"All the earth worships thee; they sing praises to thee, sing praises to thy name." -- Psalm 66:4
Music is a vital part of our ministry, bringing a sense of reverence to our worship services and spiritual nourishment to all who participate. Music has ancient and mystical links to worship and brings a spiritual depth to the moments of joy and sorrow in our lives. The psalmist directs us to "Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing."
First Presbyterian therefore offers a broad spectrum of opportunities to enhance worship with music. We invite you to listen or to join us in praising God through a musical medium. For those seeking to perform, the options range from singing well-known hymns of the Presbyterian tradition during the regular worship service to performing as a soloist or in one of our choirs, ringing handbells, producing Christmas cantatas, or accompanying our children's singing during church-school and nursery hour. Our musicians derive a spiritual benefit from the opportunity to use their talents as an offering to God, and they learn more about themselves and about their gifts from association with other musicians.
The organist at First Presbyterian Church is Craig Barfield, who plays for regularly scheduled services.
We encourage participation in worship by developing instrumental musicians and are often treated to performances of sacred works by our talented youth. In addition, from time to time professional musicians from the area and from the NC Symphony come to First Presbyterian, both as soloists and in groups, or as orchestral accompanists for choral music.
We're always looking for volunteers to participate in our music program in any capacity. Just contact our Director of Music, David Covington, at the church office.
Sing with the Summer Choir!
Like you, many of our Chancel Choir members travel during the summer months. Some claim to be away making "guest appearances" at the beach or in the mountains. The Chancel Choir thus becomes the "Summer Choir" from about June 10 to the first Sunday in September because "Summer Here, and Summer Not." They continue singing for each 11 a.m. service throughout the summer, but they do not have their usual Thursday-evening rehearsals until the first Thursday in September.
And they would love your help. Perhaps you have thought about singing in the choir, but have not been able to make the time commitment. The summer choir provides a great opportunity for you. The musical selections will be less demanding, appropriate for performances with minimal rehearsal time. All that is required is that you appear in the choir room on Sundays at 10:25 a.m., beginning June 10. Each Sunday, we will rehearse the music for that Sunday and the next.
Senior high through senior adults should take advantage of this opportunity and join us this summer. If you have questions, contact David Covington.
Schedule: The Summer Choir rehearses on Sunday mornings at 10:25 in the choir room (beneath the Sanctuary).
Children's Choir (young children)
The Children's Choir rehearses on Sunday evenings as part of the Pathfinders Program. Participation in worship services in the sanctuary takes place several times each year.
The Children's choir is directed by Ann LeGarde. Young children are invited to sing with our combined children's choir for ages 5 through 11 (or Grade 5).
Each year, the children's choir and older youth combine to present a Christmas pageant for the entire church community. Children too young for the Children's Choir (under age 5) can participate in non-speaking roles.
Schedule: Children's Choir rehearsal is part of the Pathfinders Program on Sunday evenings, 5:00 pm to 7:15. See the section on children's activities at our Youth Activities page for more information about the Pathfinders Program.
Chapel Choir (Youth)
Grades 6 - 12.
Participation in choir helps our youth set aside time for worship and establish a lifelong habit of service. While its primary purpose is to nurture the Christian growth, spiritual discipline, and musical education of middle- and high-school-aged children, participation in the Chapel Choir also provides fellowship of a kind that adolescents may not be able to find outside their church community.
Schedule: The Chapel Choir rehearses on Sunday evenings from 5:00 to 6:00 under the direction of our very own Megan Yohman, a graduate of UNC-Greensboro with a major in Music. You can find them in the Rehearsal Room in the basement of the Edge Building.
Adults, college age through senior adult.
The Chancel Choir provides choral music for the 11 a.m. service each Sunday, occasionally for the 8:30 a.m. service, and for other special services in the life of the church throughout the year. Solo voices or auditions are not required, but a well-focused voice that blends, some ability to read music, and consistent attendance at rehearsals and services are very important.
Schedule: The Chancel Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 under the direction of Dr. David Covington, Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church.
Adult Handbell Choir
The Handbell Choir, under the direction of Dr. David Covington, is open to interested musicians from high-school age and up. The choir uses a four-octave set of Schulmerich handbells to prepare and present music for worship approximately once each month.
Schedule: The Handbell Choir rehearses 7:30-9:00 p.m. each Wednesday.