Learn more about our two Music Director Finalists (biographies below), and sign up to meet and sing with them!
Meet and Sing with Benjamin Hanson:
Benjamin Hanson will lead a choir rehearsal at 4 PM on Sunday, June 5th. CLICK HERE to register.
Benjamin will also lead music during in-person Flower Communion on Sunday, June 5th.
We will have a Zoom meet & greet with Benjamin on Friday, June 10th at 12:30 PM. CLICK HERE to join on Zoom.
Meet and Sing with Emily Jaworski Koriath:
Emily Jaworski Koriath will lead a choir rehearsal at 4 PM on Sunday, June 12th. CLICK HERE to register.
Emily will also lead music during our in-person service on Sunday, June 12th.
We will have a Zoom meet & greet with Emily on Monday, June 13th at 12:30 PM. CLICK HERE to join on Zoom.
We hope you will join us in singing with and getting to know the candidates and be part of this giant step forward for our Music Ministry and whole church. Learn more about the candidates ⬇️
Benjamin Hanson is a conductor and baritone with a background in church music leadership and vocal pedagogy. He holds a master’s degree in Choral Music from the University of Illinois, where he studied conducting with Andrew Megill and Ollie Watts Davis. During his studies he conducted many of the University’s curricular ensembles, including the UIUC Black Chorus, Chamber Singers, and University Chorus, and also directed the choirs at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign. Before moving to Illinois, Benjamin served for several years as the Music Director at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, CA.
A native of Wisconsin, Benjamin completed his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University, where he studied voice and vocal pedagogy. Benjamin enjoys performing as a concert soloist, including as the primary soloist in the recent North American premier of Johann Hummel’s Exodus oratorio, “Der Durchzug durchs Rote Meer.” In 2019 he was the Vocal Fellow and featured soloist for the N.E.O. Voice Festival in Los Angeles, CA, where he premiered over a dozen new works for choir and solo voice. For the past two years Benjamin has performed as a Young Artist Fellow at the Illinois Bach Academy, where he has sung as a soloist in several Baroque oratorios.
Benjamin currently lives in central Illinois with his partner and two cats, and is very excited to see where he is called to next.
Emily Jaworski Koriath (DMA, RYT-200) is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she focuses on undergraduate voice lessons. In her private practice, she works with singers on healing emotional trauma to facilitate more authentic artistry. Emily combines voice science, body awareness, and spiritual connection to help singers reclaim their joy and freedom in singing.
Emily enjoys a thriving performing career and appears most often in recital with her husband, pianist Tad Koriath. The duo’s debut recital recording, These Distances Between Us, will be released by NAXOS Classical in June of 2022.
Through her work as a Unitarian Universalist music minister, she has completed training in Systems Theory, Ethics, Multicultural Competency, and Examining White Supremacy Culture. She participated in “Undoing Racism for Community Organizers” presented by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond in New Orleans. Emily has enjoyed fruitful musical relationships with the UU Church of Concord (NH), Arlington Street Church (Boston, MA), Starr King UU Fellowship (NH) and Boulder Valley UU Fellowship. She served as the General Assembly music coordinator in 2018.
During her doctoral coursework at Boston University, she worked closely with choral conductor and human rights activist Andre de Quadros, studying his method of Empowering Song for choral organizations and disenfranchised populations, teaching music to incarcerated youth in Massachusetts, and touring with the social justice choir Voices 21C. At BU, she studied with Dr. Lynn Eustis, author of The Singer’s Ego, The Teacher’s Ego, and The Singer’s Epiphany