Music Ministry

Music provides us with rich connections to ourselves, to others, to the universal. It expresses spirituality and moves us to a deeper experience of meaning. Our music ministry offers many opportunities to experience the power of music. Every worship service includes congregational hymns and music from singers or instrumentalists of all ages, who share their talents with us. If you would like to sing, play an instrument, join a choir or other musical group, or assist in deciding how our music ministry evolves, there is a place for you.

Juuliebells Bell Choir

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Performing Ensembles


Sparks Choir sings two or three Sundays a month and occasional special services. Rehearsals emphasize fun, skill building, and varied, challenging repertoire, and are held on Thursdays, Late August to mid-June, 7:15-9pm, and Sundays, before services. Open to high school students or adults. Contact: Laura Sandage music[at]

Juuliebells plays handbells and hand chimes for Sunday or other services. Rehearses Thursdays, year-round, 4:15-5pm (technique practice) and 5-6:15pm (repertoire). Open to anyone tall enough to reach bells on tables and willing to count to three or four over and over. Contact: Barbara Meixner music[at]

Spirited Family Choir sings for the 5pm Christmas Eve service. Open to all ages. Contact: Kate Raymond re[at]

Spirited Family & Chalice Choirs

Musical Events
Choral Workshop

Choral Workshops, held in winter or spring (except 2012 during our new building construction) are led by invited choral conductors and open to high school students and adults. Among past leaders: Simon Holt (British organist, opera/choral conductor), Rev. Jason Shelton (Nashville UU conductor, composer-arranger), Calvin Lymos (UC Davis Gospel Choir director), Brian Tate (Vancouver, BC, singer-composer, conductor), and Leon Burke (St. Louis conductor, singer, UU choir director).

Sparks Choir Retreats introduce new repertoire, build bonds between choir members, and provide focused time for choral and vocal technique work. Among previous clinicians: Maureen Mette (Sacramento opera soprano, voice teacher), Daniel Paulson (conductor, founder-director of Sacramento Vox Musica ensemble), Tracia Barbieri (Davis founder-conductor of Vocal Art Ensemble).  Contact: Laura Sandage music[at]

Benefit Concerts have featured former Ally McBeal vocalist Vatrena King, pianists Nancy Lower and Louise Bettner with violinist Susanne Wong, Davis quartet Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack, and The Remedies with lead vocalist and UUCD member Thomas McIlraith.

Crawdads, Louise Bettner & Nancy Lower, Mudlark

Music Advisory Group (MAG)

Music Advisory Group members help to shape and support the church’s music ministry, and assist in organizing music workshops and retreats, the annual musician appreciation event, and concerts presented as fundraisers for the church. This group is currently on hiatus.

Music Advisory Group

Music Ministry Leaders

Laura Sandage, Sparks Choir Director, holds a BM in voice performance from UOP.  Her work in Davis since 2001 includes songwriting, performing, recording, composing and directing. She has taught music and theater skills at all age levels, and has brought music and playful group process into camps, spiritual retreat settings, workshops, and worship. She currently sings with the Vocal Art Ensemble and directs the Free Range Singers.  music[at]

Nancy Lower, Liturgist & Sparks Choir Accompanist, holds a BA in music from UC Davis and an MA from CSU Sacramento. She has taught at Sacramento City College for 35 years and has worked in church music programs for 25 years. A conductor, pianist, and singer, Nancy has been integral to our music program for over a decade. music[at]

Barbara Meixner, Juuliebells director, began ringing in Davis bell choirs in the 1980s, most recently with Norma Meyer’s four-octave bell and chime choir at Davis Community Church. Through a gift of the Estate of Julie Partansky, Barbara founded Juuliebells at UUCD in 2009. A Davis piano teacher, she earned BA and MA degrees in music from Mills College.

Lisa Oakes, 2011 Spirited Family Choir director, began Suzuki violin at the age of three and had childhood musical training in violin, flute, and piano. After a long break, she has resumed piano lessons as an adult. She has been a Spirited Worship piano accompanist, directed the 2009-10 children’s choir, and led the 2009 Spirited Family Choir.

Kyria Mills, Spirited Family Choir accompanist, minored in music (piano performance) at Hope College, Holland, Mich. An accompanist for voice lessons and children’s choirs since the 1980s, she has enjoyed accompanying our Youth and our Spirited Family Choirs for the past two years and the Willett Elementary Chorus since 2007.