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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Saginaw Brass Quintet Will Premiere Composition by Bernard Sanders

The Saginaw Brass Quintet will collaborate with organist Nicholas Schmelter in the October 19 premiere performance of  “Invocation” by internationally celebrated composer Bernard Wayne Sanders.  The performance will take place at 10:30 a.m. at First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Avenue. 

Scored for brass quintet, tympani, and organ, “Invocation” is penned in celebration of the congregation’s recently renovated 1928 organ built by Ernest M. Skinner.  The composition is 8’30” in duration. 


Bernard Wayne Sanders (b. 1957) is a native of De Pere, Wisconsin, where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree at St. Norbert College in 1979.  Graduate study in composition and organ at Wichita State University led to the MA degree in 1983.  Postgraduate study in Germany culminated in a further degree in organ performance form the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg in 1989.  He has also completed examinations for church music in Hamburg and Cologne.  Sanders’ activities as a composer have been recognized in competitions and through representation in American and German publishing houses.  Since 1974, he has been active as a church musician in Tuttlingen, Germany and as a diocesan liaison and official organ consultant (Baden-Wurttemberg).


Chu and Yang Perform Collaborative Piano Recital at First Congregational Church


The second event of the 2014-2015 Friends of Music series of recitals takes place on October 11 at Saginaw’s historic First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Avenue.

Solo and collaborative pianists Wendy Chu and Yu-Hsuan Yang perform selections by Barber, Bizet, Brahms, and Gershwin beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Observe the sights and sounds of two hands and four hands on the sanctuary’s Steinway piano. 

Wendy Wan-Hsing Chu has performed both as a soloist and collaborative artist in Taiwan, Canada, and the U.S.A. She has also taught at Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, and Stella Royce Music Camp. An active member of the Music Teachers National Association, Dr. Chu serves as the Semi-Finals Chair for Central Division of Michigan Music Teachers Association. She has also adjudicated for MMTA. Dr. Chu earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and Master of Music degree in piano performance and music education from Central Michigan University in 2002. In 2006, she received the Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from Michigan State University. Her principal teachers were Ralph Votapek and Panayis Lyras.  Residing in Saginaw, Dr. Chu teaches privately and at Saginaw Valley State University. 

A native of Taiwan, Yu-Hsuan received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from National Taiwan Normal University. She completed her Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded by the Patricia Joy Arden Scholarship Fund and studied with Dr. Louis Nagel. Yu-Hsuan received the Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Alexander Braginsky and was awarded the Mann Fellowship and Graduate Teaching Assistantship. Yu-Hsuan was a prize winner in the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition and Changhua County Piano Competition and finalist in the University of Michigan’s Concerto Competition. She was also awarded an Honorable Mention in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. Yu-Hsuan has been invited to perform in the Steinway Peace Piano Concert, the Schubert Club Concert Series, the Grace Academy Faculty Recital, and master classes given by famous pianists including Ieva Jokubaviciute, Read Gainsford, Rebecca Penneys, Hie-Yon Choi, and Arthur Greene. Ms. Yang currently resides in Midland with her husband.







Saturday, September 27, 2014

Recital Draws Large Crowd

More than 125 people attended the 9/26 opening recital of the Friends of Music Series.  The photo below of Schmelter is courtesy of Thor Rasmussen.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Chu and Yang Perform Collaborative Piano Recital at First Congregational Church

The second event of the 2014-2015 Friends of Music series of recitals takes place on October 11 at Saginaw’s historic First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Avenue.

Solo and collaborative pianists Wendy Chu and Yu-Hsuan Yang perform selections by Barber, Bizet, Brahms, and Gershwin beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Observe the sights and sounds of two hands and four hands on the sanctuary’s Steinway piano. 

