Service Music

Music Ministry Updates

For more information about our UUCB Concert Series, click here.

Upcoming Service Music
Services are held every Sunday at 10:30am. Services are being held In-Person, and you can livestream them from our YouTube page. Below is a list of the artist that will provide our special music for these upcoming services.

“Now is the month of maying!” joyfully cry the five merry voices of Thomas Morley’s famous 16th century ballett, and indeed there is much to feel jolly about as we enter a month of several celebratory services.

On the first service of the month, we will not only introduce the theme of “nurturing beauty,” but dedicate a child and welcome temporary Soprano Soloist Julia Anne Cordani. Julia will be joined by Liam, Mike, and Chris – as well as choir members Beth White and Leo Mitchell – in filling our sacred space with the beautiful sounds of jazz, Renaissance polyphony, 19th century opera, soft-rock, and modernist piano music.

On May 8th, members of the Buffalo Silver Band will share a selection of music as a preview of their May 21st Casual Concert program. The UUCB Choir also hopes to give a brief preview of Francis Poulenc’s masterwork Stabat Mater, which – appropriately for Mothers’ Day – is a sweet celebration of the feminine divine.

On May 15th, Music Sunday! The UUCB Music Staff and Choir will present our first full-scale Music Sunday since before the pandemic began: Sacred Sounds – The Devotional Music of Francis Poulenc. The colorful vocal works of 20th Century French composer Francis Poulenc are at once reverent yet playful, tuneful yet dense, and illustrate themes of grief, love, doubt, and wonderment. Our usual musical team will be joined by the voices of five of the Buffalo area’s best young professional singers – alto Alex McArthur, tenor Matthew Spaulding, baritone and bass Brandon and Tyler Mecklenburg, and the afore mentioned soprano Julia Anne Cordani – as well as the outstanding student musicians of Claudia Browns’s UB Chamber Singers.

May 22nd is RE Sunday. This youth-oriented service will showcase the musical talents of the RE students, with the Music Staff taking on a supporting role.

Finally, on May 29th, we will honor our lost loved ones with touching choral and quartet offerings in acknowledgment of Memorial Day.

May 15th – Sacred Sounds – The Devotional Music of Francis Poulenc

For more than half a century, one of our great traditions at UUCB has been our Music Sundays – special services that showcase music’s immense spiritual power. On May 15, 2022, we will present our first full-scale Music Sunday since before the pandemic began: Sacred Sounds – The Devotional Music of Francis Poulenc. This event will feature excerpts from Poulenc’s masterwork Stabat Mater as well as excerpts from several of his chamber vocal ensemble pieces. Join us in celebrating the unique beauty of Poulenc’s musical world.

The mission of the Choir is to nurture the ministry of music in the life of the congregation; to encourage members and friends to share and develop their musical gifts; and to share the ministry of music with the community outside our congregation.

The choir is a volunteer group supported by four professional section leaders. The choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings (except May and June) and Sunday mornings. The music is chosen to enhance the worship experience and the theme of the service.

We also regularly feature guest musicians, some from our own congregation as well as from outside our community.

​Our Music Director, Dr. Jessie Downs, is a composer, soprano, and vocal instructor with a passion for combining tradition and innovation. She is active as an acclaimed composer of opera and chamber music, performs regularly as a concert soloist with a focus in bel canto, and teaches private voice lessons – online and in person – to a diverse cohort of students. She holds a Bachelors of Music from Oberlin Conservatory (2013) and a PhD in Composition – awarded  “with distinction” – from the University at Buffalo (2021).

© 2022 Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo