Flemington Presbyterian Church is blessed to have five wonderful choirs. Each Sunday, these dedicated individuals provide beautiful music to fill our hearts and enhance our worship experience. Jay Smith, Director of Music/Organist, plans the weekly worship music program and leads our Chancel Choir and Melody Singers. Margaret Sheneman, Director of Handbells, leads our three handbell/handchime choirs: the Memorial Ringers (adults), Joyful Ringers (grades 5-12), and Melody Chimes (grades 2-4).
The music program is always looking for new singers and ringers. If you have a musical talent you would like to share with God's people, please consider joining one of these choirs. Do you play an instrument? We welcome you to share your talent with us. Speak to Jay Smith about your involvement in the music ministry.
Feed the Music!
If you shop at ShopRite, you can support the handbell choirs just by feeding your family using prepaid ShopRite cards, which never expire and may be replaced if lost. Cards may be purchased during fellowship time or may be ordered from Susan Miller. Download the order form.
The Chancel Choir performs one or two anthems each week and at special worship services. During the year, they also perform a major work. Several times throughout the year, guest soloists appear with the Chancel Choir for a truly moving musical experience.
In May of each year, Sunday School children in grades 1 through 6 present a musical for a fun and uplifting experience.
The Memorial Ringers perform once a month, play at various community venues, and occasionally participate in a handbell workshop or festival.
The Joyful Ringers (grades 5-12) perform once a month.
The Melody Chimes (grades 2-4) learn the fundamentals of music while ringing handchimes (a simpler version of a handbell). They perform twice a year.
Rehearsal and Performance Schedules
Information about the rehearsal and performance schedule of each choir for the 2019-2020 program year.
The church's fine pipe organ was built in 1913 by the Austin Organ Company of Hartford, CT as Opus 463. The organ was designed by Norman Landis, who was our organist/choirmaster for sixty years (1896-1956). During the 1960s, a new console was installed. In 1970, the organ was renovated under the guidance of George See (son-in-law to Norman Landis) and the church organist John VanSant. The organ consultant was Charles Dodsley Walker, noted New York City organist and past president of the American Guild of Organists. This renovation removed most of the original pipework and resulted in a new organ with 36 ranks (sets of pipes). In 1996, a doppelflöte was added, and in 2002 a tuba was installed. In 2016, a new organ façade on the front wall of the sanctuary was erected that consists of 49 gold speaking pipes ranging from 10-16 feet. It is surrounded by new woodwork made of quarter sawn oak. The centerpiece is the 10 foot Celtic cross that was retained from the former façade. The new pipes are a speaking stop consisting of the pedal violone 16'. Now totaling 39 ranks, the organ has three manuals with a little over 2,000 pipes ranging in size from 16 feet to the size of a pencil. Organ specifications can be found here.
History of FPC Handbell Groups
The handbell program at the church began in 1976, when elder Janet Yocum gave monies in memory of her father, Ivor Jones, for the purpose of purchasing handbells. Soon after a tragic plane crash killed both Ms. Yocum and her husband Charles, many friends donated funds for the same project and thus established the bell choir named in their memory, the Memorial Ringers. Later, the program grew to include high school students and then elementary school age children. The church owns 5 octaves of Malmark handbells. Most recently, the church purchased 3 octaves of Malmark handchimes, which are similar to handbells but produce a more mellow sound.