First Unitarian Classical Artist in Residence (AIR- Instrumental) Initiative                               11/2012, last updated: 10/2017



The First Unitarian Young Artist Initiative program that began in 2012 has been very successful with several concerts each year generally each spring. In addition we have had a very successful music intern program. Separately is the First Unitarian Collegiate Choral Scholar program where university students augment our Festival Choir.

Together the Artist in Residence, Young Artist in Residence, and above programs underscore and expand our commitment to great music in the community.


Classical Music Artist In Residence Summary

First Unitarian has a long history of presenting fine music for its parishioners and the community. We are fortunate to have among our membership fine professional instrumentalists, and great musicians in our community. We are proud to present them with the honor of Classical Music Artist-In-Residence – to elevate/promote their talents with the appreciation and visibility they deserve. A part of our music program’s mission is to develop and encourage young talent both within our church and in the larger Worcester community.

Included from our own church are:

Large NYC churches have maybe 1 or 2 artists, but we are extremely fortunate to have so many professional musicians among us.

The benefits are great for both the musicians and the church:  

We proudly showcase our fine musicians

Artists In Residence - Professional Instrumentalists

Young Artist in Residence

  2019-20:   Joy of Music Program Jazz Emsemble:
Jazz Patterns

Jazz Patterns is a quintet of 9th and 10th graders, some of whom have been together for three years, exploring jazz standards to contemporary world jazz with a strong dose of Latin jazz.  They love performing in the community and are delighted to be sharing their music with First Unitarian who provided Joy of Music with a home for its first 16 years. 

Darren Belanger, trumpet
Aspen Qualles, alto
Diego Loustaunau, alto sax
Lukas Martinez, vibes
Evan Rantala, guitar
Joshua Cranford, drums

2018-19:   WYO Honors String Quartet
Jolina McConville, Angelina Howard,
Patrick Chatham, Brendan Mathot


young artist in residence Patrick Chatham 2017-18:   Patrick Chatham, cello

Andrew Pak 2019

Caleb Collins 2020


(2021-2022) Young Artist In Residence

Kaia is a senior at Bancroft School and will be sharing her musical talents throughout the year playing TWO instruments: flute and bassoon! This Sunday she will be presenting a Bach Partita for flute, and two wonderful carols of the season. Kaia had played bassoon in our Mozart orchestra in November, and we welcome her back to our sanctuary.<br>
Kaia has been serious about music since joining her school band in the 5th grade. She is currently principal bassoon in the Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra, Worcester Youth Baroque Orchestra and the Joy of Music Program Youth Orchestra, and also plays flute and tenor saxophone with the Worcester Youth Wind Ensemble. She studies bassoon with Stephanie Busby and flute with Tim Terranella. She aspires to be an opera conductor and will attend Lawrence Conservatory as a bassoon performance major starting in the fall of 2022.


First U Collegiate Choral Scholars 2019-20

First U is proud to sponsor CCS young singers to sing in our Festival Choir approximately three Sundays per month during the school year.
This allows the students to gain additional experience in choral repertoire and performance, and the congregation loves to support young musicians.

Julia Bigwood, soprano, is an undergraduate at WPI majoring in aerospace engineering and minoring in music. In addition to singing in the WPI Festival Choir and Alden Voices, she is also a member of the Chamber Choir. She also plays the trumpet in WPI instrumental ensembles including the concert band, full orchestra, and brass ensemble. Going forward, Julia hopes to participate in musical theatre and continue with her musical endeavors.
amanda dings Amanda Dings, alto, is a graduate student majoring in Aerospace Engineering at WPI. In her not-so-copious amounts of spare time she sings in the WPI festival choir, chamber choir, and is the technical coordinator of Audiophiles a Cappella.