Choir safety update
We had sincerely hoped to bring the choir back to our Sunday morning worship, beginning in September, but the resurgence of the COVID pandemic, and the particular virulence of the Delta strain, has put a hold on that activity. While we seem to be doing okay with quiet congregational singing in the pews (one hymn a Sunday, alas!), the prospect of rehearsing and performing as a choral ensemble in an inside space is not yet a safe one. Our church’s COVID Task Force will re-evaluate the situation in October, and we’ll see if we can reassemble later this fall.
If we can’t sing, we can play handbells! We have a beautiful 3-octave set of Malmark Handbells that have been under-utilized for the past fifteen years or so, and now seems to be a great time to try to start a handbell choir. If you are middle-school aged or older, can read music reasonably well, and know your right hand from your left, this could be the musical opportunity you have been waiting for!! Please let Gretchen Lewis know if you’re interested, or if you think you could be interested, in learning to ring handbells. It’s lots of fun, and it’s a great opportunity for fellowship and music making. See Gretchen at church or email. Tentatively, I’m planning an organizational meeting and introductory rehearsal on September 12, after church at 12:15 up in the Conference Room.
How about percussion?
In early July, I attended the biennial Conference of UCC Musicians, which was held virtually from Hartford, Connecticut. The event began with a music reading session on Thursday evening July 8, and ended with a concert on Saturday afternoon. The first workshop I attended featured the amazing 80-something year-old Miriam Therese Winter, poet, song-writer, and member of the Medical Mission Sisters, who shared some of her songs with us. Other workshops I found stimulating included some huge puppets by Sue Aziz, an exploration of global hymnody in North American worship led by Patrick Evans, and my personal favorite, a presentation on the use of percussion ensembles in worship, led by Michelle Horsley. She offered very practical advice on starting a basic inter-generation percussion ensemble in the local church, and I’m mulling over the possibilities of beginning one here at First Congregational later in the fall. If you’re interested, talk to me, either at church or by email.
Gretchen Lewis, music coordinator