Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Preparations

Dear BUF Choristers,

Deed and I are like busy Elves hustling and bustling in our house getting ready for the party to end all parties (oh wait the end of the world is supposed to be today! we missed it by a day! ) Well if there is a world tomorrow, it will be at our house! BUF choir you are all invited and we need voices to fill our house with cheer. and it is our one day of the year to pay back our neighborhood for all of the college parties that happen all year round!!

1212 grant st.
B'ham 98225
Directly across from Franklin park.

Saturday night Dec 22, 4pm til we're done. Show up for an hour or the duration.
Bring something healthy for the table. However you interpret that.
we'll have beer and wine but if you would like to bring something more festive to drink please do.

Her is a link to the Evite. Go ahead and respond if you can so we know who expect.

Be Listening to the Lauridson so that you are good and inspired for the AWESOME christimas eve service we have planned!

Holiday cheer to you!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

No Gig on Saturday Nov 17

Hello Dear Choristers,

Alas... It is not in the cards for us to perform at the International Market Fair this year. The gig is officially cancelled. considering we had about 15 out of 50 and no pianist and not a lot of prepared music, I had to make the call. Well look forward to next year. That doesn't mean you can't go there and buy interesting things. We should also think about what sort of interesting thing we could do in the community this year outside of our lovely sanctuary.

Also remember No choir rehearsal Next Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Looking forward to this Sunday! Please be there In Black with Fall Accents at 8:20 ready for a power packed rehearsal.

Always a pleasure making great music with you!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hearing Your Song and Singing it Back - Sunday Nov. 11 - 3:00 - 4:30 at BUF

You are especially invited to attend my upcoming  one-woman show "Hearing Your Song and Singing it Back" at BUF on Sunday Nov. 11 from 3 to 4:30. It is a story about my life and spiritual journey illustrated by music, with piano-vocals in Classical, folk, pop, sacred, and jazz styles,  plus a sound healing meditation with Tibetan and crystal singing bowls, and a little group singing. I'm suggesting a donation of $10-20 or what you can afford.   The off-off-Broadway reviews (we are just a couple of blocks from Broadway) so far have been very positive.
Affectionately, Melanie

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baba yetu is on the practice site!

Thanks to Al for getting Baba yetu on the practice site - it sounds like it was a complicated one! For those that are new to the practice site - here is the link:

Laudate Dominum and O Magnum Mysterium are also on the site! Take a peek.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bellingham Community Gospel Choir - choir workshop and concert information

Bellingham Community Gospel Choir - choir workshop and concert
with Pastor Pat Wright
and the
Total Experience Gospel Choir

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Workshop:1:00 - 4:30 pm
$20 includes snacks, beverages, dinner with the choir, and concert donation
Concert: 6:30 pm
$10 suggested donation
no reserved seating - seating limited to facility capacity
Location: Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

To register for the workshop send your name, telephone number and email address along with a check or money order for $20 payable to Bellingham Community Gospel Choir to:
P.A. Starcher
P.O. Box 1124
Bellingham, WA 98227-1124

Sponsored by Bellingham Community Gospel Choir

For more information: | 360-223-8098

Thursday, September 6, 2012

details for Sunday's Ingathering Service

when to arrive: 8:30am for rehearsal - plan to be at both the 9:15 and 11:15 services to sing
what to wear: black pants or skirt, white shirt with a blue accent [tie, scarf, necklace, etc.]
what to bring: your music [We Are One] and your voice

If you're struggling with finding a white top, Linda Darks says she has 3 or 4 White tops in sizes M and L which she can loan out for Sunday if needed. Please e mail her  at or call  at 360-756-6648 or 360-961-6239 if you'd like to borrow one and she'll plan on bringing one for you. Thank you Linda!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"We Are One" and "You Are The New Day" are on the practice site

Al Heezen is speedy and already has "We Are One" and "You Are The New Day" on the practice site! Check it out at:

One thing Al wanted to mention was "When there are two parts on one voice, I try to have the higher voice on the left speaker and the lower on the right. That doesn't seem to be working correctly right now - I will try to fix it later."

If you are new to this practice site, you might be required to install a plugin to make it work - but when you do you'll understand why we call it "amazing". It's a very useful tool.

Welcome Back BUF Choristers!!

And a big welcome to any new folks! Whether you are just trying it out for a while, or plan on staying with us for years, you and your voice are always welcome!

