Music and Performing Art at Shelter Rock
As with many things, the Annual Messiah Sing will take a different form and be virtual this year. Messiah 2020 will include clips from past Messiah Sings at Shelter Rock, personal reflections, and stories from behind the scenes from our choir and soloists, and a new virtual performance of the Hallelujah chorus. Join in to celebrate the holidays in this new, COVID-safe way. First aired: Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM.
December 2020 Virtual Exhibit
Music is an important part of ministry at Shelter Rock! Music helps communicate deep human and Unitarian Universalist values. Shelter Rock is a community where you can look forward to great music.
The Modern Brass Quintet LIVE on the meadow at Shelter Rock on Sunday, September 13, 2020
A Special Classical - Broadway - Jazz Concert
Thomas Verchot, Trumpet
Jason Bitonti, Trumpet
Debbie Schmidt, French Horn
Roger Verdi, Trombone
Dale Turk, Tuba
The UUCSR Choir with Professional Soloists Sunday, December 8, 2019 Each year the Congregation’s 55-voice choir invites the public to join in the performance of selected portions of this cherished masterwork by George Frederic Handel. The entire Part I (Christmas portion) is sung, with selected choruses from Parts II and III rounding out the event.
Leading the performance was conductor Stephen Michael Smith, Music Director of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock since 1999, where he conducts the UUCSR Choir and Orchestra at Shelter Rock. He also serves as Conductor and Music Director of the Symphonic Pops Orchestra of Long Island and the Danbury Community Orchestra in Connecticut. His guests conducting credits include the Wroclaw Symphonic Orchestra (Poland), Karlovy Vary Symphony (Czech Republic), St. Petersburg Camerata (Russia), Danbury Symphony Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, Riverside Choral Society, and Schola Cantorum of Harvard University. He has also served as Music Director of the Shrewsbury Chorale and the Dalton Alumni Chorale, having prepared both organizations for their Carnegie Hall debuts. Mr. Smith was selected twice to participate in the opening concerts of the International Northern Baltic Festival at the historic Catherine the Great Theater of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Internationally acclaimed soloists Meagan Brus, soprano, Blythe Gaissert Levitt, mezzo-soprano, Michael St. Peter, tenor, and Brace Negron, bass-baritone, were featured in the performance. Christopher Creaghan, Associate Organist for The Riverside Church, was at the facility's mechanical action Jaeckel pipe organ. Mr. Creaghan has performed recitals on many of New York’s largest instruments, and is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, an active member of the American Guild of Organists, and past Dean of the New York City Chapter AGO. Members of the Orchestra at Shelter Rock, under the direction of concertmistress Jennifer Ahn, accompanied the choral selections at the performance.
Audience members were welcomed to sing along, or just listen. Musical scores provided at no charge
Led by Music Director Stephen Michael Smith, the choir is a volunteer group supported by four professional section leaders. The choir rehearses on Thursday evenings (except May and June) and Sunday mornings. The music is chosen to enhance the worship experience and the theme of the service. The Annual Music Sunday Service led by the choir is a highlight of the program and the congregational year.
Shelter Rock is the proud host of a traditional orchestra and an Orff orchestra, both of which enjoy enthusiastic followers.
The Orchestra at Shelter Rock
is a full symphony orchestra comprised of talented members of the congregation and the larger Long Island musical community. The Orchestra accompanies the Congregation’s annual Messiah Sing and Music Sunday. Recent features have included Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Arvo Part’s Berlinner Messe and Johannes Brahms’ Requiem. The Orchestra’s Annual Summer Concert is held on the first Sunday in August.
Musicians who play a traditional orchestral instrument and are interested in joining the orchestra should contact Music Director Stephen Michael Smith via EMAIL, or call 516.472.2942.
The UUCSR Jazz Ensemble
is a multi-generational music group open to all instrumentalists of all ages. The group focuses on rehearsing and performing compositions by jazz masters and jazz standards, with emphasis on techniques for playing cohesively as a group and for individual and collective improvisation. Moderate proficiency on your instrument and reading music will be helpful to you -- though you will be supported in this -- and no previous jazz experience is required. Ear training, rhythmic study, sheet music, and listening to exemplary works are some of the strategies employed in the ensemble. The Jazz Ensemble rehearses October to May, on Sundays from 9-10:15am; regular rehearsals align with the RE calendar and four to six performances are scheduled during the Sunday service or immediately following. The Jazz Ensemble is lead by Dan Pratt, a highly respected and active member of the New York jazz community and Lincoln Center Education who has performed in venues ranging from The House of Blues to the White House.
Music by Children and Youth
Beginning in the lower grades, the Religious Education (RE) Music Specialist integrates music into the RE program via the Young People’s Choir. It meets in the Music Rehearsal Room Sunday most Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
Concerts and Special Events
A wide variety of performances are held throughout the year (often on Sunday afternoons). Some are annual events and some are special events.
Video recordings of various concerts can be seen here:
Lifespan Religious Education
Music and Art at Shelter Rock
Green Sanctuary Committee
Small Group Ministry