It's that time of year when the holidays bunch up like homework assignments when your teacher realizes they have more content to get through than there are weeks left in the semester.
If you missed it (or if you want to watch it again), here is our annual appearance in the NMIIC Thanksgiving Interfaith Music Celebration from November 21. I produced the event again this year, and it was such a pleasure to work with musicians from so many different faiths: Christian, Mormon, Hindu, Muslim, Christian Science, Sikh, Jewish, Baha'i, and of course UU. Our choir presented our train-themed video "Amazing Gratitude" at the event. Check it out!
Next up is the Winter Solstice Singing Ritual. This year, we will be doing a hybrid service, with most of the music from last year's videos, but with narration, readings, the altar, and candlelight happening live in Daniels Hall. Our Winter Solstice service is legendary! If you haven't ever attended, this year you can attend in person or online. The Solstice service will be Saturday, December 18 at 7 pm, at our usual Zoom number.
For Christmas Eve, we will be presenting a more traditional "lessons and carols" type service, with lots of congregational singing of our favorite Christmas carols (with the original words). The choir is preparing a beautifully nostalgic song for a special video for Christmas Eve. I am looking for family Christmas photos from your childhood. Please email me digital copies of your favorite Christmas memories by December 15. The choir will sing our traditional "Peace, Peace" live with candlelight as well. Our Christmas Eve service will also be a hybrid service, so you can choose which way you'd like to attend.
After all these festivities are over, I will be away for several weeks on a sabbatical, until March 14, 2022. Steve Morihiro, Barbara Morihiro, and Sarah Hunter are working closely with me this month to get things ready for when I'm away, and they will be coordinating all the worship music while I'm gone. Thank you, Dream Team! The choir will continue to rehearse on Thursday nights (now hybrid from Daniels Hall) with one or more sub choir directors that we'll bring in. It's always good to learn from other people. I just want to assure everyone that quality music-making will continue while I'm on my sabbatical. I plan to return refreshed, renewed, and inspired to change the world through our art-making.
If you'd ever like to be involved in the choir or as an instrumentalist, please let me know and I'll plug you in.
Beth Syverson, Director of Music Ministries
Beth Syverson is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's Director of Music Ministries. She plans and arranges the music for worship on Sunday mornings, provides piano music during services, and directs the Orange Coast Choir. She is also the artistic director of OCUUC’s concert series—Orange Coast Concerts—which features several eclectic concerts throughout the year.