UUCB Choir

UUCB Choir With a rich history of music-making, the UU Church of Buffalo's Choir can be heard every Sunday morning, and in special concerts throughout the year.

Operating as usual


Check out these singers from the cast of The Second Sight - a new opera, coming to UUCB this month!

Ready for some live music? Mark your calendars for this lecture-recital on June 12 from 10:30a.m. to 12p.m. at Tacoma Pe...

Ready for some live music? Mark your calendars for this lecture-recital on June 12 from 10:30a.m. to 12p.m. at Tacoma Performing Arts Center!

The Second Sight - a new opera is excited to announce a lecture-recital hosted by OperaBuffs Inside Opera Lecture Series featuring composer-performer Jessie Downs, with performances from and discussions about the connections between her new opera and the operatic canon.

The lecture-recital will be held on June 12 from 10:30a.m. to 12p.m. at Tacoma Performing Arts Center, 351 Tacoma Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14216 and is FREE of charge. There is free parking in the venue lot. The event is mobility-challenged accessible and open to the public. All are welcome.

(soon-to-be)Dr. Downs will be joined by pianist Jonathon Vogtle and members of the cast of The Second Sight - Claudia Brown (Freyaria) and Beth White (Water Spirit). Tickets for the opera premiere will be available for purchase, and donations to the production will be very gratefully accepted. We hope to see you there!

The Second Sight
The Second Sight

The Second Sight

at Unitarian Universalist Church in Elmwood


Church musicians are always sensitive to when we *Spring Ahead* - and that first rehearsal often feels even earlier than it should! This morning, as we worship together via Zoom [login info at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo page and website] please note that our service Prelude will start a little earlier than usual!
Tune in by 10:25 to hear an adapted musical preview from The Second Sight-an original opera by Jessie Downs. First heard during the UUCB Choir 2019 St. Cecilia service, Soprano Soloist and composer extraordinaire, Jessie Downs's setting of a scene from her forthcoming opera (and dissertation!) arranged for our own Sanctuary Steinway, performed by the inimitable Jonathan Vogtle.

Link in the comments for the track on Jessie's composition SoundCloud page!

John Clayton

John Clayton

Whitney Houston’s Star Spangled Banner
Notes from the arranger--Me

Thank you, Friends. I mean that. I’ve been hearing about the groundswell of supportive comments, acknowledging my work and uplifting me. It’s time that I chime in and share with you some background re how the SSB arrangement came to be.

A couple of months before the 1991 Super Bowl, Rickey Minor, my friend, fellow bassist and music director for Whitney Houston at the time, called me and said, “Hey, we’re going to do the national anthem at the Super Bowl. They’re giving us a symphony orchestra and we want you to do the arrangement.” It sounded exciting and fun, and I’d never done anything as widely viewed before. “Just 2 things—can you do it in 4/4 time instead of 3/4? Also, if you can set up some kind of groove in the orchestra percussion section.” I could do that.

The orchestra was in Tampa and there wasn’t enough in the budget to fly me from Los Angeles to witness and help at the rehearsal (Really? NFL? Not enough budget? Oh well). Rickey would go and be there for the rehearsal of my chart.

I waited all day to hear something. I had to go out that afternoon and when I came back, there was a message on my machine: “Uhm…Mr. Clayton, this is the Florida Symphony and we rehearsed your arrangement today. We have some, er…uhh…concerns. We’re actually considering using a more traditional arrangement of the piece. Could you please call us back?”
With eyes wide, I basically screamed “Noooooooooo!!!!!!”
I called Rickey.

“It’s cool. It sounds fine. They’re going to record it, I’ll work on them. Don’t worry.”
So, they did record it and all of the planets aligned and Whitney was amazing and, and, and…I grew up. Or, I was GROWN up by the experience.

