New! Open Stage for Gloucester Youth

flyerFolk Life Studio’s Rose Sheehan in cooperation with the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church are launching a new project for Gloucester Youth.

Youth Leaders, middle-school through high-school, are invited to join a youth collective to plan and manage an Open Stage for youth performers and youth audiences.

Sheehan will serve as an advisor to the collective. In addition to many years working as a performer and concert organizer, she is an experienced educator and youth advisor.

Interested young people are urged to contact Rose Sheehan at by June 1. An initial planning meeting for mid-June will be scheduled by a poll among the participants

The Youth Open Stage Project is funded in part by a grant from the Gloucester Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.



Celebrate May ’round the Maypole

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Folk Life Studio and the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church present the Fourth Annual Gloucester May Celebration on Saturday, May 20 at 3:00 PM.

The roughly one hour event is free and open to all. It will feature live music, songs and Morris dancing.

The highlight of the celebration will be a maypole and all who attend will have an opportunity to take a ribbon and dance.  


Sing in the Spring – Free Folk Concert, Friday, May 19

Rose and COLIN May 2017 new pic

Mother and son acapella duo Rose Sheehan and Colin de la Barre of Gloucester, MA will sing traditional and traditionally inspired songs of the British Isles and North America in celebration of Spring on Friday, May 19, 2017 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

Rose and Colin, 2014 North East Regional Folk Alliance featured showcase artists, have appeared at the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, the Indian Neck Folk Festival, the New England Folk Festival and at regional coffeehouses.

This is a family friendly event. All are welcome. Admission is free. Donations will be accepted for the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church Religious Exploration Book Fund.

Rise Up and Sing Out!

Fourth Annual Pete Seeger Legacy Sing-a-long will be held Sunday, March 12 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church.


The Cape Ann Interfaith Clergy Association in cooperation with Folk Life Studio and the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church present the Fourth Annual Pete Seeger Legacy Sing in an open community sing-a-long entitled “Rise Up and Sing Out!”.

This family friendly event will be held on Sunday, March 12 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, located at the corner of Middle and Church Streets in Gloucester, MA. Song sheets will be provided and those with acoustic instruments are welcome to come and play along.

The first sing, organized in 2014, was a memorial celebration held shortly after the passing of the iconic folk singer/activist.

Since then, a local social justice organization has been selected each year to be the 16298564_1325248124187531_5226880042050576172_nrecipient of freely given donations from the sing-a-long attendees. Those beneficiaries were the Grace Center in 2015 and the Backyard Growers in 2016.  This year donations will go to ECCO: the Essex County Community Organization. ECCO is a diverse network of congregations and organizations across the North Shore building relationships and power to put human dignity at the center of public life.

The two hour event will begin promptly at 3:00 PM with a break planned at the half-way point. People are welcome to come and go throughout the afternoon.





AZ One Gospel Duo Returns to Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church

azone-trio-14-april-13-300x236-2On Sunday, February 26 at 10:00 AM, all are invited to a special music service featuring the singing of Gordon Michaels and Darlene Wynn, accompanied by pianist Mark Rasmussen.

The Az One Duo will stir your soul and rock your boat with their contemporary Gospel style that is full of tenderness, vocal prowess and humor.

The Reverend Janet Parsons will address the challenges we face to become an authentic anti-racist voice in her homily: Confronting Our Whole History: Trying, Failing and Trying Again.untitled



Child care is available during the service. All are invited to the community hall immediately following the service for refreshments and socializing.


Welcome Yule! A Midwinter Celebration – Music, Dance, Songs and Stories to Drive the Dark Away

“Welcome Yule! – A Midwinter Celebration” returns for a third year to the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse.

The Welcome Yule Chorus, Children’s Troupe and Folk Orchestra, under the direction of

Welcome Yule Children – 2015

Rose Sheehan, will present this lively, seasonal pageant on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 4:00 PM in the sanctuary of Gloucester’s historic Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse. The program is expected to run two hours including a fifteen minute intermission.

Yule is the name for the old, pre-Christian Winter Solstice festivals celebrated throughout northern Europe. ‘Welcome Yule!’ highlights symbols and festivities associated with those older festivals – wassailing, holly and ivy, yule logs, candles – and includes Christmas lore that blends the old customs with the newer festival.

