Music at First

Celebrating God’s word through music is an important and joyous part of our worship exVelda 2016perience. Our varied music program offers outstanding music opportunities for participants of all ages and levels of experience.

Besides our music groups listed below, there are many other opportunities for instrumentalists and vocalists to share their musical gifts by providing special music in our worship services. Please consider adding your talents to our worship.

For more information about our music program, please get in touch with Velda Graham Bell, our Director of Music Ministries and Organist. There is joy to be shared through music!


Sanctuary Choir

September-May  This adult SATB group provides music for worship each Sunday, September to May, in a variety of styles from classical to gospel. The choir welcomes new members, including high school and college students. Contact director Derek Bromme, or just come. The Sanctuary Choir rehearses Wednesdays at 5:15pm in the East Lounge.


September-May   Tapestry is a contemporary worship band with keyboard, guitars, bass, drums, and singers, often joined by other instrumentalists. C0-led by Corey and Leah Hulst, Tapestry plays a significant role in our worship services by leading congregational singing as well as providing anthems and special music. The group practices on Wednesdays at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary.


September-May  Handbell musicians of all ages build friendships, work toward musical excellence, and share their time and talents in worship and outreach. Our handbell musicians take pride in making a significant worship contribution. Want to chime in? Openings do occur. Contact Bill Alexander, director of the handbell program.

       Wednesday Night Handbell Groups

Ringtones Grades 3-5
Class Ring Grades 6-12
Cast in Bronze Adults

      Special Handbell Ensembles:
      Extollers and Strikepoint

Strikepoint Concert ensemble, touring and recording since 1984. One of the country’s top handbell ensembles.
Strikepoint concert ensemble website
Extollers Christmas Eve reunion bell choir, usually about 30 strong
See a story about the Extollers here.


JAM and JAM Jr.

September-May Beth Brophy leads these family-friendly fun-with-music groups on Wednesday nights. Through musical games, instruments, movement, and singing, kids will be given a solid music foundation. Steady beat, matching pitch, reading musical notation, and much, much more will all be incorporated through FUN!


Musical Instruments at First

Many quality musical instruments — from pipe organs and grand pianos to handbells and percussion instruments — enrich services and events at First United Methodist Church.

Our Sanctuary houses a 56-rank Austin pipe organ built in 1968, as well as a restored 7′ 5″ Steinway grand piano built in 1914. The Three Brothers Chapel contains a mechanical action 5-rank pipe organ built in 1995 by Duluth organ builder Dan Jaeckel, and a baby grand Steinway piano.

Our handbell program has two 4-octave sets, a 5-octave set, and a 6-octave set of Schulmerich bronze handbells (with four extended-range Malmark aluminum bass bells), one 3-octave and one 7-octave set of chime instruments, two octaves of Schulmerich Silver Melody Bells, and three octaves of Petit & Fritsen Dutch bells.

Two professional-level, hand-hammered copper timpani from Ludwig are the latest additions to our instruments. Purchased with memorial money and funds raised through our concert series, they add a new dynamic and voice to special occasions and special music.