Music Fine Arts
The Music Fine Arts Series is one of First Church’s largest commitments to the residents of the Sarasota area. This concert series has a long and distinguished history in Sarasota and the surrounding communities. First United Methodist church has been, for many years, a desirable concert venue due to its prime downtown location and large seating capacity. In 2011, the sanctuary underwent significant renovations which resulted in the expanded chancel area and locally unparalleled acoustics. Music of all genres - jazz, classical, modern, choral, orchestral - sound amazing in this sacred space.
The Music and Fine Arts series is offered free to the public. The current season features many contrasting genres and performers, and it is the hope our Music Department that you take this opportunity to experience some or all of this series in this unmatchable concert venue.
Sunday, October 27, 2019, 4pm
Join baritone Daniel Hoffman, organist Michael Stuart, and guest artists as they present a concert of seasonal music, love songs, and Broadway tunes. Wear your favorite Halloween costume and enjoy an afternoon of funny, somber, pretty, and scary much-loved music!
Sunday, November 3, 2019, 3pm
SAI Pat Stenberg Memorial Concert-Fundraiser
Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), a women’s international music fraternity, supports women musicians of all ages, races, and nationalities. This concert is a fundraiser for local music groups which offer youth scholarships, competitions, internships, and young artist programs. SAI members will perform vocal and piano music in many musical styles.
Admission: $15 donation to the scholarship fund
Sunday, December 15, 2019, 7pm
First Church's Annual Christmas Gala and Carol Sing
The 2019 edition of our much-anticipated Christmas concert features The Michael Treni Big Band, the First Church Singers, and organist Michael Stuart playing First Church’s impressive Moller-Buzzard pipe organ. Refresh your spirit with Christmas music, old and new, performed in traditional and big band styles. This concert is always a highlight of the Sarasota Christmas season!
Tuesday, December 24, 2019, 7pm
Christmas Eve Service
A candlelight Christmas Eve service at First Church has been a tradition for at least 100 years. Join us as we welcome the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, with full choir, pipe organ, favorite soloists, and a string ensemble. Guest Artist/Director Joseph Caulkins will enthrall you with the music of Willcocks, Dirksen, Rutter, Handel (including a congregational singing of the Hallelujah Chorus), and beloved Christmas hymns. Arrive by 6:15pm to hear a splendid concert of Pre-Service music!
Saturday, January 25 - Sunday, January 26, 2020, 4pm
American Guild of Organists (AGO) Sacred Music Festival
The AGO Sacred Music Festival brings together ~200 choral singers from many local churches to learn new music and new arrangements of beloved favorites. This year’s clinician is Tom Trenney, pastoral musician, composer, and teacher. Additional information may be found here.
Saturday, February 8, 2020, 4pm
Back to Broadway
Delight in hearing First Church’s marvelous singers and instrumentalists perform cherished songs from beloved Broadway shows. Daniel Hoffman, Catherine Stuart, Michelle Caulkins, and other First Church musicians will inspire wonderful memories with their performances of songs from the Golden Age of Broadway.
Sunday, March 1, 2020, 4pm
Bay Arts Trio
Back on our series by popular demand, the Bay Arts Trio (Margot Zarzycka Whitelaw, violin; Lise Frank, piano; and Diego Villa, cello) present an exhilarating concert of contemporary and classical trio music. Each of these musicians by themselves is a fiery, passionate performer but, together, they are magic!
Sunday, April 12, 2020, 8:30 & 11:00am
Easter Sunday Celebrations
First Church celebrates the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, with full choir, pipe organ, and a brass ensemble in two identical services. The joyous music of Beethoven, Rutter, Webster, Widor, and other much-loved composers will be featured. The Sanctuary is filled with glorious flowers and congregants participate in a Festive Easter Procession. Triumphant Pre-Service music begins 15 minutes before each service.