Music and Choir



Catherine Massey

MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey

“Love me tender, love me sweet
Never let me go…”

During our yearly pilgrimage to Northern New Mexico for time at our cabin, we were able to attend a beautiful June wedding for our great niece.  It was held in a hay field in Cortez, Colorado, with the reception dinner and dance in a barn.  The wedding processional they chose was Elvis Presley’s recording of “Love Me Tender.”  It was a very sweet wedding, with groom and groomsmen in denim and red bandanas, and bridesmaids in red dresses and boots.  We sat on hay bales with the beautiful blue sky above and cows beyond.  At the reception, couples danced to the music of a country and western band as sunset fell on the mountains surrounding us.

The sounds of nature are the main musical backdrop to the beginning of my summer vacation at the cabin.  The ravens gathered and croaked this morning, and later a Steller’s jay fussed about.  The enchanting songs of hermit thrushes are especially poignant at dusk.  Sometimes there are fierce thunderstorms, and sometimes those storms bring rain that splatters on the tin roof.  There are daily sounds of the rushing creek, buzzing insects when it’s hot, and our dogs barking when a wild turkey hen strolls through the yard.

During weekly forays into town we catch up on email and the outside world.  At the Questa Public Library, I watched the semifinals and finals of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition live streamed.  (I got to see most of the early competition before we left Las Cruces.)  Fabulous pianists, all—and videos of all the performances are available at  Select any one of the recitals, ensembles or concerti, and you will enjoy an hour or so of excellent, transporting music, and captivating performers.

My other musical indulgence is attending concerts by the Taos Opera Institute—28 opera singers working on the transition from college to professional opera apprenticeships.  These concerts are free and presented at various locations in Taos, and they are like attending a marathon of vocal masterpieces in several languages.

Soon I’ll be home and leading a UU Hymn-Sing service with Haney Pearson on July 16. This is the music that sustains us all through the year, together with memories of all the sounds of our cabin time.

-­-­Catherine Massey
Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader