Music at First Baptist Church

Lifting our spirits, connecting with God

Music and Arts…

….have been deeply intertwined with worship at First Baptist since our earliest days. Dynamic choral music, handbells, and robust congregational singing have become the backbone of our musical worship over the past century with as many as six choirs undergirded by one of New England’s foremost pipe organs. In worship, the Chancel Choir, Choral Scholars, and First Handbells are augmented with the individual talents of our membership, from solo instruments and voices to poetry, photography and more.

Beyond Sunday services, we also have special musical services like All Souls, Lessons and Carols (a Candle-lit Choral Evensong based on the Celebration of Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, England), Handbell Extravaganza, and more throughout the year. Our love and appreciation of music and the arts expands beyond worship to encompass our community life. During the year First Baptist partners with local arts organizations like the American Guild of Organists, VOX New England, and WPI to present a variety of music and arts events on our church grounds including organ recitals, choral performances, art exhibitions, and drama. We also provide musical education to young people in our community through private instruction.

Our worship is led by our Chancel Choir under the direction of Wesley Hall. The First Handbells often enhance our worship under the direction of Sarah Sams. Both groups are open to new members who enjoy singing and/or ringing. Barbara Ward is the facilitator of the Worship, Arts, and Music team. 

We are in the process of moving a Walker organ, currently located in the Davis Chapel, to the rear of the sanctuary. This will not only better preserve this historic instrument, but the move will allow its pipes to be used to their full potential with the first time. Once the organ has been moved, we will be able to start a new concert series (the William Ness Concert Series), which will bring in talent from both the Worcester area and the world. To learn more about this exciting project, please visit the Organ Legacy Project website. We also recently collaborated with Main IDEA and the Nativity School to paint pianos which will be placed throughout Worcester to share music and beauty with our community. For more information, please visit the Youth Piano Art Project page. 

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