We are looking a t a great season this year!! I am looking forward to seeing you tonight. Reverend Lee Bond and I are having a great time putting the season together and we have several highlights that I am sure will be incredible.

Keep checking the blog links to hear our new music as I get them posted, or subscribe below to get email updates when ever there is a post.

If you are an new or returning member that needs update your information just click the link "BUF CHOIR DATA ENTRY FORM" , Fill it out, submit it,  and it goes right to my spread sheet.

Thank you Becca for staying consistent with posting the must know info for Sundays and rehearsals. You are awesome!!

Beth Brown has also been hard at work organizing the music library so that we can be ready for tonight! Thanks a million!

Looking forward to seeing you and most importantly HEARING you!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Welcome back! First choir rehersal is this Wednesday!

It's that time again. Choir is starting again this Wednesday at 7:00. BUF's Ingathering service is next Sunday and, as has become an annual tradition, we'll be singing "We Are One". Come on Wednesday to see old and new friends and sing!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Greater Works Gospel Choir Concert on Sunday

Elizabeth Skinner wanted to get the word out about this upcoming concert!

On Sunday, Sept. 2, at 6:00 pm, Danell Daymon's Greater Works Gospel Choir is having a fundraising concert in Seattle.  This is the choir I posted last spring. This choir has been #1 in gospel fests in Seattle.  They are fundraising to attend a national event. 
Anyone interested in going can email me at for more details.
Elizabeth Skinner

Saturday, July 14, 2012

message from Carrie about gay pride tomorrow!

Gay Pride is tomorrow and the plan is to meet at Bellingham High School right after the BUF service. It would be great to car pool. We'll have our new welcoming banner and it is a great place to show that off.

I've been playing with some possible songs for us to sing and just got approval from Barbara Gobus. Just thought I'd plant the seed.

Sihayamba -
For the English words substitute:
We are marching here to welcome you. We are marching here to welcome you etc.
You are welcome, welcome you are welcome . . .

For the song We Are Family, my my my sisters and me sing
You are welcome here.
We want to make it perfectly clear.
Bring your family
whatever shape it happens to be.

We'd like to start off by singing the chorus of "We are Standing on the Side of Love,"
which is


We can also sing the chorus of All You Need is Love with kazoos substituting for the horn parts.

And both Barbara and I have our hearts set on a kazoo rendition of Yellow Submarine - probably just the chorus.

If you have other appropriate marching song ideas please bring them.
It would be great to have a lot of us there and a feeling of great spirit. This could be a real magnet for people trying to find us.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ruvara Marimba at Elizabeth Park on July 12!

"Ruvara Marimba" is playing at Elizabeth Park July 12 from 6-8pm, and we're playing/singing "Shosholoza", and plan to encourage children to be part of the "choo choo train". We'd greatly appreciate any BUF choir members who can join us to sing along!

We plan to play the song during the first half of our concert, so be sure to arrive by 6:15pm the very latest if you want to sing.  In case you need a refresher on the lyrics, here they are:

Shosholoza---Kulezontaba---Stimela S’Phume Zimbabwe
(Translation:  I come from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bellingham, etc).
Wenu yo Baleka----Kulezontaba---Stimela S’Phume Zimbabwe
(They run away because they hear the work is so hard).

Friday, June 22, 2012

concert on Saturday - Musekiwa Chingodza - legendary Zimbabwean mbira (thumb piano) player

You’re invited to a unique house concert at the home of Nancy and Rick Steele, 2821 Cody Ave., Bellingham, on Saturday, June 23 from 7-9pm featuring special guest Musekiwa Chingodza, a legendary Zimbabwean mbira (thumb piano) player/teacher who is currently touring the U.S, and will teach and perform at the Zimbabwean Music Festival in Moscow, Idaho Aug. 2-5.

This year, Musekiwa has participated in university presentations (lectures and demonstrations) at such prestigious colleges as the University of Cincinnati (Ohio); Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY); Pomona College (Los Angeles, CA) and the University of Oregon (Eugene).
Julie Ishihara—a long-time member of the Bellingham Zimbabwean music community—will accompany Musekiwa on hosho (dried gourd shakers). A minimum $5 donation is requested. Info: or 920-6494.

