In remembrance of our recent musical programmes, evidenced by our Reformation concert last year and our observance on April 4th of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, these times have provided our chorus with plenty of inspiration to lift up and honor these occasions through music. The theme for today's music is almost the same as my first Bay Area concert 22 years ago-----Hallowe'en. This time however, I am much more informed and grounded, thanks to the many observances of Dia de los Muertos witnessed in our communities and the recent and worldwide influence of the movie Coco. For me, our programme has become an opportunity to publicly and demonstratively honor loved ones who have passed.
This occasion has also provided an opportunity to take another look at Mozart's unfinished Requiem. There are many reasons to make use of a requiem setting in a concert but for today's I thought it timely to feature a completion of Mozart's by one (Robert D. Levin) who can lay claim to a piece of Mozart's spirit by finishing his masterwork AND receive a passing grade for it---that is, it could indeed pass as Mozart's. My primary hope is that you can find moments in our music today to summon the good spirits around you, and may you, those spirits, the spirit of Mozart and the spirits of all loved ones enjoy today's ofrendas/offerings.
Dr. Mark Sumner, Music Director, conductor
Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern, Senior Minister
Shari Halliday-Quan, Ministerial Intern
Bill Ganz, piano
Gilead Wurman, soloist
Kate Offer, soprano
Ariel Andrew, mezzo soprano
Seth Arnopole, tenor
Asher Davison, bass
Mark Abdilla, guitar
First Unitarian Universalist Chorus
Guest singers from UC Alumni Chorus, Berkeley
UC Men's and Women's Chorales, Berkeley
Jonathan Silk, Podcasting, OOS, Sound
It is a privilege to present the rarely performed, Pulitzer Prize nominated oratorio Scenes from the Life of a Martyr composed by the esteemed African American female composer and educator Undine Smith Moore. Last performed by the Oakland Symphony and Chorus in 1986 with the composer in attendance, the work reflects on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. who will have passed 50 years and 4 days prior to our performance. Bay Area luminary Noah Griffin will narrate and soloists, Michele Kennedy , Crystal Philippi and Alex Taite will be accompanied by a full orchestra and chorus numbering 150 strong.
Dr. Mark Sumner, Music Director
Rev. Alyson Jacks, Associate Minister
Reiko Oda Lane, Organ
Noah Griffin, Narrator
Michele Kennedy, Soprano
Crystal Philippi, Soprano
Alex Taite, Tenor
Jonathan Silk, OOS, Sound, Podcasting
As we celebrate our Noehren Organ's 50 years of inspiring service to the congregation, and the completion of the organ renovation in 2017, church organist Reiko Oda Lane presented a Re-dedication Concert as a gesture of appreciation on Sunday, Jan. 28.
Reiko is deeply indebted to our faithful UUSF Community for youre unswerving support and depth of commitment to continue upholding our great musical tradition. The organ is now fully equipped with 21st century state-of-the-art organ technology.
We now possess a proud instrument of great significance, not only in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also among Noehren Organ lovers and followers around the world.
Big Music Sunday: 500 Years Since Reformation Began!
We've all found ourselves lost in the state of limbo at some point in our lives, caught between its borders of the known and the unknown, unsure which way to go or where to turn. When you are stuck in limbo, your resilience is compromised, limiting your capacity to act. How do you resist the abyss and move forward? Keep calm, no small thing; listen for that still voice within. Gather your wits and gather your tools, make a map. Watch for signs of hope and promise, follow them. And when borders seem insurmountable, dangerous even, build a circle of love with those around you, feel its collective power to withstand the forces pressing down. And trust that your faith will lead you through.
Bring your music loving friends! Our “Big Music Sunday” this year features works by J.S. Bach, centered on Cantata 79, his “Reformation Cantata” --a fitting prelude to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, 1517 to 2017. The cantata includes a chorale, “Nun danket alle Gott,” praising, in the face of enduring ills, the “wondrous things” already done to rectify many ancient wrongs. On the day after International Human Rights Day, we both celebrate and recommit ourselves – with the Human Rights Working Group bringing forth our UUSF “Black Lives Matter” banner.
Dr. Buehrens, homilist
Dr. Mark Sumner directing the UUSF Choir and Soloists
and the Jubilate Instrumental Ensemble
and Reiko Oda Lane at the organ keyboard.
Jonathan Silk, OOS, Sound, Worship Archives/Podcast
As part of the service at First Unitarian Universalist Church in SF, many members of the UC Alumni Chorus will join the Unitarian
Directed by Mark Sumner
Includes Jubilate/Magnificat Orchestra, David Wilson, conductor.
Features an all Johann Sebastian Bach programme: Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major, BWV 1066 Ouverture; Heute noch lieber Vater from The Coffee Cantata, BWV 211; Gott der Herr und Sonn und Schild, Cantata No. 79 and Immortal Bach arranged by Knut Nystedt
Our Noehren organ is now 50 years old, and is in need of repairs. There is a rumor up in the choir loft that Reiko always travels with a roll of Duct tape and 50 feet of baling wire, and indeed, she does manage to keep the organ sounding wonderful. The coming repairs (scheduled for this spring and summer) will restore the organ’s impressive sound qualities and beauty, and Reiko will finally retire her repair kit! The restoration is being done by the same man who built the organ a half-century ago. It won’t be cheap: the funds to restore the organ are pre-approved, but the hope is that the cost of the restoration will be paid out of funds raised in a potential capital campaign. This concert is a visual and auditory opportunity to reflect on the benefits of the campaign: we have a million-dollar instrument gracing our sanctuary. (click here to view program)