This past Sunday, the New World Chorus participated in a beautiful service at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Stamford to celebrate the upcoming Valentine’s Day this Friday, Feb. 14th. With heartfelt songs and a powerful message brought by our very own Dr. Chela Belcher (NWC Spiritual Dir./Asst. Choir Dir.), the congregation was blessed by the theme “Love is All Around Us”. The choir presented a new song by the same name, which speaks to the notion that love is LITERALLY all around us… everywhere. In the atmosphere, in the falling snow, in the colors of Spring, in everything we see, touch, hear, smell etc.. I was inspired to write this song because of a movie I had recently seen at Temple Beth El called “Journey to the Universe” an Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth and Human Transformation (http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/). The movie deepened my understanding of how we are literally one. Not just with each other as human beings and all of life here on Earth, but even more profoundly, we are one with the entire universe.
I want to give a special thanks to Rev. Dr. Frances Sink and the UUSIS for always being so welcoming and for allowing us to share our music and message with their congregation.
Happy Valentine’s Day!! Beth
Happy New Year 2014!!
Now that we’ve sashayed past the holidays and are preparing for the new and exciting NWC Spring Season 2014, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the amazing NWC Fall/Winter 2013 Season.
It is hard to put into words, all that went into creating the season… the experience of our rehearsals, the making of our first CD “We Will Sing for You”, our inspiring Thanksgiving community interfaith event – “A Time to Be Grateful 2013”, topping it off with the Stamford “Street Angels” as well as our season completion party… But here are some thoughts, highlights and a few acknowledgements of the wonderful people who contributed so much to make it all happen.
When creating any event… it takes 2 minutes to dream it up. That’s the easy part. What happens next takes a lot of heart, communication, commitment, time, courage, patience, artistry, respect, practice and will to name a few attributes… then you have to sprinkle a little faith on all of that so the stars line up with your plan! You especially need to be blessed with people who are willing to dream with you, who are willing to climb the mountain, and see the process through to the end. You need an inspired and loving community. Fortunately, I have a lot going in my favor, because I am surrounded by an amazing group of people who are all that and more – the New World Chorus members, our Choir Directors Jason Terry and Chela Belcher, our devoted Production Manager Eileen Rosner, my dear friend and sound consultant Johnny Montagnese (Carriage House Studios), and of course, my wonderful family, Jill and Timothy. I want to say THANK YOU so much to all of you, for “climbing the mountain”. AND… there is more to the story…. that is the partnership, generosity and openness of the community at large – our families, friends, neighbors, clergy, community leaders and colleagues, who keep coming and have continued to invite others to join with us to experience the joy of connection, love and unity. I want to give special thanks to this year’s hosts of “A Time to Be Grateful” – Temple Sinai’s Rabbi Jay TelRav, Connie Elkinson, Cantor Micah Morgovsky and to Interfaith Council’s Rev. Kate Heichler. I also want to express my deep gratitude to Temple Beth El of Stamford for their ongoing support of the New World Chorus and for providing a warm atmosphere for us to rehearse. Also, thank you to the First Congregational Church of Stamford for hosting the “Stamford Street Angels” rehearsals this year. We are ALL so grateful!! THANK YOU.
And finally, it is a profound privilege to compose and arrange music for the New World Chorus and I look forward to continuing to expand our musical palette by including more traditions and languages. JOY! The New World Chorus is truly an extended ‘family’. I am so lucky to work, sing and play with such a great group of people… the experience, both musical and spiritual, is filled with your energy and passion that continues to impact our community and… I must say how much I enjoy such a cast of characters that have me belly laughing at most of our rehearsals… and at other times, moved to tears. I look forward to seeing you and working with you for all that is coming our way in 2014… living into our vision, “one world, one voice, united in love”.
Peace and Love!
This season has started off not only with the blessing of beautiful Fall weather; the breathtaking myriad of color drenched leaves – but also… the incredible blessing of the new and familiar faces of the New World Chorus. We welcomed several new members from the area and beyond! What a joy!
Now is the time when we meditate on the meaning of ‘gratitude’. It is inside this context that the NWC, our choir directors and I roll up our sleeves and work together to create a special experience for the community. While we are learning the music, there is a bond that is shared . We grow together, we open our hearts together, and we share this blessing of love with others. Our vision continues to lead us into a new year – filled with hope and anything possible – “One World, One Voice, United in Love”.
Here’s to an amazing holiday season and an inspiring 3rd year ahead…
Peace and Love, Beth
The New World Chorus’s Summer Season has come to an end and I am missing ALL of you!! …but everyone should take the time to enjoy, breathe and look towards the Fall with GREAT anticipation! We’re looking to start off strong come October and I am reaching out to everyone for your support. Our goal is “50 by the Fall” – and it’s going to take a lot of sharing by our members and supporters to make it happen. BTW… our real goal is 100+ but we can start with smaller milestones :)!!! Last year we averaged 32 members. It is time to grow our community.
Beginning in the Fall, we will be preparing music for our first big community Multi-Faith event “A Time to Be Grateful” 2013. This will be our 3rd Thanksgiving together!! OMG!!! This year Rabbi Jay TelRav and Temple Sinai of North Stamford will be hosting. Sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut, we hope to have a bigger turnout than ever. Growing our New World Chorus community will expand our reach into the community at large… And that is a sweetness we are looking for. To share the love with as many people as we can, one heart, one community at a time.
So wherever you are this Summer… please share your hearts out!! If each member brings 1 new person… we will have reached our first milestone!! Yay!!
Peace and Love,
On any given day, how do you feel about being one of the 7 billion people on our planet Earth? How do you locate your particular self in the mosaic mix of cultures, landscapes, colors and voices of the human experience? In dissonance and in resonance, we each have a part in the great song we are singing to the universe. On July 7th, we shared a sweet service with the wonderful congregants of the Unitarian Church of Westport, led by Dr. Rev. Frances Sink (UUSIS) who acted as guest Pastor. It was during the week of the intense heat wave we were experiencing on the East Coast, but the NWC brought some fresh air into the room! I hope we get to visit soon again…
2013 was our second year celebrating “Pride & Joy” hosted by the UUSIS. The Unitarian Universalist Society was one of the FIRST to support the LGBT Community. We honor them for their continued stand for all civil rights! The message was delivered by our very own Dr. Chela Belcher, Spiritual Director and Assistant Choir Director. One of the most powerful aspects of the service and message, was about “paying it forward”. Even those among us who have experienced suffering in one way or another, have also experienced a profound kindness by those who have stood by us. That love is so important because it can can change the course of someone’s life in an instant from feeling hopeless to believing in new possibilities. It is indeed time for us to share that kind of love with everyone.
It is a tradition for many synagogues to present a “Cantor’s Concert” each year. This year, Temple Beth El invited several Cantors as well as the New World Chorus to join in this wonderful concert. There was a great turnout from surrounding areas making it especially joyful. The grand finale featured all performers singing the “Shehecheyanu” composed by Beth Styles. Guests joined by singing and dancing to the music in the aisles. Also, was also a celebration honoring Eileen Rosner for her many years of service to the synagogue.
This year the New World Chorus joined the UUSIS in commemorating Memorial Day. The choir sang special music in honor of this meaningful holiday. Rev. Dr. Frances Sink, touched everyone with her sermon.
New World Chorus
97 Big Oak Road
Stamford, CT 06903