Music at First
First Baptist Moncton recognizes the importance of music in worship, and with both a contemporary and tradition worship service, is able to offer a wide variety of music within its worship services. Whether attending a service or participating in a musical group, First Baptist's rich tradition of music excellence offer meaning to worship through the Casavant organ, Yamaha Baby Grand piano, Worship Band, handbell and handchime choirs, Sanctuary and Young Musicians Choirs, soloists, instrumentalists and congregational hymns and worship songs. There is truly someone for everyone at First.
The Sanctuary Choir provides musical leadership in the 11 am Traditional Worship Service each Sunday in leading congregational hymns and with selections of gospel, classical, classical contemporary choral jazz, spirituals or home-coming anthems. The choir includes adults and young adults of all ages with weekly choir rehearsals Thursday evenings. New members are always welcome!
Young Musicians Choir
Meeting on Sunday mornings at 10 am, this group has lots of fun learning selections and periodically contribute to the worship at services.
JuBELLation Handbell Choir
Ringing Schulmerich handbells and Suzuki hand chimes, the choir learns various techniques and skills to play beautiful music. This inter-generational group meets Wednesday at 4 pm. No previous musical training is required!
Adult Handbell Choir
History of the Church Organ
The magnificent pipe organ, which is the centerpiece of the church
sanctuary, was installed in 1915. It replaces the original organ that was
destroyed when First Moncton United Baptist Church burned in 1914. It was
the 607th organ made by Casavant and is therefore called Casavant Opus
607. It has three manual keyboards, one pedal board, 36 stops and 2,214
pipes. In 1915, it cost $7,000. Today, its replacement value is approximately
Some major renovations were done to the organ in 1967, but by 2004, it
was showing its age. A number of problems had been reported in recent
years. Some stops were not playing, while other stops were not stopping.
There were air leaks, tuning difficulties and problems with tone and timbre.
The Board of Trustees was committed to seeing the organ continue to play
an important role in the worship life of First Baptist Church for many years to
come. Therefore, a proposal by Orgues Letourneau Ltd. to completely
restore the organ for approximately $123,000 was approved and the work
began in the summer of 2004. Because extensive work was needed, the
organ was out of commission for several months. It was not until November
21, 2004 that the organ was again in use in the church sanctuary.
This evening's musical celebration and memorial hymn sing provide us with
another opportunity to glorify God through the gift ~ music. We are grateful
to all those who have assisted in this major project and thank God for the
dedicated organists, choir directors and choir members who, over the years,
have given so freely of their time and abilities.
Handbells at First
Bells have become an integral part of the music ministry at First Baptist. The Adult Bell Choir presently has twelve ringers under the direction of Mrs. Peggy Mullin. Their repertoire is varied in musical style as well as in level of difficulty but never ceases to add to the worship experience of the listener.
According to E. Carroll and J. Tingley in their book, "Years of Pilgrimage", bells arrived at First during the 1960's under the leadership of Dr. T. Elgar Roberts with their first rendition being "Holy, Holy, Holy ". The choir was the first in Atlantic Canada and one of the first nationally. The leadership soon fell to Dr. Ralph Fitch, who led a choir of youth ringers. He developed his own notation system and instilled in each member a sense of responsibility and mission. We have been blessed to have musicians who have been gifted in leadership and development of those willing to give in this ministry.
Building on the original set of 25 Schulmerick bells, we now have 4+ octaves (53 handbells) as well three octaves of handchimes. Over the years, there have been Senior Ringers, Adult Choirs, Youth Choirs and Children's Chime Choirs. There have been soloists and duet and ensembles. The Adult Handbell choir has attended workshops as far away as New Hampshire and has had the pleasure of hosting four Bellfests over the years. They have not only brought joy to our congregation but also have been enjoyed in hospitals and nursing homes; by street people and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; in Moncton and in Ottawa; by service clubs and wedding guests. They have received trophies and applause. In spite of all the acclaim, they have remained true to their mission: to ring to the best of their ability to bring honour and glory to God.