First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo

Music Groups

First Singers  

We are pleased to welcome the new First Singers Director, Rich Peavler, for the fall of 2016. Rich has long been a dedicated member of the church and once held this position several years ago. First Singers is an ensemble of about 20 SATB (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) singers that enjoys singing music from a variety of styles and genres.  The ensemble rehearses on Sunday evenings from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and sings an average of twice a month at the 8:30 a.m. service on Sunday morning, September through May.

Chancel Choir

Minister of Music Jacqueline Stilger leads this SATB vocal ensemble that sings every 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday mornings, September through May.  The group sings music from a variety of genres and incorporates traditional works from the past to contemporary composers such as Carson Cooman, Craig Arnold and Malcolm Archer. They rehearse on Thursday evenings from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. during the regular program year.

First Beats Children's Ensemble

This ensemble is open to children in 3rd through 8th grades.  It is a non-auditioned group and music reading abilities are not required.  It is a goal of the church and of the director to give a broad range of musical experiences to the children of the group.  As support for the arts falls away in the schools, the mission of this ensemble is to pick up those pieces and enhance children's lives through the arts. The children regularly sing, play handbells, drums, and Orff instruments in worship as an expression of prayer and praise. They annually present a children's Christmas pageant and a Spring Musical.

Adult Handbell Choir

Our 4-octave handbell choir is open to adults and youth that have music reading abilities.  The 11-member ensemble rehearses on Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m., September through May.  Positions become available periodically and the ensemble is often looking for qualified substitutes.

First Strings

Our newly formed string orchestra ensemble led by Anne Sherfield of the Battle Creek Symphony, currently has about 10 strings players. Violin, viola, cello, and string bass players are welcome to join this group that plays during worship four or five times per year.

Emerging Worship Band

This ensemble leads our Emerging Worship service on the 2nd Sunday of the month. They play a variety of instruments such as piano, bass, drums, guitar, synthesizer and offer tight vocal harmonies.  Singing and playing music from the ancient past to chants from the Iona and Taize traditions to contemporary praise music, this ensemble welcomes those who have a taste for less formal musical styles.  Rehearsals are on the last and first Wednesdays of the month at 7:00 p.m.