Letter from Worship and Music Action Team

Planning Ahead for Music

The Worship and Music Action Team has met with Claire, Beryl, accompanist Shaylor Lindsey, and our Adult Choir to discuss music at Follen going forward. Knowing that there is a great deal of uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, we are shaping a plan for the coming weeks and months.

First, WMAT deeply appreciates all the attendance and participation at the recent listening sessions Rev. Claire conducted following Music Director Vivian Montgomery’s decision to resign. Your heartfelt comments showed how much the congregation cares about music at Follen, and helps us as we think about the future.

Our immediate plan is to work with our music staff and skilled congregants to offer music at every online service through the church year that ends in June. Summer worship plans are still taking shape but we hope that, as in past years, Shaylor will offer her wonderful piano work and hymns for our shortened summer services.

It is harder to predict what music will look like in the fall – so much depends on the course of the pandemic. As Rev. Claire noted in the listening sessions, choral rehearsals and performance are, unfortunately, super-spreaders of potential infection from a highly contagious virus. We are looking at creative ways to produce choral music virtually but we can’t ask the choirs to gather in person until we know it is safe to do so.

Given these realities, WMAT and staff are thinking of the coming year as an “interim year” for music. We will continue our listening and feedback sessions from you all about the music program. We will make music safely. We will take the time for the whole church to think deeply about the nature and role of music in our community. When the time comes to staff our music program, we will do so in a way that reflects the diversity and desires of our wonderful, complex, dedicated church community.