625 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

650.323.6167
fax 650.323.3923

info@firstpaloalto.com

Special Music Presentations at First Church

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Thrive - Lent 2011

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Pastor Laurie McHugh composed a song for Lent 2011 to accompany the "Thrive" sermon series.

Laurie wrote "Thrive" in the spring of 2011 as a companion to the sermon series inspired by the United Methodist study resource of the same name.

The focus of the "Thrive" series, and the song, is to connect concern for our spiritual and physical well-being with that of others in our community and around the world. During Lent 2011 the congregation learned more about the denomination's efforts to eradicate malaria, and raised money for the effort.

As the "Thrive" song was sung in worship, photography by mission partner Paul Jeffrey showed on a screen.



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Hold Your Next Concert at First Church

Please consider First United Methodist Church in downtown Palo Alto for your next concert or series of concerts. With its soaring ceiling, dramatic architecture, great acoustics, Bosendorfer grand piano, and the magnificent Meritt Speidel Organ, the Sanctuary offers a wonderful venue for concerts of any type. Located close to restaurants with ample parking around the church and in the public lot on Webster Street, this is an ideal location.

The Sanctuary has a total seating capacity of 650. This includes seating in the balcony as well as on the main floor. We have the ability to install a stage over the chancel steps, as we do for such groups as the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. They have performed their seasons with us for many years. We provide risers for choral groups, a limited number of music stands, and a conductor’s podium.

To schedule a concert or a tour of our facilities, contact our concert coordinator, Jeraldine Johnson 650-323-6167

Requirements and Use fees for concerts

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Messe de Requiem by Camille Saint-Saëns

The First Methodist Church of Palo Alto Chancel Choir and soloists with orchestra presented the Messe de Requiem by Camille Saint-Saëns on All Saints Day, November 7, 2010. The Saint-Saëns Requiem occupies a unique place among the composer's religious choral works.

The work, composed in late 1877 and completed early the following spring, was dedicated to friend and patron Albert Libon. Unlike many of the Requiems compositions of the romantic period, which were conceived in a far more grandiose and operatic style, the Saint-Saëns work is a composition with a true sense of sacred reverence and devotion.

The solemnity in the music, particularly in the opening pages of the Requiem, and again in the Agnus Dei, takes on an added significance when learning that not long after Saint-Saëns completed the work, his young son fell to his death from the fourth floor of the family’s Paris home. A few weeks later this tragedy was compounded when his other child died of illness.

Mark Shaull, Director

Soloists
Kathleen Branyon-Goodman, Soprano
Fran Moyer, Alto
Chuck Carman, Tenor
David Goodman, Bass



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Christmas Gift

Pastor Laurie composed a song for Advent 2009, playing one verse each week and including an insert in the bulletin with the lyrics and accompanying questions to ponder.

"Christmas Gift" is an introspective piece which considers the Advent themes of hope, peace, love and joy, and which calls us, in this harsh, fast-paced world, to remember those in need, and to focus on giving rather than getting.



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Lux Aeterna

On All Saints Sunday, November 1, 2009, the First Church Chancel Choir, soloists and orchestra presented the requiem Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen at the 10:25 am worship service.

Lux aeterna (light eternal), a five‐movement work by American composer Morton Lauridsen (b.1943), is intended to be an “intimate work of quiet serenity.” The composer’s quest for texts that express “hope, reassurance, faith and illumination in all of its manifestations,” results in a free compilation from various liturgical observances or feasts: the Introit from the Requiem; select verses of the Te Deum, sung at the end of Matins on Sunday or in thanksgiving for a special blessing, interpolated with a verse from the Beatus vir (Ps. 111:4); verses from O nata lux, the Lauds hymn for the feast of the Transfiguration; Veni sancte spiritus, the sequence for Pentecost; and the Agnus Dei and Communio from the Mass for the Dead with an “Alleluia” tag added by the composer.

The fashioning of these texts causes the work to be viewed by many as a “Requiem” or quasi “German Requiem,” and as a meditation on “light eternal.” The work overflows with the symbols and imagery of “the Light” that conquers death, and which dispels darkness.

In addition to these Requiem and Light themes, the three inner movements texts are more Trinitarian (Te Deum = God the Father; O nata lux = God the Son; Veni sancte spiritus = God the Holy Spirit).



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Bach Cantata BWV 150

On Sunday, March 29, 2009, the Chancel Choir, Soloists and Orchestra presented Bach's Cantata BWV 150 during the 10:25am worship service.

We invite you to listen to this performance.

Listen



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Pergolesi's Magnificat

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, December 21, 2008, the Chancel Choir, Soloists and Strings presented Pergolesi's Magnificat during the 10:25am worship service.

We invite you to listen to this performance.