Musekiwa Chingodza was born into a family of great mbira players in Mwangara village, Murewa, Zimbabwe, in 1970. Surrounded by gwenyambira, or great mbira players, he began playing mbira at the age of five and is self-taught. In 1991 Musekiwa was a key member of the band Panjea, founded by Chris Berry. He composed the hit song “Ganda” on Panjea’s Zimbabwean album. He formerly taught mbira at Prince Edward School in Harare for many years, and continues to be in demand to play mbira at ceremonies in Zimbabwe. He is an excellent singer, dancer and ngoma drummer in the Shona tradition and plays both mbira dzavadzimu and nyunga nyunga. Following up on his widely acclaimed CD with Jennifer Kyker, entitled Tsunga, Musekiwa released his CD VaChingodza Budai Pachena, his solo CD, Kutema Musasa, a second collaboration with Jennifer Kyker, Muronda Tsimba, and his latest with Bud Cohen, Tomutenda Mambo.

Friday, June 15, 2012

details about this Sunday's service

Some reminders about the what, when, and where for this Sunday.
  • dress: black pants or skirt, white top with choir stoles
  • 9:10: arrive a little early for Doug's brunch if you want a chance to have a bite to eat and visit with Doug before the choir gathers for a quick rehearsal
  • 9:45: meet in sanctuary for choir rehearsal - other musical groups will be meeting and rehearsing, too. Men - grab a gray stole, women - grab a shimmery stole
  • 10:30: take a deep breath and remember we will be the voices expressing what the congregation is feeling as Doug leaves. A lot of emotions will be filling the room and we can let that help us make something beautiful and powerful.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wednesday Choir rehearsals this week and next!

Just a quick reminder that there will be choir rehearsal on Wednesday the 6th and Wednesday the 13th at 7:00. We will be practicing a piece to sing for his final service on June 17th. Anyone who can make it please's our last chance to sing for Doug - let's make it beautiful and memorable.

reminder about June 10 workshop with Fabiana Katz

"Come Explore your Natural Voice," a workshop for male and female adult singers featuring Fabiana Katz, a renowned vocal coach and soloist from Vancouver, B.C., will be offered Sunday, June 10 from 2-5 p.m. at Jerns Funeral Chapel.

"My approach is holistic and organic," Ms. Katz wrote in her website. "Singing is not for a 'lucky few. It's our privilege and and right as human beings..."

The workshop will cover breath control, posture, use of resonance, voice placement, vowel matching and muscular control.

It is sponsored by the Bellingham Threshold Singers, a non-profit, a cappella women's group which sings at bedsides of chronically ill or dying persons, and the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Choir.
Jerns Funeral Chapel is at 800 E. Sunset Dr., at James Street.  A suggested donation of $8-12 will be asked for at the door.

For further information,,360-927-4384 or or

Thursday, May 31, 2012

choir BBQ thank you

A big thank you to Ann Stevenson for hosting the end of the year Choir BBQ. It takes a lot of planning and effort and we do appreciate it! It rained on us a bit [as you can see from the photos below], but it didn't stop us from having a good time.

Look forward to seeing you all next Wednesday as we rehearse for Doug's last service.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sunday details...and a little inspiration...

Greetings choirsters! Here are some quick reminders about Sundays performance.
  • 9:15: Chamber rehersal begins
  • 9:30: Choir rehersal begins
  • Dress: something "shimmery" - I'm certain we'll look amazing!
Also....below is a link to a video for a little inspiration provided by Libby Skinner. She says her friend DanVo'Nique is the third from the left in the front row. Gospelfest 2012! Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Our Easter recording of Distant Land is on the blog

Just a quick note to let you know that the Easter recording of Distant Land is now on the blog. Take a listen!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

What a a great rehearsal we had tonight!!

What a a great rehearsal we had tonight!! The orchestra sounded great but I was very proud of the quality and the quantity of sound that we were producing!! It was wonderful! I can't wait for Sunday. Here are the details:
  • Please be here for an 8:30 rehearsal (that means get here about 8:25 to get ready).
  • Wear black on the bottom and a solid color on the top - something bright for Easter :)
  • If you were not at the Thursday rehearsal and you plan on being at the performance please email me so I can make sure you are prepared and we can fit you on the pulpit. It is pretty tight and adding chairs will be possible but will need some consideration.
DC was fantastic! If you would like to see some of the pictures and stories that we had check out the blog we made -

Have a great night.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

a note from Al

Hey, singers
The chamber piece "Set me as a Seal" is now on the website.

