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Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” — Psalm 150:6

At First United Methodist Church, we take these words very much to heart.  Our music program strives to include people of all ages and levels of experience and to provide all people with the opportunity and the means to praise God through music.  Our many choirs and instrumental ensembles lead the congregation in worship weekly, and present special programs at various times during the year.  For many, participation in such a group is also a great opportunity for fellowship.  Being involved in the music program is an “all-in-one” way to fulfill your promise to support the church through your prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

For more information on any of our music ministries, please contact our director of worship and music ministries, Janet Gingerich, via email at jgingerich@conwayfumc.org or telephone at 501.329.3801.

 

Otto Hoffman Pipe Organ

Conway First United Methodist Church is home to a 3-manual, 33-rank Otto Hoffman pipe organ that was installed in the sanctuary in approximately 1962.  This current organ replaced an electronic organ that had served the congregation for many years.  Otto Hoffman was an organ builder originally from Louisiana.

The organ is used in both Sunday sanctuary worship services, as well as for sanctuary funerals, weddings, and other worship events.  The organ was revoiced in the late 1980s, and was re-leathered in 2010.  It stands ready and able to lead the congregation in worship and singing for the next 50 years!

Music Calendar

New members are always welcome in any of our ensembles.  Below is a list of all of our musical ensembles.

Good News Celebration Praise Band (Great Hall stage)

Please contact Stuart Holt via email at sholt@conwayfumc.org for more information.

 

  • Adult Praise Band (rehearse Thursdays 7-8:30 p.m., Great Hall)

    This group leads the music each Sunday in our Good News Celebration service. New band members are always invited! Those interested should be proficient on their instrument, able to learn songs from chord charts and/or recordings, and come to practice on time and prepared. Experience with contemporary Christian music is not required.

Choirs for Children and Youth (Room 218)

Please contact Linda Ball via email at lball@conwayfumc.org for more information.

  • K-1 Choir  (Wednesdays 4:00-4:30, Room 218)

    A music opportunity for children who are in kindergarten and first grade. We spend thirty minutes a week singing, moving, playing simple instruments, and learning about God through word and song. They have the opportunity to share their music in worship services about once a month. If you have a “little lark”, this group is just for them!

     

    Joyful Sound Choir (Wednesdays 4:30-5:20, Room 218)

    This group is for children in grades 2 – 4, and the goal is to have fun while learning about music through singing, drumming and playing instruments. We work on reading music and rhythms, and we make great friends, too! We encourage the members of this choir to join the Joyful Ringers so they can enhance their musical skills. This group sings in worship services about once a month and they often join with other choirs for special events.

     

    MidYouth Choir (Wednesdays 5:25-6:00, Room 218)

    Scheduled between MidYouth Bells rehearsal and regular MidYouth activities, this group for young people in grades 5-7 is a great place to learn about music while enjoying time with friends. We sing a wide variety of music that we share in worship services once a month. We often sing with other choirs and musical groups of our church. Sometimes our rehearsal is a drumming circle to learn about musical concepts in fun, new ways.

Handbells and Chimes for Children and Youth

Please contact Linda Ball via email at lball@conwayfumc.org for more information.

  • Joyful Ringers (Wednesdays 5:25-6:00, Room 213)

    This choir gives third and fourth graders an introduction to the skills of ringing handchimes and reading music. What the participants learn here complements what they learn in the Joyful Sound Choir and the rehearsal times are designed so young musicians can participate in both groups. This is a great “stepping stone” opportunity to the older handbell choirs. This chime choir rings in one of our three worship services about once a month.

     

    MidYouth Bells (Wednesdays 4:45 – 5:20, Room 202)

    This group gives 5-7 graders the opportunity to ring handbells, enhance their music reading skills, and have fun making music with their friends. The time of rehearsal allows for young musicians to be in both MidYouth Bells and MidYouth Choir. Ringers have the opportunity to ring in worship about once a month and they often add handbell accompaniments to hymns and worship songs. If they wish, ringers in this choir may participate in church-sponsored events such as X-treme Ring; in this event young ringers from all over the state gather to ring and learn and play together.

Choirs For Adults (Choir Room)

Please contact Janet Gingerich via email at jgingerich@conwayfumc.org for more information.

 

  • First Service Singers (rehearse Sundays 8-8:45 a.m.) This small but dedicated group leads the music weekly in our 8:45 sanctuary service. The repertoire draws heavily on a rich and varied tradition of hymns as well as accessible anthems for unison, two-three part and SATB. New members in this group are always needed and cherished!
    Chancel Choir (rehearse Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m., Room 202)

    Chancel Choir leads the music at our 11:00 Sanctuary service each week and at other services throughout the year. This 30-40 voice group sings a wide range of styles and has a lively sense fellowship in, around and outside rehearsal.

Handbells for Adults (Choir Room)

Please contact Janet Gingerich via email at jgingerich@conwayfumc.org for more information.

  • Chancel Ringers (rehearse Mondays, 6:45-8 p.m., Room 202)

    Our “primary” handbell choir for adults assumes some prior knowledge of ringing, or at least of music. (If you can read music, we can teach you to ring a bell in a hurry!) We ring in worship about once per month and would LOVE to have a couple of new ringers to join us.

  • Bells of Grace (rehearse Mondays 4:30-5:30 p.m., Room 202)

    Originally our “beginning” bell choir, this group has progressed by leaps and bounds, such that we had to change the name! Still a good place for a less experienced ringer, or one who just desires less pressure, these musicians play mostly level 2 pieces and are eager to embrace new recruits. Bells of Grace play in worship about once per month.

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