Music Ministries

At First UMC, diverse music is central to worship and our faith family whether you are a musician or simply enjoy listening!
Chancel Choir
This choir consists primarily of adults and middle to high school youth. They sing weekly during the Sunday worship services and present compositions that represent music of all historical periods from blues and jazz, to Mozart and Handel, and everything in between. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. 
Celebration Ringers
An adult five-octave bell choir that rings challenging music once a month in the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Ringers attend the Florida State Handbell Festival in the Spring and also participate in the annual Lessons and Carols service as well as Easter Sunday. Rehearsals on Thursday evenings from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Handbell Ensemble
An adult bell choir of 5-6 ringers playing 2 octaves of bells. For the more advanced ringer, this group rings for special occasions and other worship services.
Instrumental Ensemble
This ensemble plays a wide variety of music including hymns, arrangements, and original compositions. They also provide colorful accompaniment to anthems sung by the Chancel Choir. Rehearsals on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. All with playing experience are welcome.
Monday Worship Musicians
Soloists and ensembles are always welcome to sign up and share their gifts during the Monday afternoon worship service from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.  Music is organized by Marlene Udell.
Children's Choir
All children are welcome to join this choir. They rehearse during the Sunday school hour from September to May and sing in worship once a month.  Children also learn to ring and play instruments. 
Summer Choirs and Handbells
One Sunday each month from June through August, small groups are organized to sing, ring, or play in the worship services.

First Arts Academy

First UMC has opened its doors to provide a place for anyone regardless of their age or musical ability to take private instruction with a variety of musical instruments. We have a focus on East Gainesville residents since there is a lack of music instruction in this area. For more information, visit our First Arts page.

OUR ORGANs

Sanctuary Organ

Our sanctuary is the home to an Opus 7055 organ originally built by M. P. Möller and installed in conjunction with the construction of our new sanctuary in 1942. In 1979, a major overhaul of the instrument was performed by the Möller Company under the direction of Donald M. Gillett. During this overhaul, the organ was enlarged and a majority of the original pipework was replaced. Due to severe damage to the organ from a hurricane in 2004, the organ was removed for rebuilding by the Berghaus Organ Company in 2006 with the goal of preserving the tonal characteristics of the “Gillett” Möller. The organ was expanded and reinstalled in the Fall of 2007 with a new façade in the Chancel area and currently contains 28 Registers, 39 Ranks, 43 Stops, 2241 Pipes, and 3 Manuals Console.  By the end of 2022, another expansion will be completed that will add a bunch more pipes at the rear of the Sanctuary that will make it a honking great organ! For a full list of stops or more information, contact Michael Ekbladh.

Chapel Organ

Our chapel contains a Moller-Artiste Opus 10112 organ originally built in 1965 for All Saints Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg. This 2-manual, 3-rank instrument was installed and dedicated in our chapel in 1988 as a gift of Bess Thompson and her family, in memory of Lannie Thompson. The stops on the organ encompass 3 ranks of pipes: Diapason, Gedeckt, and Viola. The 16' Bourdon, Quint, Nazard, and Flautino are all extensions of the Gedeckt. The Fifteenth and Twelfth are extensions of the Viola.

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