I learned last month that some programs handle the site better than others, so if you are having trouble using it, take a look at this page:


Sunday, March 18, 2012

vocal skill building workshop with Fabiana Katz

 In cooperation, the Threshold choir and the BUF choir offering a skills building workshop:
  • Sunday, June 10th
  • 4:00-6:00pm [Possibly an extra hour if we can scare up an extra $75 - we might just split with folks wanting to stay, we’ll see]
  • with Fabiana Katz
We need an unofficial head count of interested parties ASAP. That will determine if the flex room at BUFwill be large enough or if we will need to move to a different venue. The Sanctuary is not available at that time that date.

Costs to each participant will be little to minimal to none. Details being negotiated. Please do not make cost a deterrent of your participation. Open to all genders and voices.


Molly Monahan

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

some news and notes from Al about the practice site

Al Heezen mentioned in tonght's rehearsal that "Distant Land" is now on the practice site. Many thanks to Al for all the work he put into this one!! Our choir is lucky to have him. Below are some notes from Al about that piece as well as the site in general.

I just put our new piece "Distant Land" on the practice website. It was pretty tricky, with as many as eight parts wedged into 2 staves, so let me know if you find errors. I got carried away and put the piano part in, also.

A month or so ago I made some changes to the site (improvements, I hope) but I'm not sure the word got out. Here is a link to the info:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

reminders for Sunday

Some notes for this Sunday.

First, and most importantly - don't forget the TIME CHANGE! Our 8:30 rehearsal time will be 7:30 if you forget to set your clocks [yikes!]. That being said, here is the breakdown.

PREPARE: Use Al's practice site to go over any notes you are unsure of. There are also a couple recordings of Walk Together Children on the blog, or click here and here to listen.
ARRIVE: 8:30
DRESS: all black

See you Sunday!

Friday, February 24, 2012

details for Saturday rehearsal - Sunday performance


  •  11:00 - 12:15 rehearsal at BUF with Marimba band


  • arrive at 8:20 for rehearsal
  • dress in black bottom / African style or brightly colored top
Because this tickled me so much when Andy initially sent it a couple years ago...I'm posting his message and image below. :)

Here is what you should look like on Sunday:

[try as I might...I just don't think I'm going to look like this on Sunday]

Monday, February 20, 2012

BUF Choir calendar has been updated

There have been some date changes since the performance schedule was printed. We discussed them last Wednesday and the calendar on the blog has been updated to reflect these changes. Changes to note:
  • There will be a rehearsal on Saturday Feb. 25 at 11:00am - we will practice Shosholoza with the Marimba band for Sunday's performance.
  • There is no choir rehearsal on Feb. 29
  • We will perform Walk Together Children on Sunday March 11th [moved from march 18th]
If any choir members would like a choir related event listed on the calendar, email

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Details for Saturday - Interfaith Choir festival

Below are details for this Saturday's performance.

what to bring:

  • yourself - dressed in black pants or skirt and bright SOLID colored top
  • a sack lunch for lunchtime break

where to be and when to be there:

  • 10:45: rehearsal starts at Assumption Church, 2116 Cornwall Ave.
  • 12:00: break for lunch - BUF choir will meet outside the doors by parking lot for a quick rehearsal of Lux
  • 1:00: performance starts!

There is a recording of Lux Aurumque on the blog - or follow this link: - listening will get you excited about how we're going to sound in that space!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

BUF Choir favorite movie list [along with a few books] here is the complete list of the BUF Choir's favorite movies, as recited by choristers tonight. A few books are mixed in there, but knowing Hollywood they'll soon be movies, so....
  • Name of the Wind
  • Dune
  • Secret of Kells
  • Bullet
  • The Sound of Music
  • Forbidden Planet
  • 500 Days of Summer
  • Between Time and Timbuktu
  • The Fisher King
  • You've Got Mail
  • Casa Blanca
  • Hopscotch
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Private Parts
  • Patch Adams
  • The Space Between Us
  • My Fair Lady
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Midnight in Paris
  • The Handmaid's Tail
  • Dressed to Kill
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Antonia's Line
  • Blade Runner
  • Out of Africa
  • Young at Heart
  • Finding Nemo
  • Bagdad Cafe
  • Red Balloon
  • Whale Rider
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Garden State
  • The Princess Bride
  • All that Jazz
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • African Queen
  • Grapes of Wrath
  • American President
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Darjeeling Limited
  • Billy Elliot
  • Strictly Ballroom
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Death Becomes Her
  • Empire Strikes Back