Monday, June 14, 2021

Resubscribe to receive BUF choir blog posts

We had to start using a new feed service to send out posts to this blog via email.  Please resubscribe yourself. You will find the form in the right hand column. Just enter your email address and click "subscribe."  Kevin

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

We're taking summer 20121 off - yay!

 Dear BUF Musicians,

With the Choir Finale on June 6, featuring the "Turn the World Around" vocal ensemble, our BUF choir season came to a close for 2020-2021. Now we're taking the summer off!

Thanks to everyone for participating in the various ways of BUF music making during the pandemic. We made it through - with shining colors!

There will be two more services broadcast from the sanctuary this month: June 13 and June 20. After that, all the Sunday services through September 5 will originate from presenters' homes and be broadcast over Zoom. If you have something to offer for a summer service, musical or otherwise, that you can deliver in a pre-recorded format, or that you are able to perform live from your home over Zoom, please email your offering to Rev. Paul. He will be taking most of July and August off himself, but he will still be coordinating the summer services.

I hope and expect that BUF choir rehearsals will resume on Wednesday, September 8, as if Covid never happened. We'll have Chalice Choir from 6:45-8pm, and Phoenix Ensemble from 8:15-9pm. The Chalice Choir will sing "We Are One" for the Ingathering Service on Sunday, September 12.

The choir committee will be meeting soon to brainstorm ideas for choir events and repertoire for 2021-2022. If you have questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me or Choir Committee Chair Elie Friedlob at

Happy summer!



Monday, May 17, 2021

Stand By Me and Turn the World Around

Dear BUF Singers,

We have about 40 singers signed up so far to sing "Stand By Me" for the Totem Pole Kick-Off event on May 24. Others are welcome to join us. Please read the invitation in the upper right corner of the choir blog for all the info. You may participate even if you missed the first rehearsal, just join us this Wednesday, May 19 at 7pm in Waypoint Park. To participate, you must be fully vaccinated, sing masked and stand 6 feet from others not in your bubble. We will rehearse there outdoors rain or shine.

Our final BUF choir event of 2020-2021 will be the Choir Finale service on Sunday, June 6.   A 15-voice fully vaccinated ensemble will prepare the song "Turn the World Around" (#1074 in the teal hymnal) in-person at BUF from 7-8pm, on two Wednesdays, May 26 and June 2.  These 13 singers have signed up so far: Barbara tH, Jim R, Karen F, Jayme C, Barbara G, Karen N-F, Jane R-W, Ron Q, Barbara E-Q, Lawrence A, Ann S, Melanie R, Kevin A-S.

There is room for 2 more singers. Please email me if you'd like to join us - first come first served.

Just to clarify - there will be no more Wednesday Zoom choir rehearsals this year. This Wednesday, May 19,  you may join us at Waypoint Park to sing in person. The following 2 Wednesdays, May 26 and June 2, a 15-voice ensemble will rehearse in person at BUF.

I believe the choir committee is planning an end of year party at Carl and Pete's place on Sunday afternoon, June 6. Stay tuned for more details.



Monday, May 3, 2021

News Flash! BUF Choir Invited to Sing for Totem Pole Kick-Off Event!

Hi BUF Choir!

Great news!

We are invited to sing "Stand By Me" for the "Red Road to DC" Lummi Nation Totem Pole Journey kick-off event on the Bellingham waterfront at 5pm on Monday afternoon, May 24!

Look on the BUF Choir blog for the invitation and a score, with links to all the information that you will need.

We'll talk about this at our Zoom rehearsal this Wednesday, May 5, starting at 7pm. Then, instead of finishing the year on Zoom, we'll finish it with live, in-person, outdoor singing for an inspiring public event! Yay!

See you on Zoom this Wednesday, May 5.


Monday, April 26, 2021

BUF Choir Plan, Wednesday, April 28

 Hi BUFsters,

This is a reminder that this Wednesday, April 28, the "Stand By Me" vocal ensemble will be rehearsing in person at BUF from 7-8pm for the Sunday, May 2 performance, and there will be no Zoom choir rehearsal.

On Wednesdays May 5, 12 and 19 we will resume "regular" Zoom choir rehearsals from 7-8pm.

On Wednesdays May 26 and June 2, the "Turn the World Around" vocal ensemble will rehearse for their Sunday, June 6 performance. There is still room in this ensemble. Email me if you'd like to join it.



