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 . . .