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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.

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THE CARILLON

First Church is truly fortunate to be the home of the Philip B. Stanley Carillon.  The 37 bells, weighing a total of 7,960 pounds, were forged by the Petit & Fritsen Company of The Netherlands, and are suspended  about 50 feet above the ground in a tower near the entrance to the church.  The bell tower is a beacon of beauty both visually and in its glorious sound.

Our gifted Carillonneur, Tatiana Lukyanova, provides a 15-minute Carillon Prelude to the Sunday morning service on the first Sunday of each month throughout the year.

The Bells of First Church ~ Summer Carillon Concerts

~ TUESDAYS at 7:00 p.m. ~

*July 23 ~ Jan Verheyan

Hasselt, BELGIUM

*The CLOSING CONCERT on July 23

is preceded by a POT-LUCK PICNIC at 6:00 p.m.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, and beverages are provided.

Please bring a salad, side dish, or dessert to share.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket, a picnic, and your friends

for a delightful evening of music on the lawn.

Concerts are free and open to the public. 

Complimentary ice cream & bottled water will be provided.

Covered seating will be provided in the event of rain.

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The Choirs

Our largest choir is you, the congregation, as you sing the hymns each Sunday.  The Adult Choir is open to anyone high school age and above, and welcomes all who love to sing.  We are fortunate to be assisted by professional Section Leaders who provide musical leadership and support to the choir.  This group rehearses each Thursday evening and sings in worship each Sunday morning from September to June.  We welcome new members at any time.  A highlight of the Choir’s year is the annual Festival of Lessons & Carols, presented each year at Christmas time.

Our worship is also enriched by soloists, instrumentalists, percussion, and handbells from time to time, both from within our congregation and from the wider community.  First Church owns five octaves of Schulmerich Handbells.  We look forward to being able to reconvene the Handbell Choir as volunteers become available to play.  Please speak with Director of Music Ministries, Jim Gower, if you would like to find out more about participation in any of these important ministries.

CONCERTS

Occasionally throughout the year we present concerts in our sanctuary featuring soloists and ensembles from the wider community.  Examples of past concerts are CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) and ensembles from the Music Department of Central Connecticut State University.  Three or four times each year we present our First Church Breakfast Concerts, which take place on Sunday mornings. The morning service is followed by a Continental Breakfast at 11:00, after which is a 30-minute concert beginning at 11:30, performed by our own musicians as well as professionals from the local area.  In tandem with the Mission and Congregational Life Working Group, we occasionally offer an informal evening of jazz or lighter music in Fellowship Hall with refreshments (and sometimes dancing!)  Our sanctuary is a sought-after performing venue for local musical ensembles because of its outstanding acoustics and layout.  When possible, we are happy to host such events.

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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.