Music is an essential part of any church service. As Martin Luther, the founder of Protestentism, once said, "Music is the art of the prophets and the gift of God." At First Baptist, we always seek to worship God through the gifts He has given us, especially music. Our regular music season lasts from September to the first Sunday in June, with special music performances and solos throughout the summer.

Chancel Choir
The adult choir sings every Sunday morning and is a fundamental part of the church service. Open to anyone from high school and up, the Chancel Choir's repertoire spans everything from traditional hymn tunes and folk or country music to contemporary and even gospel singing. Its members practice once a week on Thursday evenings and in addition to special holiday events, the choir also presents one or two major concerts during the course of the year. Sometimes the choir joins with other musical groups for special performances. The choir is also augmented during the Christmas season to give those who want to sing but are unable to commit to a full season the opportunity to participate in the annual Christmas Cantata. There is no requirement for joining the Chancel Choir, except that you come willing to make a "joyful noise unto the Lord."

The Jubiliers
The handbell choir, with an impressive range of three octaves of Malmark Handbells, performs several times a year during the worship service. Open to anyone from 6th grade and up, The Jubiliers perform both contemporary and traditional music, utilizing numerous handbell techniques, including the innovative "off the table" style of handbell ringing. Its members practice once a week on Thursday evenings and in addition to special holiday events, The Jubiliers also participate in one or two major concerts during the course of the year. A knowledge of music notation and some previous music experience is suggested for joining this group.

Special Music and Events
Throughout the year, intrumentalists, vocalists and special choirs are featured in the worship service. Not only do members of the church and choirs perform, our children and youth who are involved in music lessons or school ensembles and bands are encouraged to share their gifts with the congregation as well. Groups often visit First Baptist on their own musical tours, and once a year in the spring a college or university in the region stops in during their spring break to perform for the worship service. During the summer months when the choirs are on vacation, the music schedule is invigorated with guest performances from church and community members every Sunday, ranging from talented piano and organ performances to soaring vocal and woodwind instrument displays. During the holidays the church hosts two special music events. The Christmas Advent Celebration Concert, begun in 2004, is held the first Sunday evening in December and features local area musicians, ranging from orchestras and ensembles to soloists and audience-participated carol singing, and is put on for the benefit of the church and community. The annual Christmas Cantata presentation features our own choirs, and is held during the worship service the second Sunday in December. Music Ministry Sunday, held the first Sunday in June, marks the beginning of the choirs' summer break and is an opportunity for both choirs to perform their past years' repertoire and uplift the congregation in the spirit of worship.

Music Committee
This group of members, both elected from the congregation and appointed from the choirs, is in charge of the musical aspects of the church. They are a dedicated team that works together to help arrange the musical portions of the worship service in consultation with the pastor and choir director each month. They act in an advisory capacity with the organist and choir director, and also direct any and all musical outreach efforts in the church.

The Organ
The Rodgers Oxford 940 is a three-manual classical organ that First Baptist installed by the church in 1993. One of the industry's highest quality church organs in both sound and construction, the Oxford 940 is an instrument that achieves a rich tonal authenticity by incorporating eclectic specifications and genuine pipe organ sounds through the Rodgers PDI (Parallel Digital Imaging) technology. The organ utilizes lighted drawknobs and tilt tab stop controls. All traditional types of couplers from unisons to subs and octaves are included, with the added bonus of adjustable combination action pistons that have four memories, many standard reversibles and other functions. In addition to its standard eight-channel audio system, it offers full MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) capabilities with the Rodgers PR-300 MIDI player, which contains an expansive array of keyboards, sequencers, rhythm units sound modules and set of memory levels. The player is noted for its ease of use and simple controls, ability to add organ stops even 32's and hundreds of orchestral sounds. First Baptist's organ is not only a lovely instrument to listen to, but a beautiful piece of workmanship that will accompany our congregation in worshiping the Lord joyfully for many years to come.

Fellowship and Ministry
Besides seeing each other during weekly practices and Sunday morning rehearsals, members of the choirs enjoy spending time in fellowship together and are dedicated to spreading the ministry of music. Each year, the choirs and any church members who have been involved with music gather together for a picnic. The afternoon spent together is a fun celebration of the end of the season. The choirs, in conjunction with the Music Committee, are also active in fundraising for any needed music expenditures. Recently, they held a sucessful spaghetti dinner and pancake breakfast to raise funds for the movement and expansion of the sound system, improving the quality of music for the entire congregation every Sunday. Additionally, the choirs are gracious hosts when outside music groups come to perform, assisting to direct any music receptions and other events.

If interested in making a "joyful noise" with us,
feel free to get in touch with our choir director at any time.

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