Musicchoir from distance

Music plays a large role in worship at First Church. Under the direction of Brian Schoettler, Minister of Music and Organist, a number of ensembles lead worship with music that is traditional and classically-rooted, interspersed with modern and globally-oriented music.

Summer Choir Opportunities

Click here to check out the options

Ensembles at First Church

      • Cherub Choir (kindergarten and 1st grade)
      • Children’s Choir (grades 2-6)
      • Youth Ensemble (grades 7-12)
      • Handbell Choir (adults and youth in grades 7-12)
      • Chancel Choir (adults and youth in grades 9-12)
      • Gospel Choir (adults and youth in grades 9-12)
      • Worship in the Park Ensemble (adults and youth in grades 7-12)

Please scroll down for rehearsal times and other details.

Cherub Choir

Rehearses Wednesdays 5:00-5:50 p.m.  Ensemble for children in kindergarten and 1st grade that focuses on foundational music skills. This choir joins the Children’s Choir on several Sundays during the year, including the Christmas Pageant.

Children’s Choir

Rehearses Wednesdays 5:00-5:50 p.m.  This ensemble for children in grades 2-6 sings in worship monthly.  The choir expands on basic skills to help children develop their voices and musicianship.  The choir also provides musical leadership for the Christmas Pageant and worship on Monday’s Day.

Youth Ensemble

First Church musical youth in grades 7-12 perform together and with other ensembles in worship twice each year (fall and spring).

Handbell Choir

Rehearses Wednesdays 6:15-7:15 p.m.  Handbell choir for adults and youth (grades 7-12) that plays in worship monthly.   Basic music reading skills required; instrumentalists especially welcome.

Chancel Choir

Rehearses Wednesdays 7:30-9:00 p.m.  This choir for adults and youth in grades 9-12 is the core ensemble that sings in worship each week.  The Chancel Choir’s repertoire includes the best sacred music from all eras including music by living composers.  Rehearsals are Wednesdays 7:30-9:00 p.m. and Sundays 9:30-10:15 a.m.

Gospel Choir

The Gospel Choir, for adults and youth in grades 9-12, typically sings in worship monthly with the Chancel Choir. Please contact us for the current rehearsal schedule.


Any instrumentalists interested in sharing their gifts during worship are encouraged to email Brian Schoettler.   Our summer Worship in the Park service is led by an instrumental ensemble with musicians of all ages.

Your participation in any of these ensembles is welcome. No auditions needed.


Sanctuary Organ

Our sanctuary is home to a fully renovated Austin Organ of six divisions and 79 ranks – one of the largest instruments on Chicago’s North Shore.

Chapel Organ

Our organ in Title Chapel consists of pipework from an Austin organ originally installed in the chapel playable from a new Rodgers console that also integrates electronic pipe samples.


Click here to check out our online media files to enjoy samples of our music.

Special Events

Special events include a Christmas Pageant featuring our children’s choirs and two concerts (fall and spring) that feature major choral works presented by our Festival Choir with orchestra.

Festival Choir Concert “Bach and Handel”

Friday, November 17, 2017, 7:30 p.m. in the First Church sanctuary.  Featuring Bach: Cantata No. 80, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott and Handel: Messiah – Part 1

Annual Organ Day Concert

Sunday, March 18, 2018, 1:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.   Featuring Brian Schoettler, organist.

All concerts are free and open to the public.  Your generous support of our Music Ministry is appreciated.

Worship & Sermon Podcasts

Click here to listen to our weekly FaithatFirst podcast includes the sermon and some of the music from the previous Sunday’s worship service.

Printed Sermons

Sermons are often available in written form as well.

July 23, 2017

July 2, 2017

June 18, 2017

June 11, 2017

June 4, 2017

May 21, 2017

May 14, 2017

April 30, 2017

April 23, 2017

April 9, 2017

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March 19, 2017

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February 26, 2017

February 19, 2017

February 12, 2017

January 29, 2017

January 8, 2017