2014 FPC Annual Choir Recognition Dinner

2014 FPC Annual Choir Recognition Dinner

Choir Photo

Front Row (L-R): Dr. Ed Stone, Bill Kirby, Susan Kirby, Dr. Rubye Torrey, Virginia Rubin and Claudia Torrey; Back Row (L-R): Don Fisher, Kathleen Dietz, Keith Moore, Bekah Caruso, Bill Caruso and Larry English

On Wednesday, May 14, all FPC choirs celebrated their annual Recognition Dinner in Courtenay Hall. Members of the FPC Youth and Childrens’ choirs provided dinner music for the evening. The Children’s Choirs presented Noah, a musical written by Carol McClure and narrated by Mickey Fitts. All members of the Children’s Choir programs were recognized for their many achievements of the last year.

Kathleen Dietz, President of the Sanctuary Chorale (8:30 A.M. service), presented certificates to the choir’s founding members, including Kathleen Dietz, Bill Caruso, Dr. Keith Moore, Dr. Norm Stephenson and Susan Woods.

Dr. Rubye Torrey &   Dr. Raphael Bundage

Dr. Rubye Torrey &
Dr. Raphael Bundage

Dr. Raphael Bundage, Director of the Sanctuary Choir (11:00 A.M. service) presented certificates to choir members who had been members for 20 years or longer. Choir members present for the presentation included Bill Kirby (20 yrs.), Susan Kirby (20 yrs.), Claudia Torrey (22 yrs.), Choir Member Emeritus Dr. Ed Stone (23 yrs.), Virginia Rubin (24 yrs.), Bekah Caruso (25 yrs.), Dr. Keith Moore (30), Don Fisher (30 yrs.) and Larry English (31 yrs.). Also recognized but unable to be there were Carolyn Naumann (20 yrs.), Mark Naumann (20 yrs.), Dr. Ted Wylie (22 yrs.), Libby Marley (33 yrs.) and Sally Burch (34 yrs.).

The highlight of the evening was the recognition of Dr. Rubye Torrey for 44 years as a member of the FPC Sanctuary Choir! Dr. Torrey has faithfully attended choir rehearsals and Sunday services in addition to her many other commitments to her work, family and FPC. Now, that is dedication, commitment and dependability. Dr. Torrey was presented a Certificate and an embossed Glory to God hymnal in appreciation for her service.

New Issue Spring 2014 of “Soli Deo Gloria”


Click image to view newsletter

Please enjoy the new Spring 2014 issue of the Music Ministry newsletter, “Soli Deo Gloria.”

For other issues of “Soli Deo Gloria” please click here.

Carol McClure’s National Summer Harp Academy

The article below was recently written by Sarah MacDonald of The American Organist Magazine. In it, she describes her experience of working at Carol McClure’s ABRSM National Summer Harp Academy. Carol is the Director of Children’s and Youth Music Ministries here at First Presbyterian Church.

Full article by Sarah MacDonald (pdf)

Copyright 2013, by the American Guild of Organists.
Used by permission of The American Organist Magazine.

Hymnal Memorials & Honorary Bookplates

hymnal b&w openIn anticipation and celebration of Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal, bookplates are now available for purchase. The bookplates, affixed prominently on the inside front cover of the new purple hymnals, will honor beloved family members and friends who have died and will honor the lives of those we cherish.

The bookplates, $20 each, allow us to honor our loved ones, now and for the generations to come. Please contact Daphne Garey (615-298-9517 or dgarey@fpcnashville.org) with the name(s) of those honored and specify “In memory of” or “In honor of.” Please make checks payable to First Presbyterian Church, with “Hymnal Bookplate” in the subject line. You may also order a bookplate online. (Click on the “Give Now” link next to the Hymnal Memorial and Honorariums form in order to pay online for a bookplate by securely creating a one-time draft from your bank account).

New Hymnals Coming to FPC

Sing to God a New Song
The Purple Presbyterian Hymnal is Coming to Our Pews

In February, First Presbyterian Church pew hymnals will be purple, and you will want to judge this book by more than its new cover. Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal is a new book of hymns, psalms and spiritual songs for the Presbyterian Church. “I was pleasantly surprised by the new Presbyterian hymnal when it was introduced at a General Assembly training event in 2012, and knew then that it would enrich our worship life. It contains a good representation of the great hymns of the Church as well as a fine selection of the Psalms, which Presbyterians have always sung. In addition, it offers a wider selection of the best of newer music, including music from the global church and more contemporary praise songs. The fact that it contains over eight hundred hymns and songs means that it can cover a wider selection of music.

