Music Ministries

Our Music Ministries are welcome to all!


Solo and Ensemble Musical Presentation

Members and friends are encouraged to contact Samuel Kwok, the Director of Worship and Music Ministries to schedule a musical offering in our worship services.


Instruments at FUMC

The rich tradition of instrumental music has been lovingly supported by gifts, memorials, bequests, and budget line items with the church. The instruments in the church serve as an essential resource for services and celebrations and as such receive regular professional maintenance and tuning.

  • THE ORGAN – Part of the church’s 150th year renovation project, it is a three-manual tracker Holtkamp with 43 ranks, 33 stops, and 2,296 pipes.
  • PIANOS – A 1987 Baldwin grand “L” for the Sanctuary; a 1972 Yamaha upright “U1” for the Fellowship Hall, and a 1968 Yamaha studio “P2” for the choir room.
  • HANDBELL & HANDCHIME SETS – A five-octave 1982 Schulmerich, a three-octave 1973 Malmark, and a five-octave 2003 Malmark handchime set along with assorted mallets and percussion instruments. Recently, we received a three-octave set of Schulmerich from the former members of Hope UMC. Thanks to the great support of FUMC Foundation for spending $7,000 to do a complete refurbishment of our five-octave 1982 Schulmerich Handbell set.


Those interested in sharing their musical gifts are invited to contact Koi Hin Samuel Kwok, our Director of Worship & Music Ministries at 338-7653 or at samuel-kwok@icfirstchurch.org.

Children's Choir

When: Sundays, at 2-3PM

Where: Choir Room

For many children, singing in choir is the beginning of a life filled with service to God through the use of their gifts and talents. The commitment to attending rehearsals, the chance to learn and improve music skills, to worship God, and the friendships that come as the children sing, play, and have fun together are an important foundation for a lifetime of involvement in the church. The Children's Choir will meet each Sunday - from 2-3PM to learn the faith through hymns, songs, anthems, and liturgy in this choir. They will also learn music history, aural and singing skills, music reading, solfege system, and general musicianship. They will present songs with uplifting and inspirational themes in Sunday worship services once per month from September through May and take part in some of the combined choral ensembles during special Sundays. They also share their lovely voices in the wider community a few times a year.

Chancel Choir

When: Wed, at 7-8:30PM

Where: Choir Room

Intended for adult and college-age singers, the Chancel Choir roster includes members with nearly a half-century of involvement singing side by side with talented students from the University of Iowa and many other dedicated members.

The Chancel Choir traces its roots to the founding of FUMC and still maintains a program of exceptional music. The choir’s repertoire encompasses a wide variety of musical styles ranging from traditional anthems by great composers to fine selections by leading contemporary Christian composers.

From time to time, extended choral works are presented, often accompanied by an instrumental ensemble. The choir also offers special music services during the seasons of Advent and Lent, including G. F. Handel’s Oratorio Messiah, Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, John Rutter’s Magnificat, Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, John Rutter’s Gloria, J.S. Bach’s 3 Pentecost Cantatas and Trinity Cantata.

The Chancel Choir participates weekly in Sunday morning services, except during the months of July and August. The Choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings from mid August to May and on Sunday mornings in June.  They also share their music in retirement centers during the Christmas season. Special activities with members, families and friends are planned through the year.

Grace Notes

When: Wed, at 6:20-6:55PM

Where: Choir Room

Grace Notes is a women’s choir open to all women no matter age, experience, or ability to read music.   This choir sings at 3 to 4 worship services throughout the year led by Melanie Von Spreecken.

Sanctuary Band

When: Thursdays, at 7- 8:30PM

Where: Sanctuary

The Sanctuary Band provides vocal and instrumental music leadership for our Sanctuary Service and also performs at retirement residences throughout the year. Members of the Sanctuary Band also spend time in devotion, prayer, and care for one another each week. Each week includes about four hours of personal practice, band rehearsal, and worship time.  The Sanctuary Band does not follow written music scores: both vocalists and instrumentalists are expected to utilize lead-sheets for each song. Instrumentalists will need their own instruments, but the most important requirement is to have a “Love for God, neighbor and self.”

Noon Bells

When: Tuesdays, at 12-1PM

Where: Bell Room

The Noon Bells - our hand bell and hand chime ensemble - is open to all adults. Prior hand bell experience and ability to read music is helpful, but not necessary. Noon Bells presents music a few times a year at the 8:00 and 10:30 AM worship services and also gives recitals in the wider community.

Youth Bells

When: Sundays, at 1- 1:50PM

Where: Bell Room

Youth Bells is open to junior and senior high school students. Members will learn hand bell and hand chime techniques, music reading, and musicianship by playing contemporary arrangements of Christian hymns and songs in this ensemble. Youth Bells presents music a few times a year: during Sunday worship service.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to praise and worship God!

Joyful Chimers

When: Mondays, at 2- 3:00PM

Where: in the Sanctuary

Joyful Chimers was established in 2004 and is open to adults who enjoy playing traditional hymn arrangements. Musical knowledge is helpful but not required. Joyful Chimers plays a few times a year - during the 10:30 a.m. worship service - from October to June. Joyful Chimers also plays in special Christmas and Lenten worship services.

Joyful Chimers rehearses from September to June. We pray and share our joys together every week and also have breakfast outings several times a year. This is a very joyful group!

Wesley Chimes

When: Sundays, at 8:45-9:15AM

Where: Bell Room

Wesley Chimes is open to children and youth and is a great opportunity for them to serve our Lord: in our church. Members will learn proper hand chimes techniques. They rehearse on Sunday mornings from September to May, led by four dedicated teachers. They present music in a variety of musical styles, including accompanying congregational hymns and our other church music ensembles. They usually share their music with the congregation at six worship services each year but also perform in Retirement Homes during the Christmas Season.

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Jubilation Ringers

When: Mondays, at 5:30-7PM

Where: Bell Room

Made up of adult members from the congregation and the community. A variety of musical styles are played, including the use of solo instruments. The ringers play monthly at Sunday morning worship services and rehearse on Monday afternoons from late August to mid May. They also offer special music services such as “Advent/Christmas Musical Offering” in December, “Bell-e-bration” in May and take part in some of the combined choral ensembles during the year.