Music is a bountiful and varied component of the worship experience
at First Presbyterian. The renowned choir, under the direction of Dr. Michael Lister has mastered a repertoire of ancient and modern
pieces that enrich the worship experience.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - CHANCEL CHOIR Nancy Frank, organist emerita front and center. Dr. Michael Lister, music director top left.
Gifted soloists and instrumentalists provide ample affirmation to
their divinely inspired talents.
Nancy Frank, our organist emerita pianist, is acknowledged as
among the most accomplished of the Capital District. Nancy celebrate
d her 42th year with FPC in 2015! Her rendition of Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland J. S. Bach, arr. Paul Manz) was featured on Pipedreams' An American Organist's Christmas in 2001.
Gordon Hibberd provides piano and organ accompaniment to
summer services and our early Sunday services at 8:30 am.
Click here to listen to the Chancel Choir's December 2014 performance of Vivaldi's Gloria (part of First Presbyterian's monthly participation in nearby Lark Street's First Friday activities.
FPC's Bell Choir is back in action, under the creative and
energetic direction of Jack Holmes. Check out their 2014 video rendition of Sussex Carol!
Then there is FIRST FRIDAY AT FIRST PRES - our artistic and musical gift to the Albany community.
Click here for a musical retrospective of the sights and sounds that permeate our sanctuary again and again.
For more information about FPC's Casavant Frères organ
read About The Organ by
And no, that is not her usual console.
Photo was taken at our annual Homecoming Sunday in Washington Park.
We wonder if Nancy makes house calls?
Throughout the year, FPC's Choir and organ are augmented by
instrumental accompanists, including area professionals and FPC's
own, home-grown musicians (amateur and professional). Albert Wood's keyboard skills are one fine example. Susan Gierthy's oboe is equally inspiring. And did we mention Helen Lewis's cello?
Special music is a must around special times, like Advent, Lent,
Christmas Eve, Good Friday and Easter Sunday - not to mention
Pentecost. From classical to contemporary - harp, oboe, cello,
guitar, and even banjo have a home at FPC.
Previous classical musical offerings have included Puccini's Magnificat,
Britten's Ceremony of Carols and Mozart's Dominican Vespers.
Our Good Friday services, as can be expected, have offered more
somber musical fare, including Bach's Christ Lag in Totesbanden,
Haydn's Seven Last Words, the classic Requiem by
Gabriel Fauré, and Maurice Duruflé's REQUIEM, a
French composition heavily influenced by his contemporary
For Good Friday in 2010 and 2011, FPC offered an evening Taizé Service of
music and meditation in the style of the ecumenical monastic
community in Burgundy, France.
Vocalists and instrumentalists from
the ranks of the Chancel Choir provided evocative, contemplative
sound befitting that solemn occasion.
Click here to listen to FPC's
2010 rendition of Watch and Pray.
2012 Guest Artists: First Pres also encourages local talent from the Capital District to share their artistry with us.
Our most recent example, violinist Clare Criscione, who accompanied the choir on Ransom of a Soul (by David Ashley White), then captivated our congregation with her rendition of Adoration by Felix Borowski.
Yes, you can click on the underlined titles to listen to each piece. And we think the Internet is magical!
POTENT POSTLUDES: But wait! There's still more. At First Pres you can count on tantalizing, energetic postludes to propel you to our Assembly Hall for a time of fellowship. Postludes like Ben April's recent rendition of Aram Khatchaturian's Toccata in E-flat minor.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN YOUTH: Past musical presentations by FPC youth included a 2009 production of Godspell
Junior under the direction of Christy D'Ambrosio, accompanied by
Fiona McKinney, with choreography by Amy Scarlett.
That high-energy production was followed in 2010 by The Roar of the Devils . . .
The Small Voice of God, under the direction of FPC's energetic and talented Youth Director
Christy D'Ambrosio, assisted by Barbara Speck, and accompanied by
In 2011 it was The GivingTree, another soulful musical with a timeless message. And 2012 brought us a grownup version of Godspell.
In the spring of 2013, FPC Youth brought us The Prince of Eqypt.
That was followed by The Lion King in 2014.
And then there was their dynamite 2015 performance of THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE BEATLES!
Click here for a sampling of the Chancel Choir's efforts - excerpts
from an Advent Vespers, faithfully
reproduced by our resident audio engineer, Wesley Frank.