Listen



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Doron Nesher and Ginny Morgan Sing the Psalms


On the "eve" of Passover, Sunday, April 20, 2008, Doron Nesher and Ginny Morgan sang Psalm 131 and Psalm 121 at the 10:30am service. The music was composed by Doron.

Doron Nesher is a renowned Israeli writer, scriptwriter, actor, film director and producer, and host of TV and radio shows. Some of Doron’s work won prestigious Israeli prizes and have become landmark works on the Israeli film and TV scene.

Ginny Morgan is a native of the Bay Area, and started studying viola at the age of eight. She has played in many local orchestras and ensembles. In addition to her classical training, Ginny also has studied and played folk, jazz, and Mexican music.



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Hallelujah Chorus - Easter 2008

Listen to the 2008 Easter Sunday performance of the Hallelujah Chorus.

Our Easter Sunday tradition is for anyone who is interested to join with the Chancel Choir on the Chancel steps to sing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.

If you enjoy listening to, or performing great music, we invite you to come to one of our worship services.

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Corelli Christmas Cantata

On Sunday, December 23, 2007, the Chancel Choir, Soloists and Fiume de Musica presented Arcangelo Corelli's Christmas Cantata - a choral adaptation of the famous Christmas concerto by Richard Shephard during our 10:25am worship service.

Click here to download a flyer for this event.

At a time when the violin was replacing the viola, the Italian violinist-composer Arcangelo Corelli was in great demand. He had a great influence over the following generation of composers, especially Handel who worked with him for a short time in Rome in 1707. Corelli spent most of his life in Rome, where he served the exiled Catholic Queen Christina of Sweden, Cardinal Pamphili and the young Cardinal Ottoboni, in whose palace he lived for a number of years. He died a wealthy man and was buried in the Pantheon, a sign of the respect in which he was held.

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Duruflé Requiem

On Sunday, November 4, 2007 we presented the Duruflé Requiem as part of our All Saints Day Service.

This presentation featured the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir and soloists with a professional orchestra.

The Requiem was conducted by Mark Andrew Shaull and was part of our 10:25 am worship service.

Click here to download a flyer for this event.



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Concert for World Peace

We hosted a Concert for World Peace on Saturday, November 17, 2007.

Music for your quiet times and inner peace.

The concert was performed by the Inner Peace Orchestra and was created and directed by Eddie Gale, San Jose's Ambassador of Jazz who uses his musical talents to help charities raise funds and to spread the word about jazz, especially to young people.

This was an event for the entire community and an FUMC fundraiser.



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Footsteps of the Passion

On Palm Sunday 2007 our Chancel Choir and organist Raymond Ruckle, under the direction of Mark Andrew Shaull, presented Footsteps of the Passion.

This unique worship journey from Palm to Passion featured A Service of Darkness by Dale Wood.

Footsteps of the Passion was presented at our 10:25am worship service on Sunday, April 1, 2007.

Click here to download a flyer for this event.



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Mozart Requiem in D Minor




On Sunday, March 25, 2007 we presented the Mozart Requiem in D Minor, K626.

This presentation featured the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir and soloists with a professional orchestra and the Los Altos High School Concert Choir.

The Requiem was conducted by Mark Andrew Shaull.

This performance was part of our 10:25 am worship service.

Click here to download a flyer for this event.






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2006 Advent Procession With Carols Service (Audio)

Sunday, December 3, 2006 marked the ten year anniversary of our Advent Procession with Carols Service.

As in past years, the Chancel Choir led a special evening service of lessons, anthems and carols designed to usher us into the Advent season of meditation and preparation.

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Note: Large File Size: 49.1mb MP3

Save it to your iPod!

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The Winter Rose

WinterRose150171.gifOn the thrid Sunday in Advent, December 17, 2006, the Chancel Choir under the direction of Mark Shaull presented The Winter Rose during the 10:25am worship service.

“The Winter Rose” with music by Joseph M. Martin and narration by Pamela Martin incorporates both traditional carols and newly composed anthems that visit the timeless Christmas story with fresh insight. Through use of music, narration and simple symbolism, the cantata presents the life of Christ from prophecy to passion. The orchestrations effectively capture the color and beauty of this musical tableau.

Click here for photos from this performance.

If you enjoy listening to, or performing great music, we invite you to come to one of our worship services.



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A New Creation by René Clausen

AllSaints06Music307100.jpgAs part of our 10:25am, November 5, 2006 All Saints Day Worship Service of Remembrance and Reflection, the FUMC Chancel Choir, Soloists and orchestra presented A New Creation by composer René Clausen. This moving work served as the center piece as we remember our loved ones and members of our church family who have died.

In A New Creation, Clausen continues in the tradition of a long line of composers, including J.S. Bach, in his writing of a cantata, literally “to sing,” a work intended for worship presentation and concert performance and modeled on operatic forms. It employs sections of recitative and aria, chorus, and orchestra.

