Earthrise Chamber Choir

Earthrise Chamber Choir Logo

Westside UU sponsors two resident ensembles that use our facilities for rehearsals and performances. They perform for Sunday worship services a few times each year.

Earthrise Chamber Choir performs secular and sacro-secular choral works from the Western choral and literary traditions that elucidate the human experience and celebrate life in all of its beauty and complexity.

Earthrise Chamber Choir Vision

  • To explore universal themes of the human experience such as love, service, peace, community, freedom of thought, connectivity of all living things, and respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all by presenting music inspired by works of the Western literary tradition
  • To perform choral music that challenges the intellect as well as the heart; music that is transformative as well as emotionally satisfying
  • To present concerts that push the envelope of traditional choral music expectations
  • To commission new choral works that underscore our values
  • To become an influential choral ensemble, both in our community and the broader world of music


1968 was a year that dramatically changed the world. Social and political tensions throughout the United States had not reached such extreme levels since the Civil War. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated, the Vietnam War escalated, and war protests were ubiquitous and often violent. Worldwide, there were bombings in Europe, massacres in Vietnam, Yasir Arafat's rise to prominence in a volatile Middle East, American passenger jets repeatedly hijacked to Cuba, and serious concerns about environmental damage. The Soviets flexed their Cold War muscles, as did the U.S., and for a while it seemed the entire world would implode in its own rage.

Then, in December of that year NASA launched Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon. On Christmas Eve, while in lunar orbit, the capsule emerged from the dark side of the moon and saw a stunning sight--the Earth rising over the horizon; a beautiful, little blue ball floating in the vastness of space. Astronaut William Anders then reached for a camera and captured what is considered to be the most influential environmental photograph ever taken, and named it "Earthrise." The effect on Earth was stunning.

For the first time in human history we witnessed the inescapable revelation of our precious, delicate Earth floating alone in the vast universe and for a brief time our collective problems seemed less crucial. Composers, visual artists, musicians, dancers, writers, actors, photographers, and artists of all kinds found validation for what they had been saying for centuries; that Art enlightens the human condition by teaching us that all living things are interconnected and that all we really have in the universe is one another, love, beauty, creativity, imagination, knowledge, and a unique capacity to attempt to comprehend the seemingly incomprehensible.

Earthrise Chamber Choir is dedicated to nurturing the spirit of the first Earthrise.