The UU Musicians Network conference ended yesterday morning with 120 of the attendees singing at the 9 am service at FUS of Madison, directed by Dr. Stephen Alltop. The special music was "Little Elegy" by Stephen Paulus -- a piece commissioned by the UUMN. The choir also sang Bach's "Dona Nobis Pacem," Rutter's "Down By the Riverside" and "Deep River" by Andrew Paulsson.
"Deep River" filled me with the holy spirit and connected me with the divine. I wanted to throw my hands in the air, but since I'd already had my hands in the air for the hymn "There Is more Love Somewhere," I thought I'd better not do it again. :-) And, I would have clapped on 2 & 4 all during "Riverside" if I had been 100% sure of avoiding 1 & 3. Anyway, the music was sublime!
It was such a wonderful gift and an honor to host this conference. I encourage all UU congregations who are mid-size and larger to host the UU Musicians Network conference. The 2010 conference had about 240 attendees, so perhaps it would be difficult for a small congregation to host this.
Thanks to FUS Music Director Dan Broner and especially to Assistant Music Director Linda Warren for organizing this conference.