Music Notes

I just want to thank everyone who made Christmas Eve so wonderful: our wonderful readers, our amazing musicians, our volunteers and staff, and everyone who attended. And thank you for the feedback. I hope that the music for Christmas Eve brought warmth and connection to at least one heart that needed it. I loved being a part of it and I always learn a lot from the work. By the time this pandemic is over, we will all have an assortment of new skills to share. I also need to thank everyone for accommodating my unusual work schedule. Thank you for your support and compassion. You’re awesome.

There are so many exciting things on the horizon now. It is just a matter of months before we can make music together, live, in-person. But this time, it will be better. Our energy, and our purpose, will be reenergized. I know that I will never take in-person gathering for granted again. And I will cherish the opportunity to shape musical sounds in real time. Singers will be able to hear each other as they sing again! Bell Choir will get to play together again! I get tearful just thinking about it.

But for now, we wait and work and learn. Thank you to everyone for all you do. First Parish, this community, is well worth it, as you know. I have personally found that my connection to First Parish has helped keep me grounded and driven, motivated by love (mostly), and has been a balm against egocentricity caused by isolation. First Parish serves as a powerful reminder that people are good and kind, and that together we can keep each other on the path of increased empathy and compassion. And we keep finding new ways to be present for each other, even while physically separate. But it is just a matter of time before the huge hugs.
Huge. Hugs.

Happy New Year,

Your Music Director,


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MusicOctoberFinally Fall! I find this time of year rejuvenating. No more unbreathable humidity; no more sweating standing still; and even the insects are beginning to retreat to their bunkers. I love the bursting foliage and the clear-eyed skies. I love the change in demeanor I see as folks regroup and begin to take things perhaps a little more seriously. Life becomes real again. We instinctively wake up our senses a little, suddenly aware that winter is looking in our direction. It’s time to get to work.

And there is so much glorious, wonderful work to do. Our sharing of work and time is sort of a communion of action; a ritual of doing. And I am constantly inspired by the spirit of volunteer work at First Parish. These last few months, I have had the privilege of observing many of you in various committees and I have learned so much. The dedication and resolve of purpose is beautiful. It informs my First Parish work. It is a pleasure to put together worship services with Rev. Ellen, Dolores, and lay-leaders. I love working with all the Choirs and Committees and Teams. We have a good thing going here, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I feel like we are all lucky to be part of it. And, just knowing that my musical efforts are heard each week animates my professional life like nothing else could. It is truly life-affirming, joyous work. I thank you for this.

We will make this a great year. The choirs are already starting to collaborate and we’ve heard form Senior Choir this year. Many Choir singers have recorded their voices as part of a process of creating a virtual choir. It is a lot of work for everybody involved. We’ve had good results, and a lot of fun. We will hear so much music from so many sources this year. We can take advantage of technology and collaborate in new ways which we would never have had to. And I love the idea of combining YOUR voice with the Choir. My dream is to have almost the entire congregation singing together, all while safe at home…

Your Music Director, Steve

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