In studying the impact of the last hymnal upon our congregation, I was surprised to find that we regularly sing about thirty hymns from it that were not in the older Presbyterian Hymnbook. ‘Here I Am Lord’ and ‘Lift High the Cross,’ as well as ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘To God be the Glory’ are a small sample of new songs that have enhanced our worship and become favorites of First Presbyterian Church, none of which were in the prior hymnal. It left me wondering what hymns from this new book will become beloved additions to our worship life in the coming years,” said Todd Jones.

FPC’s Worship Committee chose the new hymnal for its many benefits, including:
  • 853 musical selections and worship materials, far more than offered in the 1990 hymnal,
  • hymns such as “Standing on the Promises,” “Rock of Ages,” “It Is Well With My Soul,” and “In Remembrance of Me,” beloved Gospel hymns absent from the 1990 book,
  • the inclusion of previously omitted hymn verses. Many traditional hymns had some verses eliminated, even in cases where the original verses were necessary to embody the flow of thought the original hymnwriters had intended. They’re back!
  • brief program notes sharing something about every hymn or song’s history, authorship, music or theology,
  • more recent praise tunes from the blossoming of contemporary Christian music in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries,
  • hymns and songs from other countries, presented in English and in their native languages, all with native rhythm and accompaniment,
  • and not to be overlooked, the inclusion of Todd Jones’ favorite hymn, “Will You Follow Me?” which had been omitted in the previous hymnal.

The ordering of hymns in Glory to God follows the outline of salvation history, beginning with the triune God who has been for all eternity; moving through God’s creation of the world and care for its inhabitants in calling and covenant; continuing into anticipations of a coming messiah and the climactic events of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus; picking up again with the descent of the Spirit and formation of the church; and culminating in the looked-for return of Christ and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.

People accustomed to the liturgical-year structure of the 1990 Presbyterian hymnal will find this structure in Glory to God as well, but within the broader framework of God’s gracious acts: Advent coincides with anticipations of the Messiah; Christmas, with Jesus’ birth; and so on. “I am very pleased with this new hymnal and eager to share it’s varied musical styles with our congregation. The oldest hymn in Glory to God dates from the 3rd century A.D. and the most contemporary hymn in this collection dates from very late in the 20th century.

This hymnal a wonderful resource and I encourage everyone to become familiar with its contents — find your favorite old hymns and explore the new ones. By the way, the oldest hymn in Glory to God is #672 ‘O Gladsome Light.’” said Raphael Bundage, Director of Music. Robed in purple, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal is a treasure of biblical study, church history, poetry, music and theology, offering up riches to shape the faith and life of God’s people for generations to come.

hymnal b&w open

Welcome, Elizabeth Kent!

Elizabeth KentElizabeth Kent is the Music Leader for the 10:55 service at First Presbyterian Church. She is a proud 2012 graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education and a concentration in Organ Performance. At Indiana University, Elizabeth was the pianist for the Singing Hoosiers for four years. She was honored to play for the Singing Hoosiers on numerous tours, including a performance at the 2009 Inauguration festivities and a tour of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong in 2011. While growing up in Maumee, Ohio, Elizabeth served as the organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Maumee. She also performed as an organ soloist with the Toledo Symphony in 2007.

In addition to her position at FPC Nashville, Elizabeth is the Choral Director at Northwest High School in Clarksville, Tennessee. When not making music, Elizabeth trains for half marathons and triathlons, and enjoys cooking and yoga. She also spends as much quality time as possible with family, friends and her two cats, Blackberry and Nash.

Musikgarten beginning soon

musicgarten logoThe fall season of Musikgarten at FPC will begin in September. Please join us for a free introductory class on August 28: 9:30 a.m. for newborn to 18 month babies and 10:15 a.m. for 15 month to 3 1/2 years.

For more information and to register for Musikgarten, click here

Offered on Mondays and Wednesdays, Musikgarten is designed for parents and their babies to take together. Weekly 30-minute classes help you learn how to play musically with your baby/toddler, featuring bouncing and rocking songs, wiggle and peek-a-boo games, and other fun activities for the two of you. Together you’ll sing, chant, move, dance, listen, and play simple instruments. 

