A friend of music at First Congregational Church is someone like you!

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
403 South Jefferson Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48607

989.754.6565

www.fccsaginaw.org

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chancel Choir Mourns Loss - Dr. George Harris


The Chancel Choir of First Congregational Church mourns the loss of George P. Harris, M.D., who passed away on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, at Covenant HealthCare – Cooper. He was 79 years old. 
George P. Harris was born on September 16, 1932, in Bay City, to the late George and Catherine (Phillips) Harris. He married Marion E. McGuire in 1956; she preceded him in death in 1973. Dr. Harris married Laurelynne Daniels later, on August 23, 1973; she survives him. George was a 1950 graduate of Bay City Central. Following high school, he attended Northwestern University, where he graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor’s Degree. He then attended medical school at the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1958. Dr. Harris proudly served his country by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force; he served as a flight surgeon from 1959-1961. He then attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison from 1961-1964 completing his residency in radiology. Dr. Harris was a fellow of the American College of Radiology.
Surviving are his wife, Laurelynne; three sons: Geoffrey (Lisa) Harris of Traverse City, Christopher Harris of Bay City, Timothy Harris of Saginaw; a daughter-in-law, Sandy Harris; ten grandchildren; one great grandchild; three sisters and one brother: Susan Harris, Sally Suomela, Katie (John) Ogden and Don (Jane) Harris.
Dr. Harris’ funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 3, 2011, at First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Ave. Rev. Dr. Todd S. Farley will officiate. Military honors will follow under the auspices of VFW Post # 1859. Private burial will take place on Monday at Elm Lawn Cemetery, Bay City.
Friends are welcome to visit with Dr. Harris’ family at the Deisler Funeral Home, 2233 Hemmeter Rd. (off State) on Friday, December 2, 2011, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Saturday at the church, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the Organ Fund - First Congregational Church or the Luke Reed IDAA Scholarship Fund. 
George sung in the Chancel Choir since 1972

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Noonday Recital - Friday, December 2 - Dr. Steven Egler

Two 12:15 p.m. organ recitals are scheduled to take place at First Congregational Church in downtown Saginaw, Michigan, during the season of Advent.  Cookies and coffee will be provided at a reception in the narthex following the recital.

The first program will be performed this Friday, December 2.  Dr. Steven Egler, Artist in Residence at First Congregational Church, will present a thirty-minute musical celebration of Advent including “Carillon on a Ukranian Bell Carol,” which was written in his honor in 2006 by awarded American composer Gerald Near.  Additional recent compositions by Philip Rice and Nicholas Schmelter will frame the program.  Rice, who currently studies and teaches as a graduate assistant at Westminster College of the Arts in Princeton, New Jersey, has been commissioned to compose a sacred choral work for Pentecost.

Nicholas Schmelter, Director of Music Ministries, will present the second recital on Friday, December 16. 

This performance is sponsored by the Friends of Music, who support the musical happenings of First Congregational Church.  Free-will contributions of guests will assist with the costly maintenance of the sanctuary’s historic organ.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friends of Music Involved in the Community

Friend of Music Ken Wuepper, curator of the Barton Organ at Saginaw's historic Temple Theatre, and member of First Congregational Church, explains some details of console restoration to The Morning Team (WSGW-AM).

Enjoy hearing clips of the Barton Organ, including a fanfare for local radio personality Art Lewis, by clicking the link above. Donna Parker will perform on the Barton Organ this Sunday, November 20, at 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Kent S. Dennis Memorial Organ Recital - November 13 - Memorial Presbyterian Church

On Sunday, November 13, 2011, at 7:00 p.m., Dr. Steven Egler and Nicholas Schmelter will join with members of the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild in performing the Dr. Kent S. Dennis Memorial Organ Recital.  Music for chamber organ and small ensemble will take place at the Bertha E. R. Strosacker Memorial Presbyterian Church in Midland, Michigan.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Brown Bag Recitals Continue - Mark Your Calendar for Advent

Two 12:15 p.m. organ recitals are scheduled to take place at First Congregational Church in downtown Saginaw, Michigan, during the season of Advent. 