Welcome Yule Mummers – 2015


This family friendly show is filled with music, dance, songs and stories for the longest night. It features a mix of traditional pieces, as well as contemporary works. A mummers’ play, ‘Saint George and the Dragon’ is a comic reworking of an English ritual drama in which a character dies and is brought back to life.

There will be a Yule Log Procession in which the audience is invited to touch the log with a holly leaf and make a wish for the new year.
A number of songs invite the audience to sing-a-long, making for a fun participatory event.

Welcome Yule is produced by Folk Life Studio in cooperation with the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church.

Tickets are available at the door.
Ticket prices are
$15 for adults;
$10 for seniors (65+) and children five through sixteen;
$35 family cap;
age four and under free.


Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church Fair


Join us for our annual church fair, a key stop on Gloucester’s December 10 Middle Street Walk. Enjoy food, crafts, music, seasonal shopping, and fellowship. We’re also hosting entertainment in our sanctuary throughout the day. Here’s the day’s schedule:

9:00-11:00 Breakfast downstair: Donuts, bagels, coffee, tea, hot chocolate

9:00-1:00 Church Fair downstairs: Cookie walk, artisan tables, hand-knitted scarves, book table, Brad’s Unique Boutique

10:00-10:30 Gloucester High School Chorus concert upstairs in sanctuary

10:00-12:00 Santa downstairs in the vestry, free S’mores on the church lawn

11:00-11:45 Grace Center Jug Band concert upstairs in sanctuary

11:00-1:00 Lunch downstairs in the vestry: chowder, veggie chili, hot dogs

11:45 Tour of the historic Meetinghouse

12:00 Caroling downstairs

2:00-2:45 “Mingling of Souls,” dramatic reading of a play by Jay DiPrima based on the life and writings of Rev. John Murray and Judith Sargent Murray. Sanctuary: $5 suggested donation.

4:00-6:00 “Welcome Yule! A Midwinter Celebration”, a family friendly show filled with music, dance, songs and stories for the longest night. Sanctuary.                                                   $15 for adults; $10 for seniors (65+) and children five through sixteen; $35 family cap; age four and under free. Tickets available at the door.

“A Harvest of Songs and Stories” Free Concert at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church Saturday, November 19 at 3:00 PM

Mother and son acapella duo Rose Sheehan and Colin de la Barre of Gloucester, MA will sing songs and tell stories from folk traditions in celebration of the Fall and Harvest Time on Saturday, November 19, 2016 from 3:00 to 4:00 PM at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church. The church is located at the corner of Middle and Church Streets in Gloucester, MA. The main entrance is through the front doors of the church. An accessible entrance is at 10 Church Street. Admission is free. 


Rose Sheehan, a life-long native of Massachusetts, grew up enjoying music of all genres, singing in church and school choirs.  In the late 1970’s, she became enthralled with traditional music.  Soon after settling in Boston, she starting performing throughout the Northeast region at coffeehouses and small taverns including the Nameless Coffeehouse, Cambridge, the Pressroom, NH, the Thirsty Whale, ME and Fiddler’s Green, Toronto. She studied vocal technique with Anabel Graetz and Frankie Armstrong and performed as a solo vocalist with the Revels in the early 1980’s.

Colin de la Barre was raised in a musical household.  He demonstrated his talent for music and rhythm as a very young child, dancing before he could speak.  He played fiddle during his middle childhood years, easily picking up tunes by ear.  When asked, Colin says he began singing with his mom in his late teens.  Rose asserts that they’ve been “singing together since before he was born!”

As a duo, Rose and Colin are well known for their inspired harmonies and rich blend of familial voices.

They have appeared together at venues including the Mystic Sea Music Festival, the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival, the Indian Neck Folk Festival, the New England Folk Festival, coffeehouses and house concerts.

In 2014 they were selected as juried showcase performers for the North East Regional Folk Alliance Conference in Kerhonkson, NY.

Rose and Colin are online at

Lantern Walk and Workshops

The  mid-point between the equinox and the solstice is the cross quarter day, traditionally observed as a fire festival. A lantern walk marks the end of autumn and the start of winter. We carry light into the darkening days with hope for the renewed light to come.
Come make a lantern on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.
Come join in community to carry the light in a Lantern Walk on Saturday afternoon.
“Each of us is one small light, but together we shine bright!”lantern-workshops-and-walk-2016