Live Oak Choir
The Live Oak Choir is made up of dedicated church members and friends, and generally sings two Sundays per month, with rehearsals taking place on Wednesday nights from 7:30 to 9:00 in the Sauber Music Building. Choir has been as small as 8 people, and as large as 25 through the years. When we have more, we have learned large, challenging works and presented them on Choir Sundays each spring. When we are smaller, we sing the music we are capable of doing well. Our goal is to become unified and absorbed in the task of connecting to the listener, “to touch the full range of human emotions”, to quote Rebecca Parker and John Buehrens. It might sound grandiose, but when it happens it feels wonderful.
What skill level is required? Most choir members know how to read music, or they have had some introduction to it as a child or youth. “Noteworthy Composer” is a computer program that plays recordings of the vocal parts as the notes and lyrics are viewed. I type the more difficult pieces in using this program, which enables people who depend more upon their “ear” than reading, to learn the music at home. All recordings and schedules are available online to choir members. I also enjoy helping people one on one.
Is there an age limit? I don’t regard choir as a group limited to adults, but we do meet after work, from 7:30-9:00 PM. As most people do not care to have young children out that late, we do not have child care. However, we have had babies and young children in the choir room with us during rehearsal. It can be a nice way to give them some live music exposure!
What is the yearly schedule? Late August to May is the typical season. Choir does not meet during the summer months.
Anyone who would like to join is advised to contact Rebecca Maze: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enhancing the Service through Choral Music…
Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Choir is led by Music Director Rebecca Maze. Under her direction, the choir practices each week during the choir year to perform before the congregation. The members of Choir have a variety of musical backgrounds, ranging from no prior experience to music majors and long-time performers. We encourage anyone who loves to sing to come join us!
The choir sings diverse styles of music that includes classical, contemporary lyrical and modern, ethnic, jazz, and pop. We use many songs written by Unitarian composers. We enjoy collaborating with other musicians. In previous performances, we have sung with individual instrumentalists such as flute, violin, cello, clarinet, and oboe.
The choir meets every Wednesday evening from late August to May. The choir sings on the second and fourth service each month, in addition to holidays and special services. There are sporadic re-groupings for some services during the summer, but not with all the members as a whole. On Sundays when the choir sings, they meet in the sanctuary before the service to rehearse. The choir always sings on Christmas Eve, and we also open it to family members and friends who sing. There is an extra rehearsal before the service.
One Sunday in the spring, the choir is responsible for the entire service, both music and message. This has been the practice for at least twenty years. The spoken portion is generally written and read by the choir director or by the choir members, alternating with 6 or 7 musical pieces.
“I was surprised to learn that I didn’t have to join the church in order to sing in the choir. The commitment to participate was what I needed to shorten the gap between my intention to start going to services and my ability to actually show up here, and it has led to me becoming a member of the congregation. I was pretty sure it would be good for me, but I didn’t expect it to be so much fun!”
“I felt a need to connect with other people. Music has a way of soothing the soul in a way nothing else can. Becoming a part of the choir is what made me stay active in the church, no matter what stresses were in my life.”
“I hadn’t sung in choirs in years, and wanted to get back into choral singing. The people and the music we make keeps me here.”
“I wanted to sing in a place where I was not judged by my beliefs (or lack thereof). I stayed because the people who take part in choir are like family, and we come to rely on each other.”
“I wanted a place to belong.”