Men's Choir on a summer morning

In 1796, Thomas Robbins, a student at the recently formed Williams College, wrote in his diary “They sing well here.” We are still a singing congregation! As a Congregational Church, First Church encourages all our members and friends to contribute whatever talents they may have to help the overall goal of providing music for the congregation each week.

The Senior Choir sings the Introit and/or the Anthem almost every Sunday September-May. Rehearsals are held from 7:30-9 pm on Thursday evenings in Fellowship Hall.  Adults of any age and vocal range are welcomed.  All that is needed is a desire to sing and a willingness to participate in rehearsals and Sunday services.

 Our Junior Choir is open to children in grades 2-6.  Junior Choir rehearses on Thursdays from 3:15-4:15 pm during weeks when school is in session from September-May.  A volunteer “Choir Parent” assists at every rehearsal. They perform the Introit or the Anthem during the service about once a month, and are active participants in the annual Christmas Pageant and on Children’s Sunday in May.

 

From time to time high school and college age students are assembled to sing as a Youth Choir.  Because youngsters in this age group are generally very busy or away at school, the Youth Choir does not rehearse and perform regularly, but enjoys reuniting during school breaks and on holidays to sing together.   All women’s or men’s choirs are organized occasionally, often during the summer months.  Friends and spouses of church members often enjoy joining in for these one-time performances.

 

Minister of Music, Ed Lawrence, teaches us a song

Edwin I. Lawrence holds a B. Mus. Degree from the SUNY College at Fredonia, 1969.  He has studied piano with Gabriel Chodos, harpsichord with Preethi da Silva, and organ with William Porter.  He is an Artist Associate in harpsichord, piano and organ at Williams College, and Music Director for the Bennington County Choral Society.  He has been a faculty member at Bennington College and music director for the Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington.  As a producer for Dorian Recordings, he was directly involved with more than 20 recording projects.  Lawrence is a founding member of the Consortium of Vermont Composers and has served as a guest conductor of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.  In 1990, he received a Citation of Merit from the Vermont Council of the Arts for his contributions to the vitality of the arts in the Green Mountain State.

We are proud of our organ!  The Sanctuary houses a fine organ built by Charles B. Fisk, as the last organ he built at the Andover Organ Company, before he formed the C. B. Fisk Company in 1961.  Not a big instrument, it is perfectly suited to the space it fills.  Come and listen, and you will agree!