The Sanctuary Choir rehearses Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30 pm and sings 3 of 4 Sundays a month in the 9:30 am worship service. The choir sings a variety of sacred repertoire from all musical periods and genres. The choir is often accompanied by a variety of guest instrumentalists, piano and/or organ. The Sanctuary Choir collaborates with the Children’s Choir and Bells of the Valley for special occasions.
The Bells of the Valley
On Wednesdays from 4:30-5:15 pm, 1st-8th graders meet to prepare to lead the Wednesday evening worship service as well as musical offerings for Sunday worship.
Once a year, the children’s choir performs a musical – a highlight for all ages!
Completed and Restored (2018) Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd.
The Schlicker Pipe Organ at First Presbyterian Church is a representative of classic ideals in organ building prevalent in the country in the mid-twentieth century. The organ was specially designed and voiced for the sanctuary by the Schlicker Organ Company of Buffalo, New York, with guidance by Dr. Paul Bunjes, Organ Consultant.
The pipes are placed in an encased structure that is free standing in the sanctuary. The casework serves as a reflective body for the sound, focusing and projecting the sound directly to the listener by natural amplification.
The playing mechanism of the organ is mechanical (or tracker) action. This means that the connection between the keyboards and the corresponding pipes is by mechanical linkage rather than by electrical cables.
The three divisions on the organ contain 23 ranks with 18 stops and 1083 pipes ranging in size from 3/8 inch to more than 16 feet. Every stop is conceived and designed to stand on its own merit as a musical entity, yet to work well in combination with other registers of the organ. This duality gives the instrument its great flexibility. The use of variable scaling of the pipes, low wind pressures, and no nicking of the languids produces the prompt speech, crisp articulation, and full harmonic development of the pipes. Materials used for the pipes include oak, tin, zinc, and various alloys of tin and lead.
The Schlicker pipe organ served the congregation well for 47 years, however, it wasn’t completed as planned due to a lack of funds at the time of installation. In 2018, an organ task force chose Dobson Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa to clean the organ, install the Principal rank on the Great manual, and add a Zimbelstern. An Organ Rededication Recital was performed on February 10, 2019 by church organist Dr. Laura Edman and the Sanctuary Choir, under the direction of Dr. Allan Kellar.
The pipe organ is the primary instrument for accompanying the congregation, choirs, soloists, and instrumentalists in worship. In addition, it is used for teaching organ students and special education programs and performances.