First Pres



Audio File Links on this page:

Clare Criscione (violin)
Ransom of the Soul


Susan Gierthy (oboe)
Gabriel's Oboe

Ben April (piano)
Khatchaturian Tocatta

Chris Trombley (baritone) Taizé Service
Watch and Pray


The Sounds of Love and Joy

Music is a bountiful and varied component of the worship experience at First Presbyterian. The renowned choir, now under the direction of Dr. Michael Lister has mastered a repertoire of ancient and modern pieces that enrich the worship experience.

.The FPC Choir

Gifted soloists and instrumentalists provide ample affirmation to their divinely inspired talents.

Nancy Frank, our organist and pianist, is acknowledged as among the most accomplished of the Capital District. Nancy celebrates her 40th year with FPC in 2013!

Gordon Hibberd provides piano and organ accompaniment to summer services and our early Sunday services at 8:30 am.

FPC's Bell Choir is back in action, under the creative and energetic direction of Jack Holmes. Check out their 2014 rendition of Sussex Carol!

For more information about FPC's Casavant Frères organ read
About The Organ
by Nancy Frank.

And no, that is not her usual console.  Photo was taken at our annual Homecoming Sunday in Washington Park.  We wonder if she also makes house calls?


Throughout the year, FPC's Choir and organ are augmented by instrumental accompanists, including area professionals and FPC's own, home-grown musicians (amateur and professional).  Albert Wood's keyboard skills are one fine example. Susan Gierthy's oboe is equally inspiring. And did we mention Helen Lewis's cello?

Special music is a must around special times, like Advent, Lent, Christmas Eve, Good Friday and Easter Sunday - not to mention Pentecost. From classical to contemporary - harp, oboe, cello, guitar, and even banjo have a home at FPC.

Previous classical musical offerings have included Puccini's Magnificat, Britten's Ceremony of Carols and Mozart's Dominican Vespers.

Our Good Friday services, as can be expected, have offered more somber musical fare, including Bach's Christ Lag in Totesbanden, Haydn's Seven Last Words, the classic Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, and Maurice Duruflé's REQUIEM, a French composition heavily influenced by his contemporary Fauré.

For Good Friday in 2010 and 2011, FPC offered an evening Taizé Service of music and meditation in the style of the ecumenical monastic community in Burgundy, France.

Vocalists and instrumentalists from the ranks of the Chancel Choir provided evocative, contemplative sound befitting that solemn occasion.

Good Friday 2010
Taizé Service

Click here to listen to FPC's 2010 rendition of Watch and Pray.

2012 Guest Artists:
First Pres also encourages local talent from the Capital District to share their artistry with us.  

Our most recent example, violinist Clare Criscione, who accompanied the choir on Ransom of a Soul (by David Ashley White), then captivated our congregation with her rendition of Adoration by Felix Borowski.

Yes, you can click on the underlined titles to listen to each piece.  And we think the Internet is magical!

But wait!  There's still more.  At First Pres you can count on tantalizing, energetic postludes to propel you to our Assembly Hall for a time of fellowship.
Postludes like Ben April's recent rendition of Aram Khatchaturian's
Toccata in E-flat minor.

Recent musical presentations by FPC youth
include a 2009 production of Godspell Junior under the direction of Christy D'Ambrosio, accompanied by Fiona McKinney, with choreography by Amy Scarlett.

That high-energy production was followed in 2010 by The Roar of the Devils . . . The Small Voice of God, under the direction of FPC Youth Director Christy D'Ambrosio, assisted by Barbara Speck, and accompanied by Albert Wood.  

In 2011 it was The GivingTree, another soulful musical with a timeless message. And 2012 brought us a grownup version of Godspell.  
What will they do for an encore?
In the spring of 2013, FPC Youth will bring us
The Prince of Eqypt.

Click here for a sampling of the Chancel Choir's efforts - excerpts from an Advent Vespers, faithfully reproduced by our resident audio engineer, Wesley Frank.

Then check out FPC's own MTV - music videos !

In a hurry?  Then lend an ear to Susan Gierthy's rendition of Gabriel's Oboe by the prolific Italian composer Ennio Morricone (Clint Eastwood would approve).