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Celebrating Through Music

Music is one of the primary ways we express our faith. A multiple choir program affords adults and children opportunities to develop and share their faith through music. Our worship services include a variety of music ranging from traditional to contemporary.

View 2017-2018 Festival of Music Schedule



First Presbyterian Church has four choirs that offer singing opportunities for anyone starting from age four. The Chancel Choir sings each Sunday at the 8:30 a.m. service. The Cherub, Calvin and Youth Choirs sing at least once a month.

  • Chancel Choir, led by Lee J. Afdahl, meets every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday mornings 9:45-10:30 a.m. Any adult is welcome to participate in Chancel Choir. Each year the choir combines with our church orchestra to present Lessons and Carols in December and another major cantata work later in the year.
  • Youth Choir, led by Lee J. Afdahl, is open to any middle and high school student who loves to sing. Youth Choir meets every Wednesday from 5:00-5:45 p.m. Youth Choir sings in church at least once a month. The choir also combines with the Chancel Choir on Lessons and Carols and presents a special Youth Music Sunday service in the spring.
  • Calvin Choir, led by Katie Kruger, is open to any child in grades 2 to 5 and meets on Sundays, 9:40 to 10:20 a.m. The choir rehearses in preparation for singing in worship each month.
  • Cherub Choir, led by Katie Kruger, is for children age 4-first grade. The children meet weekly on Sundays  at 10:20 to 10:50 a.m. The children learn anthems that they present in worship almost once a month. The children also learn music fundamentals, play musical games and have a lot of fun.


Handbell/Handchime Choirs

First Presbyterian Church has three handbell choirs: Alleluia Ringers,  Joyous Praise and Jubilate Deo. Each handbell choirs offers music throughout the year during worship services. New ringers are always welcome!

  • Alleluia Ringers,  meets each Wednesday from 4:15-5:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Alleluia Ringers is open to any child in grades 2-5. The group rings on average once a month in worship. No prior experience is required.

Handbells and chimes are an essential component of our music including our choirs and inclusion in our orchestra performances.


  • Joyous Praise is the handbell choir for high school students, grades 6-12, and is led by Lee J. Afdahl. Joyous Praise rehearses Wednesday evenings for 7:15-8:00 p.m. This group rings, like the others, about once a month in worship.
  • Jubilate Deo, also directed by Lee J. Afdahl, is First Presbyterian’s handbell choir for adults. The group rehearses on Thursday evenings at 6:15-7:15 p.m. in the church sanctuary.



First Players Band

First playersphoto

First Players is the instrumental program sponsored by First Presbyterian Church. The program features 4th and 5th Grade and Concert Bands. The program is open to any student in the Rochester area. For more information on First Players, contact Katie Kruger, Director of First Players, through the church office at 282-1618.

  • The 4th & 5th Grade Band  will meet for small group lessons on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.  There are three sessions:  3:45-4:05 pm, 4:05 -4:25 pm and  4:25-4:45 pm.   Small group lessons begin September 12. The 4th & 5th grade band also attends full band rehearsals from 3:45-4:30 pm on Tuesday beginning October 4th..
  • The Concert Band is made up of students in grades 6-12 and any student in the Rochester area is eligible to register. This band rehearses Thursdays from 3:45-5:00 pm, beginning September 15.  All instrumentation is needed and encouraged. Some loaner instruments are available, if needed.
  • Concerts — First Players perform two concerts each year. The First Players Concert Band performs additional concerts in the Rochester community. Those concerts have included performing at Festival of Trees, Charter House, Madonna Towers, IBM, Eagles Cancer Telethon, Rochester Honkers baseball games, Sportsathon, Hollywood Cinemagic movie theatre, Rochesterfest Parade and area elementary schools. Near the end of the year, the 5th Grade Band is invited to join the Concert Band for some fun concerts.


Church Orchestra

For special services and concerts, a multi-piece orchestra accompanies our choirs and the congregation.

The church orchestra is made up of First Presbyterian members and community musicians. The orchestra combines with the Chancel Choir twice during the church year. The first is for First Presbyterian’s annual Lessons and Carols service in December. The orchestra also accompanies the choirs in a well known cantata each spring.


Casavant Organ

Founded in 1879, Casavant Freres is one of the best known and most respected pipe organ builders in the world.  The First Presbyterian was installed in 1998 with members carrying each pipe into the sanctuary.

Click here for the organ specifications