Music Programs


"Sing to our God, all the earth; proclaim the good news of God's salvation from day to day."

 (1st Chronicles 16:23) 


The Mission of Music

Through these many pursuits, we maintain continuity by striving to realize and honor the glory of God in our music. As our ensembles sonify the sacred breath of the Spirit, we mean to instill in worshippers that same notion of the immanence of God. Caught up in the embodied joy of music-making, we sing to our fullest.Programs 2017-2018

The Choirs of First Church



The choirs are prominent during our yearly special services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Palm Sunday, Christmas Eve, and Blue Christmas. The Choir also sings concerts throughout the year and is available for hire. The choir draws from adult volunteers, four choral scholars and the children (ages 6+) of our Pilgrim Choir.

First Church’s Chancel Choir sings anthems, psalm-chants, spirituals, gospel music, new works, choruses and many other forms from the sacred music canon. Beginning each year on Recovenanting Sunday in September and continuing until Celebration Sunday in early June, the choir sings sacred anthems and supports hymn-singing for each worship service, excepting the final Sunday of each month which features the young voices of our Pilgrim Choir. The choir is accompanied weekly by the Gress-Miles pipe organ; handbells and instrumental ensembles also lend support throughout the year. 

 Our Pilgrim Choir is a dynamic group which fills the space of the sanctuary with angelic voices several Sundays monthly. Pilgrim Choir rehearsals are loaded with activities that assist in the aquisition of a good singing voice, fluidity in reading of music, and the companionship of friends in the pursuit of a common goal. All are welcome in our rehearsals, held weekly on Wednesday evenings, and a reflection for weary parents is offered by the Rev. Diann Bailey concurrent to Pilgrim Choir rehearsal.

The choirs love new faces and rehearsals are a welcoming and affirming environment.

For more information please contact our music director Noah Smith at


        The Handbell Choirs of First Church

The Sonotori Ringers are one of the flagship ensembles of First Church; indeed, this group is known throughout New England as one of the finest of its kind. Under the direction of Janet Banks, the Sonotori Ringers play handbell music during worship services once or more times monthly, multiple selections on Festival days, and for biannual concerts and other special events. This elite group plays the most challenging repertoire from the most talented arrangers from the past half-century. Newcomers are always welcome to attend rehearsals to observe and give the bells a ring on Monday evenings at 7 pm, in the Janet McKee Banks Handbell Loft, just off the upstairs choral room (and overlooking the sanctuary).

The Campanelli Ringers are a group of ten young musicians ages 12-18. Active for over thirty years as a place for teenagers to learn the craft of handbell ringing, the Campanelli ensemble has enjoyed the talents of over 100 participants. Now under the direction of Minister of Music Noah Smith, the ensemble continues to thrive, presenting arrangements of sacred music in services and rings proudly on Festival days. The group also participates in concerts and accompanies the choirs of First Church during anthems. 


        Music on High

This community ministry provides the Greater Suffield community opportunities to hear world-renown artists perform concerts of the highest caliber in the marvelous acoustic of First Church’s sanctuary. In the past two years alone, our concerts have spanned nine centuries of music and featured artists hailing from the American South and South Asia as well as the finest choruses and ensembles of New England.  Please see our website or pick up a brochure at church to see this year’s offerings. Music on High is self-supported, relying entirely on donations rather than the church's budgetary aegis.