" I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music."  –Johann Sebastian Bach

" I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music."  –Johann Sebastian Bach

We have a variety of excellent musical programs for both children and adults, whether you want to sing in the choir, learn how to play the handbells, or just sit back and enjoy one of our acclaimed concerts, pew-side, there's something for everyone.

Under the direction of our renowned organist, Dr. Barbara Thomson, we are blessed with a creative and uplifting music program.  Dr. Thomson conducts the vocal choirs and bell choirs for all ages, plays organ for services, and runs special events highlighting guest soloists and musicians, along with FCC’s concert series. 

Dr. Barbara Thomson

Dr. Barbara Thomson

 

Organist Barbara Thomson has concertized extensively in the United States and Europe, and has been critically acclaimed for her technique, musicianship, and ability to communicate.  She has performed across the United States and in Austria, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, and Yugoslavia, including appearances at Lincoln Center and the Riverside Church in NYC, the Kennedy Center and the National Presbyterian Center in Washington, DC, and on the recital series at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. 

     A former professor at a number of colleges, she is currently Voorhees Chapel Organist at Rutgers University, Organist and Director of Music at the Congregational Church of Westfield, New Jersey, and Organist at Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, NJ. 

     Dr. Thomson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Pennsylvania State University, has a master's degree from the Eastman School of Music, a doctorate from the Peabody Conservatory, did further study at the Hochschule fur Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, and post-doctoral work in choral conducting at Westminster Choir College.

    She has been the Music Director at First Congregational Church since 1984.

 

 

Choirs

The Chancel Choir sings for Sunday services and special occasions throughout the year. It is made up primarily of adults, but is also open to high school students who have an interest in singing. They rehearse on Thursday nights at 7:30 PM.

 

The Festival Chorus is a special group which presents two major music programs a year with professional soloists. Representative repertoire from the past few years includes the Vivaldi Gloria, Mozart's Requiem, Rossini's Stabat Mater, and the Britten Ceremony of Carols. The group consists of the Chancel Choir and any other members and friends of the congregation who want to join in singing these major works. The chorus typically rehearses for six weeks before each performance. Rehearsals are held on Thursday nights from 7:30 - 8:30 followed by the Chancel Choir rehearsal. Refer to the calendar for upcoming events.

 

The Pilgrim Singers is a choir for children in grades K-2. They rehearse on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:00 PM and perform in church approximately once a month.

 

The Leyden Choir is for children in 3rd through 6th grades. They rehearse Monday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:15 PM, and perform in church approximately every three weeks. In May of each year they present a children's musical play on a Sunday morning in church. Recent productions have included Oh Jonah!, The Puzzling Parables, and Moses and the Freedom Fanatics.

 

The Bell Choir is comprised of adults and children from 7th grade on up. They rehearse on Sunday mornings after church, from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM and play in church five or six times a year.

 

 

We wish to thank the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs and the Westfield Foundation for their support.