Ensembles – Youth & Children
Open to all children from preschool through Grade 2, this ensemble offers the earliest chance in the music ministry for children to experience a unique combination of vocal and instrumental music. Using choir chimes- which are hand-held rectangular “bells” with a mallet that strikes the tone bar as one flicks their hand and wrist- the Chapel Chimers enjoy accompanying themselves on these unique bell-like instruments, while singing various favorite songs from Christian vocal repertoire. At this level, there is no specific music-reading involved, as the chimers are divided into groups, where their set of chimes plays a particular chord in the song, which they play (and sing) on cue from the ensemble’s director, Denise Buck. So in addition to being a lot of fun for the children involved, they develop other skills such as rhythm, basic vocal techniques, and working together in an ensemble setting, preparing to participate in Sunday worship.
Chapel Chimers meets regularly on Sundays (October through May) at 9:15 AM in the library, prior to Sunday School and 10 AM Worship. Registration for this ensemble begins annually on Rally Day in September.
The newest addition to the youth music program at First Church, this ensemble for youth in Grades 7 through 12, offers development of solid vocal techniques and an appreciation of quality youth choral repertoire drawn from classical Christian literature. The choir is trained as an advanced youth vocal ensemble: the word Schola coming from Latin, literally meaning “school.” Although prior choral experience and music-reading is not a prerequisite, experience in other school choirs or other music education sources will certainly enhance the youth members’ experience. All youth are welcome, regardless of experience level, whether continuing on from Joyful Noise or joining the music ministry first at this level.
First Schola is the “anchor choir” for the 7:00 PM Christmas Eve Worship Service and participates in Sunday Worship several times a year, and this coming season, will join the Chancel Choir and Symphony NH Chamber Players for the 3rd Advent “Christmas at First – Gaudete” at 9 and 11 AM. A strong youth (and parental) commitment to this ensemble is key to its success. Participation in this ensemble opens the youth of First Church to the joy of a quality choral experience in a rigorous but enjoyable rehearsal and performance setting.
First Schola meets regularly on Tuesdays (starting Sept. 17, 2013 continuing through mid-May) at 6:00 PM for rehearsal.
Open to all children in the First Church community from Grades 2 through 6, this ensemble offers the children a quality choral experience through the leadership of experienced vocalist, dedicated Sunday School teacher, and church member Debbie Nordyke. This ensemble is the perfect setting for any child in the church to learn singing in a supportive group setting, and develop music and performance skills which not only benefit their musical upbringing, but enhance the palette of overall general education. The choir participates in worship at regular intervals and for special services in cooperation with the Christian Education program.
Joyful Noise meets regularly on Sundays (October through May) at 11:15 AM in Shaw Chapel following Sunday School and 10 AM Worship. Registration for this ensemble begins annually on Rally Day in September.
Jubellation (Bell Choir)
Whether as a continuation from training in Chapel Chimers, or the decision to join the music ministry at a later date, this bell choir is open to all children in Grades 4 through 8. Music-reading and rhythmic skills are developed in this ensemble, and the introduction to techniques in handbell ringing and performance in worship services round out the musical experience in this beginning-level bell choir. Under the direction of dedicated Decibells member Dale Neth, this bell choir offers all children interested in bell ringing, or even those who may not find a musical place in a vocal choir, the chance to be part of the music ministry at First Church.
Jubellation meets regularly on Sundays (October through May) at 11:30 AM in the Balcom Room after 10 AM Worship.
Bellissimo (Bell Choir)
A continuation of the graded handbell training from Jubellation, this bell choir is open to all continuing or new handbell enthusiasts from high school through adult ages. Always having fostered an unique combination of youth and adult ringers, this bell choir offers the perfect chance to find a musical home in the ministry with limited musical experience or the chance to hone one’s beginning-level skills from Jubellation before advancing onto more challenging repertoire. The same techniques in bell ringing are explored as in other bell choirs in the ministry, and further development of music-reading skills in either treble or bass clef is strengthened in this ensemble. The ensemble performs intermediate-level handbell literature in worship services, which is the perfect transition for youth coming up through the handbell program, or adults new to the handbell experience, not yet ready for the rigorous advanced musical level of Decibells.
Bellissimo took a season off in 2009-2010, to await new youth coming up through the ranks, and any adults who are new to handbells to also join in the fun. Once the roster has enough ringers to activate the choir- which requires the minimum of 8 ringers to play- the choir will return to the regular worship schedule.