Missa Gaia UU Concert 2018

Date(s) - 12/21/2018
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia

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Join us for a choral performance of the Missa Gaia (Mass for the Earth) to celebrate community, the earth and winter solstice. This piece was composed by Paul Winter and is played each year in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, around the time of the Winter Solstice. More information about the piece is included below.


The concert will take place on December 21st, 2108 at 8:00 in the beautiful First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. Missa Gaia is only about 35 minutes, the concert will include a few related winter solstice pieces that will make the whole concert about an hour long.

Street parking is available, though limited, and you are encouraged to carpool or use public transportation. There are also a number of parking garages within close proximity.   

Why Now?

A group of UU singers performed this work several years around the Solstice at First Church about 10-15 years ago.  After all this time, Jane still receives many requests each year to do it again!

In these uncertain times, it is a consoling work with sounds of Nature embedded into the choral texture of each section of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, etc)… its peace is easy to absorb. We hope that this piece will provide solace in the wake of recent political and national events, along with a disregard for nature and the earth. Our goal is to use music to stand for what we believe and build community in the city that we love.

As a bonus, we hope to highlight the value of area UU churches collaborating to create something that is beautiful and uniting in a way that is not possible without the larger whole.  

Singers who wish to be involved in the project should fill out this RSVP form by October 15th.

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We will hold 2 Saturday rehearsals from 9am-12noon at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. Strongly request attendance at both rehearsals, but one is MANDATORY. Tentative dates are:

Sat, Oct 20 – 9am-12noon

Sat, Nov 17 – 9am-12noon

Dress rehearsal with instruments:

Sat, Dec 15 – 9am-12noon – MANDATORY

SCORES:  A full score is available from Hal Leonard for $8.95 each at: https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=8744396.

SIZE:  Ideally we would enjoy the sound of 50-60 SATB singers. All are welcome.

LEARN AT HOME:   Plan to arrive rehearsals having studied the score on your own. Group rehearsals will not be for learning the pieces, only for putting it together as a group and shaping the music.


FLYER: Please help advertise the concert in your congregation by posting the Missa Gaia Concert flyer.

*** The Paul Winter Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) was first performed in 1981 in the New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine and is a contemporary ecumenical celebration of the Earth. Featuring the Consort’s signature lyrical melodies with African, Brazilian and American gospel traditions it interweaves wolf, whale and harp seal voices with those of the choir. May be performed in both liturgical and concert settings. Publications available: SATB score, Sound Cues CD (animal voices) and Instrumental Score and Parts for Soprano Sax, Oboe/English Horn, Cello, Piano, Organ, Guitar, Bass and Percussion.