Worship, Praise, Song: Our Ministry in Cuba

cuba-photo-3Worship, Praise, Song:
Our Ministry in Cuba

On Friday, May 3, Nick Bergin, Raphael Bundage, Diane and Larry English, Jaylon and Judy Fincannon, Stuart Gordon, Susan and Bill Kirby, Libby Marley, Keith Moore and Pam and Mike Shampain traveled to Cuba to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our relationship with our Cuban brothers and sisters. The seed of this relationship was planted in 2003, when Dr. Todd Jones and the Rev. Rob Weingartner made an exploratory trip to visit with the Presbyterian Church in Cuba. This trip resulted in First Presbyterian Church’s partnership with the Dora E. Valentin Church in Varadero, Cuba. From the beginning, David and Lucille Cole were the team leaders; as of this trip, 66 FPC members have traveled to Cuba at least once. When repeat visits are added, the total approaches one hundred participants.

cuba-photo-2This year’s principle goal was to share the Gospel through music, led by members of our choirs. Those members sang at the Sunday worship service at our sister church in Varadero, with hymns in both English and Spanish. The Rev. Stuart Gordon read his sermon in Spanish and was thanked with applause from the Dora E. Valentin congregation. Songs also were shared at a senior-citizen center, a special-needs school and with several children’s choirs. The choir participated in a workshop at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas, where they sang with and for the seminary’s choir. They met and sang with the Presbyterian Women and while in Havana they participated and sang in a musical workshop with the choir from First Presbyterian Church of Havana.

cuba-photo-1The trip’s music was highlighted by a final evening at the Anglican Cathedral in Havana, sponsored by the Council of Cuban Churches. The event was organized by Joel Ortega Dopico, who is the Pastor of the Dora E. Valentin Church and currently serves as President of the Cuban Council. The evening included performances by adult and children’s choirs from Havana as well as an interpretive dance presentation. The voices from the FPC choir sang hymns in English and Spanish. In addition, Libby Marley and Bill Kirby offered solos. The final song of the evening, offered for the congregation of over 300 people, brought together all the choirs to sing, “We Are Marching in the Light of God,” in Zulu, Spanish and English.

Just as each one has received a gift,
use it to serve one another
as good stewards of varied grace of God.
— 1 Peter 4:10

Thanks be to God,
Pam and Mike Shampain


Monday Baby-Toddler and Parent Music Class


Parents are invited to bring their babies and toddlers for music classes on either Mondays or Wednesdays at First Presbyterian Church. The classes include singing, chanting, moving, dancing, listening and playing simple instruments. The cost for each class is $50 for each child.

*Summer session will begin the week of May 16 and will run for 12 weeks.*


Monday Baby and Parent Music Class

Babies (newborn to 3½ years) and parent music classes meet on Mondays, 11:00-11:30 A.M.

Please contact Susan Kirby (skirby@fpcnashville.org or 298-9540) or click here to register.


Wednesday Baby and Parent Music Class

Babies (newborn to 18 months) and parent music classes meet on Wednesdays, 10:00-10:30 A.M.

Please contact Susan Kirby (skirby@fpcnashville.org or 298-9540) or click here to register.

Wednesday Toddler and Parent Music Class

Toddler (15 months to 3½ years) and parent music classes meet on Wednesdays, 11:00-11:30 A.M.

Please contact Susan Kirby (skirby@fpcnashville.org or 298-9540) or click here to register.

FPC’s Choirs — The Place To Be

Being a member of one of First Presbyterian Church’s adult choirs is a rewarding experience that encourages spiritual and musical growth, and the choirs provide a caring community within the large church. Both adult choirs are non-auditioned and welcome amateur to professional singers, although the ability to read music is required.

Sanctuary Choir — United in commitment to serving Christ through music, this adult choir sings at 11:00 A.M. each Sunday and presents special programs with an orchestra throughout the year. The Sanctuary Choir will be presenting a Christmas concert with orchestra on December 15, Bach’s Passion According to St. John with the Nashville Symphony on April 13 and a Broadway dinner show, on February 7. Rehearsals are Wednesdays, 7:30 to 8:30 P.M. and the conductor is Raphael Bundage.

Sanctuary Chorale — The Sanctuary Chorale, singing at the 8:30 A.M. worship service, welcomes all who love to sing and who will be committed to attending Wednesday rehearsals and Sunday worship. You will find the Sanctuary Chorale to be a great place to participate in the leadership of worship while singing a wide variety of musical styles. Rehearsals are Wednesdays, 6:15-7:15 P.M. and the conductor is Keith Moore.­­­

Interested? Call Daphne Garey at 615-298-9517 or email dgarey@fpcnashville.org. We would love to have you join us!

The choirs will be having a Fall Kick-Off dinner and worship service on August 28 at 6:00 P.M. in Courtenay Hall — this would be a wonderful way for you to meet other choir members. Please contact Daphne Garey to make reservations.

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