Category Archives: Music News & Recordings

Upcoming Worship, Oct. 15th, 2017

Sermon Title: “Dressing for the Occasion”
Read Matthew 22:1-14

wedding-banquetA party is being thrown – a wedding, actually. All the invited guests have something better to do so they don’t show up. Did that stop the father of the bride? No. He told his slaves to go out and get anyone they can – good and bad, rich and poor. It didn’t matter. But wait. There is a problem some slob showed up in a tee shirt and shorts. Not okay. So the father has him thrown out and then Jesus says at the very end of the story, “Many are called but few are chosen.” With the sermon titled “Dressing for the Occasion,” what would you preach about?

This is the question Pastor Jeff is asking us to consider this Sunday, October 15th when we gather to worship at 10 a.m.

The final hymn of this week’s worship service will be the old revival “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Click here for a rare ukulele version to play as you read the back-story of how this hymn came to be. Continue reading Upcoming Worship, Oct. 15th, 2017

Upcoming Service Notes, Oct. 1, 2017

World Communion Sunday

On this World Communion Sunday, in solidarity with the World Church, all those who are able are invited to receive the bread and the cup by coming forward. (Deacons will serve those who wish to remain in the pews.)

Rev. Michael will preach part two of “How the Kingdom Comes” focusing on Jesus’ command “… you are the salt of the earth.”(Matthew 5:13) Part one focused on verse 16, being the light that shines, which can be found if you click here.

The choral introit this week is “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life,” set to Ralph Vaughan Williams’ flowing tune of The Call. Click here for the lovely music video production by Blackfriar Media. Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, Oct. 1, 2017

Upcoming Service Notes, Sept. 10, 2017

This Sunday we welcome the Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton to our pulpit. From the Lectionary Gospel reading he will be leading us to think about what Jesus said and how we can apply His words as rules for a church to live by, always keeping in mind His assurance that “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

The choir returns from its summer break to sing “Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether”  which is listed as this week’s theme hymn in the Lectionary list found in the September Epistle. Composed by Harold Friedell, this is a melodic and lovely reminder that “when humbly gathered in Thy name, two or three are met together, Thou art in the midst of them …”

The hymns we will all sing are familiar and meaningful to this message: The Church’s One Foundation, Love Divine All Loves Excelling (sung to the tune Hyfrydol), and Rise Up Oh (Men) of God (substituting Church for the word Men).

John Atwood’s pieces on the organ will be Pachelbel’s Toccata and Fugue in B flat Major and his Toccata in E minor as well as Muzète by Dandrieu.

 We hope you can join us!

Invitation for Singers

NEXT UPPER VALLEY OPEN SING
Please share with singer friends.

Sunday, September 17, 2017 3:00 p.m.

First Congregational Church
10 South Park Street in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Hal Sheeler, Conductor Henry Danaher, Pianist

THIRD MASS (LORD NELSON/IMPERIAL MASS)
Soloists: Chiho Kaneko, Betsy Alexander, Brian Clancy, Ken Munsey

TOWARD THE UNKNOWN REGION
BY R. VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
WORDS BY WALT WHITMAN

All welcome to come to sing or to listen. Scores will be available.
Free. Donation requested for pianist. If you think you will sing, please let Hal Sheeler know your voice part.

hsheeler@gmail.com

You may, of course, just show up at the door.

Upper Valley Open Sings – Hal Sheeler, Music Director, Henry Danaher, Pianist. Offering Upper Valley New Hampshire and Vermont singers the opportunity to gather together and sing/read through major…

Upcoming Service Notes, September 3, 2017

This Sunday Rev. Michael Caldwell returns to our pulpit and will serve Communion and will center us in on Matthew 6’s section concerning prayer and praying. We all, including our beloved children, know the words, yet are always in need of considering why they are so important for us.

Click on this UCC response to Hurricane Harvey and what you can do in terms of donations and any kits needed. The hard copy of this will be inserted into the Sept. 3rd worship bulletin. Our time of Joys and Concerns will include prayers for all those who were devastated, as well as all the First-Responders and Relief organizations.

The offertory this week, “Élévation” by René Vierne, is perfectly suited to transport us into a time of quiet contemplation of the prayer we have learned. The absolutely charming  “Allegro” by João de Sousa Carvalho will bring a smile to our hearts!

Whoever you are and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here!

Trumpeter Josh Pauly and Organist John Atwood

On August 27, 2017 the congregation was swept up in the musical excitement created by this talented duo. This recording is of their final rehearsal of Hovhaness’ Prayer of Saint Gregory.

Click here to hear it.

Shown below is John making last minute revisions to his score. We are so very blessed to have such a musical talent in our midst!

JA092739

The other pieces in the service were Peeters’ Meditation for the Prelude, Couperin’s Fugette on the Cromorne as Offertory, and Telemann’s La Grace as Postlude. Mr. Pauly played on the hymns and was especially appreciated for his trumpet intro on the final hymn, “God of Our Fathers.”

Upcoming Service Notes, August 27, 2017

WHO-DO-YOU-SAY-I-AM-TRADINGCARD-3.5X2-324x235Filling the pulpit on August 27th is Deacon Marcia Tomlinson, who will lead us in examining  the  “Who are you” and “Whose are you” questions which face us all. She says, ‘Jesus asked his core disciples, “Who do THEY say I am,” and straight away followed up with the very personal, “Who do YOU say I am?’ Through this week’s Lectionary*  scripture readings we’ll be exploring how even the rescue of Moses ties into these “who and whose” questions of spiritual identity and belonging.

Our guest musician this week is trumpeter Josh Pauly. Although he’s often found in a school band room teaching,  his performance career has included playing backup to swing style jazz group  “Five by Design.” This Sunday Josh will  play “Prayer of St. Gregory” by Alan Hovhanes (heard here with harmonium and cornet), and one or two trumpet pieces by Telemann. He will also join in on one or more of the hymns.

And speaking of hymns, one of them is going to be “God of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand” which has that spine-tingling trumpet intro we haven’t heard in many a year!

*The Revised Common Lectionary organizes the Bible into three year-long cycles of readings. Each cycle begins on the first Sunday of Advent. We are currently in Year A which takes us through the Gospel of Matthew. See our EPISTLE for the current month’s listed readings.

Upcoming Service Notes, August 20, 2017

TSJT_The-Lost-and-Found_1Returning to the pulpit this Sunday will be the Rev. Dr. Michael Caldwell, retired UCC pastor of North Wolcott, VT.  He will reflect on our losses, including the loss of a respected interim pastor, through the lens of “God’s Lost and Found.” Using Jesus’ parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin in Luke 15, we will be reminded to imagine that God has a lost and found where we will always find Grace, even in the inevitable grief of our lives.

m_zsoldos_1_4x6Some quite extraordinary special music is in store for us this Sunday. Michael Zsoldas, saxophonist will be with us! Michael  is Affiliate Artist and teacher at the University of Vermont, specializing in jazz and improvisation.  Among his many accomplishments he has been the musical arranger for Oprah Winfrey’s “Trip of a Life Time.” Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, August 20, 2017