really stepped up and helped to create beautiful services. I had so much fun. It was a life-affirming and emotionally rejuvenating experience. I feel like our community is so spiritually honest. We can celebrate Christ’s incredible love and the wonders of the universe without having to shut off our sense of reality or resort to dogma. Truth matters here, and that means everything.

One truth is becoming poignantly clear these days. Unitarian Universalism, and our seven principles, are among the last bastions of Jesus’ actual teachings. What does this have to do with music? Well, music calms that fear which otherwise can lead to hate; music brings all types of people together; music doesn’t favor the rich; music can help to generate love and facilitate compassion; music can help us jettison our own feelings of darkness and anger; and music humbles us with its seemingly infinite variety. Music is itself the rhetoric of love and togetherness. Yes it can be misused, but most music comes from a place of benevolent inspiration. I think this is perhaps why U.U. Churches use more music than many other spiritual institutions. Our intentions are love-based. And, though music might not cure the world, it can certainly help to maintain our spiritual health. I know that making music with all of you each week helps keep me healthy. I hope the effect is reciprocal.

So often at First Parish I look around and am moved by the palpable goodness of the people here. Nowhere else have I been treated with such kindness. I have to assume we all feel that our hearts are nourished at First Parish. I could really feel it on Christmas Eve, as we celebrated the birth of one of the most liberal and generous teachers of all time. One of our own. I feel like we did it right. We have a really good thing going, and I look forward to seeing and hearing you all every Sunday.

peace,
your music director,
Steve

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133