UUS Meeting Virtually Due to COVID-19

UUS is currently in Phase One (Building closed) of our COVID Reopening Plan. Sunday services are being streamed via Zoom at 10 a.m. Read more »

Dave Rowe

Dave Rowe headshot

UUS is seeking a permanent Music Director to begin in the spring of 2021, when we will hopefully be able to resume meeting in person. In the interim, Dave Rowe is serving as the Online Service Music Leader.

Dave is an itinerant folk musician who lives in Portland, Maine. He did stints as organist at two different Episcopal churches in Readfield and Auburn, Maine, the former of which he remained with until he saw an ad seeking a music director at Maine’s oldest continuously-operating UU church in Norway, Maine (founded in 1799 by Universalist minister, Rev. Thomas Barnes). He’d secretly been wanting to find a choir job at a UU church, so it seemed a gift when the opportunity came up, and he stayed, off-and-on for the better part of a decade. 

Dave finally left the Norway church in the early 2000s with the intention of retiring from church music. It, however, didn’t stick, as Dave was soon hired in 2004 by the First Universalist Church, Unitarian Universalist of Auburn, Maine following the death of their choir director and Dave’s father, Tom Rowe. Dave remained as the choir director and substitute organist in Auburn for 14 wonderful years before again “retiring” from church music after over 32 years, to travel and concentrate on being a touring folk musician. 

For most of 2019 and half of 2020, Dave cruised the Great Loop on his yacht, Stinkpot, with his partner/first mate, Stacey. They plied the interconnected waters of twenty-five states and one Canadian province—an 8000-mile total journey. About 3/4 of the way through the trip, COVID-19 began, and when the couple returned to their home in Portland, Maine in June, Dave found himself mostly unable to perform live shows due to the pandemic.

Dave began performing shows on social media and Zoom to try to make a living, but it really wasn’t enough music or income to survive as a professional musician. When a UU-minister friend and colleague suggested that UUS was seeking someone to lead music online during COVID-19, it seemed like a great fit. The connections were made and an interim/special music position was created to make this all work, making Dave the interim COVID-19 Online Worship Music Leader.