“Where words fail,” said Hans Christian Andersen, “music speaks.” This is especially true in a liberal church, where professions of concept are held up to question. A few years ago, ORUUC hosted a consultant who helped us name the aspiration of music on Sundays that was “excellent and eclectic.” Sure enough, that is just what it is. We resist categories like “traditional” or “contemporary.” Instead, drawing from a wide range of styles and instrumentation, we just make sure it is good.
Perhaps it’s in music that our questions fall silent, that we open to awe. At ORUUC, those who issue the invitation to awe include several musical groups made up of church-members:
We lead worship two Sundays a month by singing a variety of choral music, and also encouraging congregational participation in song. We learn about music and worship and share ours joys and concerns. We also promote UU values in the community by performing at interfaith events, with other area UU congregations, and at local cultural events.
Rehearsals are Wednesdays at 7PM.
Mighty House Band
We lead worship by playing and singing music with a more contemporary flavor, and encouraging congregational participation in song. Our repertoire includes everything from contemporary arrangements of classic hymns to the latest indie-pop. We promote UU values by performing at interfaith events, at cluster events with other area UU congregations, and at local events such as the Taste of Anderson County and the Lavendar Festival.
Rehearsals Wednesdays at 8PM.
We celebrate and share our love of folk music by leading music in 3-4 worship services a year, and by singing for various events and occasions in the church and the wider community. Rehearsals are on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 5:45 pm.
We are the young singers of our community. We meet every Sunday to learn about music, singing, and worship. We sing, dance, play instruments, and other fun stuff. We get a healthy snack at 12:15 and then go to the sanctuary to learn songs that we sing in church once a month.
We are a drum circle, a small group ministry whose purpose lies in experiencing and developing the rhythms within ourselves and between the members of our group, congregation and the greater community. No experience is necessary. Meeting 2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month at 2PM.
A group for all ages and abilities, we get together on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, and play ukuleles. We enjoy learning to play, especially as the ukulele is gaining renewed prominence in the musical world.
Starr Concert Series
Now and then, ORUUC will host concerts, such as folk artists Peter Mayer and Namoli Brennet. In recent years, we’ve hosted song-leading workshops from Ysaye Barnwell, of Sweet Honey in the Rock, as well as Nick Page. We’ve also hosted local groups such as the Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus, the Tanasi Winds, the Toad and Frog Dixie Quartet, the Knoxville Early Music Project (KEMP), and a Messiah sing-a long, featuring local volunteer singers and instrumentalists.
There is even more to come: music groups for middle and high schoolers, a contemporary vocal ensemble, and a madrigal group. If you like to play and/or sing, there are many opportunities for you at ORUUC, from providing special music during worship to performing at one of our coffee house talent shows. If you are interested in participating in one of our musical groups please contact our Director of Music, David Ensley, at email@example.com. Come check us out; we look forward to hearing from you.