Monday, April 19, 2021

BUF Music Plan April-June 2021

Dear BUFsters, 

Our music plan from now thru the Choir Finale on June 6 is now posted on the choir blog. 

Click on "BUF Music Plan April-June 2021"

There is no regular Zoom choir this Wednesday, April 21. Instead, an ensemble will rehearse the song "Stand By Me" (also posted on the blog) in person in the BUF sanctuary from 7-8pm. Please text or email me if you would like to be in this ensemble. We are capping the ensemble at 15 singers and I will reply to confirm whether you are in or not. 

All the info is in the plan that is posted. Please read it :)


Kevin.   406-858-0142

Sunday, April 11, 2021

SIng Seal Lullaby along with the Eric Whitacre Singers this Wednesday

 Dear BUF Singers,

Responding to an invitation from Lummi Nation, BUF will mark Earth Day this coming Sunday, April 18, by holding a service called "Bring Tokitae Home."   Our service will feature songs, poems, prayers and words shared from the heart in a spiritual ceremony.

You may watch Lummi Nation's invitation in this one-minute video, with contributions from around the world:

Similarly to how we performed Handel's Messiah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir last December, in this ceremony, BUFsters will sing  "Seal Lullaby" along with the Eric Whitacre Singers.  We will film ourselves singing it during our choir gathering, from 7-8pm this Wednesday, April 14. We'd like a full gallery of singers in our video, so please join us at our regular Zoom link:     (password: BUF)

You don't have to know the song well, in fact you can join in on Wednesday with NO preparation, but if you'd like to practice, please see the links below.

You just SING ALONG with the Whitacre singers, out loud, while muted, reading the music shown on the screen (in the first video listed below), during our Wednesday rehearsal, as I record us in gallery view on Zoom.  Then we will show the film on Sunday. The sound the congregation hears will be the Eric Whitacre SIngers, but the faces they will see - singing full throated and with expression - will be us!  This is how we did the Hallelujah Chorus, and it was fun.

I hope you join us this Wednesday, even if you haven't been with us much lately. The song is gorgeous. Singing it will make your whole week!

See ya, Kevin

YouTube links for Seal Lullaby

Sing along with the Eric Whitacre Singers, while reading the SATB score

(This is the video we will sing along with for our film, which includes the score. We won't use printed music.)

Sing along with Soprano part (learning track)


Sing along with Alto part (learning track)


Sing along with Tenor part (learning track)


Sing along with Bass 1 part (learning track)


Sing along with Bass 2 part (learning track)


Monday, April 5, 2021

Let's Create a Ceremony for Tokitae for Earth Day

 Hi BUFsters of a musical bent,

What a lovely Easter service! Thanks to Jayme Curley, Ann Stevenson, Lisa Heezen, Al Heezen and Barbara Gilday for joining me in the first ensemble to sing in the BUF sanctuary in over a year.

Lummi Nation is asking for support in their efforts to free the orca Sk'aliCh'elh-tenaut (aka Tokitae) from the Miami Seaquarium. They are encouraging people to hold a ceremony on her behalf.  

Rev. Paul and I would like us at BUF to create a "Bring Tokitae Home" ceremony, to be the focus of the BUF Earth Day service on Sunday, April 18. As a choir, I'd like us to sing Whitacre's SATB version of "Seal Lullaby," in the same way that we sang the "Hallelujah Chorus" over Zoom in December.  We'll have sectionals on this song in the next two Wednesday rehearsals. You can find links to YouTube "Seal Lullaby" learning tracks posted in the choir blog. 

Before Wednesday, please watch this one-minute video to learn more and see excerpts of others performing ceremonies around the world:

and read this announcement:

Also, please put on your creativity caps to offer suggestions for other elements, musical or otherwise, that might be included in the Earth Day/Tokitae service.

See ya,


Monday, March 29, 2021

We Shall Be Known VIRTUAL Choir to be Unveiled Wednesday

 Dear BUF Choir,

At this Wednesday's rehearsal, we will get the first view of our virtual choir video of "We Shall Be Known," and it is wonderful!  Its public premiere will be for the BUF Easter Sunday service, and it will be featured at Interfaith's 7pm online spring fundraiser event on Saturday, April 10 entitled "Sanctuary: Calm in Chaos." You may register for the Interfaith event thru their website:

I am so pleased that 35 of the 57 singers in the virtual choir are BUFsters!



