Chancel Choir is the largest ensemble at First United Methodist Church, and is central to providing music and to leading the congregation in worship. The choir sings on Sundays during the 10:50am service and for festival services and special occasions. Directed by Mark Kurtz and accompanied by Marie Meyers, the group does a wide variety of music, ranging from traditional art music (such as Bach and Mozart) to world music (such as South African freedom songs) to carefully-selected contemporary music (including jazz, gospel, and so on).
The choir has a special relationship with John Rutter; two of his choral compositions were written for the choir and premiered at First United Methodist Church, and another of his compositions (the “Gloria”) was premiered by a former Director of the Chancel Choir, Mel Olson.
Repertoire is always considered in coordination with the scripture readings, liturgical year, and preaching topics, and settings that affirm the mission statement of the church are particularly emphasized. Seasonally, the choir does an extended choral work with orchestration; examples from the past include “Christmas in the Southwest” by Conrad Susa, John Rutter’s “Magnificat,” and Mark Kurtz’s “The Awakening of the Messiah.”
The group is open to adults and high school students. The only requirements are pitch-matching, the ability to blend with others, and the willingness to work and grow together. Rehearsals are Wednesday evening (from September through May) from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the sanctuary. For more information, contact Mark Kurtz, Director of Music Ministries, at 402-556-6262, ext 1021, or firstname.lastname@example.org.