Music at First Parish


To provide a rich and varied music program that draws upon the musical talents of this congregation. We recognize that music shares a vital role in our worship experience. Our goal is to offer music – both choral and instrumental – that will bring deeper meaning to our services and serve as a time of musical meditation.

We respectfully strive to include music of many different religious and cultural backgrounds with an objective of using inclusive texts. As Unitarian Universalists, we are able to draw upon the whole spectrum of choral repertoire – both sacred and secular to find music to inspire and center and reflect.

First Parish Choir

All interested singers are invited to join the Choir. We are always happy to welcome new members, and always have a combination of singers at many different skill levels. Although we work hard at our rehearsals, we also incorporate time to socialize and deepen our friendships.

Once each church year, the Choir offers a Music Sunday. Either a major choral work or a thematic set of pieces is performed, often with a chamber musical ensemble. These services are very carefully planned to be presented as worship services.

We rehearse on Thursday evenings from 7:30 – 9:15 and on Sunday mornings at 9:00. When preparing for Music Sundays, we often have sectional rehearsals following the Sunday morning worship service at 11:30.

For more information, click here.

Instrumental Musicians

There are numerous opportunities for instrumental musicians to share their talents at First Parish – Sunday Services, Village (Intergenerational) Worship and Summer Services. Don’t hide your light – please let us know how you would like to participate! We heartily welcome musicians from all musical genres.

About Our Music Director

Reverend Debra Morris-Bennett joined First Parish as our Music Director and Organist in 1989. She received her Master’s degree in Organ from the New England Conservatory of Music. In 2018 she was ordained at First Parish and became our Minister of Music.

First Parish Instruments

We are blessed to have two wonderful instruments in our sanctuary. First, there is the wonderful 1895 Cole & Woodberry organ. The instrument is remarkable for its voicing and tonal balance in our worship space and also for its versatility for a small organ. During the summer of 2004, the third and final phase of its restoration was completed and the instrument was celebrated and rededicated the Fall of 2004 – looking ahead to the next 100 years!

Also in the sanctuary is a Sohmer grand piano which is used extensively to accompany both the choir and guest instrumentalists.

Becoming Involved

There are many ways to become involved in the musical life at First Parish – through singing with the Choir, playing for our services, providing music for the Music Director’s Sunday’s off, or providing music for our Summer Services. Please see Debra (or any member of the Choir) at any time if you are interested in participating in the music program. Debra can also be contacted via e-mail at .