MUSIC AT UBC

 

 

University Baptist Church has a vibrant music program. Music groups at UBC are open to new members at any time. We welcome you to join the fun! The program year begins in early September and runs through mid-May. The handbell season may be longer depending on projects.

The UBC Chorale is an ensemble of about 20 voices that rehearses on Wednesdays from 5:45-7:15 p.m. The Chorale sings a variety of music ranging from classics like the Paulus Pilgrims' Hymn and movements by Haydn or Bach to Spanish-English bilingual variations of Handel's Messiah and compositions by our own choir members. Augmented by several professional section leaders/soloists, the Chorale is the primary musical leadership of our worship. Beyond Sunday worship the Chorale occasionally sings at the homes of homebound congregation members and in special-event partnerships with neighboring churches.

Directed by Jean Lubke, the Carillon and Majors Handbell Choirs rehearse on Wednesday nights from 7:30-9:00 p.m. and perform several pieces one Sunday per month for our worship service. This intergenerational ensemble rings five octaves of Malmark bells and four octaves of chimes performing sacred music, hymn arrangements, and bell arrangements of classical music. The Carillon Choir and Majors Ensemble gave a concert tour in England and Scotland in 2004 and in the Eastern U.S. (Indiana, Ohio, and New York) in 2007, California in 2010, Nicaragua in 2013, and France/Germany in 2017.  They are planning a concert tour in  Scandinavia from 2020 to 2022.

Sacred Harp Singing  is hosted by UBC each Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and the second and third Sundays of every month from 4-6 p.m. in Room 303. No musical training or special ability are required to join in this early American Shape-Note style music. Contact fasolamatt@yahoo.com.

This congregation proudly counts among its instrumentalists people who play hammer dulcimer, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, ukelele, banjo, fiddle, crumhorn, djembe, acoustic bass, and a number each of guitarists, keyboardists, and recorder players. We love to borrow University of Minnesota music students. Anyone who would like to contribute music to a worship service is heartily encouraged to call the church office or email music@ubcmn.org.

Chorale

 

The Chorale rehearses on Wednesdays from 5:45-7:15 p.m. from mid-September through mid-May. New members are welcome at any time. Contact music@ubcmn.org.

UBC's choral history stretches back nearly 150 years. An early mention of University Baptist Church's choir dates from a church report in the early 1870's, about twenty years after the church's founding. Professional section leaders have been employed for about the last forty years. Today's Chorale sings about three Sundays per month for our 10 a.m. worship service and provides the primary musical leadership for the majority of services. 

The Chorale sings a broad range of anthems from Renaissance motets to Baroque anthems to Romantic classics to spirituals to modern texts based on poetry, both accompanied and a cappella. We occasionally perform or premiere works by composers in the congregation, as well as other Twin Cities composers. Choir members interested in conducting skills are welcome to prepare and conduct a piece during the year.

Outside of normal service leadership, the Chorale occasionally sings the national anthem for sporting events, visits homebound people to sing, and teams up with neighboring churches for larger works. Joint works in recent years include a solstice event of Night Songs with University Lutheran Church of Hope, Brahms' motet Warum ist das Licht gegeben? with Judson Memorial Baptist Church, and seasonal pick-up choirs with First Congregational Church. The UBC Chorale is part of an emerging network of choruses welcoming former members of prison choirs as they begin their next chapter of life.

UBC Carillon & Majors Handbells

 

Directed by Jean Lubke, the UBC Carillon Handbell Choir and Majors Ensemble  rehearse on Wednesday nights from 7:30-9:00 p.m. and perform several pieces one Sunday per month for our worship service. This ensemble rings five octaves of Malmark bells and four octaves of chimes performing sacred music, hymn arrangements, and bell arrangements of classical music. The Carillon Choir and Majors Ensemble have given concert tours in England and Scotland in 2004 and in the Eastern U.S. (Indiana, Ohio, and New York) in 2007, California in 2010, Nicaragua in 2013, Germany and France in 2017, and currently planning a concert tour in Scandinavia from 2020 to 2022.    

 

Glorious Triumph - Arnold Sherman, May 2010

I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger - Mike Nelson, saxophone, May 2010

Arab Dance - Tchaikovsky, June 2010

Sacred Harp Singing

 

Sacred Harp Singing  is hosted by UBC each Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and the second and third Sundays of every month from 5-7 p.m. in Room 303. No musical training or special ability are required to join in this early American Shape-Note style music. Contact fasolamatt@yahoo.com For more information on singing in the Twin Cities, visit mnfasola.org

Instruments

 

Organ

UBC's primary instrument during most services is the pipe organ, having acquired in its earliest days a cabinet organ in the early 1870's about twenty years after the congregation was founded. The instrument in our building today, built freestanding in the rear balcony in 1981, is Dobson's Opus 15  (II/30) and replaced Reuter's Opus 237 (III/18) built originally in 1927 in front chambers (with 1969 Moller console). The service of dedication was played by music director Martha Pittenger on October 11, 1981, with a recital the same evening. A booklet published for the organ's inauguration can be seen here.  It was the feature instrument  of The American Organist journal in October 1982. The project was facilitated by pastor Lee Freeman, organist and choir director Martha Pittenger, consultant Keith Linney, James Maeser of the University of Kansas, and a task force consisting of (at various stages) Jim Ross, Tony Garmers, Siri Kommedahl, Chuck Campbell, Janet Otis, Craig Edwall, Andy Collins, Jim Campbell, Bill Schafer, and Bob Wallace.

Harpsichord

By 1980 the rear Sanctuary balcony was also home to a one-manual two-rank (8' and 4') 52-note Zuckermann kit harpsichord dating from the late 1960s or early 1970's. Church archives indicate it was probably built by William Gudim of Watertown, Minnesota, and was acquired by UBC between 1976 and 1980. It is used frequently during services as a solo instrument and for accompanying strings or voices on Baroque repertoire.

Pianos

On the main floor of the Sanctuary lives a Petrof grand piano that was manufactured around the year 2000 in the Bohemian town of Hradec Kralove, about 70 miles east of Prague. Purchased from local resident Linda Hanson in 2008 (who, in addition to not seeing it played as much as she wanted, found its sound too big for her residence), the Petrof replaced the regular use of a Bush & Lane baby grand manufactured in the early decades of the 20th century that had developed a cracked pin block.

In the church Lounge resides a 1982 Everett Studio upright piano given by  Nancy Myers in 2016. This is the main instrument for leading smaller services in this space and supplies a keyboard for use of the Lounge as a teaching space.

Roots Cellar Music Series

 

The Roots Cellar: UBC's concert series focusing on roots music at an affordable price. The focus of the series is to highlight roots-focused musicians in an intimate informal atmosphere.  We chose roots music because of the historic and iconic connection with Dinkytown's heritage as a folk-music mecca.  We are showcasing an eclectic mix of traditional and roots musicians ranging from blues to bluegrass, folk and Americana.