Musical Musings 3-31: Songs of hope and light with Mike, our Chancel Choir, and guest flautist Linda Miller

This Thursday, March 28th – free classical guitar concert in our sanctuary!

Come join us on Thursday, March 28th at 7:00 p.m. for a free classical guitar performance by Suvan Agarwal, an award-winning graduate student at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Mr. Agarwal will be performing works of Bach and Schumann. More information is available at this link – I hope to see you there!


Music Notes – Sunday, March 31st:   

This week’s musicians are UUCC Music Director Mike Carney, Linda Miller, and The Chancel Choir


About our guest musician:

Linda Miller earned both BM and MM from the U of Michigan in music education and flute performance. Her Dalcroze Eurhythmics is from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has performed with the Woodycock Duo (flute/harp), Ingersoll Trio (flutes/clarinet) and has backed up Seona McDowell (Australian folk singer.) Currently much of her performing is with Erie Waters (flute choir) and championing music of the 21st century written by Cleveland composers. Linda maintains a private studio teaching piano and flute to students aged 6 74!



Opening Hymn: #1000 Morning Has Come – Shelton   

Jason Shelton is an award-winning composer, arranger, conductor, song and worship leader, workshop presenter, and coach. He served as the Associate Minister for Music at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, Tennessee from 1998-2017, and is now engaged in a music ministry at-large, focused on serving the musical resource needs of UU (and other liberal) congregations around the country (from “Morning Has Come” (#1000) is one of many contributions Rev. Shelton made to our Singing the Journey hymnbook. In the words of the composer, “This song was composed for and debuted at a morning worship service during a 2001 UU musicians’ conference at the Mountain in Highlands, NC. As the story goes, it had been rainy and gray all week long, but when the time came to debut this song, the sun came out and shone gloriously through the chapel windows. Ah, the power of music!”


Centering Music: La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair) – Debussy

French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918) is considered to be the father of musical Impressionism, although Debussy himself disliked the idea of being categorized as a composer. Throughout his career, Debussy wrote music for a wide variety of performing forces, and his nontraditional use of harmony played a vital role in ushering in a new era of music at the turn of the 20th century. Debussy wrote “La fille aux cheveux de lin” in January of 1910 as part of his first book of Préludes for solo piano. “La fille aux cheveux de lin” is one of Debussy’s best-known pieces and has been arranged for various performing forces and recorded by hundreds of artists.


Offertory Music: Light of a Clear Blue Morning – Parton, arr. Johnson

“Light of a Clear Blue Morning” was originally written by eleven-time Grammy Award winner and country music icon Dolly Parton (b. 1946) for her 1977 album New Harvest…First Gathering. In several interviews, Parton has said that the song and its message about perseverance in the face of troubled times was born out of the pain that came from parting ways with her longtime business partner and musical collaborator Porter Waggoner. The arrangement you’re hearing today was written in 2010 by Craig Hella Johnson (b. 1962) for Johnson’s award-winning choral ensemble Conspirare.


Closing Hymn: #1008 When Our Heart Is in a Holy Place – Poley  

#1008 in our Singing the Journey hymnbook, “When Our Heart Is in a Holy Place” was written in 1996 by UU musician and composer Joyce Poley (b. 1941). This song “invites us to see ourselves in others. As we come to understand that all people have wisdom to share and stories to tell—regardless of culture, race, social status, or faith—we begin to realize how important our commonalities are, and how interwoven our lives. When we open ourselves to this sacred idea, then ‘our heart is in a holy place’.” (from


Postlude: The Storm Is Passing Over – Tindley, arr. Baker

The son of a slave, the Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933) was a Methodist minister and well-known writer of gospel hymns. He famously revived a struggling Philadelphia congregation, whose membership rolls swelled from just over 100 to more than 10,000 under his leadership. Composed in 1905, “The Storm Is Passing Over” is among Dr. Tindley’s most memorable compositions, and has been published in several hymnals. The arrangement for mixed voices and piano you are hearing today was written by Barbara W. Baker in 1996. 

                                                                                          -Mike Carney, UUCC Music Director