When I called the record label, after hearing our version would be released as a single, I wanted to discuss my royalty. Since it was a song in the public domain, I had copyrighted my arrangement. The person I spoke to at the label said he was “planning” to give me a call (yeah. sure) because they wanted me to sign away my royalty. The label would be donating royalties to the Gulf War effort. I thanked him and let him know that I would prefer to choose how I would donate my money and could you just please send me a normal royalties contract? His reply, “We’re not going to do that. And what can you do? Sue me? So, sue me.”
I reiterate, this experience GREW me up. I contacted an entertainment lawyer who was recommended by a friend and film writer. In the end (and I’m really shortening the story here), I decided to give them my royalty (insert your loud, unison “WHAT???!!!”). To further explain, I was a young man in my 30’s with 2 small kids, just found a house we could afford, and was I putting food on the table, gig by gig. Going up against a major label?—They would have kept me in court forever, swatted me around like an insect and sucked every drop of blood from me. Goodbye house, car, perhaps sanity.
In the end, I was/am fine. I missed out on some nice money. So what? I found other opportunities for money. I found more and more chances to write, play and record. I’m over it. My family is amazing. My kids are grown, happy and making a difference in the world. I let it go. No animosity, a huge life lesson learned, an enormous business lesson learned as well, and I’m good.
That includes whatever Rickey Minor did or didn’t say in the TV interview/program. I actually haven’t seen the pre-game program that didn’t give me any props. Sure; if I would have heard them, I would enjoy the nod. Ha!—My ego likes the strokes! Positive energy is good and I’ll take it.

So, thank you for sticking up for me. I appreciate it more than you can know! With what I’ve been through lately, here’s another example of you having my back. I'm flattered and grateful.

Was it Toni Morrison—Maya Angelou?—someone succinctly said what I feel (and I’m paraphrasing)
“The people who need awards, they should have them.”
When I heard that, it humbled me up real quick.

You’re awesome. Thanks for the blessing of your friendship.

Legendary Musicians

Legendary Musicians

Onthe Ives day enjoy this masterpiece!

Charles Ives's 4th Symphony was given its World Premiere in 1965 by Leopold Stokowski and the American Symphony Orchestra. A few days later they made work's first recording and also played it in a televised studio performance, seen here, which was introduced by Stokowski and others, including co-conductors Jose Serebrier and David Katz, and John McClure, producer of the CBS recording.

Get the Leopold Stokowski - Complete Phase 4 Recordings [23 CD Box Set] here: https://amzn.to/3fNcRAX

Los Angeles Master Chorale

Los Angeles Master Chorale

Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director and Master Chorale soprano Elissa Johnston perform Morten Lauridsen's setting of "Sure On This Shining Night".

To enjoy more performances like this one, sign up for our email list: https://bit.ly/35sXwna

Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries

Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries

Announcing a new Online Learning discussion series: Choir-antine Conversations! Join hosts Camille Hatton and Sarah Jebian every Tuesday from August 18 to October 6 to talk with other music professionals about rehearsals in virtual spaces, audio mixing, video techniques for virtual choirs, and more. AUUMM members can access the link to these free sessions at auumm.org/free. Non-members are invited to participate as well and should contact [email protected] for further information.

Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries

Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries

I'm writing today on behalf of the Board of Trustees. We were deeply saddened to learn that AUUMM member Dr. Tony McDonald passed away from COVID-19 last night. He was diagnosed with the illness just 3 weeks ago. Tony joined AUUMM in 2010. He served as the Director of Music at the First UU Church of Columbus from 2007 until he retired last year. Many of you may share my memories of meeting Tony at our Annual Conference. He was a good, kind man with a ready smile. I remember not only his giant intellect and immense talent but also his humble and unassuming demeanor.
The Board sends its love and condolences to Tony's friends and family. May his memory be a blessing and may his legacy of love and music ministry live on in all of us who had the privilege of knowing him.

Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries

Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries

Why do some hymns connect deeply with our congregations and others, not? How do you write a hymn that is meaningful, memorable, and sing-able for the congregation, especially for those who don’t consider themselves to be musical or to have good voices? Find some answers at Hymn Composition 101, the first of AUUMM's Online Learning sessions. Register today at www.auumm.org/online to receive access to the videos and the follow-up discussion with composer Clif Hardin on Monday, Aug. 10 at 7:00pm ET.

First Unitarian Portland

First Unitarian Portland

First Unitarian Portland Joins Lawsuit to Cease Federal Presence On Our Streets. (July 21, 2020)

First UPDX Signs on as Plaintiff: First UPDX has signed on as a plaintiff to a lawsuit filed this morning in Federal Court alleging that the presence of militarized federal law enforcement personnel in Portland chills our ability to exercise our right and spiritual call to protest. The case claims that federal agents have been deployed in violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution that defines the separation of powers.

