First United Methodist Church of Decatur supports a vibrant and active music program. Four groups provide music enhancement for Sunday morning worship:

  • Sanctuary Choir
  • First Brass
  • First A’Peals Handbell Choir
  • First Strings

Additional members are always welcomed and appreciated. There are no auditions. Show up for rehearsals and give us a try!

Sanctuary Choir

Sanctuary Choir participation is open to any singers who are high school and older. The choir sings most Sundays throughout the year leading worship with a variety of musical styles from contemporary to spirituals to classical. Music ranges from easy to advanced. The choir is also dedicated to leading worship via several smaller Worship Teams. 

First Brass

Open to any brass players, high school and older. The ensemble leads worship about once a month. In addition to hymns, the group plays standard brass quartet or quintet literature, ranging in difficulty from easier to intermediate.

First A'Peals Bells

Open to those who read music or have a desire to learn–high school age and up. This group leads worship about once, sometimes twice a month. We have five octaves of bells requiring up to 13 ringers, as well as two octaves of chimes, but we also play literature for any combination of octaves. Music ranges in difficulty from intermediate to advanced.

First Strings

First Strings is the newest ensemble at Decatur First United Methodist Church! Open to string players high school age and up, the group has offered music for several services this year and also played for our “Music and Meditation” series. First Strings plays trios and quartets in a variety of musical styles. 

Additional Music Offerings

In addition to the groups listed, Mary Beth also encourages capable musicians to offer their talents in worship by scheduling various solos, duets, and small ensembles. First Musicians have recently taken place in a major recording project this past Christmas called “The Holiest of Nights”. The four links for viewing these musical offerings can be accessed below. 

There are additional opportunities for those who play electric bass, keyboard, guitar (acoustic or electric), drums, etc. to share their talents.


Music at Decatur First: Offering our Musical Gifts

Most any musician, director, or educator when asked would agree that excellence is key, practice is essential, and performance is the product. In approaching music within the church, our philosophy is that excellence is key, practice is essential, and praise is the product. To praise and glorify God to the best of one’s ability is the goal of making music in the church. We often delineate what may traditionally be referred to as a “performance” as an “offering”.

We strive to keep rehearsals focused on deliberately honing our craft while highlighting and taking note at all times of lyrics, dynamics, tempi, phrases, and harmony as they pertain to scripture and point to God’s majesty and holiness. Each rehearsal starts or ends with prayer and includes devotion or discussion of the Word. We warm up our bodies and instruments through singing or playing scales or simple chorales/pieces. We emphasize the importance of listening to one another constantly. Each passage is rehearsed multiple times in multiple ways so that all have an opportunity to learn and grow, and to prepare our very best for our offerings.

Please join us in praising God through music!!