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by Susan Hotchkiss

In January, the church “music department” was all excited about news of the Clay Family Gift and what it might mean for music at UU Middleboro. The gift is $100,000 in memory of Avis Clay, beloved member and longtime supporter of music and the arts. Up to $20,000 will be used to renovate and rename the Parlor, with the remainder to go into an endowment fund. The interest income from this fund will be used for music at UU Middleboro. 

Members of the choir, alumni choir, music committee, and other active musicians were invited to brainstorm and collect ideas for the future. What could an endowed music program at UU Middleboro look like? How can we build a sustainable program? How can we best support the church? What does it mean to have a music ministry, and where will it take us? If anybody would like to see this collection of ideas, please let me know, and I will share with you a one-page brainstorming summary. It could easily be a year before we have funds, but between now and then we have some good possibilities for choosing a focus.

We have a unique church music program because so many of our members and friends are musicians. Whereas many churches no longer have choirs, our Chalice Choir is full. Rather than coming to church to be entertained, we come to make a joyful noise. We celebrate a broad taste in musical style and a healthy respect for one another’s accomplishments. We strive to complement our worship services and continually find room for growth. For years we have focused on building a musical community, and there is no lid on this excellence. 

One person who has been working for years to support our UU musical community is Linda Thompson. Linda is a charter member of the current Music Committee which she started per instructions from the Parish Committee 33 years ago! Linda has just announced her “retirement” from the committee, and I want to thank her for stellar leadership, not just in music but in so many other areas of church life. Thank you, Linda Thompson!

Susan Land Hotchkiss, Director of Music

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