May Music News

May Hymn of the Month: “Our Faith Is but a Single Gem”: This hymn about the connection between different religions is a perfect way to reflect upon Pluralism in the month of May.  The tune comes from “The Southern Harmony,” a shape note hymn and tune book compiled by William Walker, first published in 1835. This book originated and popularized several hymn tunes found in modern hymnals. The text is by British Unitarian Minister, John Andrew Storey.  Storey authored 32 Unitarian Hymns, 14 of which are in our gray hymnal.

Make Music Madison at Reeb: This summer, Reeb will participate in Make Music Madison, a free city-wide celebration of music on the summer solstice, June 21st.  Would you like to assist with preparations? Do you play music and want to perform? Do you want to greet guests and performers on the day of the event? Contact Jennifer at music@jruuc.org and let them know how you’d like to be involved!

Family Fun and Music Night: In conjunction with James Reeb’s hosting of Make Music Madison, Genevieve will have activities for children and youth of all ages on June 21st from 11 am-8 pm. Youth Open Mic from 4-5 pm and all ages Jam Session from 5-6 pm. Please let Genevieve know at re@jruuc.org if you are interested in volunteering.


Choir Practice – Thursdays at 7pm

Sacred Breath welcomes folks of all voice types and musical backgrounds (including people with no experience whatsoever!) We meet weekly on Thursdays from 7-8:30pm and sing at 1-2 services a month. At rehearsals, choir members warm-up their voices and bodies, learn pieces for Sunday services, sing for the joy of it, and connect with fellow Reebers. Singing is nourishment for the mind, body, and spirit.  Nourish yourself and your community by joining Sacred Breath Choir!


Please send an email to music@jruuc.org with any questions or thoughts you have about music ministry at JRUUC.


Folk Music Group

Please come sing and play folk music with us on Saturdays. The folk group will meet every Saturday this at 2pm for about an hour and a half. If you want to join, please contact Mike by the Friday before, and he will confirm we have a critical mass of folk singers! Please bring your favorite folk songs to share with us (lyrics and chords, if you have them!).

This is an informal gathering of Reebers who enjoy playing and singing folk songs together.  This group will occasionally decide to offer music for a Sunday service, but there’s no expectation for this.  Come to as many sessions as you’d like!  Bring your voice and/or instrument. 

Meetings are usually Saturdays, but check your enews and contact Mike Stimson to confirm the next meeting date and let him know you’ll be coming. [1/2/24]


Sacred Breath Choir 12/4/22

Meet Jennifer Hedstrom – Music Director

Jennifer Hedstrom (she/they) grew up in the Chicago suburbs and has called Madison her home since 2010.  Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s in Piano Performance from Illinois State University and a Master’s in Collaborative Piano from UW-Madison.  Jennifer loves leading a multifaceted musical life and splits her time between composing, performing, teaching, and music directing.

Jennifer believes music is a powerful tool for expression, healing, and connection.  She also believes music is for everyone, which is the reason she is drawn to congregational singing.  She is looking forward to using her musical gifts to lift up the voices and spirits of everyone at James Reeb.  And she is excited to get to know the members of the James Reeb choir.

Jennifer lives on the east side of Madison with their partner and two cats.  Beyond music, they love reading, walking, dancing, crafting, and spending time with close friends.  Jennifer’s spiritual teachers include water, prairies, songbirds, Pema Chödrön, Rumi, and Beyoncé.

Jennifer joined Reeb’s staff in the spring of 2023.


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