Music is an integral part of worship at Asbury First. Although the pandemic caused our music groups to be on hiatus, we are fortunate to have a dedicated music staff who continue to provide hymns and other vocal and instrumental music for our live-stream services. We sincerely hope that as you participate in live stream worship, you are joining in the singing of hymns. We are slowly beginning to get our choirs back to regular rehearsals. If you have an interest in becoming a part of Asbury First’s music ministry, please contact Director of Music Ministry Carl Johengen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the pandemic, we are especially thankful for our talented and dedicated organists and vocal soloists.
During the pandemic, we are especially thankful for our talented and dedicated organists and vocal soloists. Learn More About Our Music Staff >
When not in pandemic mode, Asbury First is blessed with three adult choirs. All are conducted by Director of Music Ministry Carl Johengen. Our wonderful quartet of soloists also serve as section leaders in each of our choirs. If you are interested in singing with any of our choirs, please contact Carl. New members are always welcome.
Sanctuary Choir provides anthems and worship leadership at the 11 am service, between early September and late May. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings 7:30–9 pm in Wesley Hall. Sanctuary Choir also typically sings at two of our Christmas Eve services.
Asbury Singers provide anthems and worship leadership at the 8:30 am service, between early September and late May. In place of a weeknight rehearsal, Asbury Singers gather on Sunday mornings at 7:45 am to rehearse, and new music is introduced once a month in a brief rehearsal following the 8:30 am service. Asbury Singers also typically sing at one of our Christmas Eve services.
Summer Choir provides anthems and worship leadership at the 10 am service during June and July, as well as on the first Sunday of August. There is no weeknight rehearsal; Summer Choir gathers on summer Sundays at 9 am to prepare one or two anthems each week.
Festival Choir, made up of members from both the Sanctuary Choir and Asbury Singers, comes together on festive occasions such as Easter Sunday, singing at both the 8:30 and 11 am services.
Under the direction of Elizabeth Church, the Asbury Ringers provides distinctive and festive handbell music on several Sundays throughout the fall, winter, and spring, as well as on Christmas Eve. The group rings five octaves of Schulmerich bells and handchimes, and on special occasions collaborates with our singing choirs. New ringers are always welcome. For more information, please contact Elizabeth at email@example.com.
Asbury First is fortunate to have talented players of a variety of instruments among the congregation. If you play an instrument and would like to use your talents in worship, please contact our Director of Music Ministry Carl Johengen.
Asbury Orchestra gathers once in the fall and once in the spring to provide special ensemble music during the 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. service. Players of all orchestral instruments are invited to take part; if you are interested, please contact Director Laurie Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asbury Flute Ensemble also gathers to provide special music in worship on an occasional basis. They are led by Annette Farrington; interested flutists can contact Annette at email@example.com.
Youth in grades 6-12 participate in Youth Choir and Youth Bells during the school year, and provide special music on several occasions including Christmas Eve and Youth Sunday in June. Youth music rehearsals take place on Wednesday evenings from 6–7 pm. Past musicals have included Godspell, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Lion King. During the pandemic, our Youth Choir has continued to meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:15 pm on Zoom. For more information, please contact Director of Youth Music Carol Lamica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Music is led by Holly Temming, Director of Children’s Music and Children’s Ministry Assistant. Please contact her for more information at email@example.com.
Children Pre-K through 1st grade are invited to sing with Hallelujah Kids, which meets on Wednesday evenings from 5:30–6 pm. Children in grades 2–5 participate in Wesley Singers and Ringers, which meets on Wednesday evenings from 6–7 pm. The children present an annual Children’s Musical each May.
Asbury First’s landmark Austin Organ is an instrument in the American Classic tonal style. It has served this congregation of robust Methodist singers for nearly seven decades with musical integrity and remarkable mechanical reliability. The hallmark of any good church instrument is its ability to accompany hymn singing, the great choral repertoire, youth, children’s and bell choirs, as well as instrumentalists in various forms. This instrument’s forte has been exactly this—the ability to render accompaniments in a multitude of styles for ensembles both large and small, all while rendering the great organ repertoire for solo voluntaries as well.
While it is fashionable today to chase the latest organ fads, the Asbury First congregation has remained faithful to this fine instrument, and it, in turn, has rewarded this community with decades of beautiful music.
Asbury First is also served by a number of excellent pianos, some of which have been graciously donated to the congregation. The Sanctuary is home to a Mason and Hamlin concert grand which is featured regularly in concert and worship. The Gathering Center has a Steinway concert grand which can be used for intimate recitals and other events. Downstairs, Fellowship Hall has another Steinway concert grand which is used for rehearsals and events, and Wesley Hall has a Mason and Hamlin grand which is used for weekly rehearsals of Sanctuary Choir and Asbury Singers. Additional pianos are located on the second floor of the Education Wing, and are used for youth and children’s music.