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Music Program

We know music to be a transmitter of culture and tradition, a way of knowing, a way of expressing, and a way of connecting with others and with the deeper reality of our lives. Its presence in our lives teaches us, inspires us, challenges us, and transforms our reality. The music ministry at FUUSD strives to explore, collaborate, worship, and be transformed through and by the music we make individually, in groups large and small, and with the whole community. We strive to create opportunities for all to explore and participate to the breadth of their abilities and comfort. We invite members and friends of First Church, as well as musicians from the wider community, to use their talents continually to expand the scope and depth of our music-making, community, and worship.

Music Staff

Rev. Ian W. Riddell
 Minister of Music and Worship Arts, Chalice Choir Director Bio 

Lorelei Isidro
 South Bay Music Coordinator Bio

Lynn Mendoza-Khan
 Choir Director Bio

Justin Murphy-Mancini
 Organist and Pianist Bio

Andrea Newall
 JUUL Tones Ensemble Director Bio

Fridays at First Recital

Join us on the second and fourth Fridays in the Meeting House at 12:30 for some beautiful lunchtime music from wonderful local performers. 

There's no charge but donations will be accepted to help fund our music ministry and organ maintenance.

  • 10/13/17 - Leslie Ann Leytham, mezzo-soprano, with Brendan Nguyen, piano
  • 10/27/17 - Lynn Mendoza-Khan, soprano, with Kenneth Herman, piano
  • 11/10/17 - Emma Whitten, organ
  • 12/8/17 - Kyle Adam Blair, piano (tentative)
  • 12/22/17 - Robie Evans, violin

Recent Events

Summer 2017: JUUL Tones performs at rally protesting ACA repeal. 

April 2017: Women’s Chorus presents second Stronger Together concert in support of Women’s Empowerment International

March 2017: Women’s Chorus participates in San Diego Sings festival at Balboa Park

January 2017: We welcome Dr. Ysaye Barnwell to our campus to teach and lead worship

June 7, 2015: Music Festival Sunday, when all of our ensembles will be featured in both Sunday Services.

March 21, 2015: The Women’s Choir will participate in “San Diego Sings!,” a choral extravaganza at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion as part of the Balboa Park Centennial Celebration.

December 14, 2014: Annual Winter Service of Music, with Eric Whitacre’s “Five Hebrew Love Songs.”

July 2014: First Church hosted this year’s UU Musicians Network Conference, attended by over 250 musicians and church leaders from all over the U.S. and Canada.

May 2014: Women’s Chorus participated in the UU Choral Festival, in Santa Monica.

May 2014: Festival Service of Music featured all of our Choirs (“Let the Music Ring”).

Music Program Survey Results

Our congregation sees high-quality music as a central part of worship. In our Music Program Survey, people expressed a strong desire for a wide variety of musical styles and genres to be included in worship, including traditional, contemporary, world music and drumming. There was a strong sense that Sunday music should be inclusive—made by the congregation, for the congregation. Many people emphasized the importance of congregational singing as well as musical offerings made by our various choirs and by high-quality vocal and instrumental soloists.  Those responding from South Bay strongly favored the contemporary music played by the band. The survey is a basis for decision-making; it is a way to get a sense of what the congregation would like.  View the full Music Program Survey results.

Our Choirs and Ensembles

Join Us!

Our Music Program offers a number of ensembles in which participants can develop their skills, learn to work “in harmony” with others, and create a little more beauty in our Church and in our community. You can find something for just about every age and level. For more information about the Music Program, please contact Rev. Ian W. Riddell, Minister of Music and Worship Arts, at (619) 398-4436.