Home Headlines A Joyful Noise—Music and Unitarian Universalism

A Joyful Noise—Music and Unitarian Universalism

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Music, creativity and expression go hand in hand with Unitarian Universalism, a practice of spiritual growth that is embodied in San Miguel at the UU Fellowship that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Some of the best known and well-loved English Christmas classics are, in fact, Unitarian in origin. How many times in the last holiday season did you find yourself humming “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”? You were, then, singing an old Unitarian tune.

Music and creative expression are important to the Unitarian Universalist belief. We sing for joy.  We sing for sorrow. We sing for justice. We sing to celebrate the gathering of individuals with a passion for community and service.


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of SMA (Image: uufsma.org)

Music, creativity and expression have been a cornerstone of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende (UUFSMA) since its beginning 30 years ago. Each service is carefully crafted to include piano stylings that complement the essence of the day’s service. The earliest UUs would listen to special music lined up by the legendary George Bell or enjoy the music of talented members on an old electric organ. By the mid-1990s, the old electric organ gave up the ghost.

The membership contributed to the purchase of a magnificent Bosendorfer grand piano, which continues to enrich our services every week. Over the years, the UU Fellowship has been graced by the keyboard talents of members Elena Shoemaker, Ann Riley, Elsmarie Norby, Liz Stone, Paula Peace and Marianne Koerner.

In addition to the weekly preludes, hymns and offertory selections on the piano, each week the UUs invite special musical talent that comes through this gem of a city. The range of talent is as broad as what comes to and through San Miguel de Allende. One weekend it might be a select set of young singers in town to pursue a dream of an international operatic career. The next week might feature gypsy jazz or the indigenous Mexican songs offered by Yoremen Jacobi. Another week it might be local talent such as the world-renowned jazz pianist Doug Robinson, or the folk traditions of the High Desert Rangers. Still other weekends might find singers, guitarists, flautists, horn players, bell ringers, violinists, bassists, or concert duos—all performing for an appreciative and always enthusiastic audience. We make a joyful noise!


Come to the UUs any Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Hotel La Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15. Its’ free and in English.  Half of our presentation are lay led, half led by local or visiting ministers of various faith traditions.  For more information, see UUFSMA.org. And watch this spot for additional information next week in celebration of the UUFSMA’s 30th anniversary.

Correction to last week’s article: e suggested that perhaps all our founders had passed on. That should have read “nearly all our founders have passed on.” We continue to celebrate the life and love of Doris Rogers, among others.

By Jennifer L. Butz

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Ph.- 154-9061
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of SMA,
  • Apdo 798, San Miguel de Allende
  • 37700 Guanajuato, Mexico

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