Music at First Church

Music is an integral part of worship at First Church and an opportunity for all to lift their voices in praise of God. The music program includes choirs for adults, teens and children, singing and ringing handbells. Congregational hymn singing is inspired by the accompaniment of our two magnificent pipe organs. Concerts at First Church and other special programs extend an invitation to the greater Columbus community to be nourished by the gift of music in First Church's majestic space. Below is a brief description of each of the Choirs. Please navigate to their individual pages for more complete information.


Minister of Music

Kevin Jones was appointed Minister of Music and began his duties on January 1, 2013. With the aid of the Music Committee he oversees all aspects of musical life at First Church. For more information on Kevin, please navigate to the staff page.  
Christmas Recording
Heir of the Highest Heaven

The First Church Choir has released their first professionally produced CD of Christmas music, Heir of the Highest Heaven. The CD is available now for sale at $12 each. These make terrific Christmas gifts and are wonderful momentos of First Church. The signature piece of the recording is the commissioned carol from the 2013 Festival of Lessons and Carols, “Heir of the Highest Heaven” by composer Peter Niedmann. Using parts of Washington Gladden’s poem “Immanuel,” Niedmann wove a jaunty, exciting carol for us to hear. Other highlights of the album include “Once in royal David’s city,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Adam lay ybounden,” the evocative Lux Aurumque and many other favorites from last year’s season of Advent and Christmas music. Rounding out the CD is Baroque organ music by J.S. Bach, Buxtehude and Johann Pachelbel played on the Beckerath organ. The recording engineer was Andrew MacGregor, who also edited, mixed and mastered the CD.

Limited copies of the recording are available in the Church Office or by contacting Marty Worth, Program Manager, at 614.228.1741, x14 or


The Choirs

First Church Choir

The First Church Choir (adult, mixed) sings at the 11 a.m. service each Sunday from September to June. Rehearsals are held in the Parish Hall on Thursdays, 7:15-9:15 p.m., and on Sunday mornings in the Choir Room before worship. The Choir alternates singing from the Gallery and the Chancel, depending on the service of the day. Professional section leaders assist the musicianship and sound as the Choir explores five centuries of great choral music. The Choir participates in the Concerts at First Church series, including fall and spring choral concerts, Christmas Lessons and Carols, services of Evensong and special music for Holy Week and Easter Day. The Choir was in residence at Gloucester Cathedral, UK, from August 3-10, 2015, and they will be in residence at both Norwich and Lincoln Cathedrals, UK, in July 2018.  

The Jubilate Choir is for boys and girls in grades 2-6 who like to sing and take part in the worship life of First Church. The Exultate Choir is a natural step for the trebles as they enter grade 7-12. Rehearsals are held in the Music Activities Room (for Trebles) and the Choir Room (for Teens) on Sundays at 9 a.m. during Choir season, September through mid-May. Choristers develop their singing voices and music reading skills, learn about the church and the liturgical seasons and explore hymnody from the 6th century to the present and the music of other cultures. The choirs have performed musical dramas, including 100 % Chance of Rain by Walter Horsley and Francis: The Poor Little Man of God by Douglas and Sandra Wagner, at special congregational gatherings. The choirs sing regularly in Sunday worship and during Festival services throughout the year. Dr. Sandra Mathias is the director of the Jubilate Choir. Kevin Jones is the director of the Exultate Choir.

The First Church Ringers

The First Church Ringers is a handbell choir for adults. Rehearsals are seasonally on Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. The ringers play 5 octaves of Whitechapel bells and 5 octaves of Malmark choir chimes  The choir rings during Sunday worship and at special services. Membership is open to those with solid music reading ability. Rehearsals are held in the Education Wing, Room J.

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