PUUC is in the heart of the Monadnock Region, an area rich in musical talent. It is therefore not surprising that music is an integral part of life at PUUC, on Sunday and during the rest of the week.
Music is woven throughout the Sunday service, as we sing the children to class, celebrate the spirit of life, and dedicate ourselves to social justice. Our Music Director, Marybeth Hallinan, ably and energetically directs the choir, and works closely with the minister to find music that will support the theme of each Sunday’s service. Marybeth also accompanies the choir on piano, plays select hymns on the organ, and adds warmth, joy, creativity, and inclusion to the Sunday music program, supporting singers and instrumentalists alike. In addition, there are often guest musicians - many of them from within the congregation – who provide music for preludes, postludes, offerings, and special musical interludes. All are welcome to participate in the music programming here at PUUC.
The Church also provides a venue for other musical groups. It serves as the rehearsal and performance home of the Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs, directed by Esther Rhoades, and founded by Maria Belva. It is also the rehearsal space for Two Rivers Community Choir, founded by our Music Director, Marybeth Hallinan.
How Can YOU Be Involved?
The choir, alive and expanding, sings at two services each month and at special services as well. It has a varied repertoire, carefully selected to fit both the service themes and the vocal capabilities of the group. Our choir is always open to new singers; no previous choral experience is necessary. Just a desire to arrive at 8:45 AM Sunday morning to sing and stretch, have fun meeting other early morning singers, while enjoying the process of personal discovery and UU principles explored through song! We rehearse weekly, and sing in church every other Sunday.
Across the church year, there will be opportunities to be a part of small ensembles, and to participate in Music Sunday services without a full commitment to weekly choir rehearsals.
Your voice is welcome, and you are encouraged to be a part as it feels best for you!
Vespers (Currently on-line)
Vespers is our mid-week contemplative service, featuring original chants written by our music director, and spoken word written by Christopher DiLoreto, current chair of PUUC's Worship Committee.
This 30 - minute service is a time to reset your nervous system, ground into your body, and experience inspirational words and chanting together.
Singing is optional, though encouraged. Wear comfortable, breathable clothing, bring water.
See videos of our past Vespers services here.
On the third Friday of each month, Kirtan, led by Anahata, occurs. Kirtan is a musical part of Kundalini Yoga involving the chanting of Hindu script. This is an open activity and everyone is welcome. It opens our church to people of multiple faiths and offers musical healing for many who come.
The Kirtan gatherings accept donations, which are then contributed to the Church.
Each fourth Friday, Mary Seaver, who created this opportunity for the many musicians of our church to play chamber music, socialize, and get to know each other, hosts the Musical Soirée. It is free and open to all area musicians who can read music, and is an opportunity to make music and expand musical experience.
Spring Interfaith Music Festival
PUUC has become the host for an annual interfaith music festival, (mid-March) organized by the Monadnock Interfaith Council. Choirs from around the area gather to share specific music which represents their specific faith traditions. This free event brings upwards of 60 singers together for an evening of great joy, camaraderie, soul, and spirit.
Winter Solstice Singing Ritual
Begun in December of 2017, Music Director Marybeth Hallinan launched a community wide singing event which brought together 30 + singers from the greater community, gathered
alongside nearly 200 audience members to welcome the return of the light. This ritual is beautiful and interactive; all are welcome! We rehearse monthly from September – November, then weekly in December. Inquire here to learn more. All are welcome to join. Contact Music Director for more info.
If you’d like to join us as a guest musician, reach out to our Music Director here.
Singing During Covid-19
As you can imagine, singing has completely changed due to Covid-19. All in-person singing events are canceled, and unfortunately, the church building remains closed. Our church services have moved online, as have Vespers and our Solstice Event. Keep an eye on our church newsletter , or reach out to Marybeth to be informed of opportunities to join in online singing.