Hello UUCC members and friends,
I hope you are all staying well, safe, and warm as we approach a full year of worshipping remotely. I am missing the community and companionship that comes with being together, and I hope it will not be much longer before we can be a congregation again in the literal sense of the word. Many thanks to Karin Tooley, Aaron Burkle, our Chancel Choir and Women’s Ensemble, and everyone else who has played a part in providing music for our services over the past few weeks. Our featured musicians during March will include The YoUUth Choir, The Chancel Choir, Karin, and guest harpist Jody Guinn, among others.
In last month’s article, I invited all of you to engage in the practice of active listening and gave a few suggestions for music that you might start with. Thank you to everyone who has responded, and I hope you will continue active listening as a regular mental/spiritual practice. I thought about providing some more song suggestions in this article, but I think I’d rather have you explore on your own. As I said last month, the point is not what you’re listening to, but how you are listening. Literally any kind of music is appropriate for active listening –loud or soft, fast or slow, an old favorite or something brand-new. The point is to ‘turn off’ the outside world for a few minutes and treat listening to music as a fully immersive experience. I encourage all of you to share your experiences with me and with one another and I look forward to hearing about what you listened to and how you experienced the music.
Speaking of the transformative power of music, I also want to let you know about the spring (virtual) season being presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Their program, titled “Songs of Struggle and Hope”, is a celebration of music by artists of color and an exploration of some of the ways that music changed the world. Quoting from their website, “The season highlights the incredible artistic, social, and civil liberties made possible by jazz pioneers. Performances will feature celebrations of Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, and John Coltrane, as well as world premiere collaborations with acclaimed activist Bryan Stevenson.” If you’d like to learn more or experience some of the performances, just go to https://jazzatlincolncenter.squarespace.com/virtual-season .
I hope you all have a healthy and happy March and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Music Director, UU Congregation of Cleveland