010

MUSIC AT FIRST CHURCH

Music is a wonderful gift from God.  Our earliest recorded Hebrew scriptures reveal that music has been central to worship from the beginning.  Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we are instructed to “sing a new song to the Lord,” and to “praise God with strings and pipe!”  This rich tradition continues around the world and here at First Church.

           

Stay connected to a familiar voice during this time of isolation. Our soprano section leader, Amyjean Silling, has her own YouTube channel where you can hear her singing an array of beautiful music. You can find it at: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCAJkx_cQJA4vo_hmZikDMfg  (Her name appears there as Amy Eisen) We will also be posting the link to her channel on the church’s website and Facebook page. Check it out!

009

THE BELLS OF FIRST CHURCH

With all the changes in our personal and church family routines, our carillon provides an opportunity for some level of “normalcy” during this difficult time. I am pleased to tell you that our wonderful carillonneur, Tanya Lukyanova, will continue to play the carillon on the first Sunday morning of the month through the summer. Specific time will be announced, so that, if you would like, you can come to the church and listen from your car. I also see this as a nice gesture to the neighborhood.

As for the Tuesday-evening-in-July carillon concerts, the performers who play here typically are on “tour,” playing at several other venues in the state over the course of a week or two. This year the out-of-state and international carillonneurs are not traveling to perform. Many Connecticut churches have cancelled their concert series’ for this summer, and some are holding concerts on a more limited basis with only local players. We will hold at least one concert (date TBA) with our own Tanya Lukyanova performing. We will advertise this to the public, with the option for people to listen from their cars, or if listening on the lawn, to observe whatever physical distancing recommendations are in place at the time. These concerts are always a highlight of our summer, so this is indeed something to look forward to!

004A BIG THANK YOU!

If you’re like me, there may be times in this period of isolation when you have to stop and think what day it is. So it was a bit of a jolt when I was reminded that, were this a normal year, this is when our wonderful CHOIR would be wrapping up its 2019-2020 season. So even though we haven’t been blessed with hearing the CHOIR now for several weeks, I would be remiss not to mark this occasion with a very sincere expression of appreciation for this dedicated band. As I always say, in any church, the CHOIR demands more commitment of time and energy of its members than any other lay body within the congregation. And the result of their hard work is beautiful music that helps us worship and brings us closer to God week after week. Our mission is infinitely enhanced by our outstanding section leaders. In this time as we’re all more conscious of personal health and safety, the role of the CHOIR is even more appreciated as we learn from science that group singing is one of the most risky activities in terms of potential virus spread. So as we thank our CHOIR, we all look forward to the day when we can safely gather again to sing God’s praises.

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The Organ

The pipe organ has rightly been called “The King of Instruments.”  Reigning over our sanctuary from the rear gallery is a glorious instrument built in 1962 by Austin Organs, Incorporated, of Hartford, Connecticut.  The organ, consisting of 3,135 pipes in five divisions, is played from a console of three manuals (keyboards) and pedals.  It is a versatile instrument, capable of accompanying choirs, leading the congregation in song, and displaying organ literature of all historical periods in concert. Capable of everything from a subtle murmur to thundering bombast, it is one of the largest pipe organs in the region, its value second only to the building and property.