Music Program History
Through the Years:
Music is an integral part of each Sunday service at UUFVB, with instrumental music, choral music, and congregational singing always part of the message of the morning. Music has also reached outside of the worship service through the years, with congregational cabarets and concerts for the wider Vero Beach community. In 2010, UUFVB hosted the Florida District Choral Festival at the end of February. A Music Committee oversees the musical activities of the Fellowship.
Music has been part of the harmony of life at UUFVB since its early years of existence. Fellowship charter member Priscilla Perry organized a chorus in 1988. Rehearsals were held at the home of Win and Joyce Levi until the Fellowship purchased its first property in 1993.
For many years, UUFVB choir directors were volunteers who served this congregation through their love and knowledge of music. These included Arthur Compton, Rev. Richard Speck, and Nancy Stiefel. In fiscal year 2003-04, the position of choir director became a paid, part-time staff position. At that time, Nancy Stiefel continued to serve, followed by Joanna Lovell in the summer of 2005 through the spring of 2006. In the autumn of 2007, Ann Hossler became the choir director as well as pianist. When Ann moved back to her home state of Pennsylvania in summer of 2012, the position of Director of Music was filled by Tom Mundy.
Through the years, service music has been presented by members of the congregation as well as invited guest musicians. Regular congregational pianists in the past have included Nancy Stiefel and Steve Lapointe. Ministers have also gotten musically involved. Rev. Richard Speck played guitar, and Rev. Gail Geisenhainer played drum. At one time, the congregation was rich enough in musicians to create a small orchestra. For several years Susan Winters accompanied hymns with her flute.
The youth of UUFVB have also shared their musical talents with the congregation. They have included pianist and violinist Gabi Lapointe, violinist Sam Roberts, guitarist Ry Mermer, piano student Maggie Spero, singer Matthew Borne, and a string quartet consisting of Carrie Orcutt, Lauren Lapointe, Tyler Orcutt, and Gabi Lapointe.
When the choir is on hiatus over the summer, varied musical talents fill the Special Music space in the weekly services. Although there are occasional invited guests, such as young tenor sensation Christopher Elrod, most of the talents belong to UUFVB members. These talents have included guest pianists (playing solos, duets, and trios), singers, guitarists, a trumpeter, a trombonist, and dancers.