My colleague from First Parish in Concord, Elizabeth Norton, wrote this recently: “I…write with the conviction that the music ministry to which I have been called opens a path to move through these difficult times in solidarity with those who are most vulnerable. Music provides a medium to break our silence, to express our hopes, our fears, our vision for a more just and equitable world. It is a pathway to the heart. Singing together changes our discourse.”

One could add that making music – all kinds of music – brings us to a better place, physically and mentally. Anita Collins in a TedEd video, calls making music “the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.” Graham Welch, a professor at the University of London, writes, “Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.”

So…change the world, get smarter, feel better – what’s not to love? Here are some ways to make music at FUUSN:

• Sanctuary Choir – open to all, we rehearse on Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00 pm in the Chapel. No experience necessary. We help to lead worship almost every Sunday.

• FUUSN’s Intergenerational Chamber Orchestra – children and adults learning beautiful music together. This fall FIGCO will rehearse 11:45 -1:00 pm on Nov 26, Dec 3 and Dec 10 and will play in the service on Dec. 17.

• The BAND, a fearless group willing to play pretty much anything at any time. They play in our services throughout the year and generally rehearse on Sunday mornings at 8.30.

• Music Sunday Choir – open to all, sings twice a year (Dec 10, 2017 and March 25, 2018)

• Flute Choir – they play all styles of music, in 4-6 services/year. Rehearsals are generally on Sundays at 9am in the Chapel.

• Other ad hoc ensembles – chamber music groups, low- and high-voice choirs, Family Choir, Instant Choir, etc.

Questions? Email me at Hope to see you in rehearsals this year!                                                                                       –Anne Watson Born