Music at First
Celebrating God’s word through music is an important and joyous part of our worship experience. Our music program is varied and 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 contact Velda Graham Bell, our Director of Music Ministries & Organist. There is joy to be shared through music!
JAM and the Peanut Butter Band
and JAM Junior
September-May Tapestry director Cynthia Coffin-Langdon 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!
JAM, for Kindergarteners and up, meets from 5-5:30pm; JAM Jr, for toddlers through Kindergarteners and their parents, meets from 5:30-6pm, both in the East Lounge.
Come for the rehearsal and stay for the Wednesday night supper.
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 Mike Goodlet, or just come. The Sanctuary Choir rehearses Wednesdays at 5:45pm in the East Lounge.
September-May Tapestry is a contemporary worship band with keyboard, guitars, bass, drums, and singers, often joined by other instrumentalists. Led by Cynthia Coffin-Langdon, 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 7pm 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 Groups
Ringtones Grades 3-7 Class Ring Grades 7-12 Cast in Bronze Adults
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.
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 55-rank Austin pipe organ built in 1968, as well as a restored 7′ 5″ grand Steinway 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 a 4-octave, a 5-octave, and a 6-octave set of 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.