UU Musicians Network Annual Conference

Report on UU Musicians Network (UUMN) Annual Conference

In July I spent five days with 230 of my UUMN colleagues in Arlington, VA at our annual conference. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Every morning I enjoyed a worship service created by a worship team made up of UUMN members. It was wonderful to be able to experience worship myself. At one service I gave a shortened version of my Reconciliation sermon; at another one I participated in a creative movement (AKA dancing) meditation.
  • Our choral clinician was well-known composer (and UU) Brian Tate. We rehearsed with him daily and sang three of his compositions at the Sunday morning service. He was a great example of dignified and inspiring leadership.
  • I presented the database I created to help UU music directors find songs to match service themes.
    I enjoyed meals, a Variety Show, an outing to see Capitol Steps (hilarious!), and lots of chats and networking with my colleagues.
  • We had three 90-minute choral reading sessions, where we all sight-read choral music to consider for future programming. I led one of the sessions.
  • A focus of this year's conference was our denomination-wide struggle with white privilege. There was intense training and frank discussions, combined with loving encouragement to expand our awareness of our own white privilege.
  • Our own Eva Lu Goodwin-Noriega went to the conference again this year. She's hooked after attending the one in San Diego a few years ago. It was wonderful having her along for the fun.

Thank you very much to the congregation and the Board for enabling me to attend these conferences. I always come home with a bucketful of ideas, inspiration, connections, and songs.