Sound Journey with Nirmal Chandraratna

Feb 24, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

First Parish welcomes Nirmal Chandraratna, a New York City-based Kirtan artist and composer with a passion for nurturing connection – to spirit, to community, and to one’s deeper self – through music. Using the voice, the harmonium and the cello, he creates music for Kirtan and meditation, and works for communal performance. He will collaborate with our director of music Rip Jackson. In this evening experience, set in a dynamic, meditative environment, you are invited to connect with your intentions, both for yourself and for the world, and to let them take flight using the transformative power of sound. Layered textures of the human voice, cello, and percussion will weave a tapestry of music and mantra. Though sound vibration works on subtle levels, even at the level of human perception, we are able to receive and interact intentionally with vibrations, not only through our ears but also through our bodies: we respond viscerally to beauty in the form of harmonics, rhythm and melody, and we can work in this space to align our lives with our vision for a better world. At the beginning of the evening, we’ll come together as a community, singing together and sharing our intentions. We’ll raise the intensity, and then you’ll be invited to settle into a comfortable position to meditate in a darkened, candle-lit environment as a concert of expansive music and textures unfolds.

Nirmal Chandraratna was born to Sri Lankan parents in Rochester, New York. He began studying cello at 9 years and continued until the end of his undergraduate years at Brown University. There he received his BA in Music, led a jazz a cappella group and arranged music for a 24-member cello choir. Nirmal found his passion in music composition and received his Masters in Music in 1998 from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he concentrated on vocal composition and opera, and then further explored dramatic music at the BMI Lehmen Engel Musical Theater workshop in New York City. In 2010, Nirmal discovered Kirtan, a call-and-response practice of singing mantra, and fell in love with Kirtan’s intentionality and immersive nature. He began studying Sanskrit, Eastern philosophy and mantra, and has been leading Kirtan ever since; he has sung Kirtan in the Netherlands, Quebec, Boston, New England, upstate New York and New York City. Kirtan and mantra have influenced his other compositions in his desire to continue to include the audience into a musical experience in an intentional manner, and he also offers guided meditations on the chakras, Sound Journeys, live music for yoga classes, and other creative offerings.

Free will offering.

Music from the Gilded Age with Austin Burns

Jan 28, 2018
2:30 pm

On Sunday afternoon, January 28 at 2:30, tenor Austin Burns and pianist Rip Jackson will present a concert of music from the “Gilded Age.” The Gilded Age was a term coined by Mark Twain and refers to a society which is “gilded” or thinly coated with a gold layer while under the surface lies the poor working conditions of the lower class. This is a program that draws striking parallels to today’s economic and political climate. Sets from the program reflect not only the struggle of the 99% but also the forgotten voices of women, African Americans, and refugees. It confronts the history of oppressed groups but it also acknowledges the white privilege that so many of us take for granted. A freewill offering will be taken. For more information, call 781-862-8200 or visit

Freewill Donation

A Springboard to the Sublime: Boccherini and Mozart - POSTPONED

Jan 21, 2018
3:30 pm


Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble is delighted to launch the new year with the sublime music of Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in its new concert series at First Parish in Lexington. Led by the “interpretive eloquence and technical sparkle” of violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, Sarasa will explore the brilliance of Boccherini and Mozart through the guise of their string sextet repertoire. It will be a great opportunity to hear a live, big string sound in this combination of two violins, two violas and two cellos. Don’t miss the chance to hear this sumptuous music performed on original instruments. Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 3:30 pm, First Parish in Lexington (7 Harrington Road, Lexington, MA 02421). For more information, please visit or telephone 617.429.0332.

Winter Solstice Celebration

Dec 17, 2017
10:30 am

On Sunday morning, December 17, First Parish in Lexington will present a special worship service celebrating the winter solstice at the 10:30 AM service. Through beautiful music, hymns, sermon and poetry, the powerful transformation from darkness to light will be uplifted. Artist and soprano sax player Katie Runde and pianist Rip Jackson will play some of the music from the Paul Winter Consort that can be heard at St. John the Divine during the Winter Solstice Concerts there each December, including the rousing piece “Dancing Day.” The sanctuary choir will also sing deep and mystical settings of solstice poetry and other seasonal music. For more information call the church at 781-862-8200 or visit

Christmas Music Through the Ages

Dec 9, 2017
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


On Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 PM, Munroe Saturday Nights will present a concert of “Christmas Music through the Ages.” Performers Austin Burns, Rip Jackson, David Meharry and Elizabeth Walsh will present beautiful seasonal vocal and keyboard (harpsichord, piano and organ) music from the medieval, renaissance, baroque, romantic and modern eras. Many well-know carols will be sung in their original form. “Stille Nacht.” “Coventry Carol,” “O Holy Night,” “White Christmas,” music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and many other beloved carols will be sung and played. For more information, visit or call 781-862-6040 for more information.

Presented by Munroe Saturday Nights

Freewill Donation

Spring Concert - A Broadway Cabaret

May 7, 2017
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

A Broadway Cabaret

Sunday, May 7, 2017, at 3:30 PM

First Parish in Lexington
7 Harrington Rd. Lexington, MA

Suggested Donation: $20/adults $10/Students and Seniors

(More if you can and less if you can’t – all are welcome!)


