Big Red Music
Martin Luther is often quoted as saying: “The person who sings prays twice” – though the actual origin of the phrase is debated. The music program at First Congregational Church of Fresno is above all else a ministry. Through a volunteer choral music program directed by organist/choir master Scott Horton, and through the weekly singing of hymns and songs by the congregation we participate in what might be described musically as “rehearsing the scales” of what we believe. But words are not always enough to express what our hearts feel. The musical offerings of our Casavant Pipe Organ, our many talented instrumentalists contributing their talents in string, woodwind, and brass performances; the regular contribution of our Handbell Choir and special contributions of our sacred dance ensemble, Morningstar Dancers, and children’s musicals – all contribute in music bringing comfort, joy, and a sense of understanding to our various worship settings. In these ways, music ministers to us individually, and as a community of young and old together. To a large extent “God is still singing…and we are the song!”
The Chancel Choir is comprised of a dedicated group of members that sings a diverse repertoire of choral music that ranges in style from Renaissance through Contemporary eras. The Chancel Choir seeks to glorify God as they help to lead the congregation in worship, through music of praise, thanksgiving and supplication. Besides singing in worship, they also lead special services and present concerts during the year.
The First Congregational Church owns a beautiful 4 octave Malmark set of Handbells (49 bells). The handbells perform in worship once a month, and using multiple ringing techniques and mallets bring a unique depth of sound and beauty.
Big Red Concert Series
Special annual events:
Bachtober Concert features Organist and Music Director Scott in an early October Sunday afternoon performance on our Casavant Pipe Organ.
Thrills and Chills Concert has become a favorite event each Hallowe’en, as the Chancel Choir and other musicians bring music from both the sacred literature and the Broadway stage to evoke the thrills and chills of this time of year.
A Celebration of Christmas has become a long-standing favorite concert of the community, with performances of the Chancel Choir and Hand Bell Choir, and musical artists from among our congregation. It is always offered the afternoon of the third Sunday in Advent.