I would like to share some interesting connections that the Music Ministries have made through our new paradigm of recording collaborative videos remotely.
First, our own Steve Morihiro and friends recorded “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Unitarian” back in June, and it now has over 3,000 YouTube views! I think it’s gone through the UU grapevine. That’s by far our church’s most widely viewed video of all time.
And I have had many lovely conversations with composers. Since I now have to ask permission to stream their works, I am in much closer dialogue with composers than usual. One of the composers said, “You make me glad to be alive” after watching the video we made of her song. Composers’ careers are seriously impacted by the lack of choir singing due to the quarantine, so they are very happy that we are using their music and creating new works of art with them.
I’m also working with the creators of the Winter Solstice Singing Ritual, which we are hoping to present on Zoom this year, since it’s such a well-loved annual tradition. While asking permission from each song’s copyright holder, I am creating collaborations with some of the composers as well.
And a few weeks ago, our choir did our first double-choir virtual choir on the song “The River.” We collaborated with my colleague Sara Jo Brandt at the UU church in Syracuse, doubling the size of both of our choirs.
I would never have dreamed I would be editing audio and video as much as I am, or that we’d be creating musical projects with singers from across the country. Or that we’d be creating viral videos on YouTube. This most unusual time in our lives is really terrible for the most part, but there are some bright moments and new opportunities that we never would have been presented with otherwise. I’m enjoying the good parts as much as possible!
You can access the church’s playlist of our music at https://www.youtube.com/user/OrangeCoastUU/playlists. I hope the music we’ve recorded brings you peace, joy, and an opportunity for spiritual and emotional growth!
Yours in music,
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.