First Parish in Lexington will present a Broadway Cabaret on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 3:30 PM. The concert will feature the First Parish sanctuary and children’s choirs and soloists, guest singers, and a pit band (piano, drums, electric guitar, electric bass, trumpets, horns, flute, saxophone and clarinet) performing solo and choral music from Broadway including selections from RentJesus Christ SuperstarAnnie, West Side Story and Show Boat. Suggested donation: $20/adults; $10/students and seniors (more if you can and less if you can’t – all are welcome!). For more information call the church at 781-862-8200 or visit

Winter Solstice Music Sunday

Dec 18, 2016
10:30 am - 11:30 am

Music, ritual and poetry come to the forefront on Sunday morning, December 18 at 10:30 AM, as the First Parish Sanctuary Choir, under the direction of Rip Jackson, presents a special music Sunday celebrating the Winter Solstice. Through beautiful music, poetry and readings from books of ancient wisdom, the powerful transformation from darkness to light will be uplifted. Soprano sax player Katie Runde and bassist Ben Green will be the guest instrumentalists for this service. Together with Rip Jackson on piano and organ, they will play some of the music from the Paul Winter Consort that can be heard at St. John the Divine during the Winter Solstice Concerts there each December, including the rousing piece “Dancing Day.” The Sanctuary choir and soloists will sing deeply beautiful solstice-themed anthems by Eric Whitacre, Morten Johannes Lauridsen, Mark Hayes, John Purifoy and Rip Jackson. Tegan Waite will share liturgical dance during the ritual. Poetry by Diann L. Neu, Edward Hayes and John Philip Newell will be shared during the Solstice ritual. For more information call the church at 781-862-8200 or visit



Air in D J. S. Bach/Rip Jackson, arr.
Katie Runde, soprano sax; Rip Jackson, organ; Ben green, bass

Dominus Illuminatio – Rip Jackson
from The Beatitudes
Toni Tasker, soprano; Tegan Waite Green, liturgical dancer;
Sanctuary Choir

Winter’s Peace – John Purifoy
Sanctuary Choir

Celebrating the Winter Solstice – Diann L. Neu
Marianne DiBlasi

Winter’s Heart – Mark Hayes
Sanctuary Choir

A Winter Solstice Prayer – Edward Hayes
Paul Brouillette

To Drive the Cold Winter Away – Loreena McKennitt
Julia Jaffe, soprano

The Glow of the Eternal – John Philip Newell
Pete Tasker

Sure on this Shining Night – Morten Johannes Lauridsen
Sanctuary Choir

In the Great Darkness
Rev. Anne Mason

Solstice – John Purifoy
Sanctuary Choir

Glow – Eric Whitacre
Sanctuary Choir

Silent Solstice Night – Paul Winter, arr.
Austin Burns

Dancing Day – Paul Winter, arr.
from Solstice Live
Katie Runde, soprano sax and Ben Green, electric bass

First Parish Sanctuary Choir

Soprano: Maureen Bovet, Lee Brami, Elizabeth Walsh, Toni Tasker
Alto: Tish Callanan, Mary Edelman, Allison Flanagan, Ann Flentje, Julia Jaffe, Elisabeth Jas, Meg Newhouse, Ruth Rose
Tenor: Paul Brouillette, Austin Burns, Nathan Ramsayer
Bass: David Bovet, Charles Goodell, Ben Green, Paul Koons, David Meharry, Tom Rich, Don Yansen


2016 Folk Concert

Nov 6, 2016
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

First Parish in Lexington will present a free concert of traditional folk music on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 3:30 PM in the sanctuary. The famous folk duo, John Kirk and Trish Miller, will join the First Parish sanctuary choir, along with an ensemble of guitars, fiddle, banjo, accordion, string bass, piano, mandolin and other folk instruments. The musicians will perform folk music featuring Appalachian fiddle tunes, Irish and Scottish folk songs, music from the ’60s, shape-note choral pieces, folk trios and solos, and other Celtic music. Suggested donation $10-$20 (more if can, less if you can’t). For more information call the church at 781-862-8200, ext. 4.

Concert of Violin and Piano

Jun 12, 2016
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Sara-Dillon Sarah Dillon performed a concert of violin music at First Parish in Lexington on Sunday, June 12, at 2:00pm in the sanctuary. The performance featured favorites from the solo violin repertoire debuting Sara on violin and Rip Jackson on piano. They performed Mozart’s Concerto No. 5 in A major, also known as The Turkish Concerto. Together they also played Melodie by Christoph Gluck, which is based on the Lament from the opera Orfeo and Euridice. Lastly, Sara performed the first four movements of Bach’s Partita no. 2 in d minor for unaccompanied violin.

Sara graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2009 receiving her Bachelor’s degree in music education. While at URI she was awarded concertmaster of their Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival Scholarship, and the Undergraduate Honors String Quartet Scholarship. Upon graduation Sara moved to Vermont to pursue her career in music education. While in VT, Sara taught a variety of music classes ranging from elementary school general music to high school chorus. She also built up a private studio with students of all ages and experiences.

As Sara was working and performing full time, she completed her Master’s degree in music education in 2015 from Boston University. Sara now resides in the Boston area, teaching band and orchestral instruments for grades 4-8 in the Cranston Public School system. In their after school program, Sara teaches guitar and ukulele. She is the Alto Voice Soloist, Section Leader, and resident instrumentalist for the First Parish Choir.

A free-will offering was taken.

Music from the African Diaspora

May 15, 2016
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

African-Concert-2016 On Sunday, May 15, 2016, First Parish presented a concert of Music from the African Diaspora, featuring African music and drumming, Jazz, Spirituals and Gospel Music. The concert featured the First Parish Sanctuary Choir and guest singers, African drummers, flute, piano, electric bass and percussion. The program included: “Kothbiro” (Kenyan cattle song), “Indonga Se Jeriko” (a South African freedom song), William Dawson’s “There Is a Balm in Gilead” (spiritual), Claude Bolling’s “Jazz Suite for Piano, Flute, Bass and Drums” and other powerful music from the African Diaspora.

A free will offering was taken.