The Music Ministry at First Parish seeks to enrich and enhance our experience of spirituality, community and creative service through music.

Choirs at First Parish

First Parish Choir

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Elizabeth Norton, Director The First Parish Choir is the cornerstone of the First Parish music program, providing music for most Sunday worship services. In addition to regular Sunday services, the choir sings on Christmas Eve and prepares one or two larger choral works each year for special “Music Sundays.” The group has traveled to eastern Europe on several Transylvania musical pilgrimages and participates in festivals and concerts more locally as well. The choir’s eclectic repertoire includes choral classics, jazz, gospel, folk songs and world music. The First Parish Choir welcomes adult and high school singers who love choral singing and the unique musical community of a choir. The ability to read music is not required, though it is helpful. There are no auditions. Contact Beth Norton, Music Director for more information: music@firstparish.org.

Also see the Service Music Schedule

Rehearsals: Wednesday nights from 7:45 to 9:30 p.m.

For New Members:

What Every Choir Member Needs to Know

Contemporary Vocal Ensemble

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Gail Carey, Director The First Parish Contemporary Vocal Ensemble (CVE) offers singing opportunities with a service-by-service commitment. This might be the ensemble for you if you love gospel, jazz, folk-rock. Perhaps you long to share of your voice in a music ministry here at First Parish but feel unable to make a weekly commitment to the First Parish Choir. The CVE rehearses on selected Sundays in the Chapel from 12:15 to 1:00 p.m. Singers commit by the service. We have 3 to 4 rehearsals prior to singing at a service. We will always plan to warm up/ run through pieces the morning of the service as well. If interested, contact Gail Carey, Music Ministry Associate: improvgail@gmail.com.

Junior Choir (for children in grades 1 to 3*)

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Gail Carey, Director Members of the Junior Choir gather in the safety of a song circle where they are encouraged to discover the inherent beauty of their voices through shared song. Song selections reflect the wide diversity of cultural and religious traditions welcomed and celebrated in our UU faith. The Junior Choir sings at approximately 8 worship services during the year, including Christmas Eve, sometimes combining with other First Parish Choirs.

Rehearsals: Sundays from 11:30 am – noon.Register for Junior Choir through our RE Online Registration form.

*Note: Third graders who have sung for at least one year with Junior Choir are able to join Chalice Choir. Please bring any questions about placement directly to Gail.

Chalice Choir (for children in grades 4 to 6)

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Gail Carey, Director Members of the Chalice Choir are empowered to assert their choral voices and take fun risks as they begin to learn about their integral role within worship leadership. Song selections reflect the wide diversity of cultural and religious traditions welcomed and celebrated in our UU faith. The Chalice Choir sings at approximately 8 worship services during the year, including Christmas Eve, sometimes combining with other First Parish Choirs.

Rehearsals: Sundays 9:00 – 9:45 a.m. in the Chapel

Register for Chalice Choir through our online RE registration form.

Gospel Choir (for youth in grades 7 to 12)

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Anderson Manuel, Director Through learning and performing music of the Gospel tradition, singers will be empowered to share their musical talents with the congregation and to develop their leadership potential for the benefit of our church. Singers and instrumentalists (keyboard, bass, and percussion) are invited to join the group. The Gospel Choir will provide music leadership in several services scheduled throughout the church year, including Christmas Eve, sometimes combining with other First Parish Choirs.

Rehearsals: Sunday from 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. in the Emerson Room

Register for Gospel Choir through our online RE Registration form.

By Your Side Singers

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By Your Side Singers is the pastoral choir at First Parish. We are a group of musicians who practice together to deepen our experience of music’s comforting power. We are not performers so much as partners. Through our singing, By Your Side Singers provide a musical presence for people who seek comfort and strength during times of illness or transition. By Your Side Singers sing songs and chants from our hymnals and other sources. Through singing we support and comfort one another as we share our own challenges and hopes. When invited, we go to parishioners’ homes or hospital rooms in groups of 3 or 4 to share soft, soothing song. Our singing has evoked smiles, tears, laughter–even dancing!

Meets first and third Thursday of every month. For more information, or to arrange a visit from the By Your Side Singers, contact Beth Norton, Music Director.

By Your Side Singers Brochure

Handbells at First Parish

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We are delighted that the Lincoln Ringers will continue the long tradition of handbell music at First Parish in Concord, returning to to play several Sunday morning services during the 2014-15 church year. Under the direction of Diane Burke, the group brings a rich variety of handbell repertoire to their services and concerts here and in the wider community. Watch the monthly worship schedule for the dates they will be playing in worship.