Our Music: On Inviting Musicians to Neighbourhood

by Susanne Maziarz, Music Director at Neighbourhood

I invite musicians to Neighbourhood regularly. And I love to. I am proud of our congregation. It is a special, warm place for musicians to share their gifts. Musicians by trade are asked to open themselves up and be made vulnerable to their audience. The supporting, loving, and open-heartedness of our services and people are gifts back to the musician. I am also glad that a few years back the board made the decision to offer guest musicians a fair and comparable honorarium. I have nothing to hide when I invite someone. I like to show us off.

It is a delight to share in music-making with our guests at a Sunday service. I know the congregation appreciates variety, and I appreciate the challenge and connection that making music in the context of a worship service offers. Last month a dear friend of mine from McGill, Shilpa Sharma, came to sing art songs. Her coming gave me the opportunity to focus on some unusual repertoire in the hope of creating something beautiful and meaningful together. I am really looking forwards to Sharlene Wallace’s return in the spring. She is a very creative harpist, composer, improviser, chamber/orchestral musician. She likes to surprise me – she’ll bring some charts of her songs that morning, and we’ll let the spirit move us!

Do you know any musicians you’d like to invite to Neighbourhood? Email me at music@nuuc.ca.


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