Music at First Parish

Music is an important part of the worship experience at First Parish, and an essential part of the Sunday service. Our music program is rich in diversity and creativity, offering music from a wide range of genres and cultures.

On a Sunday morning you might hear the work of Brahms or Mozart, or more contemporary composers such as John Rutter. You might just as easily hear an early American spiritual, or even a show tune if its message fits the morning’s theme. Music is selected to enrich, challenge, and nurture our spiritual growth. Far from being merely entertaining, music offers insights and provides solace that words alone cannot.

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First Parish Choir and orchestra.

Music Sundays: Special Performances Twice Each Year

First Parish is widely known for its Music Sunday performances on Palm Sunday and in early December to celebrate the holiday season. During these special worship services, the choir presents a major work that serves as the centerpiece for the service. Usually accompanied by a small orchestra, and sometimes with the addition of visiting soloists, the choir swells beyond its normal size thanks to the participation of additional parishioners who join just for these performances.

Works presented in the past have included Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; Handel’s Messiah; Mozart’s Mass in C Major; Haydn’s Mass in D Minor; Orff’s Carmina Burana; and staged presentations of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

Join a Choir

Our adult choir and bell choir are open to anyone who would like to join. Check the Calendar for the latest dates and times that our choirs are performing and rehearsing.

Children’s Choir:Children signing in choir loft
Singing with the First Parish Children’s Choir has been a fun experience for generations of First Parish children. The Children’s Choir is convened when there are children who are interested and able to participate. In the past, the Children’s Choir has sung at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Flower Sunday services.

Adults singing in choir loftAdult Choir:
Music Director Polly Oliver and the Adult Choir welcome all singers! The choir practices Wednesday nights from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Sunday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The choir sings two anthems at each Sunday service, as well as a choral benediction. The choir also presents two major works each year at our popular Music Sundays during the Christmas season and on Palm Sunday. Members of the parish or community often join the choir to sing in these special presentations.

Bell Choir:Bell choir
The First Parish Bell Choir includes adults and some older teens who meet on Saturday mornings for rehearsal. The Bell Choir, under the direction of parishioner Linda Murdock, plays at several services throughout the church year.

Guest artists occasionally are invited to provide an added dimension to our worship services. Participation is open to anyone who wishes to sing, play, tell a story, or recite a poem.