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Singing the Journey Contributor Biographies


Sandefer, Martha (b. 1952)

Martha has performed many genres of music in a wide variety of settings for nearly thirty years. She recorded, sung, and played with Trapezoid, the folk and contemporary acoustic ensemble. She is currently a member of the Work ‘o the Weavers quartet. Martha is interested in folk music from around the world and has been studying frame drums and performing in concert with percussionist Glen Velez. She is currently working toward a Master's degree in Music Education with a focus on pedagogy at Hartt College of Music in Hartford, CT.

Sanders, Rose

Rose is a civil rights attorney, education activist, songwriter, and playwright living in Selma, AL. She is the mother of three children. Ms. Sanders was Alabama’s first African American woman judge. She has co-founded many organizations which work to protect children.

Scott, Jim (b. 1946)

Jim is an acoustic guitarist, singer, and composer of powerful music that furthers the ideals of ecology, justice, and peace. Jim is a Unitarian Universalist (UU) musician and activist, and he has performed with the Paul Winter Consort for many years and was co-composer of Missa Gaia/Earth Mass. As a solo artist dedicated to earth and peace causes, he has charmed and inspired audiences around the world, created choral works, film soundtracks, a stage musical, and many recordings of songs. Over two decades he has visited more than three hundred UU Churches, and his hymn Gather the Spirit is well known across the denomination. As co-chair of the UU Seventh Principle Project, Jim helped develop the UU "Green Sanctuary" program and created "The Earth and Spirit Songbook." He now serves as a musical ambassador for the UU Service Committee. See more information.

Senesh, Hannah (1921-1944)

Hannah volunteered for a rescue mission in Europe during World War II. She was captured, tortured, and executed by a firing squad in Budapest, Hungary on November 7, 1944, at the age of twenty-three. Her legacy, which was published after her death, includes a personal diary, a collection of poems, a play, letters, photographs, and various documents. Learn more about Hannah’s life.

Shabalala, Joseph (b. 1941)

Joseph is the leader of the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo who came to the world's attention after contributing to Paul Simon's Graceland album. The name "Shabalala" has an interesting origin. "Shaba" means to wake up and "lala" means to enter the world of dreams, so Shabalala means to "wake up to the world of dreams." Discover more about Joseph Shabalala.

Shelton, Jason (b. 1972)

Jason is an award-winning composer, arranger, conductor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, workshop and retreat leader, as well as the director of music at the First Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church in Nashville, TN. He holds a BA in Classics from Saint Meinrad College—a Catholic seminary in Indiana; and an M.Div. from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Since coming to First UU in 1998, Jason has been exploring how a Unitarian Universalist ministry of music might come to life both in the congregation and the larger community. He was fellowshipped and ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2004. In 2005, Jason released his first CD entitled The Fire of Commitment, which features studio recordings of several of the pieces found in Singing the Journey. Rev. Shelton also served on the New Hymns Task Force that developed this supplement. More information about Jason and his music can be found on his website.

Small, Fred (b. 1952)

Fred was born in Plainfield, NJ. Grandnephew of Thomas Hart Benton, the American regionalist painter (and outstanding harmonica player), Fred was playing guitar and singing folk songs by age seven. After graduating from Yale, Fred earned a law degree and a Master's Degree in natural resources policy at the University of Michigan. Fred wrote his first song in 1974 on the morning of his first law school examination. In 1980 Fred left his position as staff attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation to pursue his career in music full time.

In September 1996, Fred entered Harvard Divinity School in preparation for Unitarian Universalist ministry. He is now pastor of First Church Unitarian, Littleton, MA, and co-chair of Religious Witness for the Earth. See more information on Fred Small’s music.

Smith, Kenny (b. 1965)

Kenny graduated from the School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. He is currently completing a degree in Music Education at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Kenny is the founder and director of Peace and Serenity, a gospel based choir going into its 21st year. He and his ensemble, Peace and Serenity, are in demand across the tri-state area. Kenny is especially sought out for his brilliance as a gospel and improvisational keyboard artist. He is director of music at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Cincinnati, OH.

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Last updated on Thursday, August 21, 2014.

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