The first program will be performed on Friday, December 2.  Dr. Steven Egler, Artist in Residence at First Congregational Church, will present a thirty-minute musical celebration of Advent including “Carillon on a Ukranian Bell Carol,” which was written in his honor in 2006 by awarded American composer Gerald Near.   Additional recent compositions by Philip Rice and Nicholas Schmelter will frame the program.  Rice, who currently studies and teaches as a graduate assistant at Westminster College of the Arts in Princeton, New Jersey, has been commissioned to compose a sacred choral work for Pentecost.

Nicholas Schmelter, Director of Music Ministries, will present the second recital on Friday, December 16.  He will perform arrangements of beloved French noëls by 20th-century composers Marcel Courtonne and Henri Busser. The program will also include a work by Marcel Dupré seldom heard in its entirety, Six Antiennes Pour le Temps de Noël, Opus 48.

This performance is sponsored by the Friends of Music, who support the musical happenings of First Congregational Church.  Free-will contributions of guests will assist with the costly maintenance of the sanctuary’s historic organ.

The congregation is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and has recognized excellence in musical outreach and community service since the 1800’s. The Rev. Dr. Todd S. Farley, PhD, is the congregation’s Senior Minister.  If you would like more information, please contact Nicholas Schmelter, Director of Music Ministries, at the church office center, (989) 754-6565.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Midland's Men of Music Will Perform at First Congregational Church – December 11

The Men of Music will present their annual Christmas concert “Christmas Time Is Here!” at First Congregational Church on December 11, at 3:00 p.m. 

There is no admission charge, but a free will offering will be collected at intermission to help a charitable organization in Saginaw.  Proceeds totaling $92,000 have supported local groups over the years.  Last year, for example, the East Side Soup Kitchen received a donation from concert proceeds.

Grace Marra, director of the chorus, has developed a family friendly concert with a diversity of selections including White Christmas, Silent Night, and Christmas Time is Here.  She has arranged five of the seventeen songs.  Arrangements of familiar melodies by Tchaikovsky, Pachelbel, and others, are also included on the program.

In addition, the program will include selections by the ever-popular Dirty Dozen ensemble, a small group of singers from within The Men of Music.  Jantz Black, organist of Midland’s First United Methodist Church, will accompany the program.

The Men of Music will perform in the Midland Center for the Arts “Christmas Extravaganza” along with other MCFTA choruses on December 17th at 8:00 PM.  Tickets are available for this concert at the MCFTA and cost $15.  Tickets may be obtained directly from the MCFTA box office and http://www.mcfta.org/  The MOM site is www.menofmusic.org.

Beginning String Instrument Music Program - November 12

The Beginning String Instrument Music Program will host its fifth concert this year at 12:00 p.m. (noon), Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, at historic First Congregational Church in Saginaw. The 100-piece beginner’s ensemble will perform in concert with guest artists Dr. Jamie Fiste, professor of Cello at CMU, and accompanied by Dr. Adrienne Wiley, professor of piano at CMU, both from the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The goal of the String Instrumental Music program is to develop a new generation of String players, ages 7-16, in the Region. Students are taught string instrument skills and encouraged to give back to their communities by performing a concert every eight weeks. The community supports the students with donations, attendance at concerts, and extending invitations for the students to perform.

“Less than a year ago, most of these students had never held a string instrument before,” says Lois Bright Wilkins, local cellist and program coordinator.

The program experienced a 40% growth in September 2011 from January 2011. The program recently expanded with a community outreach effort by bringing stringed instruments to Houghton Elementary School 21st century after school program. The enrollment in that string introductory program is 90. Although the program teaches string instruments to students inside the City of Saginaw, volunteers from the SBYO and neighboring High Schools in the region come to Saginaw to help students learn.

“The excitement that these students have shown us with this opportunity is amazing,” says Ruth Ann Robinson, music instructor at Bridgeport Baptist Academy and assistant Saginaw Bay Youth Orchestra (SBYO) director.

The Pulling Strings concert is open to the public. All donations will help support student need-based scholarships. Contributions designated for “A String Instrumental Program” can be made in care of Saginaw Community Foundation.

For more information about the program, its impact in our community, or registration please visit www.bwiainvestments.com or contact Deb Fields at (989)488-3425.