Get Informed, Inspired, & Registered Week!

Follen is getting ready to welcome vocal activist Melanie DeMore for her much-anticipated artist residency with us in February and March.

You can learn all about it at Coffee Hour on Sunday.

In the meantime, you can read up about it here, and scroll down to read about the Stick Pounding Workshop and the Freedom Land Chorus (open to everyone, even if you are not in the choir).

Let’s go!


Melanie DeMore Residency! Two Inspiring Ways to Be At Its Rhythmic Heart

What is Gullah? The African-American people of the Georgia and South Carolina Lowcountry and Islands, also called Geechee. Gullah describes their creole dialect of English and distinctive African identity as a people, which they’ve been able to preserve because of climate, geography, cultural pride, and patterns of importation of enslaved Africans. For the Gullah-Geechee, communal singing and dance are vital to survival, and rhythm is deep in their souls.

In February and March, there will be many ways to feel the rhythmic spirit of the Gullah as vocal activist Melanie DeMore helps break down walls and create connections through workshops and performances. Through powerful spirituals performed in the Gullah tradition, stick-pounding, hand clapping, and foot stomping, Melanie will challenge all of us to connect with our neighbor and the music within us. Melanie DeMore is a San Francisco Bay-area composer, song-leader, and activist. As part of her expansive residency with Follen Church and Hamilton-Garrett Music & Arts Academy in early February and late March, she will “turn the place into a living, breathing drum.”

All who are age 11 and up are invited to sign up by January 13 for:

Gullah Stick-Making and Pounding Workshop
Sunday February 2, 2:30-6:45pm, UU Urban Ministry
Open to ALL age 11 and older, registration required, capacity limited. Registration fee $15 (materials and food), payable at the door (cash or check). Register online here or by calling Bithyah Israel, UUUM Social Justice Fellow, at 617-318-6010.

Join the Freedom Land Stick-pounding Chorus
For a more in-depth communal experience, Melanie will lead singers from the choirs and communities of Follen, Hamilton-Garrett, Charles Street AME, and others in Freedom Land, a Gullah stick-pounding choral collaboration. Everyone age 11 and older is invited to join the stick-pounding chorus. Sign up to participate! Want to know more about this unique musical collaboration and Melanie’s full residency? Go to to read more.