The long tradition of an outstanding Music Program at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley continues under the leadership of Dr. Bryan Baker, Director of Music; and Michèle Voillequé, Youth and Children’s Choir Director, and Dr. Ronald Swedlund, principal organist. Groups in the Music Program are the Chancel Choir (Luminescence), the Youth & Children’s Choir, the Folk Ensemble, Gamelan Ensemble and the Eclectic Songsters.
The Music Program sponsors a series of Music Events throughout the church year. Choral, vocal and instrumental concerts are supported by outstanding facilities at UUCB. The church’s extraordinary wealth of keyboard instruments includes two first-rate pianos, a nine-foot Yamaha concert grand and a Chickering baby grand, a fine harpsichord, and a magnificent Aeolian Skinner organ. The sound of these instruments, and all music, is enriched by the excellent acoustics of the 450-seat sanctuary. The Social Hall has a small stage where plays, musicals and ala-carte performances are often held, and the Atrium has a lively sound for more intimate gatherings.
Luminescence, the 45-voice Chancel Choir, sings a varied and ambitious repertoire in services, meeting Thursday nights and most Sunday mornings from September through May. Each December we host a Messiah Sing-Along, and each year we present several musicals and concerts.
Daniel Schmidt, director
Meets Thursdays, from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
$10 per class. All are welcome at anytime.
Gamelan is a pitched-percussion musical ensemble originating in Java and Bali. It is easy to learn for non-musicians. The experience of playing gamelan is very communal, with all players playing similar parts. The repertoire used at UUCB is drawn from Java, and includes western compositions of similar nature. The music has a meditative quality for all to enjoy.
Daniel has been teaching gamelan for 30 years. A composer and musical instrument builder, he teaches at Mills College and Aurora School. His compositions are often used by the Gamelan Ensemble. He is presently composer in residence at UUCB.
Daniel teaches gamelan as an accessible art form, believing that it is the perfect music for beginners. There is also lots of challenge for people with a musical background. Anyone interested may drop in on Thursdays and try it out. For more information, call Daniel at 510-334-1334.
Let your child experience the joy of music!
The UUCB Youth and Children's Choir is led by Michèle Voillequé and is open to all, ages 5 ½ and up. Prior musical experience is not required.
The Choir regularly participates in the 11:00 a.m. Sunday worship services and performs at other church music events.
Musical goals for the singers include:
- To make a beautiful vocal sound naturally
- To be prepared and relaxed performers
- To develop round- and part-singing ability
- To achieve excellence, mutual respect and kindness in our music-making.
Choir members are expected to be on time, display a positive attitude, show respect for themselves and others, take good care of their music, stole and/or costume, and attend every rehearsal, every performance and every retreat as their health allows. Helping to lead worship services is an important responsibility. Choir members and their families are willing to make the choir a priority in their lives.
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