Westside’s Music Ministry
Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation is committed to a vibrant music ministry that serves the congregation by presenting diverse and inspiring worship music. We offer opportunities for members and non-members, high school age and up, to develop and share their musical talents.
Bertram Gulhaugen, our music director and choir conductor, is assisted by a professional rhythm section, volunteer music leaders, 2 skilled pianists, and a host of other highly capable music volunteers. To get involved, contact Bert.
The WSUU Chorale is our largest choir and sings for worship services twice each month from September through May. The Chorale is open to adults and high school students who can sing harmony, and have the willingness to explore a variety of styles of music as well as a desire to learn to improve their vocal and ensemble skills. The Chorale generally sings for worship services on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month and for the annual Christmas Eve service. Rehearsals are Monday evenings, 7:15-9:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.
The Chalice Singers
The Chalice Singers’ focus is on world, folk, rounds, chant, and a variety of small ensemble genres. It is open to adults and high school students who can sing harmony and have the willingness to explore a variety of styles of music. The Chalice Singers generally sing for worship services on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of the month from September through May as well as occasionally during the summer. Rehearsals are Monday evenings, 9:00-9:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.
The Celebration Singers
The Celebration Singers is 5 singers who, along with the Westside Rhythm Section, lead Unitarian Universalist praise music at least once per month as well as 5 praise services per year. Membership of adults and high school students is by invitation or audition. Members should be comfortable working with microphones, be quick learners, have skill with rhythm, and have the ability to improvise harmony. Rehearsals are arranged as needed.
The Summer Choir
The Chorale takes the summer off (June through August), but some just can't get enough choral singing or they want to like the opportunity to sing in a choir with a minimal expectation of commitment. The Summer Choir is an ad hoc ensemble that sings for up to six worship services in June, July, and August. Anyone who can sing, no matter what age, is welcome to participate. We hold a rehearsal the morning of for each scheduled worship service and sing music that's simple or familiar to most.
Westside Rhythm Section
The Westside Rhythm Section plays for services at least three times per month and is made up of Seattle area professional musicians: pianist John Hansen, bassists/bass guitarists (on rotation) Martin Sherry, Marion Kee, and Emmanuel del Casal, and drummer Larry Jones. They are proficient with playing jazz, gospel, Latin, funk, blues, pop, and rock styles as well as tradition choral music and they bring a fresh perspective to favorite older hymns and energize worship with newer Unitarian Universalist hymns. Membership is by invitation or audition.
Westside values diversity of music so to that end we have two talented pianists, Janet Sweet and Lisa Maynard, who play for worship once or twice per month instead of the rhythm section. They play piano literature from the 18th century through the present and accompany hymns. Their presence creates a quieter feel during worship that is deeply valued.