“Sing all… Sing lustily and with good courage… Sing in time… Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing… So shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.” —John Wesley

Music is an integral part of the worship services each week. According to a recent article on umc.org, John Wesley was a huge advocate for the spiritual benefits of singing, and medical studies even report health benefits of singing.

Have you ever wanted wanted to take the plunge and join the choir? A new season is kicking off for the Chancel Choir and First Generation Singers, and you’re invited to join them.

The Chancel Choir is a non-auditioned group of singers, which provides music leadership for the 11:00 Sanctuary service throughout the year in addition to special services including the Holy Thursday Service of Shadows, the annual singing of Handel’s Messiah and the Candlelight Christmas Eve Service.

“While one of its principal responsibilities is to assist the congregation in its singing of hymns, it also offers on behalf of the congregation anthems of praise, proclamation and prayer. These anthems are drawn from the rich traditions of the church’s historic song, including classical, spirituals and modern,” said Perry Redfearn, Traditional Worship Leader.

“The choir is a warm, welcoming group of people with all levels of musical skills, from professional singers to those who have done very little singing.”

Here’s what two Chancel Choir members said when asked why they decided to join:

“This will be my third fall with the Chancel Choir. I was motivated to join the choir because of my love for music and the depth of the lyrics of  the traditional hymns. It is fun to be a part of a team, working to honor God with our service in worship.” —Mary Beth Bryce

“I joined the Chancel Choir after participating in the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah during Advent season in 2013. My background in vocal music from my high school days sparked my interest in participating in the Messiah, but it is the inspiration that I draw from the members of the choir and from our fantastic director that keeps me coming back. It is such a wonderful privilege to be able to share our spiritual gifts by leading in praise and worship. Come join us!” —Allen Pitt

Chancel Choir rehearsals begin Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Choir Room (below the Sanctuary). 

The First Generation Singers is a mixed vocal ensemble for senior singers, which performs regularly at nursing, caregiving and assisted living facilities in outreach to senior adults. Its repertoire consists primarily of songs from the Great American Songbook featuring popular songs of screen and stage from the 30’s to present.

“I attended their Spring Concert in Wilson Chapel for at least three years and loved the selections they sang as much was music either I had sung as solos or pieces my grandmother had taught me. However, I had another commitment on Thursdays, the day they meet to rehearse and perform. Last year that commitment no longer existed, so I told Perry I was coming,” said Sandra Leftwich.

“It is a wonderful group of seniors who come from several different churches and denominations. They are caring and supportive to one another and are a delight to be with. It is satisfying to see the smiles on the faces of our audience.”

Rehearsals for the First Generation Singers begin Thursday, Sept. 21 at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room.

Questions? Contact Perry Redfearn.

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