First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

Music Ministry

There are many opportunities to get involved with the musical life of First Unitarian Church! From our choir that performs weekly, the First Unitarian Choir, to our intergenerational choir that rehearses monthly and performs on special occasions, the First Church Voices, to other opportunities like playing in our band, Wind Ensemble, forming a small ensemble with other musicians in the congregation, or being part of the ad-hoc musical group that supports our monthly Vespers services, the possibilities are endless! Not sure how you might contribute your talents best? Contact me, Interim Music Director Nate Bergey at 

Listen to our special collaboration with the Mother Bethel AME Mass Choir for WXPN's "Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul" series under the musical direction of John B. Hedges and Jonas Crenshaw, Jr.! 

Scroll below to find out about our current opportunities! 

First Unitarian Choir (FUC): 
FUC is our main choir. We meet weekly and sing in most Sunday services. The repertoire spans the choral canon from Renaissance and Spirituals to Bobby McFerrin and U2. All skills levels are welcome, previous experience and music reading abilities are welcomed. Rehearsals take place Thursday evenings from 7-9PM in the Parish room, and Sunday mornings from 9:45-10:45AM. For more information, please speak to Nate Bergey or a choir member. You are welcome to join any rehearsals, but please email first in case the meeting was canceled or moved to another room.

Musicians Outside of Choir: There are many talents within our congregation and if you would like to share yours we would love to have you. If we know who you are, what instrument(s) you play, and what your availability is, we can put together various groups to help with services. If you love to sing, we can pair you with an accompanist, or you can accompany yourself. If you would like to play hymns for services, please reach out as well. In regards to specific instruments, you may speak with Nate Bergey (voice etc), Lisa Schilansky (brass), Joy Wiltenberg (wind), and Fred Tipson (guitar).

First Unitarian Wind Ensemble (FUWE): FUWE is more than just hot air. We also welcome string players, percussionists, and the odd vuvuzela. Nate Bergey The repertoire spans the gamut from classical and pop to modern and even some film scores. Do not hesitate to reach out to Nate if you are interested in playing, all experience levels are welcome. For further information or any questions about the music program at First Unitarian Church, contact Nate Bergey - Interim Music Director:

First Church Voices: If your child loves to sing and so do you, this is for YOU. FCV is an intergenerational choir for anyone who is interested in choir, but would like a less involved experience than the FUC choir. FCV meets once a month after the service. No prior experience is necessary and this is a fantastic low key opportunity to participate in the musical life of the church. For information regarding rehearsals and repertoire, reach out to Nate Bergey.

The Greater Philly Cluster of Unitarian Universalist Churches (GPCUU):  There are a number of opportunities to get involved with music, even if you can’t commit to weekly rehearsals. GPCUU sponsors a number of events that draw Unitarian musicians from all over the regional area. Request to join this google group to stay informed.

Spring Vocal Workshop: The GPC (Greater Philly Cluster) is hosting the second annual workshop for UU singers. The workshop will provide valuable resources on learning about the vocal instrument and the challenges and opportunities of the aging voice, along with other helpful topics. There will be an opportunity for each congregation that participates to share a song or two and there will be a culminating group performance. See the Greater Philadelphia Cluster website linked below or contact Nate Bergey for more details.

Protest Choir: This is a choir being formed with the UU cluster singers and will be an opportunity to join our voices together in protest. The choir will learn selected repertoire and meet at First U to join protests happening in the city.

The Greater Philadelphia Cluster website has details on these and many other ways to getinvolved with the local UU community.


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