Choral

First Baptist Church, Pensacola, has used choirs in its worship of God since its inception, and today, music and worship continue to be inseparable.

1926 Choir

The choir in the black-and-white print to the right is the First Baptist Church Choir in 1926! Notice the organist’s “back” as she played the organ situated in the center of the choir loft. Above her head is a “rear view mirror” to facilitate her seeing the director. Even then the church had a pipe organ, as you can see from the array of pipes on the back wall of the sanctuary.

The backbone of today’s music ministry continues to be the choral program, involving literally hundreds of people. All in all, there are eight (8) choirs, providing praise and musical opportunities for all ages from four-year-olds to senior adults.

2005 Choir and Orchestra

Click below to find out more about the choir just for you . . .

Singing Seniors (Senior Adults)

Sanctuary Choir (Adults)

Chapel Choir (Sr. Hi/College)

Clarion Choir (Middle School)

Children’s Choirs (ages 4-grade 5)

Festival Chorus (Christmas)

 

Singing Seniors

Singing Seniors
Our Singing Seniors choir has been going strong since October of 1993, involving some 60-plus singers. Aside from regularly sharing at FBCP, they also have participated in the Senior Adult Week at Ridgecrest, N.C., where they served as the Conference Choir. Two years later they had the same opportunity at Glorieta Conference Center near Santa Fe, N.M., and yet again in 2005 in Lancaster, PA. Their most recent trip had them sharing concerts in churches in Little Rock, AR, as well as enjoying some free time in Branson, MI, in October of 2007.

Directed by minister of music Bob Morrison, and accompanied by Olivia Swaine, this group regularly rehearses each Tuesday at 9:00 AM in the choir room. They meet from September to May, typically closing their year by singing at the church’s annual Founders’ Day Service on the first Sunday in May..

In addition to sharing in worship at First Baptist and going on a tour every two or three years, they also share Christmas music each December in retirement facilities.

Adults age 60 and above are eligible to participate in the Singing Seniors.

 

Sanctuary Choir

This choir of adults, ages 18 & up, comprise the main service choir of First Baptist Church. With 130-plus active members, they serve faithfully each Sunday morning as worship leaders at our 10:30 Mid-Morning Service. They are directed by Bob Morrison, minister of music; serving as their accompanist is Dr. Lynne Lauderdale.

Sanctuary Choir

In addition to sharing each Sunday morning, this choir presents two major programs per year, typically one in the spring or summer, and then one in December.

Once every four years the choir, along with our orchestra, goes on an International Tour. Previous trips have taken them to Japan in the early 1980s, Latvia-Sweden-Russia in 1994, England-Scotland-Holland in 1998, England-France-Italy in 2002, and Czech Republic-Austria in 2006. Their next international tour is planned for July of 2010.

Musical styles shared by this choir run the gamut, with everything from contemporary to classical being performed. Regular rehearsal time for this group is on Wednesdays at 6:45 to 8:30 PM.

Choir membership is open to church members and non-church members alike, with the only requirements being the ability to carry a tune, to learn a part, to be committed in attendance, and to have a passion for sharing Christ through song. There are no auditions.

New members are highly encouraged, and anyone interested may call 850-433-5631, ext. 124, for more information.

 

Chapel Choir (Sr. Hi/College)

The Chapel Choir at First Baptist is a most active group. Involving youth in both Sr. High School and College, this choir tours more extensively than any other music group in our Music Ministry. The Chapel Choir is directed by Bob Morrison, and accompanied by Beverly Warren.

2004 Chapel Choir

Sunday afternoons at 4:00-6:00 serve as their weekly rehearsal time, with opportunity to lead in worship multiple times throughout the year. The choir year for these youth runs from September through choir tour in June. This annual tour almost always comes in June within a few days after school is out, and lasts anywhere from 12 – 21 days.

Their tours are on a four year cycle, always in the order below:

  • Northern U.S./Canada (Niagara Falls, New York City and D.C.)
  • Overseas (usually to Europe)
  • Mystery Tour (destination unknown to choir members)
  • Western U.S./Mexico (including California, Grand Canyon, etc.)

Commitment is at a premium with this group, as they strive to be their best both musically and spiritually, doing a challenging repertoire of music literature. Membership is open to church members and non-church members alike.

In addition to leading in worship during the year, and doing their summer tour, they also participate in the church’s main Christmas program, IN EXCELSIS DEO, done usually on the second Sunday in December. In this program they join forces with our Sanctuary Choir (adults) in forming the larger FESTIVAL CHORUS. Usually numbering between 160-185, this chorus, accompanied by our orchestra, thrills its audiences with seasonal music that celebrates the birth of Christ!

 

Clarion Choir (Middle School)

The youngest youth choir at First Baptist is our Clarion Choir; it involves middle schoolers (grades 6, 7 and 8), and has been in existence for literally decades. It is an ideal way to involve this group made up of children becoming young adults . For the most part, they sing two and three part music.

The choir year for these youth runs September through May. Their rehearsal is Wednesdays at 5:00-6:00 in the Clarion Choir Rehearsal Room in the Music Suite (Rm S-404, top floor).

Directing the Clarion Choir is our Music Associate, Casey Henry. He is ably assisted by Olivia Swaine, accompanist, and several adult sponsors.

Clarion Choir

The Clarion Choir Connection is the biggest project for this group each year. It typically happens in April or May, and involves going on a trip within a 500 mile distance. Destinations in recent years have been Atlanta, Huntsville, and Orlando. Singing in another church is always an important part of this trip, as is spending a free day at some amusement park like Six Flags or Disney World, or White Water Rafting.

There are two smaller groups which come from this choir:
1)    Promise (an auditioned mixed vocal ensemble)
2)    Clarion Chimes (a four-octave ChoirChime choir

 

Children’s Choirs – “ChoirKID”

Without good Children’s Choirs, there could never be good youth and adult choirs! For this reason, much effort is expended at First Baptist to assure good musical training for these younger ages.

Choirs are provided for children who are age 4 through grade 5:

WeePRAISE             4 & 5 year olds
KidPRAISE               1st & 2nd Grade
KidSONG                  3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade

Each choir meets on Wednesday afternoons at 5:15, with the Children’s Choir year corresponding with the school year (middle of August to middle of May). A slate of approximately 25 adults serve as the leadership team for these children’s choirs, with Disa Lee serving as the Children’s Choirs Coordinator.

The Children’s Choirs Ministry do two big programs per year:
1) Children, Rejoice! on the first Sunday in December, and 2) Spring Concert the middle of May. In addition, each choir will share one or two times on Sundays or Wednesdays during the course of the choir year.

The children enroll during August each year – usually at a big enrollment event – and membership is open to any child; church membership by the children or their parents is not a requirement.

 

Festival Chorus
Christmas time at First Baptist Church is obviously a special time because it celebrates the birth of the Christ-Child . . . Jesus, God made man. The Advent season, involving the four Sundays prior to Christmas, brings emphasis throughout concerning the events surrounding this historic and life-changing event.

Our major Christmas music production, typically done on the second Sunday evening in December, is a program we call IN EXCELSIS DEO. It is presented by our mass choir, the Festival Chorus.

This large group, numbering between 160-190, consists of members from our Chapel Choir (Sr. High/college) and our Sanctuary Choir (adults). They begin rehearsing for DEO in their individual rehearsals in September, then go to combined rehearsals as the Festival Chorus in November.

It is electrifying to hear this group, and certainly one of the great dynamics is the diversity of the ages involved. Through the process, new names are learned and new friends are made across generational lines, and the result is a more powerful program as we proclaim the Good News of Christ!