baker bryan
Bryan Baker, Director of Music
  • Music Matters, December 2016

    Hello Music Lovers,

    UUCB has been hosting a sing-along of Handel’s glorious Messiah for decades. Indeed, it seems likely that the Bay Area tradition of singers throughout the community joining in this great masterpiece  started at UUCB. For more than 50 years, people have been coming to enjoy singing great music in a festive atmosphere.

    We have a professional orchestra and soloists and the entire audience joins in singing Handel’s fantastic choruses. There are usually 200 to 300 people who join in the joy of this music. Many are excellent singers and some just like to hum along. Everyone is welcome to come and sing, whether they think of themselves as a singer or not. You do not need to know how to read music, you do not need to know the score perfectly. (There are many practice resources available if you would like to tune up before the sing-along.) And we will have scores for loan at the event.

    Come, join the fun, ring in the holidays with great music on December 18th, 6 pm – Hallelujah!

  • Music Matters, Oct. 2016

    Hello Dear People,

    There is a great deal of excitement at the church right now, and it feels very promising: our wonderful new co-ministers, and the church’s strong presence at the Solano Stroll. UUCB had 50 people in the parade, the largest contingent. Both Luminescence and the Youth and Children’s Choir “marched” and then sang from a “stage.” SOUL Rising and Gamelan also offered music to the crowds of strolling people.

    All this makes me think of a line from the show “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”—

    Sometimes I wake up early to watch the sunrise, and I think how beautiful it is … And I get a very positive feeling about things. Like today for instance. The sky is so clear and the sun so bright; how could anything possibly go wrong on a day like this? Of course, in the play, things do go wrong and still everything works out very happily by the end. Along the way, there is a great deal to be learned about life, and it turns out to be a lot of fun.  I hope you can come see this Theatre of the Blue Moon production, directed by Donna Davis at UUCB’s Social Hall. It is a short, heart-warming play, full of humor, with charming songs. A fundraiser for UUCB’s general fund, it is mostly about fun. And you’ll want to find out who it is in our vibrant community that has the “Face of Failure”; who dances at “Suppertime”; who conducts a survey on Crabbiness; who has a Blanket they won’t be parted from; and who loves Beethoven.  October 16, 21, 22, and 23.

    Yours in harmony,

    Bryan

  • Music Matters, September 2016

    The choir season begins in September; our first rehearsal is Thursday night, September 1st, at 7:30 in the sanctuary.  New members are welcome!  Just show up and give it a try; you might like it:-)

    Luminescence (the adult choir) goes a-strolling on the 11th. We will join many UUCBers at the Solano Stroll, and we will sing from one of the stages. So will the Youth and Children’s Choir, Soul Rising, and the Gamelan.

    The first Sunday of October, the 2nd, we will have a sing-along showing of The Sound of Music at 1 pm.  Come join the fun! Costumes admired, not required;-) And it’s free.

    Be on the look out for Charlie Brown at UUCB. Donna Davis will direct a production of the fun, funny and heartwarming original version of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” opening on Sunday, October 16.

    Yours in harmony,

    Bryan

  • Music Matters, March 2016

    March is an exciting musical month that concludes with Easter and the resounding fanfares of a brass quartet. “So Sings My Soul” is the title for Music Sunday on March 13, when we will explore some of the physical and emotional benefits of singing as a group. Lots of music, of course, including many beloved hymns, both the more contemplative and more energizing.

    “Heartbeat” is a group of Israeli and Palestinian young people using music to bring people together and increase awareness as they seek to bring healing to the conflict in Palestine. They will sing in the 11 am service on March 20 and offer a concert that day at 1 pm.

    This March even has a theme song at UUCB: “We’re Going to Keep on Moving Forward,” and we will sing some version of that Pat Humphries song each week. And of course, we will sing many other things. On the first Sunday the choir will sing Aaron Copland’s uplifting “The Promise of the Living.”   And on Music Sunday you will get to enjoy one of my favorite pieces, Leonard Bernstein’s beautiful and heartwarming “Make Our Garden Grow.”

  • Music Matters, February 2016

    Please join us on February 7 at 1 pm or February 13 at 7:30 pm for Love Songs and Chocolate, a celebration of tuneful romance and delectable desserts. In a relaxed, cabaret-like setting, many singers from our community share songs from the classics to Broadway to jazz. We’ll have a special focus on the wonderful songs of Cole Porter, like “Night and Day,” and “Let’s Do It” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.” Let your ears be delighted and your taste buds beguiled by amazing, delicious treats. Tickets for this annual fundraiser ($20 regular/$15 students and seniors/$5 children) will be available at the door; no one turned away for lack of funds.

