First Kids Chime and Bell Choir: (Grades 3-5) A part of the nationally recognized Chorister’s Guild program, First Kids is our church’s musical group for children in grades 3-5. Children enrolled in First Kids learn to sing, play Orff instruments like the xylophone and hand drum, ring bells and chimes, and have a lot of fun making music together. Additionally, they attend the annual festival of the Central Florida Chapter of the Chorister’s Guild. First Kids meets each Monday during the school year from 2:30-4:00 p.m. in the choir room, with a short break in the middle of the rehearsal for snacks and drinks. Transportation may be arranged from each of the area elementary schools on the church bus.
(Grades 6-12) Teen Bells introduces our young people in junior and senior high to the basics of bell-ringing, as well as music-reading and part-singing. They learn fun and exciting handbell music to share with congregation on Sunday mornings and special services as well as advanced techniques and foundational skills in music. Teen Bells rehearses each Thursday during the school year from 3:15-4:15 p.m. Snacks and drinks are provided in the Library for fifteen minutes before the rehearsal.
The Praise Ringers is our adult handbell group, and is open to anyone who is interested in playing handbells. They play music in a number of styles and levels of difficulty, and also participate in the Florida Festival of the Handbell Musicians of America. Prior experience in ringing handbells is not necessary, but it is important to be able to readmusic in order to keep up with the group and follow the director. The Praise Ringers rehearse each Thursday in the Choir Room between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. from August to June in preparation for several regular opportunities to ring in church.
The Worship Singers is our adult choir that sings every Sunday for the traditional worship services. They sing a wide variety of anthems, from classical to Southern Gospel, from hymns to praise songs. At present, the choir consists of 20-25 members, but we are always eager to welcome new faces. Music reading is helpful, but not required. In addition, the Worship Singers participate in special services and the annual FPC Christmas program in December. The Worship Singers rehearse every Thursday night between 7:00-8:15 p.m. fromAugust to July. Special opportunities are also available for people who wish to sing seasonally, but are unable to commit to singing year round.
The orchestra of First Presbyterian Church provides music for the traditional worship services the last Sunday of each month from August to July. Members of the orchestra play accompaniments to the hymns and occasional anthems as well solo numbers from time to time.
Many of the members also participate in the Highlands County Concert Band or other groups, but the orchestra is open to anyone who has a standard orchestral or band instrument and reads music. If you played an instrument in high school and have been wanting to take it up again, this may well be the group for you.
There are also numerous other opportunities to serve the Lord through music at FPC. During the summer months particularly, there are quartets, trios, and ensembles that get together to practice and sing for both our Contemporary and Traditional services, as well as increased opportunities for vocal and instrumental solos.