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

403 South Jefferson Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48607



Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Getting Near" Features Egler

Dr. Steven Egler, Artist in Residence, performs several "Getting Near" selections in Pipedreams broadcast 1505.  Listen online at the American Public Media website.

Program Announced

The listing of music for the February 6 collaboration of Mike Brush and Julie Mulady is announced.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Brush and Mulady Perform “The American Songbook” Benefit Concert

The Friends of Music of Saginaw’s historic First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Avenue, announce the first event of the winter/spring 2015 series: a concert that will benefit the CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region and the congregation’s musical outreach series.  Musicians Mike Brush and Julie Mulady will collaborate in a performance of “The American Songbook” highlighting treasures of the modern repertoire on Friday, February 6, at 7:00 p.m. 

According to Brush, “the lyrics and melodies [will] drive the unusual and personal song selection.”  In Mulady’s intimate or sonorous song renderings along with Brush’s expressive and supportive accompaniment, the program will offer an ideal collaboration.

The suggested entrance donation is $20; however, $25 tickets will guarantee seating and access to a “meet the musicians” reception in the church’s Bradley House Theatre.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at the church office during normal business hours.  All proceeds from the event will be split between the CAN Council and First Congregational Church’s Friends of Music.

Mike Brush is well known throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.  A keyboardist and vocalist, Brush has earned a solid reputation as a jazz and blues performer, composer, and educator. He has devoted his songwriting and arranging talents to personal, educational, collaborative, and community-centered creative projects. For the past thirty years he has balanced the demands of teaching music in the Saginaw Public Schools and performance. Mike was the director of the Voice/Keyboard Department at the Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy from 1999-2010. In 1985, Mike released Exposed, his first album of original jazz-influenced songs. The album received positive critical response and local airplay. His songs and ensembles have represented Saginaw’s diversity, and in recognition of his work with young people, Mike received the Herman W. Coleman Human Relations Award from the Michigan Education Association, the All Area Arts Award from Saginaw’s enrichment commission, and the Unity Award from the Los Angeles Unified School District. These awards were received in 1997. Brush served as the Grand Marshall of the 1996 Saginaw Pride Parade and received The Saginaw News' Crystal Apple Award in 2006.

For the past ten years, Julie Mulady has gained a reputation as a popular singer and actress in the Saginaw area. Credits include performances with the Saginaw Choral Society, Saginaw Symphony Orchestra, Saginaw Eddy Band, and pianist Ralph Furlo. Julie was featured in a January 2004 concert "Julie Mulady – Broadway and More" at First Presbyterian Church in Saginaw.  Julie has delighted audiences in productions at the Theater Guild of Midland and Pit and Balcony Theatre. Julie is an elementary school teacher for the Saginaw Public Schools.

First Congregational Church is an acoustically-superb building, which dates to 1868, and is located on the corner of South Jefferson Avenue and Hayden Street in downtown Saginaw. The congregation, gathered in the 1850s, is now affiliated with the United Church of Christ, and it has recognized excellence and eclecticism in its musical offerings since the 1800’s. The church’s first quartet, formed in 1882, effectively improved the quality of singing in the church. Over the years, musicians including Duke Ellington and Virgil Fox have performed in the sacred space.  The church is one of the finest facilities for music and musical outreach in the region. Music programs for diverse ages and skills are a key congregational ministry and take place during the normal academic term. 

All outreach and events of the Friends of Music take place due to the financial support of patrons.  These events are not funded by church operating funds.  If you would like more information about the Friends of Music series or if you would like to financially support the series of events, contact Nicholas Schmelter, Director of Music Ministries, at the church office center, (989) 754-6565, or visit the blog, http://fcc-musicfriends.blogspot.com/.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Pipe Organ and Its Music

Are you interested in learning more about the pipe organ and its music?  Nicholas Schmelter will host a three-part Saginaw Valley State University OLLI course introducing the topic on March 3, 10, and 17. 
Text below is also published at the OLLI website, at which participants must register for the class.
The pipe organ is one of the world’s oldest and most diverse instruments.  Its tonal colors cover a large dynamic range and are utilized in sacred and secular contexts.  This three-part class is an introductory survey of the organ’s repertoire highlighting the stylistic periods of Baroque, Romantic, and the 20th century.  Musical examples will be performed on the Frances Goll Mills Memorial Pipe Organ, First Congregational Church’s recently restored four-manual pipe organ.  The class will be led by Nicholas Schmelter, who has served as the Minister of Music at the historic church since 2011.  Please note that this class will be held at the church, 
403 South Jefferson, in Saginaw. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Brass Quintets Collaborate at Special Worship Event

Two regional brass quintets will collaborate at First Congregational Church of Saginaw, 403 S. Jefferson Avenue, at morning worship, Sunday, January 18, 2015, at 10:30 a.m.  This is open to the public.
The Touch of Brass Quintet and Saginaw Brass Quintet will accompany the congregation’s morning hymns scored by Vaclav Nalhybel and perform three voluntaries for double quintet: “Nimrod” from Enigma Variations (Edward Elgar), Canzon noni toni (Giovanni Gabrieli), and Fanfare pour précéder La péri (Paul Dukas).  The groups’ most recent public pairing was on Sunday, November 2, at Zion Lutheran Church.
The Touch of Brass Quintet was formed in 1980 by five members of the Midland Concert Band.  The ensemble has played of worship services, weddings, funerals, graduation ceremonies, outdoor and indoor concerts, and private parties.  It has been a part of the Boar’s Head Festival at Bethlehem Lutheran Church for over twenty-five years.  Members Rick Enszer, Stan Rowe, Dave Selley, Hal Smith, and Gaye Terwillegar represent the Tri-Cities.  They are active in regional concert bands, orchestras, brass groups, big bands, and jazz combos.  Three members offer private instrumental instruction.
The Saginaw Brass Quintet was formed in 2006 as the FCC Brass due to its beginnings at First Congregational Church in Saginaw.  The quintet later changed its name to reflect a growing outreach to the Great Lakes Bay Region.  Members Chris Harris, Keith Kidder, Brandon Jerashen, Bill Ostler, and Doug Schuller perform in regional ensembles.  Both quintets perform a varied repertoire including classical, liturgical, jazz, standard marches, and polka.