Wendy Wan-Hsing Chu has performed both as a soloist and collaborative artist in Taiwan, Canada, and the U.S.A. She has also taught at Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, and Stella Royce Music Camp. An active member of the Music Teachers National Association, Dr. Chu serves as the Semi-Finals Chair for Central Division of Michigan Music Teachers Association. She has also adjudicated for MMTA. Dr. Chu earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and Master of Music degree in piano performance and music education from Central Michigan University in 2002. In 2006, she received the Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from Michigan State University. Her principal teachers were Ralph Votapek and Panayis Lyras.  Residing in Saginaw, Dr. Chu teaches privately and at Saginaw Valley State University. 

A native of Taiwan, Yu-Hsuan received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from National Taiwan Normal University. She completed her Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded by the Patricia Joy Arden Scholarship Fund and studied with Dr. Louis Nagel. Yu-Hsuan received the Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Alexander Braginsky and was awarded the Mann Fellowship and Graduate Teaching Assistantship. Yu-Hsuan was a prize winner in the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition and Changhua County Piano Competition and finalist in the University of Michigan’s Concerto Competition. She was also awarded an Honorable Mention in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. Yu-Hsuan has been invited to perform in the Steinway Peace Piano Concert, the Schubert Club Concert Series, the Grace Academy Faculty Recital, and master classes given by famous pianists including Ieva Jokubaviciute, Read Gainsford, Rebecca Penneys, Hie-Yon Choi, and Arthur Greene. Ms. Yang currently resides in Midland with her husband. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Anthems of Praise

This autumn the Chancel Choir presents several anthems of praise by composers including Beethoven, Hampton, Thiman, Wood, and others.  Note the classical, gospel, and contemporary styles.  Musicians collaborate on October 5 for a special World Communion Sunday French symphonic offering, Gabriel Fauré’s Messe Basse.

New Ensemble Members Welcomed

The Chancel Choir welcomes new singers Annie Boensch and Alyssa Thies.  Emily Harwell and Janice Thomas are new ringers in the Chancel Bells.

Frances Goll Mills Memorial Pipe Organ Included Among OHS Database

The Frances Goll Mills Memorial Pipe Organ is included among the instruments of the Organ Historical Society's Pipe Organ Database.  Click here to go to the database.

What is Happening in Saginaw

Note the post and photography spread on the September 26 organ recital in Rasmussen's Saginaw Happening.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Schmelter Performs Recital on the Mills Memorial Pipe Organ


Saginaw’s historic First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Avenue, announces the first event of the 2014-2015 series of Friends of Music recitals.

Nicholas Schmelter, the congregation’s Director of Music Ministries since 2011, will perform an organ recital that is free and open to the public on Friday, September 26, at 7:30 p.m. A varied program of repertoire will highlight the tonal colors of the four-manual, forty-eight-rank Frances Goll Mills Memorial Pipe Organ, which was overhauled in a $500,000 multiple-year campaign by Scott Smith Pipe Organs of Lansing, Michigan, and  artisans, craftsmen, and subcontractors from throughout the country

The recital includes selections by Bach, Beethoven, Buck, Dupré, Grainger, Sowerby, and Wyton. Audience members of all ages and levels of musical appreciation are welcome.

Schmelter graduated in 2006 with a Master of Music degree in organ performance from Central Michigan University, where he studied with Dr. Steven Egler. He has undertaken research in pipe organ design and installation, and has surveyed trends in Roman Catholic organ installations in the United States. In addition, he has researched and performed the music of Marcel Dupré, antiquarian organ music from Great Britain and the United States, and the accompaniments of Victorian choral works. Schmelter was awarded honors at Central Michigan University including a Graduate Fellowship, the Centralis Scholar Scholarship Award, the School of Music Performance Scholarship, and the Presser Foundation Award. He has performed recitals and other tours throughout Michigan as well as in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Milwaukee, and Toronto, Canada. Schmelter has served in many capacities in the American Guild of Organists. He presently serves the Saginaw Valley Chapter as Dean. A church musician since the age of sixteen, he is an adjunct faculty member at Saginaw Valley State University.

The second recital in the Friends of Music series is on October 11, at 7:30 p.m., a concert of piano music by Wendy Chu and Yu-Hsuan Yang.