As the Church year winds down I am struck by the many differences we are experiencing, and not all bad. For instance it seems that attendance has been better than usual for this time of year. Even the after-church Youth Choir rehearsals have had more participants than in previous years at this time of beautiful weather. Enthusiasm seems high and I am inspired by everyone’s resilience, flexibility, and good attitudes.

It makes sense. We are First Parish after all. I’ve been cherishing our community more than ever, and my Church work has kept me energized and engaged. Quite frankly, I don’t know where I’d be without First Parish. Of course, there is a steep learning curve in order to adapt to our current world. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to learn new skills and grow as a professional, all while keeping my heart and soul in music. So lucky.

The next step, in terms of our wonderful music program, will be to adapt to new ways of collaborating musically. Mixing together voices is easy, and I’m learning more ways to do so, but it’s nothing without you. Moving forward, I will provide more ways for us to engage in virtual congregational singing. I miss rehearsing in-person with all the choirs, but I also miss the sound of the congregation when a hymn is hitting just right and we are all joyously singing together. Obviously we will inevitably get back to that, but in the meantime we can continue find creative and fun ways to play together. I’ve noticed that some people are a little shy about recording themselves singing, which I totally understand. It’s not an easy task. For some, there are technological issues... but we can find ways to help with that. For some, the sound of one’s own voice is never satisfactory to one’s self...we can find ways around that. For some, adding more technology to life seems like a bad idea...maybe we can pace ourselves. Maybe it’s just more work... well, let’s make it fun-work.

My point is that we should be optimistic that the next several months, with hard work, will bring positive change and innovation, and that our music program will continue to expand and thrive. My love of First Parish has only grown during this pandemic. And, the importance of our work together has never been more clear.

I miss you all.

Your Music Director, Steve

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