Music Programs

It’s hard to imagine an easier or more fun way to get involved at First Parish than participating in one of our several music groups. 

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There is room for all voices and instruments, regardless of your experience (or lack thereof). If you are interested in making music at First Parish, please contact Kate Campe (Assistant Music Director for Youth and Intergenerational Programs), or use the form below. 

The First Parish choir consists of 15-20 voices, singing 2-3 Sundays a month, and exploring a great array of repertoire, from medieval to Gospel, the sacred to the poetically secular. 


The choir rehearses Thursdays from 7:30 – 9 p.m. on Thursdays and, on Sundays when it’s participating in the service, from 9:30 – 10:15 a.m.  The choir meets from September – June.   

Choir participation can be on a “per term” or “per event” basis, and with schedule flexibility. More information on such arrangements is available by talking to Music Director.

On occasion we put together an ad hoc “community choir” where everyone, young and old, seasoned performers and musical neophytes, is welcome. On these Sundays, we gather at 9:15 am to learn accessible songs that we will then share with the congregation at that morning’s service. Come, add your voice to the song!

The First Parish Children’s Choir (ages 5-13) rehearses at 9:30 am before church and sings in family services approximately once a month. For further information, contact Kate Campe.

The First Parish Singers is a group of up to a dozen members and friends of the Parish, who sing folk music, gospel, and the occasional pop or show tune, often accompanied by guitar, bass, mandolin, etc. Jim and Beth Sargent are the coordinators of the Singers. For more information or to participate wit the First Parish Singers, contact Beth Sargent.

First Parish is lucky to have a variety of talented instrumental performers covering a range of genres from classical to folk to jazz and covering a similar range of ages. If you are interested in contributing your musical talents to First Parish worship or in other areas or want to discuss the music program at First Parish, please contact the music director.

Please see the Events page for any upcoming special musical events! Past major special events have included:

The combined choirs of First Parish and Second Church of Newton (United Church of Christ), collaborated to perform “Mass in the time of rest,” by Baroque composer Georg Muffat, with orchestra (May 2012).

  • The Sounds of 1711: A Concert in Honor of the Needham Tercentennial (April 2011) was presented by First Parish as a “sonic collage” of music from around the time of Needham’s founding. The concert was free and open to the public — a birthday gift from First Parish to the Town of Needham.
  • First Parish choir members participated in the performance of Jason Shelton and Kendyl Gibbon’s “Sources: A Unitarian Universalist Cantata” in January 2011.
  • Ruddigore (May 2010) – Gilbert and Sullivan’s madcap musical romp through the English seaside in 1815, replete with haunted castles, fair maidens, ghosts coming out of ancestral portraits, and a madwoman stalking the graveyard!
  • Drumming and Spirituality Workshop with Matt Meyer (October 2009)
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