Identified in our congregational survey as one of BUUF’s core strengths, music is a fundamental element of worship at our Fellowship. The music program is led by our talented and inspiring professional music director, Carrie Bastian, and is supported by the steady efforts of volunteers and occasional guest musicians.
Our adult choir holds weekly rehearsals during the program year, and performs approximately every three to four weeks. The choir seeks to have fun, learn and grow as musicians, and to make rehearsal time a spiritual practice. The choir is non-audition, with the chief prerequisites to participation being a desire to sing, to learn, and to commit to the ensemble. With a wide range of musical knowledge and ability, the choir strives for musical excellence, knowing the ultimate goal is the sharing and joy found within communal singing. Choir performances are also a wonderful visual reminder of our connection to our partner church in Mészkő, Transylvannia, as choir members wear beautiful stoles that were hand-made by Mészkő church members.
Our Music Director, Carrie Bastian, is well known and respected in the Boise music community. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Education from Boise State University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from California State University at Los Angeles. Carrie directs the choir, accompanies congregational hymn singing, and regularly coordinates and accompanies vocal and instrumental performances for Sunday services, rendered by both volunteer and guest musicians, which serve as the Introit, Interlude and Offertory within the liturgy. We have a small budget for honoraria for non-member guest musicians, although most of the special music is offered as a gift of time and talent from members and friends.
The Music Committee provides oversight for music at BUUF, coordinates with the Worship Committee, works with the Personnel committee to manage hiring and review of our paid staff (currently the Music Director and choir accompanists), and gives input on the music budget. The Music Committee generally meets once a month, with additional communication conducted via email.
Music is carefully coordinated to support the spoken message and thematic elements of each service. We seek to express the diversity of Unitarian Universalism through our music by featuring a wide variety of genres and styles, including classical, traditional, spiritual, folk, pop, rock, show-tunes, and world and ethnic music. Our congregation sings hymns joyfully and enthusiastically from both Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Journey.