A Note About Music

You never know what it’s going to be like when you’re the new guy. Walking into a new place always has a certain level of intimidation. You can never be sure how people are going to welcome you, and there is always the very common aversion to change (the recent presidential election being an anomaly). Here at UUCA I am happy to say that I have been welcomed with open arms. I was lucky to inherit an already fine music program and to walk into an enthusiastic, lively congregation that, at least so far, has approached new music with a smile.

We have a wealth of musical and theatrical talent in this congregation. Our “Calling All Artists” message yielded nearly 40 responses of musicians and artists in our midst not including any of our over 40 choir members. I’ve learned that people at UUCA really enjoy when their fellow members share their talents with the congregation. If you are interested in being a part of the music program here, please do let me know.

Our newly named Phoenix Choir has grown both musically and numerically over the past few months. They have risen to the occasion, performing some very challenging music with confidence and a magnificent sound. Contact me at dmilton@uuca.org if you would like to join our ranks and enhance our worship services at UUCA.

On to another subject:

To clap, or not to clap: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler during worship to bring
Together our hands in outrageous grandeur,
Or to sit tranquil in reverent silence
And by refraining praise them?

The question of clapping during worship has been raised numerous times since my arrival and surely before that. While talking with a member last Sunday he said, “Clapping after a piece of music is just like jumping up to do the dishes after Thanksgiving dinner. You need to wait a while and let it all sink in.” On this point, I agree; silence after music can be wonderfully meditative. On the other hand, I don’t want anyone to feel like they are sitting on their hands after a vivacious, grandiose piece of music that begs for clapping. For now, please follow our ministers and myself when it comes to clapping. As I said on a recent Sunday morning, we won’t lead astray.

I thank you all again for my warm welcome and your continued kindness. I look forward to sharing worship with you for a very long time.

My best wishes,
Donald Milton III, Director of Music