Monday, March 22, 2021

Lovely choir plan for Wednesday March 24

Dear BUF Choir,

This Wednesday we'll celebrate our "Spring Equinox Love Song Fest" singers from last Sunday and we'll practice the hymns and special music for next Sunday, March 28 and for Easter, April 4.

We'll hear about the resumption of in-person singing at BUF, following guidelines being set by the BUF Covid Task Force.

We'll review how to find and view resources and videos on our choir blog site, including the Martin Luther quotes video and the Rick Hermann birthday video that are now posted there.

We'll remember our choir member Ernie Hinds, who passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, March 21, by singing selections from some beautiful classical music that Ernie loved.

It is so lovely to be together, even by Zoom.

See ya,


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Rick Herman's 70th Birthday

Hi BUFsters,

For our March 10th BUF Choir Rehearsal, we are sharing songs and poems in honor of Rick Herman's 70th birthday. I encouraging everybody to come prepared with a song or poem to share. You may invite others to attend, even if they are not usually with us on Wednesdays. If you have a song request that you'd like me or somebody else to sing, let us know. If you have something to be screen shared (like a printed poem or piece of art), please email it to me in advance.

The choir Zoom link is 

and the password is BUF

This is gonna be fun! 

See ya,


Monday, March 1, 2021

Wednesday is a songfest!

Hi BUF Choir,

At this Wednesday's BUF choir rehearsal, we'll have a singalong song fest. Please be prepared to present or request your favorite hymns from either hymnbook.  

Zoom link:  

password: BUF. 

See ya, 


Monday, February 22, 2021

It Is Time Now

February 23, 2021

Dear BUF Choristers,

Today is exactly one year since our last Interfaith Music Festival, on February 23, 2020, and what a year it has been! Watching the videos from that day, of BUF singing "Baba Yetu" with Unati Machyo on the solo, and of the festival choir singing "Bright Morning Stars" makes me cry. How did we do that? When will we be able to sing like that again?

I'll show you those videos during our Zoom rehearsal tomorrow (Wednesday , Feb 24 - use the regular link:     password: BUF).  and then I want to just look at you and celebrate that at least we're still here! And not only that, but we ARE having an Interfaith Music Festival this year, albeit a virtual one.

As of Monday afternoon, these six intrepid singers submitted videos of themselves singing "We Shall Be Known" : Lawrence Allen, Lisa Heezen, Tessie Mandeville, Cindy Pfeiffer-Hoyt, Melanie Rieck and Jane Ronca-Washburn.  Kudos to them!

It is time now for THEM to encourage the rest of us, to answer our questions and quicken our resolve. Our videos are due March 5, and I heartily hope that the rest of us will join the celebrated six above in the virtuous ranks of the virtual heavenly choir, who know that:

     We shall be known by the company we keep, by the ones who circle round to tend these fires.

     We shall be known by the ones who sow and reap the seeds of change, alive from deep within the earth

     It is time now, it is time now that we thrive, it is time we lead ourselves into the well

     It is time now, and what a time to be alive, in this Great Turning we shall learn to lead in love.

See ya Wednesday,



Monday, February 15, 2021

Let's Do It


It's time to be filming ourselves singing "We Shall Be Known" for the 2021 Interfaith Music Festival VIRTUAL CHOIR. I hope everyone in the BUF choir will do this. Learning this song and videoing ourselves singing it is what we are doing in BUF choir this month.

We are here to help each other, and to help Interfaith assist those experiencing homelessness. Our virtual choir will draw county-wide attention and prompt new fundraising for Interfaith.

If you can do Zoom on a computer and have a smartphone that can take videos, I think you can do this.

There are two processes: 1) master the part, 2) film yourself.  All the instructions and materials are posted on the choir blog.

Here is my first humble request, please: before Wednesday's rehearsal, practice singing your part along with both Al's rehearsal track and my click-track recording video. It would be best to memorize the song, so we're not fumbling with music. If we have practiced it by ourselves, we will be better able to understand the instructions and ask the right questions.

Here is my humble second request, please: try making your individual video before Wednesday, if you can, even a draft one, so that you can tell us what challenges you are facing and how you may have solved them. I just made a video myself, and was surprised at how many attempts it took me to set it up and get it right. You can watch my sample, labeled "We Shall Be Known Baritone sample Kevin Allen-Schmid.mp4" in the We Shall Be Known folder in our blog.

