Music Newsletter: March 2022

We are excited to update you on what’s been happening in the Music Director Search since our last newsletter! Most excitingly, we’ve convened our Music Search Team (meet the members below) and posted the job.

Before convening the search team, Rev. Gretchen Haley and Kelsey DiAstra (acting as project manager for the search) drafted a job description that incorporates the congregation’s input from the music survey and listening sessions.

On February 10th, the Music Search Team met with Gretchen and Kelsey to review and discuss the job description. Then, over the week of February 13th, the Music Search Team made additional revisions to the job description, which represents a full-time key leadership role for our congregation.

We posted the job on February 25th through the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the American Choral Directors Association, and our Foothills Unitarian job page. Over the next few weeks, we will be receiving and reviewing applications to identify a first round of finalists.

We are putting all these things in motion, aiming for a start date of August 2022, with an assumption that we will be able to pull together the funding for a full-time position. However, we still have quite a ways to go for that to happen. If you have already given to the Music Ministry Special Collection, thank you! If you haven’t but want to make sure that we are able to move forward with this hire, we ask for you to make a gift as soon as you are able using this link.

Music is a huge part of congregational life for all of us, and for all ages. We have been grateful for the leadership of our interim music staff over the last five years – Chris Reed, Melissa Monforti, Christopher Watkins Lamb, and currently Kloy Intawong and Jennifer Jolly – for all of their incredible gifts. 

And, it will be transformational to have a permanent full-time music director leading all of our music, integrating different styles and inviting in more people in different ways, and joining our staff team in this key ministry role. Especially as it is directly aligned with breaking ground on our new sanctuary, this marks a wonderful new beginning for our congregation as we look to the future and all we will do and be together.

In partnership,

Gretchen, Kelsey, and the whole Foothills team 

Meet the Music Team!

Chris Hutchinson
My family and I have been involved at Foothills for almost five years now, and we were members of Our Saviour’s Lutheran for 12 years before that. I’ve had a lot of different experiences with music at Foothills, and I have enjoyed them all! I took the Music Leadership training and led some singing during services, sang with the Madrigals and a few smaller groups with Sally Lee, Juley Sobson, Gretchen O’Dell, and others. I’ve also been part of the tenor and bass sections of the choir. I believe music is one of the elements that can connect us all, and I look forward to supporting finding and hiring someone who can lead nurturing that element alongside everyone in the congregation.

Jack Morgan
Teresa and I have been coming to Foothills for about 12 years now, and we joined the congregation ten years ago. After listening to and enjoying the choir for years, I decided to join several years ago, singing tenor. I’ve also enjoyed participating in small groups, including the Madrigals, and have enjoyed opportunities to contribute my guitar and voice to the mix. Music has been important to me all my life, and I’ve always gravitated towards music in various church venues. I am excited and look forward to helping find a new music director.

Gretchen O’Dell
I’ve been involved with Foothills since 2010, and my kids are involved in Religious Education and OWL. We’ve met some of our dearest friends through church. I’ve been in the choir for years, played djembe in church, and been a part of many small groups. I LOVE singing in harmony and connecting with people through song! I’m really excited to find a talented, inspirational music director!

Georgia Peeples
I have been involved with Foothills since we moved to Fort Collins almost seven years ago, coming to church the first Sunday we were in town. I was a member of the Akron (Ohio) UU church for twenty years before our move. Currently, I accompany the Foothills choir, but I have also sung in the alto section. Playing for our children’s choir during the Christmas season has also been a joy of mine. Foothills is a dynamic church, with members active in service and involved in community affairs. I would like us to have a music program that feeds the spirits of my beloved congregation.

Kara Shobe
I have been coming to Foothills for about seven years and have been helping with Children’s Music choir and other children’s music for about five years. I have helped lead music for worship, led the Children’s Choir and Children’s Worship music, and participated in other small vocal groups over the years. Singing together with all ages has always been my favorite part of making music at Foothills. I’m a bit of an introvert, but I love our Foothills community and the magic that happens when we create music together. I am so excited to help find a Music Director who will continue to foster this atmosphere for all generations.

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