Greetings! I am thrilled to be launching into a season of newness as your music director at Neighborhood Church. My summer was all about discernment, transitions, good-byes, hellos, stay-cations, and relaxation. My summer was also about being refreshed and uplifted as a presenter at the 99th annual national convention of the National Association of Negro Musicians. And it was about being inspired and challenged as a first-time attendee at the annual conference of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network.
On the home front, my daughter Felicity was accepted into the California School of Arts – San Gabriel Valley to study musical theater. Both she and her younger sister Natalie started at new schools this fall in the Duarte Unified School district close to our home. I began a new year as choir director at Harvard Westlake Upper School. And my husband prepares to sing his 9th professional season with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. My family looks forward to becoming a part of the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church community.
Though the the first 4-6 weeks of the new church year can be notoriously stressful, the newness all around us adds an element of hope and excitement that can propell us forward. I am excited for the journey that awaits us in this new season of music ministry at Neighborhood Church. We’ve hired 5 wonderful new folks to our music staff to aid us on our musical journey of newness and inspiration:
Vincent Lynch, collaborative keyboardist
F. Thomas Simpson, bell choir director
Amy Waters, soprano soloist and section leader
Gloria Palermo, mezzo soloist and section leader
Michael Fausto, tenor soloist and section leader
Adrian Banuelos, baritone soloist and section leader
Choir rehearsals have already begun (new singers are always welcome on Thursday nights at 7:15 p.m.!). And our bell choir, under the direction of Thomas Simpson, rehearses at 7 p.m. on Mondays beginning Monday, September 17.
Please join me in welcoming our new artists to our community over the next several weeks. We look forward to making music with you throughout the year.
Dr. Zanaida Robles