DeReau Farrar Named Music Director

Dear Friends,

Our more than year-long search process for a permanent Director of Music has been completed. The Advisory Search Committee has done an outstanding job of gathering feedback about each of the three final candidates from all of the choirs, as well as from other music staff, program staff and congregants. They conducted interviews, checked references and engaged in open-hearted discernment as they led this process.

Special thanks go to the members of our music staff who made the candidate visits so effective and to the Unitarian Choir, which sang in worship under the direction of each of our candidates.
Each of the three candidates is a talented musician.

Each would offer new energy and opportunities for our outstanding ministry of music.

The recommendation of the Advisory Search Committee is unanimous. Based on that recommendation and my own careful reflection, I have invited DeReau Farrar to become the Director of Music for First Unitarian and he has accepted.

There is much to celebrate in this decision. High on my list is the confidence we can have in the musicianship and leadership we have already experienced DeReau providing through this year of “Acting Director” service. People have other favorites among the three finalist candidates, to be sure. But DeReau’s skill is very widely appreciated, and his personal qualities as well.

A statement from the Advisory Search Committee about the process they followed and their recommendation is below.

I hope you will join me in congratulating DeReau.

Bill Sinkford

From The Music Search Advisory Committee

The Music Transition Advisory Committee began its work in November 2015. During the winter of 2016, we surveyed the congregation about the desired characteristics for our new director of music, using the results of the survey to create a position description.

Beginning last May, we advertised the position and by September 15, we had received nearly 30 applications from all over the country. Based on evaluation of resumes, references, and available online music performances, we narrowed the pool to eight applicants. We then did a deep dive on these eight candidates, viewing additional music videos, talking with two to three references for each, and conducting video-assisted interviews, narrowing our pool to three amazing candidates. Our finalists each had an “audition week,” working with each of the adult singing choirs, meeting members of the bell choirs, meeting with the ministers and music staff.

We sought input from the congregation and surveyed each of the choirs who worked with the candidates. Thank you to all who provided so much thoughtful feedback about our candidates. Based on your input and the committee’s discernment, we unanimously recommended DeReau Farrar as our permanent Director of Music.

Chris Tanner, Chair
Marilyn Scott
Theo Harper
Dotti Chidester
Greg Belisle