Friday, December 15, 2017

BUF Caroling Party to Retirement Homes on Saturday, December 16th

Led by Barbara Gilday and accompanied by Jan Krouskop

1:40pm              Depart BUF, carpool

2-2:30pm           Brookdale in Cordata, where 4 BUFsters live

3-3:30pm           Leopold downtown, where 4 more BUFsters live

Please contact Barbara Gilday with questions at:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December 12, 2017

Dear BUF Chalice Choir,

Our Ceremony of Carols was a thrilling experience!
I haven't slept well for the last two nights just reliving it.
It helped us all stretch, grow, risk and bond! It gave us faith and satisfaction and a mysterious pleasure, and it filled me with awe and gratitude. 

I think our choir created a fuller, richer, more expressive and more skilled sound than we could have made just months ago. For that, I thank the miracle of group determination, blending each person's best efforts together with love and discipline. 

I thank Britten and the medieval poets, who themselves would have have readily passed our thanks along to spiritual inspiration outside of themselves.

After thanking each of you singers in the choir, I particularly thank:

*Brendan, for his tuneful solo which so delicately balanced power, fragility, sincerity, meaning, resolve, poise and otherworldliness.

*Karen FitzGerald, for preparing the fabulously musical Womens Ensemble

*Melanie, for accompanying us through all our learning and then contributing her lovely, agile soprano voice 

*Ruth Ann, for providing encouragement and inspired teaching in generously volunteered section rehearsals

*Al, for providing helpful rehearsal tracks

*Jill Whitman, for her sheer virtuosity and warmth 

*Lisa Moss and the choir committee, for keeping our energies focused and for carrying off a totally successful fundraiser

*Robin and Geoffrey Matthews for the great party

*Rev. Paul and Kathy Wahto, for promoting and supporting us, and keeping the BUF ship afloat.

- - - -
I'll see some of you tomorrow at the rehearsal for the Christmas Eve service.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Music for BUF Christmas Eve Service 2017
The BUF Chalice Choir and Phoenix Ensemble will be finished for 2017 after the Dec 10 service, and will resume on Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018.  Please see the attached performance and repertoire calendar for what they will be singing and when in the new year.

Any and all singers are invited to join the BUF Christmas Eve choir, which will rehearse on Wednesdays, Dec 13 and 20, and perform for the Christmas Eve service at BUF at 7:30pm on Sunday, December 24.  The choir will sing a short, simple and lovely 3-part anthem called "Carol," by Donna Gartmann Schultz. Volunteers for solo and ensemble singing and instrumental numbers are encouraged.

Kevin is coordinating the music for the service, but the choir will be directed by Ruth Ann Hanlin and accompanied by Melanie Rieck. Please contact Kevin to volunteer.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Amaryllis update 11/19/17
We sold 76 Amaryllis pots today, a spectacular day of sales.  A total of 138 pots have been sold over the past three weeks.  As of today, we have 16 pots of solid red Amaryllis and 43 pots of white left to sell before reaching our goal. 
We will be selling again on Sunday, December 3rd after the service in the social hall.  You may contact me if you want to reserve pots and bring funds in to me on the next couple Wednesdays or Sundays.
Thanks to all who have made contributions and thank you for networking  to making our fundraiser a success.
With Appreciation, Lisa Moss

Saturday Sectionals with Ruth Ann
Ruth Ann reports that the sectionals have had great turnout and made great progress, and that there will be no more Saturday sessions now for awhile. Thanks to Ruth Ann!!

Thanksgiving Service this coming Wednesday, Nov 22
            We are not having regular BUF choir rehearsals and there is no community night dinner at BUF this Wednesday, Nov 22.  We are hosting a community wide, inter-faith Thanksgiving service, though, with a come one, come all choir. Choir practice will be from 6pm until 6:40pm and we are singing:
            Thanks Be To Thee
            We’ve Got the Power
            There Is More Love
We are wearing black on bottom and solid colors on top (crayon box)

Britten Ceremony of Carols Rehearsals and Performance
            Weds, Nov 29                         6:45-8pm
            Weds, Dec 6 (with harp)        6:45-9pm  (no separate Phoenix or Womyns Ens that eve)
            Sat, Dec 9                                3-5pm
            Sun, Dec 10                             reh 9:30, perform at service starting 10:30, wear all black

Choir Party Dec 9 from 6-9pm

            The Matthews are inviting all of us (Chalice, Womyns, Phoenix) to their beautiful house at 128 Viewcrest Drive in Fairhaven for a Holiday potluck and BYOB party on Saturday, Dec 9 from 6-9pm. We will have a secret Santa gift exchange (more details on that to come at rehearsal on Nov 29)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Women's Ensemble invite

Two invitations to Chalice Choir members from Women's Ensemble.  First, please come and support us this Sunday, October 15, as we sing "Tree of Peace".  The lyrics are from "O Brother Man" by John Greenleaf Whittier, adapted with gender inclusive language.  The poem and the music by Gwyneth Walker are beautiful and deeply moving.  It is the most difficult piece WE has attempted so far, and I think we're sounding great!

