Music Program Blog
Ian Garvie, Director of Music
The First Church music program has many events coming up for your enjoyment! This Sunday, the First Church continues its annual Major Music tradition with Haydn’s Mass #13, the “Creation Mass.” The piece will feature soloists Chuck Claus, Melanie Bacaling, Davron Monroe, and Irina Kareva, as well as the Senior Choir, and will be accompanied by a full professional chamber orchestra led by Ken Stalberg. There will be one service at 10:30. Don’t miss this wonderful, joyful piece of music!
On Wednesday, December 20, the Second Friday Coffeehouse and the music program present “Wintery Songs in Eleventy Part Harmony” — a holiday concert for the whole family! The concert features Jennifer Kimball, Rose Polenzani, Mariel Vandersteel, Deni Hlavinka, Hannah Read and Valerie Thompson.
Leaping gracefully from indie/folk into Christmas carols, traditional fiddle tunes to Tchaikovsky, Sinatra to more recent pop, Wintery Songs redefines the holiday soundtrack -both sacred and secular — with reverence, humor and joy! Tickets available at the door — cash, check or card accepted. All proceeds will go directly to one of the First Church featured holiday charities: the Waltham House at the Home for Little Wanderers.
And finally, as always, the First Church in Belmont celebrates four Christmas Eve candlelight services. At 2:00 p.m., the music will feature the Junior Choir (Kindergarten through 4th grade), at 4:00 p.m. the music will be provided by the Chancel Choir (5th and 6th grades), and at 6:00 p.m. the music will be performed by the Youth Choir (7th through 10th grades). These first three services will also feature a full Christmas Pageant! At 11:00 p.m., the service music will be provided by the Alumni Choir. Come ring in the holiday season with music provided by our talented children’s choirs!
Registration for the Children’s Music Program for the 2017-2018 season is now open! Please use the following link to register for the Youth/Children’s music programs at The First Church in Belmont for the 2017/2018 year. The Children’s Music Program starts every year with a fully staged musical. You may register to start either September 11th with the musical, or November 20th, after the musical finishes. All children in the musical must participate in the choir for the entire school year. The musical this year will be The Gondoliers, by Gilbert and Sullivan. To register, please click here.
If the link doesn’t work, paste the following into your browser. https://docs.google.com/forms/
On Sunday, June 4th, 27 performers came together for the first annual Community Concert in the Parish Hall. The program featured eight young musicians in our community, and was a wonderful illustration of the wide variety of musical talent that we have in the First Church community. There were folk musicians, classical musicians of all ages, and even some contemporary songs. Thank you to all of the performers, it was a beautiful concert. And thanks to the generous donations from the rather large audience, we raised $926.00 which will go to support the SPARK Center at the Boston Medical Center. The SPARK Center is an organization which helps many impoverished children in the Boston area with healthcare, nutrition, education, and childcare – services that their families are unable to provide themselves. Located in Mattapan, the SPARK Center provides an essential service for some of the area’s most impoverished families. The Community Concert marks the 39th annual benefit concert that the music program has held to support this charity, showing our strong commitment to enrich the lives of as many people as possible through the musical talents of our church community. Thank you to each and every one of you who helped!
The Christmas season is now well and truly behind us, and it’s time for the music program to start looking ahead at the spring. The Children’s Choirs are already hard at work learning the music for the next Multi-Generational service, which will be on March 19. There will be many fun songs at the service, accompanied at times by organ, flute, percussion, and piano!
On March 12th we will have the annual Gospel Sunday — a service full of rousing music led by community member Roger Brown and his gospel band. The spring Major Music service is scheduled for April 9th, and this year we will be featuring a piece that was composed in 1997 — Lux Aeterna, by Morten Lauridsen.
This season also look for a little bit of variety in the music program, as we welcome community members to take part in providing some of the music for the services. This weekend Mariko Findell will play a beautiful Arabesque by Debussy as the postlude for both services. We would love to see even more of the community involved in the music here at the church! If you are interested in providing some music for the services yourself, please reach out to me at email@example.com.
This past weekend we celebrated Alfa Radford’s 55 years of service to this community with a wonderful concert, and the plaque that was commissioned now hangs at the back of the Sanctuary for all to see. Thank you to the many people who made the evening such a success.
To the audience that packed the Sanctuary, thank you for taking the time to share the evening with all of us.
To Alfa, Kira, Chuck, Davron, Irina, Livia, Nina, Robin, and Simon, thank you for contributing your time and talent to the concert.
To Pamela and Darrell, thank you for all of the phone calls and emails that made the fundraising possible.
To each and every donor who gave to the Alfa Radford Legacy Fund, thank you for ensuring that the impact she will have on the music program at the church will never end.
And finally to Alfa, thank you for being such a dedicated, wonderful part of the community for so long.