Music Groups

First Parish offers a number of opportunities to participate in our music program, which is a core part of worship and community at First Parish. Contact Interim Music Director, Daniel Parsley at with questions.

Choir (grades 8-adult)

This is our most active musical ensemble, performing on most Sundays from September-June during the regular church year. We rehearse SATB, women’s and men’s choral music on Thursdays from 7:00pm-8:00pm.

Our recent repertoire has included large classical masterpieces ranging from Bach to Bernstein, contemporary selections by diverse and female composers Mark Miller, Gwyneth Walker, Diane Taraz and works on relevant topics of interest by Robert Cohen and Kenneth Seitz. World music sung in various languages highlighting a specific worship theme is featured where it is culturally appropriate.

Handbell Choir (all ages)

This lay led group performs for occasional services throughout the church year using First Parish’s three octave hand chime set. Rehearsals are weekly. The handbell choir is open to all who are capable of sustained attention to rehearsal for an hour. Ability to read music is not required, but is helpful. Contact for more information.

C Winds (high school – adult)

This ensemble is primarily flutes, but may include other instruments such as bassoon or double bass. This ensemble performs 4-5 flute choir music for 2-3 services during the fall, spring or summer; participants should be able to read music independently and have reasonably good intonation and tone. This is a lay-led ensemble; rehearsals are held on selected Sundays 11:45-1pm, by consensus prior to a scheduled service. Contact for more information.


To provide instrumental music during worship services, and to give instrumentalists in our congregation an opportunity to share their talents with the First Parish community. Instrumentalists play in a variety of large and small groups, depending on their interests. New instrumentalists, grade 8 through adult, are welcome throughout the year. Please contact our music director if you are interested in contributing to a service with instrumental music. Daniel Parsley, Interim Music Director,

Grace Notes (all ages)

Grace Notes singers offer their gift of song to First Parish UU of Arlington parishioners within the framework of First Parish Lay Ministry. Grace Notes singers need to be able to read music with good fluency and to be comfortable with singing alone on a part with accuracy. It also helps to be familiar with a variety of musical styles and eras since Grace Notes tries to honor special requests for particular favorite hymns or songs when possible. Rehearsals are held once a month on the 4th Wednesday from 7:30-8:30pm. Contact

Summer Service Musicians

Would you like to share your musical talents this summer?  Each summer, volunteers at First Parish community lead summer services in spoken words, prayer and music.  Summer services are Father’s Day to Labor Day and you’re welcome to create worship at First Parish with your fellow lay-leaders.  Responsibilities include musical interludes, hymns and selections that compliment the theme of the day. Music can take form in either piano, guitar, small instrumental ensembles and vocal groups.  Please contact if you’d like to volunteer and share your craft with the congregation.