I am continually humbled and awed by the power of music and art. If you think of the recent joyous inauguration, imagine how it would've felt without any of the music or art. Take away Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem (problematic though its lyrics and origin may be), J. Lo singing a mash-up of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" and "America the Beautiful," and Garth Brooks' simple a cappella version of "Amazing Grace." Take away the amazing poem "The Hill We Climb," written and delivered by Amanda Gorman. Take away the fanfares, the drum cadences, and "Hail to the Chief." Take away the evening celebration of musicians and dancers across America and the Covid memorial the night before. And take away the visual art -- the mall stuffed with an amazing flag and light display instead of people, the bunting and carpet rolls, even the fashion (including Bernie Sanders' famous handmade mittens). If you take all of the art and music away, it would be a very short and soulless event, with a few necessary formalities and speeches. Music and art provide the heart, the emotional gut-punch, the driving force behind the vision for our country represented in the inauguration.
Next time you attend (live or online) an event - big or small - pay attention to how much the aural and visual milieu informs the impact of the event. And do what you can to support the artists, musicians, designers, and creators who make our world so much richer for their generous creativity.
In church news, we are busily preparing for our exciting joint service on February 7. I am collaborating with several colleagues to present music from each of our congregations. Don't miss that service!
We are always looking for people who want to get involved, either by singing or playing, or by helping with editing audio/video, creating slideshows, or running the Zoom services behind the scenes. Thanks to Phil Chipman who recently started editing our music projects. And thanks to Don Martin who has been shadowing as a Slideshow Operator. Let me know if you'd like to be involved, and I'll help you find the perfect role(s) for you.
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.