  • Music Matters, January 2016

    In April, UUCB will present the famous musical Cabaret. Auditions will be held on January 30 and 31 from 1 – 4 pm in the sanctuary. Please prepare a two minute (or shorter) monologue; 32 bars (or so) of a song in English (not from Cabaret). To schedule an audition appointment, please call (510) 527-5141. Information about the roles in Cabaret can be found at the following website: http://www.backstage.com/casting/cabaret-45051/

    Wishing you harmony,

    Bryan

  • Music Matters, December 2015

    Bryan MessiahFrom Handel to the Pentatonix we have all sorts of music in December. The first weekend brings is Music Sunday, with the Youth and Children’s Choir, a string quartet, and Muse Crossing. Luminescence sings “Luminous Night” by the young Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, and I join the strings for the opening of Schumann’s great Piano Quintet. Muse Crossing sings “When I Go” by Ingrid Michaelson.

    Other Sundays we have music from Handel’s Messiah, some unusual versions of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, and a lovely song by the popular a cappella group Pentatonix called “That’s Christmas to Me”.

    And near the end of the month, our annual tradition, one of the longest running Sing-alongs in the Bay Area, UUCB’s Messiah Sing-Along. On December 20 at 6:00pm, you can join hundreds of Bay Area singers and music lovers to celebrate the holiday season with one of the greatest works of music ever composed, Handel’s Messiah. Hear the orchestra and soloists and join with the full audience in singing the mighty choruses. A real community event, and a fundraiser for the UUCB general fund. There will be scores to borrow; please bring yours if you have one. Tickets at the door, no one turned away for lack of funds. Find the spirit of the season in the joy of music; Hallelujah!

  • Music Matters, October 2015

    October is a month full of musical adventure at UUCB. In addition to keyboard music and hymns we sing together, there will be choruses by Mozart and songs from musicals, a blues band, folk harp, and gamelan. Talk about variety in a music program!

    October is also the month the church has a production of the musical review And the World Goes Round by the Broadway team of Kander and Ebb. This is an uplifting show with catchy tunes, romance, and powerhouse drama, by the authors of such hits as Cabaret and Chicago.

    and the world goes roundWith staging and concept by Donna Davis and musical direction by me, it features the talents of Meghan Dibble, Marcelle Dronkers, Rod Lowe, Gail Simpson, Terry Stokes, Michèle Voillequé, Mark Walstrom, and Barry Zuckerman. A fundraiser for the UUCB general fund, tickets are $20 and $15, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. You have four chances to enjoy this exciting production: Saturday, Oct. 10 at 8pm; Sunday, Oct. 11 at 2pm; Saturday, Oct. 17 at 8pm; and Sunday, Oct. 18 at 4pm.  (See ad on p. 9)

    Yours in harmony,

    Bryan Baker

  • Music Matters, September 2015

    Music and Merriment…

    As the Music program and RE team up for Singing Disney!

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    An all-ages sing-along of the great variety of tunes from Disney musicals and movies, The Lion King, Frozen, Pinocchio, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid … and more!

    Sunday, Sept 20, at 12:30pm in the Fireside Room.

    It’s Free! It’s Fun! Costumes are welcome.

     

    Music and Drama

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    … join together for the fantastic songs of the great Broadway team of Kander and Ebb in the uplifting musical review, And the World Goes ‘Round.

    Talented and dedicated singers, directed by Bryan Baker and Donna Davis, take on songs from Cabaret, Woman of the Year, Chicago, and more.

    Two weekends in October:
    Saturdays, Oct. 10 & Oct. 17 at 8pm; Sundays, Oct. 11 at 2pm & Oct. 18 at 4pm.

    This is a fundraiser for the UUCB general fund, and also a heck of a good time.

  • Music Matters, May 2015

    baker bryanBelow are some highlights of things musical and artistic in May.

    Yours, in harmony…

    Elinor Armer Diamond Jubilee Concert, Sunday May 3, 3:00pm

    Elly Armer is admired and respected as a pianist, composer, and teacher. Vibrant and still composing in her 75th year, her music is being celebrated throughout the Bay Area this season. The program on May 3 at UUCB focuses on her songs in their delightful variety. Performers include soprano Marcelle Dronkers, tenor Rod Lowe, mezzo soprano Mariya Kaganskaya, and pianists Bryan Baker and Steven Bailey. The concert is free, and a reception follows. More information at www.elinorarmer.com.

    Sarah Bush

    The beautiful dancer Sarah Bush will come back to UUCB to dance on Sunday, May 3 at both services.

    Closer Than Ever auditions for the musical review: Thursday, May 21, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

    This delightful and moving evening of songs by one of the great Broadway teams Maltby & Shire.   Auditions for singers on Thursday. Please bring a song in English, from a musical preferred.