The ministry of music is
a vital part of our church.
is at the heart of worship services at UCUCC. It's a central vehicle of
prayer and praise. On a weekly basis, the choir and organ support the
congregation in hymns and responses. Through the anthems and offertories,
music enhances the message of the day with the particular power of song.
In addition to the chancel choir, several musical groups meet on a project
basis to present or accompany music in the church. Those groups are:
World Drumming Group:
hand drumming -
no experience required
currently serves an accompanying role - ringing experience helpful
Getting Serious Band:
country/folk - singing/playing facility helpful
experience required; often intergenerational from high school up
UCUCC is blessed with a depth of musical talent within the congregation
and larger community. Members of the congregation frequently appear as
soloists or in small groups.
Performing arts have enhanced many worship services at UCUCC. We've included
sign language, mime, liturgical dance and drama to individual services and
are hoping to invite more opportunities on a regular basis.
To express your interest in the above or similar opportunities, please
contact Heidi Blythe, music director,
by email or by phone at
The choir presently consists of 65+ dedicated singers. Choir members are not
required to audition; a conference with the conductor is all that is
required. The choir season begins in September with a weekend retreat and
continues to the end of June. The choir meets once a week on Thursday night
and sings an average of three Sundays per month.
For the individual choir member, the language of music is often as powerful
as the word, and provides a unique worship experience. As we study and sing
the vast repertoire of sacred choral music--from Bach to Brubeck, from New
Zealand to South America, from our own Christian roots to communion with
others of different traditions--we learn to understand and appreciate the
various ways that believers in times past and present have expressed their
Information About the Choir
Youth and Families
Music opportunities are available throughout the church year for children,
youth and their families. The Christmas Pageant (Christmas Eve) and Youth
Service (around Pentecost) are the most visible group opportunities. During
the liturgical year, children and youth present music during worship in
solos and small groups. In the 2008-2009 year alone, twenty youth
participated in meaningful aspects of church music-making.
music: Steve Hunt
composers: Steve Hunt, Bob Perkins, Paul Swenson
Blythe, Music Director
Blythe brings to UCUCC a rich and varied musical experience. At Smith
College, where she was named a First Group Scholar, Heidi studied organ with
Grant Moss and voice with Jane Bryden. She received her Masters degree from
the University of Michigan in Choral Music Education and was selected for
the first residency program in World Performance Studies.
The comprehensive masters degree spanned a number of different disciplines,
including conducting, pedagogy, theory, performance and psychology. While at
Michigan, Heidi studied voice with John Gillas and John Charles Pierce, and
West African drumming and pedagogy with Ghanaian master drummer Antoinette
Kudoto. Along with her UM classmates and colleagues, Heidi appears on the
Classical GRAMMY-winning recording, “Songs of Innocence and Experience”.
to learn more about her.
Heidi's love of working in community and educational arts contexts fuels her
work at UCUCC. She is grateful to be involved with such a vibrant arts
program at UCUCC!
David Nichols, Church Organist
watchword is versatility. His first teacher, a graduate of Boston
Conservatory, started him at age five on the usual study of Bach, Beethoven,
and the other great classical composers. By the end of high school, he was
playing styles from classical to musical theater to jazz and rock.
Meanwhile, he was playing piano and organ at church and singing in the choir
with directors and organists including B. R. Henson and Emmet Smith, both
from the faculty of Texas Christian University. He has studied organ with
Dr. Linda Raney, a graduate of Indiana University, and has attended
workshops with other prominent organists.
Along the way, David has added gospel and other
contemporary styles to his repertoire. Drawing on this varied background, he
has developed his own ways to highlight the progression of ideas in hymns.
This helps to keep the experience of singing them fresh and brings out the
meaning of the words.
As David Cherwien says, the goal is to, "Let the people
David is a member of the American Guild of Organists,
serving on the board of the Seattle chapter, and of Mu Phi Epsilon
International Music Fraternity.