The second invitation is to women to join us Wednesdays from 8:10 to 9 p.m. as we begin rehearsing "Ella's Song" by Sweet Honey for the November 12 Black Lives Matter service.  You may have heard us perform it in June.  It's the song that goes "We who believe in freedom cannot rest!"  It's easy to learn and fun to sing, so please join us.  If interested, please let me know at

Monday, October 2, 2017

Dear BUF Chalice Choir,

Nice singing on "There Is More Love" and "Guantanamera" yesterday!
That constituted our one Sunday service for October.

Our next performance will be Sunday, November 5.
After that we will only have two more gigs in 2017: Nov 22 and Dec 10,
but for those occasions we'll be singing several centuries worth of the most spectacular choral music ever!

If you'd like to review what we'll be singing when, check out our updated  2017-2018 Performance Calendar on this page.

This Wednesday, Oct 4, we'll work on "A Mighty Fortress," which we'll sing in English (the two verses from the Unitarian hymnbook)  and dive into Britten's Ceremony of Carols in earnest, rehearsing #1 "Processional", #6 "This Little Babe" and introducing #10 "Deo Gratias."

Al has put rehearsal tracks for all of these songs on our practice site:

A reminder: there will be no sectionals this Saturday, Oct 7, because of the church retreat, but Ruth Ann will resume them on Sat, Oct 14 as follows: 9:30am Sops, 10:15am Altos, 11am Tenors and 11:45am Basses.
Ruth Ann was absolutely thrilled with how the sectionals went last Saturday!

See you Wednesday.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Dear Chalice Choir,

I loved our rehearsal last night. Thanks for hanging in there with me and with each other.

We now have 62 on the roster, 38 women and 24 men, which is powerful, humongous and awe-inspiring!

And we may have up to a dozen more singers to join us for our December 10 performance of Britten's "Ceremony of Carols."

Everybody should now have a reading buddy, which I hope provides our learners with solid, ongoing help in figuring out what to sing and how to sing it.

This Saturday, September 30, Ruth Ann Hanlin is offering sectionals at BUF - no RSVP, just show up - as follows:

9:30am Sopranos
10:15 Altos
11:00 Tenors
11:45 Basses

She will be going over "This Little Babe" and "A Mighty Fortress"

This Sunday please be on the risers ready to sing by 9:45am

We're going to do Guantanamera and There Is More Love for the service which starts at 10:30am.

Please wear black on bottom and a solid color of your choice on top (what we're calling a box of crayons)



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dear BUF Chalice Choir,

Because we want our choir members to feel loved, competent and comfortable, we are implementing various schemes for skill building and team building.

Last night we started setting up a music reading buddy system. This is a work in progress. As people settle in, we may need to fill in and reshuffle a bit, but please feel to start learning the songs together now, even outside of rehearsal, if you like.

This Saturday, September 23, I will be leading an “Introduction to Choir Singing” group session from 9:30-10:30am at BUF.  Then, from 10:30-11am, I’ll follow up with the attendees for short, user-friendly, one-on-one vocal explorations, if wanted. No sign up required, just come.

Starting Saturday, September 30, Ruth Ann Hanlin will be leading her much-beloved sectionals at BUF to help people learn their parts for upcoming choir performances.  Her schedule:
9:30-10:15am        Sopranos
10:15-11am          Altos
11-11:45am          Tenors
11:45-12:30pm        Basses
Again, no sign up required, just come.

Ruth Ann will start with the song “This Little Babe” from Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols.”
She plans to offer further Saturday sectionals on October 14 and 21 plus November 4, 11 and 18.                     

Don’t forget that you can practice with Al Heezen’s on-line rehearsal tracks 24 hours a day by going to

There, now don’t you feel loved?



Hi Phoenix,

Here's the lowdown:

Please practice Simple Gifts so that our 2017-2018 debut on Sunday is all that it can be. Here is a YouTube take using our SSAB version that you can sing along with:

We'll rehearse on Sunday at 9:30am. Please wear SOLID Fall colors, like yellows, browns, orange, etc. You can always wear black on bottom, with the other colors, on top.

A special shout out to Andrew and Melanie for tackling the very challenging piano and flute parts !!



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Little Recruiting Push 9-19-17

Dear BUF Chalice Choir and friends,

We had a great start to the BUF choir season with performances the last two Sundays.

Good job learning all those notes!!

We rehearse from 6:45 to 8pm on Wednesdays. Tomorrow evening, September 20,  we'll be welcoming a number of newcomers and returnees and we'll be introducing the repertoire for our Thanksgiving and Christmas programs, including Benjamin Britten's spectacular "Ceremony of Carols."

This 30-minute classical masterpiece for choir and harp is a thrill to sing, and with the strong leaders that we already have in the BUF Chalice Choir leading the way, it will be a chance for singers new to choir to be a part of something grand and inspiring. We have engaged the area's finest harpist, Jill Whitman from WWU, to play harp in our performance on Sunday morning, December 10.

Now is the time for all of you to bring your friends to try us out, before we get too far into this season's music.

The next time we'll give a little recruiting push will be in January.

Looking forward to the enthusiasm and joy of tomorrow’s rehearsal :)