First Parish Church is very blessed with a thriving music ministry. From our Sanctuary Choir, Children's and Youth Choirs, High School Vocal Ensemble, and Men's Ensemble ("The Bow Tie Guys"), to the Sunshine Band and Bell Choir, First Parish praises God with several vocal soloists, quartets, and instrumentalists. We have a host of people who love to "Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord". Making it all happen is our Director of Music Ministries, Wendell Scott Purrington.
Wendell Scott Purrington
The Sanctuary Choir
Our Sanctuary Choir provides music leadership and inspiration that is vital to our worship services. Choral music selections vary from the classics to gospel and contemporary pieces. There are two rehearsal times available to choir members: Thursdays at 7:00 pm or Sundays at 5:00 pm. There are no auditions for the Sanctuary Choir, an ensemble of choral artists who love to learn, sing, and praise God. Just come to a rehearsal! It's an exciting ministry that you're welcome to join!
The Children's and Youth Choirs
Our Children's and Youth Choirs rehearse on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 - 4:30. Under the careful direction of Gina Connolly, the choirs sing regularly throughout the year, especially at holidays. They add great joy to our worship and remind us what it means to be a Child of God!
First Parish Church Men’s Ensemble
The First Parish Church Men’s Ensemble began life over 12 years ago as a quartet, and gradually more voices were added, bringing the total to ten talented singers today. Each is a member of the First Parish Sanctuary Choir, and many of the gentlemen perform with other choral ensembles, e.g., Seacoast Community Chorus (Wendell Purrington, conductor) and the Community Chorus of South Berwick. The group, affectionately known as The Bow Tie Guys, performs regularly during worship, and has appeared at several events in the Seacoast area including concerts at Trinity Church, Exeter Christ Church, Dover First Parish Church, the Portsmouth Music Hall, the ceremony on York Beach in honor of the volunteers and victims of September 11, 2001, and at the annual ARS Candlelight Service in Portsmouth.
The Bow Tie Guys wish to thank the countless number of people who have supported the ensemble from its inception: the members and friends of First Parish Church, the spouses of the gentlemen (who allow them to do what they love doing!), Tom Hoatson, Riversong Studios and Blind Dog Records, and Dr. Stewart Turner. Thanks be to God who gives us the hearts with which to love, the voices with which to sing, and the songs with which to glorify His name.
First Parish Ringers
The First Parish Ringers is an adult ensemble of eager musicians which plays regularly for worship and concerts. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings 6:00 - 7:00 pm in the Parish House. Learning new skills and performing glorious music make being a member of First Parish Ringers a fun and meaningful way to praise God.