Our angelic children singing in the 2015 Christmas Pageant
Our angelic children singing in the 2015 Christmas Pageant

012Bill, Susan and Lawrence

Ale Brider-choir 2015


In any Live Oak service, there is going to be a variety of music.  It may be our choir, our beloved Steinway, our house band, our children, or other church musicians in any number of configurations.  It could be guest guitar players singing familiar tunes, a Klezmer group, a Classical Indian trio, soloists from UT, a Celtic duo, World Music, the possibilities are literally endless in this music-loving city. We value both the old faithful and the newly created songs.   Each service, we strive to carry the unique message of each sermon, through the power of music, to as many hearts as we can, in any way we can. Does this appeal to you? Are you interested in being part of our music making? We want to hear from you.

The Live Oak Choir is made up of dedicated church members and friends, and we generally sing two Sundays per month, with rehearsals taking place on Wednesday nights.  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.

Most choir members know how to read music, or they have had some introduction to it as a child or youth. We use a computer program that plays recordings of the vocal parts as the notes are viewed.  It enables people who depend more on their ear to learn the music at home.  I also enjoy helping people one on one.  I don’t regard choir as limited to adults, but we do meet after work, from 7:30-9:00PM.  As most people do not care to have young children out that late, we do not have child care.  We have had babies in choir, if they can tolerate it!  It is a nice way to give them some live music exposure.

We like to see and hear kids and youth making music in our services, very much!  Do you have any who would like to lead a hymn with me, sing a song alone or with others, or play their instruments? Please encourage them, and talk to me.  They add so much joy to the service.  And they get so much out of it as well.

We have one drum circle on the 4th week of the month, between the services.  Any age is welcome, bring a drum or borrow one of ours.  It is SASSY (social action) Sunday for the kids, so we meet after they have started that week’s endeavor.

If you don’t see something you would like to do musically here, send me an email please, and I will try to help.

I am thankful for the many volunteer musicians who have stuck with choir over the years, and for the band members who work so hard at producing their own Sunday services.  All of you are my heroes. You all make the services complete; we couldn’t do it without you.


Rebecca Maze, Music Director                       music@liveoakuu.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, oboe, and guitar.


The choir meets every Wednesday evening from late August to May. They usually sing for three services per month. There are sporadic re-groupings for special 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.

Choir Sunday…

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 a decade and a half. The spoken portion is generally written by the choir director, and read by members of the choir, alternating with 6 or 7 musical pieces. This year is an exception, however, as the Flower Communion will take place as part of the service, and we will be collaborating with Rev. Joanna, who will be delivering the sermon.  The date is June 5.

Those First Few Notes…

“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.”