The NSUC Choir, conducted by Music Director, Wayland Rogers, provides music for Sunday services from September through May. The average number of singers is 20. For special events, the number increases to around 30. A professional vocal quartet provides music for the 9:15 service each Sunday and joins the choir for the second service at 11:15. They are often featured soloists.
Choral selections, which are carefully selected to reflect and complement the topic of the services, range in style from the medieval to the modern, from classical to folksong. Although much of the repertoire comes from the Western civilization and from the Christian tradition, many works are drawn from other traditions, such as African, Asian and Jewish.
In addition to the weekly services, the Choir presents three musically intensive special services per year: The Christmas Eve service, in the form of the traditional Anglican Lessons and Carols, is performed with an instrumental ensemble. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday is filled with music from the African-American Tradition of spirituals, gospel and jazz and features an outstanding guest black musician along with the choir. Music Sundays are often devoted to the presentation of a larger choral/orchestral work. Such recent works have included:
Mozart's Missa Brevis in D
Schubert's Mass in G
Fauré's Requiem, Rutter's Requiem
Berkey's Native American Ambiences
Vaughan Williams' Toward the Unknown Region
Handel's Foundling Hospital Anthem
Vivaldi's Gloria in D Major and Magnificat
Other times Music Sunday is organized thematically; recent programs have been titled: "Hymnfest," "Psalms," "The Music of Wayland Rogers," "The Music of J.S.Bach," "Melodic Accord of the Blessed Community," "I Will Sing with the Spirit," and "One World, Many Voices."
In 1999 the choir released its first compact disc recording, Rutter's Requiem. Since then, each Music Sunday performance has been recorded on CD and is available for sale at the bookstore on Sunday mornings. You may hear excerpts of NSUC Choir Music Selections.
For the past five years, the choir has joined the choirs of other churches at the Evanston Unitarian Church in offering massed-choir concerts.
The choral library contains around 600 titles. Congregants often buy scores as memorials to honor departed friends and relatives.
The choir rehearses on Thursday evenings from 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.