Music Notes, March 2018

A note from Steve...

Steve Zocchi, Music Director
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My favorite Church services are the Intergenerational ones in which all the Choirs participate. It is so much fun seeing people of all ages working together to create a beautiful musical community. From the very young Carol Choir members to the very less young Senior Choir and Bell Choir members, everyone has one thing in common… love of music. As always, I am so proud of our youth choirs. They did a wonderful job on February 11th. I’m really looking forward to Easter which will be a music extravaganza with everyone participating. And May 6th, “Music Appreciation Sunday”, will also be a music-fest. But every Sunday is beautiful.

Another fun part of my job is working with choirs who will willingly (mostly) perform pieces I compose. I dedicated my Bell Choir piece “Meditation” to The Meetinghouse Ringers and they performed it very well on the 25th. I also recently finished a chorale lament around gun violence which Senior Choir will be performing at the Tenebrae Service on Thursday, March 29th, in the evening. It is gratifying to hear talented, cool people play music so close to my heart.

First Parish is a musical and spiritual oasis. It is the antidote for the stresses and fears of living in a world which sometimes seems so cold and violent. As a parent of young children, I am grateful to know so many people who have real values; people for whom the seven principles are meaningful guides. It relieves some of the anxiety of daily life to know that there are many good people around. It gives me hope for humanity. I know there are billions of good people on this planet, but it’s easy to forget some days. I appreciate the reminder each Sunday that humanity is good… and that music matters.

Your Music Director,
Steve

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

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133