Music at Piedmont UU
About Our Music Program
Here at Piedmont UU, music is an integral part of the worship service. Our services are thoroughly infused with music-making so that each and every person in the sanctuary has the chance to participate if they are so inclined. Our goal is to establish a musical climate that encourages excellence and diversity, a unity of purpose among musicians in the congregation, and to reveal and celebrate the wealth and scope of the world’s music which expresses and embodies the values of UUism.
For those with a desire to contribute more, there are opportunities to sing in the choir, participate in small ensembles, lead congregational singing, or perform as a soloist. All skill levels, vocal ranges, and instrumental acuities are welcome, and the ability of our volunteers range from professional musicians to enthusiastic amateurs. We aim to provide music from a variety of faiths and secular traditions and our services are rich in music from different genres. All who are interested are invited to strum, hum, ring, and sing with us!
Piedmont UU Choir: Keep Your Lamps, arranged by André Watts
The Adult Choir is infused with music making along with educational opportunities for vocal technique, choral sound production, music theory, sight reading, and reflection on why music moves our hearts. In addition, time for fellowship activities to facilitate group bonding (i.e. FUN) is scheduled on a regular basis.
Upper Voices & Lower Voices
These two small groups allow singers to be involved with a choral experience focused on sound production for their specific types of voice. The Upper Voices group is made up of sopranos and altos; accordingly, the Lower Voices ensemble is comprised of tenors and basses. These groups are non-gender specific, meaning no matter what your gender identity happens to be, if your voice fits the vocal range of the group, you are welcome to participate. In other words, these groups may have men singing soprano or women singing tenor.
Solo, Small Ensemble (Vocal and Instrumental)
Opportunities abound for soloists, duets, and small ensemble groups at Piedmont. If you are interested in sharing your passion for a certain instrument or a particular type of singing, we look forward to talking with you.
Essentially a multi-generational choir, the Piedmont Music program will begin offering a Family Choir opportunity on pre-determined dates beginning in March. Parents and their children (of any age) are encouraged to attend, as is anyone of any age or familial orientation. We’ll be learning fun – and meaningful – songs for occasional presentation during Sunday services.
Approximately every 18 months, UU music programs in the Southern Region of the U.S. gather together for a weekend of music making, resulting in a performance on Sunday morning. Check out our latest trip on the Choral Festival page!
Outreach Opportunities: Music and Memories
A core group of dedicated PUUC musicians brings musical fellowship to a local assisted living facility on the 4th Tuesday of each month. We would love to have you share your musical passion with the facility’s residents as well.
Piedmont UU Church is exceptional in that we have not one, but TWO locations at which to share music. This intimate service holds great opportunities for sharing music in a warm and accepting environment. We’d love to have you offer a song or two. Kaarin will help you with song selection and is available to accompany you on the piano (or you can present your music independently, if so desired).
Our Music Director
Kaarin Record Leach has spent 28 years as a choral director, music minister, and professional performing artist. In 2018, she graduated with a master’s degree in collaborative piano and vocal coaching from Westminster Choir College, partially completed through Princeton University. She holds an undergraduate degree in music education (also through Westminster) and an additional master’s in science (California State University). She has performed domestically and internationally with conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Robert Shaw, Ricardo Muti, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin along with the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra at venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She was a semi-finalist for the 2019 Fulbright U.S. Student Program, with her ethnomusicology-based proposal being fully supported by the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Kaarin has recently joined forces with Charlotte-based Carolina Voices as their collaborative pianist, whose MainStage choir (of ‘The Singing Christmas Tree’ fame) just completed 10 performances with the Charlotte Symphony. In her free time, she is an active birder and has traveled extensively to Africa, South America, and Japan in pursuit of rare birds and musical treasures.