The Western States Center: Lead Plaintiff: The lead plaintiff in the suit is the Western States Center, one of our community justice partners that works to strengthen the organizing capacity of often marginalized communities and to promote inclusive democracy in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States.

Why First UPDX is Joining the Suit: The church joins as a plaintiff because we believe that the unconstitutional overreach of federal agents into general policing, specifically the abduction and detention of protesters, creates heightened fear and greater barriers to exercising our right and faithful call to protest.
These are times where there is much to trouble the spirit. This lawsuit is an important way for us as a faith community to bear witness and live out our faith principles.

As Unitarian Universalists, our principles uphold the right of conscience & democratic process & we strive for world community with peace, liberty & justice for all.

Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts

Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the 21st Annual Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The festival is a large public event that has always been free and open to all. Our Committee has come to the conclusion that we cannot honestly create a safe environment for our all volunteer staff, 250 volunteers, 170 artists, 55 cultural groups, food vendors and tens of thousands of attendees. We also believe we would not be granted all of the permits from the state, county and city needed to legally operate.

We plan on creating ongoing artist, craftspeople and musician promotions as well as concerts. Links will be on our website (https://elmwoodartfest.org) and our page. If able, please support all of our artists and the Elmwood businesses. Almost all festivals have been canceled for the summer. Many artists and musicians are facing significant losses of income.

We are so grateful for all the love and support the festival has received over the past two decades. The dates for 2021 are August 28-29. We look forward to another twenty years of bringing our community together to celebrate the creative spirit we all share.

Joe DiPasquale
for The Festival Committee

We have our second Choir Zoom check-in scheduled for next week, and, on the topic of our new-normal, here's some clear, ...
Essential and Virtual: Updated Guidance for Gathering

We have our second Choir Zoom check-in scheduled for next week, and, on the topic of our new-normal, here's some clear, concise guidance from the Unitarian Universalist Association

Based on advice from experts, we continue to recommend that congregations not gather in person.

IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana - Home Page
IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana - Home Page

IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana - Home Page

IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana is a search and discovery system for accessing sheet music from the Indiana University Lilly Library, the Indiana State Library, the Indiana State Museum, and the Indiana Historical Society.

Unitarian Universalist Association

Unitarian Universalist Association

Although many of us are physically distant from people and places we love, please remember you are not forgotten, even if you’re feeling alone. May this pandemic be a time where our connections deepen, even if our routines change.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo

Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo

SPECIAL ALERT: There will be no at-church services this Sunday, 3/15, or until further notice. Please do not come to the church.
​We are working on live-streaming and other options for the sermons and other parts of the service. Details to follow.
​Please pass this info along to anyone you know who attends UUCB to help us get the message out.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Mozart has served as an inspiration to countless people throughout the centuries, both musicians and non-musicians. One of those people was Tchaikovsky. Join us in celebrating Mozart this weekend.


Dont forget to join us this Sunday, December 9 at 10:30 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo for a morning of beautiful music. We’ll see you there!

Harvard University

Harvard University

Joshuah Campbell '16 and Harvard friends beautifully perform “Sing Out, March On”—a powerful tribute to John Lewis, our featured speaker at Commencement.

The tradition of excellence in organ performance is one of the cornerstones of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buff...
Why Do Churches Need Good Pipe Organs and Organists?

The tradition of excellence in organ performance is one of the cornerstones of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo’s music program!

Yes, we can simulate an organ on a keyboard. But the organ during a hymn only asks one thing of the congregation: Sing with me!

UU WorshipWeb
UU WorshipWeb

UU WorshipWeb

"This song deserves to be sung with attention," writes Aisha Ansano. "'Lift Every Voice and Sing' is a song that starkly names the horrors and violence of racism in this country, and it is a song that should make us uncomfortable: uncomfortable with the history that it calls upon, uncomfortable with the fact that the struggle for racial justice continues, and has not come quite so far as it should have by now."


We are so fortunate to have the wonderful Paul Zanolli as our resident 'sound guy' at the Unitarian Universalist Church ...
UUA Congregational Life

We are so fortunate to have the wonderful Paul Zanolli as our resident 'sound guy' at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo. Our speakers have many different microphone options, and even the ambient mics, which pick up our Choir and musical performances from the front of the church, are designed to work with our assisted listening devices.

There are many dimensions to providing hospitality in our congregations! #UUSunday


695 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY


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