Music moves the human soul, bringing us together into a community and helping us feel God’s presence. The First Pres family strives to bring glory to God through our music – traditional, modern, and everything in between – made possible by the dedication of our many talented members and staff, vocalists, and instrumentalists alike. We also reach out further into the community with a well-known annual concert series and a yearly program of recitals.
Contact Adam Hendrickson, director of music and worship, to get involved in music at First Pres.
The Chancel Choir is the foundation of the music program at First Pres, made up of a large and dedicated group of singers. This group provides leadership during worship as well as offering a Christmas and Spring Choral Concert with orchestra each year. Rehearsals are held Thursdays, 7:15-8:45 pm, in the Choir Auditorium. The ability to read music is a plus, but not required. Fun, fellowship, and family is what this choir is all about.
The Chambers Singers group comprises about 20 people who sing a wide variety of music. They also participate in the Christmas and spring choral concerts. Rehearsals are usually held the second and fourth Thursday of the month, 6:30-7:15 pm, in the Choir Auditorium, preceding the Chancel Choir rehearsal. The ability to read music is required as this group does rehearse more advanced choral works.
Come and contribute to the rich sound of our Men's Chorus! Rehearsals are held the first third Thursday of the month, 6:30-7:15 pm, in the Choir Auditorium, preceding the Chancel Choir rehearsal. Men's Chorus participates in the Christmas and spring concerts. The ability to read music is a plus, but not required.
First Pres has a long tradition of outstanding female singers. Now we have an opportunity for them to come together and make beautiful music! Our Women’s Chorus will meet on the third Thursday of the month from 6:30-7:15 pm in the Choir Auditorium.
Compass Worship Band
Compass is the worship band for finding grace, the modern worship service, at 9:00 am in the Chapel. The team may include vocalists and musicians on a variety of instruments (guitar, piano, drums, etc.). Musical experience is required; however, training and mentoring are available.
Children’s Choir is open to children in kindergarten through fifth grade (exceptions to include older children can be made) and is directed by Nick Pulikowski, First Pres Choral Scholar and professional singer and music educator. The choir meets Sundays, immediately following Sunday School, 10:45-10:55 am, in Fellowship Hall. Contacts: Nick Pulikowski, Katy Allen, Adam Hendrickson
Chancel Hand Bell Choir
The Chancel Hand Bell Choir rings several times during the year in worship. Persons interested in this group should have music reading skill and be able to follow a line of music; however, previous ringing experience is not necessary. Rehearsals are held regularly on selected Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 pm, in the Bell Choir Room. Contact: Jo Christian, Nick Pulikowski
First Pres Brass
First Pres Brass performs music for organ, brass, and timpani in our worship services. New players are always welcome. They participate in worship about once every six weeks. Rehearsals are as needed.
First Pres Strings
Currently a quartet comprised of violin, viola, and cello. First Pres Strings provides prelude music and sometimes accompanies the choir. In addition, they also do some outreach in the community. Opportunities for growth are available if new players are interested in joining this group. Please contact Adam Hendrickson for more details.
Members who play musical instruments are encouraged to share their talents and gifts in worship.
Historic Schantz Pipe Organ
The Schantz pipe organ has been a fixture in the First Pres Sanctuary since 1972. Handcrafted by the Schantz Organ Company, Orville, Ohio, it is a distinctive service and recital instrument. In addition to its regular use throughout the year, First Pres hosts an Organ Fest each spring, featuring accomplished local organists who give this wonderful instrument a workout.
The organ stands at either side of the Chancel, with the Swell and Choir divisions on the left, behind the screens, each enclosed in its own chamber, with shades operable from the three manual consoles to control the volume of those pipes. The pedal division is on the right behind the screens along with the Festival Trumpet. The Great Division and some of the pedal stops are the exposed pipework one sees when looking toward the Chancel.
The organ has 52 ranks, or sets of pipes, totaling 2,900 pipes varying in size from a cotton swab to the size of a telephone pole. Five of the stops are digital and made by Walker Technical Company, Zionsville, Pennsylvania. The Festival Trumpet was crafted by Reuter Organ Company, Lawrence, Kansas, and is voiced on 6 1/4" of wind pressure. The solid state memory of the organ contains 99 channels for 5 general pistons and 5 pistons for each division.