Music & Arts

Music is an integral part of worship at Asbury First – congregational hymn singing, stirring organ music, soaring choral anthems, dazzling handbell ringing, and so much more. Our talented volunteer musicians are guided by a gifted staff of professionals, each of whom is eager to welcome and foster participation in our musical groups. We offer opportunities for singers and instrumentalists of all ages to get involved with music making. If you have an interest in becoming a part of Asbury First’s music ministry, click below, or contact our Director of Music Ministry, Dr. Carl Johengen, at

Adult Choirs Asbury Ringers Instrumental GroupsMusic for Youth Music for Children Organ and Pianos

Music Staff

In addition to our Director of Music Ministry, Organists, and other ensemble leaders, Asbury First is blessed with the talents of our four professional Soloist/Section Leaders. Learn More About Our Music Staff >


Sanctuary Choir

Asbury First’s Sanctuary Choir is conducted by Dr. Carl Johengen, Director of Music Ministry. Our wonderful quartet of soloists serve as section leaders. If you are interested in singing with us, please contact Carl. New members are always welcome, pending a low-pressure screening with the director.

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 sings at two of our Christmas Eve services, and at other special events and services.

Summer Choir

Summer Choir provides anthems and worship leadership at the 11 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 10 am to prepare one or two anthems each week.

Asbury Ringers

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

Instrumental Groups

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

Asbury Orchestra gathers once in the fall and once in the spring to provide special ensemble music during the 11 am. service. Players of all orchestral instruments are invited to take part; if you are interested, please contact Director Laurie Kennedy at

Asbury Flute Ensemble

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

Music for Youth

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 Sundays from 1–6 pm and Wednesdays from 6–7 pm. Past musicals have included Godspell, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Lion King. For more information, please contact Director of Youth Music Carol Lamica at

6th–12th Musical Rehearsals Sundays, 1–6 pm;
Wednesdays, 6–8 pm
Fellowship Hall
6th–12th Bell Choir Wednesdays 6-6:30 pm Begins after the musical in November
6th–12th Youth Choir Wednesdays 6:30-7 pm Begins after the musical in November


Learn more about our Youth programs

Music for Children

Children’s Music at Asbury First begins Wednesday, September 15th. It might look a little different than normal but we’d love to see your children on Wednesday evenings for some musical fun and fellowship. Since singing in a mask can be uncomfortable we will focus heavily on handbells, percussion instruments, and musical games. The children present an annual Children’s Musical each May. 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

Hallelujah Kids

Wednesdays, 5–5:30 pm, 1040 Room 201

Music fundamentals class for ages 4 through 1st grade.

Playful music, dance, and games designed to foster creativity and develop a love for children’s music and classic church songs.

Wesley Singers & Ringers

Wednesdays, 6–7 pm, 1040 Room 201

Vocal & Handbell Choir for children grades 2–5.

Handbells, chimes, and percussion instruments will be used to foster creativity and develop a love for children’s music and classic church songs.

Learn more about our Children's programs

Austin Organ

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.  

In 2019–2021, with generous support from the Kilian J. and Caroline F. Schmidt Foundation, select mechanical maintenance issues on the instrument were addressed, including replacing some antiquated chamber switching, console roll top and pedalboard restoration, and cursory cleaning. Tonal upgrades included cleaning and restoration of the Pedal reed unit, the addition of Cymbelstern and Chimes, and completion of the prepared-for 32’ Pedal Bombard (notes 1-12). We are grateful to the Schmidt Foundation for facilitating this work.

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.

Austin Organ Specifications



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.

For more information about any of our music and arts programs, please contact Dr. Carl Johengen at or by calling 585-271-1050 x134.