As my time here at First Church draws to a close at the end of this month, I've been reflecting on the past 6 1/2 years of beautiful music and community that we have made together. This congregation has a rich history of music, which has always inspired my work here. Former music directors like Tom Benjamin, Dean Dalton and Jason Oby, as well as our beloved keyboard artist, Bob Fazakerly, all brought our music program to new heights. And it has been an honor to follow in their footsteps.
This Sunday's services will feature our wonderful Sanctuary Choir singing one of my favorite anthems, "¡Cantar!" by Jay Althouse. Sung in Spanish and English, this song proclaims with joy all that we can accomplish when we sing "con una voz" - with one voice. Indeed, I've been so inspired by the work of our ministers and staff and congregation, partnering with our local community to stand up for justice, and shine a light on the issues that are so important in today's world. And music can be such a powerful tool for inspiring action and deepening our examination of our world.
And for me, it's the community aspect of music making that is most energizing. An ensemble is defined as "a group of musicians who perform together." But within our choir, we like to take that even further: We not only perform together, but we support and celebrate each other. Singing alone as one person can be very powerful - but that is magnified when a whole group of singers join their voices together in beautiful harmony. The same can be said for the work that we do as a church community. Though we value the contributions of individuals, it's what we do together - con una voz - that can really make a difference.
I'm grateful for the opportunities this church has given to me over the past several years, to make music and grow as a musician and as a person. I'm grateful for the deep connections I've made here. I'm grateful for our committed leaders, ever steering us forward. Thank you for the many gifts I have received here at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston.