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MUSIC SUNDAY — Raising Our Voices

Musical group singing carved on clay, art deco

Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading and First Parish of Sudbury

Combined Choirs under the direction of

Mary Cunningham, UUCR Choir Director & Debra Morris-Bennett, First Parish Music Director

We often think of how important music is to us when we face difficult times either personally, nationally or globally.  The healing power of music is universal.  However, this morning we are going to shift gears and focus on how music has and can be used to inspire us, to provoke our thoughts and to urge us to take action for positive change in our world.  The combined choirs will be performing works by Brian Tate, Gwyneth Walker and Elizabeth Alexander.  One of the featured will be singing that is particularly relevant to our current political climate is Alexander’s “Fighting Over What We Believe”.

In addition to the choral pieces, it seemed only natural to include “We Shall Overcome”, the protest song that became a key anthem of the Civil Rights Movement, as the opening hymn.  Since its rise to prominence, the song has been used in a variety of protests worldwide. The Offering and second Hymn are by contemporary composers Joyce Poley (UU) and Holly Near.  No service with music calling us to take action would be complete without including music of legendary singer songwriter and political activist Pete Seeger. So it seemed particularly fitting to close our service of music with the song “If I Had A Hammer” written by Seeger and Lee Hays in 1949.

The choir has chosen the Sudbury – Wayland – Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable for the Share the Plate.   http://www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org/

The Roundtable is a community based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting safe and healthy relationships, raising public awareness about abusive and controlling behaviors whether exhibited through bullying, teen dating violence, domestic violence, or elder abuse, and ending relationship violence in all its forms. We pursue these goals by educating our communities, supporting agencies that provide services to victims of abuse, networking with other concerned community groups, and mobilizing community leaders.