Music Search Committee Update & Interim Report

Music Search Committee Update & Interim Report

Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church’s Music Director, Stephen Grimm, will be retiring at the end of June. The Music Search Committee has been charged with the task of finding a new director. While we are unlikely to find someone exactly like Stephen Grimm, we are working thoughtfully and diligently to support Rev. Lissa in recommending a candidate that can continue where Stephen Grimm will leave off, while also moving us forward, musically and synergistically, into the future.

The main phase for data gathering and consulting with the congregation is now complete. On January 21, and following the “Town Hall” discussion, held by Rev. Lissa and Stephen Grimm on October 1, 2017, the committee hosted a one-hour roundtable forum. We urged every church member who could not join the roundtable to complete an online or paper survey. The same questions that were asked in the roundtable and the survey were used in surveying the youth on February 11th.

A significant percentage of the congregation responded and the committee considered every response. Each was important, and the results, as a whole, were interesting and creative. The committee learned much about the variety of musical experiences that move us as a congregation. Roundtable forum participants volunteered that it was valuable to hear others’ preferences as well as expressing their own.

Through both the Roundtable and survey processes, we found a strong convergence regarding the main purposes of music in our church and its importance. Members underscored the important relationship between music, the service, the sermon, and our 7 Principles, as well as the value of the choir.
Many members said that they appreciated the current program, with its year-round mix of genres and performers, and want it to continue. We received significant responses calling for changes and innovations to the program, including an expanded role for integrating a children’s choir, a larger variety of genres and performers, and more contemporary music.

We will bear in mind all of these thoughtful contributions as we continue our work.

Currently, the Committee is preparing to draft proposed job announcements for Rev. Lissa’s review. Updates will continue to be provided as our process advances.

If you have questions, comments or concerns about the Music Search Committee’s process, please contact us at

Thank you for your ongoing support.