The deadline for submitting a video is March 5, so we have plenty of time, but if a few of us get started making our videos by Wednesday and share our experience with the group, it will be empowering for sure.


During the last part of the rehearsal, I will ask those who are liaisons with the Interfaith member congregations to stay on and discuss our approach to getting 2 photos and 1 music video from each congregation. Patricia Conover wrote out the request in her own gracious words. Perhaps she'll share her letter with us.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Love is calling you

 Love Songs Open Mic, February 13

As of now (Monday afternoon), 17 (yes, seventeen) BUFsters and friends have signed up to sing something for this Saturday's Drive Thru-Love Fest-Open Mic-Fair Trade-Bubble Event at BUF, between 1-3pm. 60+ singers were invited, but 38 haven't answered yet. If you're one of them, please email me a quick yes, no or maybe. We'll be practicing, encouraging and brainstorming for this event at Wednesday's choir rehearsal via Zoom.

Virtual Choir of 2021 Interfaith Music Festival

All the instructions and materials have now been created and posted on our choir blog for you to film yourself singing "We Shall Be Known" for our next virtual choir project. We will have sectionals on the song again this Wednesday evening, and review the process. It is my hope that all of you BUF singers who have been attending Wednesday Zoom rehearsals will film yourselves, as well as other BUF Choir members who have been on Covid hiatus. The deadline for submitting a video is March 5.

Interfaith Liaisons

I need one BUF liaison for each of the 42 Interfaith Coalition member congregations. Your job as liaison will be to explain our project and get a photo and a music video from each congregation; not just to ASK for them, but to actually GET them - so this may require some doggedness. I will give each liaison the needed contact info. Here is the ask:

Please provide the following for this year's Interfaith Virtual Music Festival:

-TWO PHOTOS (can include your meeting place inside or outside, clergy and/or musicians)

-A ONE-MINUTE MUSIC VIDEO (we suggest filming one verse of a favorite congregational hymn or song. If your video is longer than a minute, we can trim it down. 

You can take the pictures and video using a smartphone, and email or text the results. Pklease submit by March 5, 2021



Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Wednesday Feb 3, 2021

Dear BUF Singers, 

Thanks to Karen FitzGerald, we now have a new updated score for "We Shall Be Known" and separate sheets for each part: Soprano (harmony), Alto (melody), and Baritone (harmony). These can be found in the "We Shall Be Known" folder on the Choir Blog site:

Thanks o Al Heezen, we now have rehearsal tracks for each part as well. These can be found on the BUF Choir Practice site:

Please print yourself a copy of the score and/or your individual part, and rehearse it before choir on Wednesday,= if possible. That will help us make better progress as a group over Zoom - or at least it may help us to know what questions to ask.

Also in Wednesday's rehearsal, i will share with you a video clip of one of my favorite moments in music of all time. Just wait for it . . .  



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Meal Train for Ernie Hinds

Greetings BUF community.  Ernie Hinds is scheduled for surgery on Feb. 1, 2021.  I have set up a Meal train for him starting Feb. 5.  Thanks to all of you wonderful cooks out there for helping Ernie. 

Heather Higgins

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Choir Rehearsal January 27

 Hi Choir,

On Wednesday, January 27, we will spend some good time learning "We Shall Be Known." You will get to choose which part you want to learn, and then break out into a sectional on that part. 

The score and other related material is on the choir Blog page

in the upper right.

See ya, Kevin

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Choir rehearsal Zoom link

 Hi BUF Choir,

Here is the proper link for Wednesday choir rehearsals


Password:  BUF

See ya at 7pm, after the Inaugural concert tonight!


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

BUF Choir Resumes Wednesday, January 13, 2021

 Hi Music Makers, 

We will meet in our regular way on Wednesday, January 13 from 7-8pm using our regular Zoom link:

We will be rehearsing for the January 17 MLK Service and launching our "We Shall Be Known" project for a 2021 virtual Interfaith Coalition Music Festival. 

See ya, Kevin

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

No Zoom Choir tonight - January 6

 Hi BUF Music Makers,

Let's cancel Zoom choir for tonight. There is too much chaos in the country. I, for one, can't concentrate. See ya next Wednesday,  January 13.