This Sunday’s Music

Music Notes – October 21, 2018

“Sanctuary” is a widely successful Christian song composed by Randy Scruggs (son of celebrated country singer Earl Scruggs), with lyrics by John Thompson. The tune “Adiemus” by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins may be familiar to some from its use in a Delta Air Lines television commercial. The original commercial recording of the song, which suggests … Continued

Music Notes – October 14, 2018

About This Morning’s Music: We welcome the Chicago Children’s Choir of Rogers Park, directed by Elizabeth Van Schoohoven and accompanied by Justin Bowse. Born and raised in Chicago and a proud alumna of the Chicago Children’s Choir, Elisabeth Van Schoonhoven is currently the conductor of the Rogers Park Neighborhood Choir and various in-school programs of the … Continued

Music Notes – October 7, 2018

UU composer Elizabeth Alexander based her composition “Do Not Leave Your Cares at the Door” on a call to worship written by Rev. Norman V. Naylor. Oakland, California-based composer and conductor Melanie DeMore, who led a singing workshop this past winter at Unity Temple (Oak Park), published her composition “One Foot/Lead with Love” through Justice … Continued

Music Notes – September 30, 2018

Elizabeth Alexander’s “Go Out!” is a contemporary setting of words of the early American minister John Murray 1741–1815), who believed that “salvation did not hinge on rigid adherence to religious law” but rather was “granted to all through the grace of God. This notion of radical religious tolerance, called universalism, made Murray and his like-minded … Continued

Music Notes – September 23, 2018

Arvo Pärt’s Variations for the Healing of Arinuschka (1977) is an example of the composer’s tintinnabuli style (for another, see our Music Notes – September 9) and is the only such piece that changes character and key halfway through, moving from a spare and sad sound to a joyful and brighter (A major) conclusion. The spiritual “Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ … Continued

Music Notes – September 16, 2018

Some of our music this morning, including the hymns, was selected with the Jewish High Holy Days—the Days of Awe—in mind: The introit, “Return Again,” was composed by Shlomo Carlebach (1925–94), known to his followers as the “Singing Rabbi.” The song invites us to enter into another year of worship and fellowship in our church … Continued

Music Notes – September 9, 2018

Several of our music selections that reference “water” come from early American Protestantism. Our introit, the song “Shall We Gather at the River,” was composed in 1864 by the American Baptist minister and hymnist Robert Lowry; the song is familiar to many choral music lovers in Aaron Copland’s arrangement in the 1952 collection Old American Songs. … Continued

Music Notes – September 2, 2018

About the prelude: North Carolina native Joseph M. Martin is a pianist and composer of sacred and secular instrumental and choral works. Of his “On the Blue Ridge” he writes, “North Carolina will always be my ‘home.’ . . . The mountains appear blue-gray, half covered by mist and shrouded in quiet mystery. They echo … Continued

Music Notes – August 26, 2018

Cantos for the End of Summer is a suite of three piano pieces that composer Gwyneth Walker calls “character studies” reflecting various aspects of her compositional style and personality. The three are serving as our prelude, offertory, and interlude, respectively. Walker’s notes on the pieces: “Prelude” represents an Italian melodic “flourish.” [Walker is of Italian ancestry … Continued

Music Notes – August 19, 2018

August 19, 2018 Service “Songwriter, spiritual feminist, and social activist” Carolyn McDade, composer of our opening hymn “Come, Sing a Song with Me,” is a “lover of language and sound … committed to the power of the human voice singing and speaking truth to move society to just and liberating transformation.” Two other compositions of … Continued