Sources Cantata to Be Performed at General Assembly
At this General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, over 100 members of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians’ Network (UUMN) will join together to perform Sources: A Unitarian Universalist Cantata. Made possible by the loving support of Daniel and Suzanne Boyce of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and John L. Norris of Nashville, Tennessee, this performance will bring this unique work for choir and orchestra, for the first time, to an audience of Unitarian Universalists from all cross the nation.
When they heard that an effort was in motion to bring the Sources Cantata to General Assembly, Dan and Sue Boyce were delighted to have the opportunity to support it. Both trained musicians, Dan served as the choir director at the Birmingham Unitarian Church in Michigan for 24 years. As founding members of the UUMN, they feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful community of musicians on the national level—a community which they have come to consider a family. And most importantly, they feel blessed to be able to give back in this meaningful way.
John Norris shares the Boyces’ deep passion for music and singing. He attends the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville and sang in the choir there for many years. Introduced to the Sources Cantata at its debut performance at the Nashville Church, John sees his gift as an exceptional way to support the Unitarian Universalist music, and musicians, that have long played an important role in his life and his faith.
A UUMN member and friend of Dan and Sue Boyce, Sources composer Rev. Jason Shelton serves as the Associate Minister for Music at John Norris’s church in Nashville. Shelton was first inspired in 2005 to compose a major Unitarian Universalist piece—one that would tell the story of our theological diversity through musical settings drawing on Unitarian Universalism’s Six Sources. But he needed a lyricist. Touched by the words she had written for Lady of the Seasons’ Laughter, hymn #51 from Singing the Living Tradition, Shelton decided to cold-call Rev. Kendyl Gibbons, minister of the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, Minnesota to ask if she would lend her talent to the libretto for his composition.
Shelton and Gibbons ended up forging an incredible creative partnership and together, in collaboration with other musicians, including hip hop artist Justice Whitaker, created an unprecedented work—featuring Latin jazz, gospel, Broadway, hip hop and classical styles—full of musical and poetic variation.
John Norris plans to be at General Assembly to hear the Sources Cantata performed live, again. Dan and Sue Boyce will also be traveling to Fort Lauderdale to perform with their fellow UUMN members, under the direction of Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe. They are thrilled to be a part of sharing this first-of-its-kind work with thousands Unitarian Universalists at this General Assembly.
Read more about the Sources Cantata at uuworld.org.