Clausen’s cantata uses both English and Latin texts taken from the Bible, the Roman Catholic Mass, and a hymn by George Herbert. In this work, sometimes reminiscent harmonically of Aaron Copland and stylistically of Gian-Carlo Menotti, the accompaniment always reflects the spirit of the text. These tender and passionate texts tenderly and passionately reflect spiritual love and the promise of life everlasting.

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Missa Brevis in F Major

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The Chancel Choir, with Fiume di Musica, presented Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Missa Brevis in F Major on Sunday, June 11, 2006.

Click here for photos from this performance.

If you enjoy listening to, or performing great music, we invite you to come to one of our worship services.

Soloists:
Patty Fisher, soprano
Jerry Johnson, soprano
Fran Moyer, alto
Chuck Carman, tenor
David Goodman, bass

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Hallelujah Chorus - Easter 2006

Listen to the 2006 Easter Sunday performance of the Hallelujah Chorus.

Our Easter Sunday tradition is for anyone who is interested to join with the Chancel Choir on the Chancel steps to sing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.

If you enjoy listening to, or performing great music, we invite you to come to one of our worship services.

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Dubois' The Seven Last Words of Christ

7Words306Screen150115.jpgOn March 26, 2006, the Chancel Choir, Soloists and Orchestra presented The Seven Last Words of Christ by Théodore Dubois during Sunday worship. In addition to this musical setting of the passion text, this unique worship experience featured famous depictions of the passion of Christ by the master of visual art forms through the ages.

Click here for photos from this performance.

If you enjoy listening to, or performing great music, we invite you to come to one of our worship services.

Singing of the Passion Text
The tradition of singing the Passion story began in the early centuries of the Christian church. To add solemnity to Holy Week services, priests would chant the appointed Gospel account rather than simply read it. By the 13th century, these intonations had developed into dramatic narrations with soloists playing the key roles. The earliest polyphonic settings date from the 15th century with extant examples surviving from England, Italy, and Spain.

By the mid-17th century, the Reformation had led to a distinctly German oratorio Passion set in the vernacular, employing recitatives, arias, choruses, and instrumental movements. These oratorio Passions ultimately reached their pinnacle in the great St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion of Johann Sebastian Bach. Heinrich Schütz, considered the greatest Lutheran composer prior to Bach, composed his Seven Last Words in the early 17th century. In order to include all seven sayings Christ spoke during the crucifixion, Schütz created a composite text from all four Gospels. Hadyn composed an instrumental work on the Seven Last Words in 1787 and later added choral parts, but no composer is known to have created a major choral setting of this unique version of the Passion story until Théodore Dubois, over two centuries after Schütz.

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Bach’s Birthday Musical Celebration

Harpsichord306Flute150173.jpgOn Sunday, March 19, 2006 we held a musical celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s 321st birthday. Bach was born on March 21, 1685, as the eighth child of Johann Ambrosius and Maria Elisabetha Bach. As one of the best known and loved composers of church and other music for organ, orchestra and choir, J.S. Bach was honored by our presentation of several of his works at the 10:25 a.m. service and afterward at a Bach Postludium.

Fiume di Musica presented the complete Bach Brandenburg Concerto #4 for two flutes and violin solos, with harpsichord. The choir and Fiume presented a portion of Bach’s Cantata #79. Even the congregation joined in the festivities by singing hymns harmonized by the master himself.

There was also a special Bach focus Postludium directly after the worship service. Jeff Workman played two Bach organ selections, and was joined by members of Fiume di Musica for a Bach flute and harpsichord sonata and a Bach harpsichord trio. We used a single-rank north European style harpsichord for the presentations.

The following were presented during the Postludium:

• Sonata in E minor with oboe, cello and harpsichord
• "Little" Fugue in G minor for organ
• Sonata in E major for flute and harpsichord
• Prelude and Fugue in A minor for organ

Click here for photos from this performance.

If you enjoy listening to, or performing great music, we invite you to come to one of our worship services.



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Christmas Oratorio

ChristmasOratorio150145.gifThere were shepherds at night in that same country, abiding in the fields, and silently keeping their watch by night over the
sleeping flocks around them. And lo! and angel of the Lord appeared, standing there beside them: And the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid at his coming.

On Sunday, December 21, 2003 the FUMC Chancel Choir, Soloists and Orchestra presented the Christmas Oratorio by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. This beautiful work will be the focal point of our worship celebration as we look toward the promise of Christmas Joy. Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), French composer, pianist, and organist, born in Paris, made his debut as a pianist at the age of ten and later studied organ and harmony at the Paris Conservatoire. Saint-Saëns’ first position was a church organist at the Parisian Church of Saint-Merry.

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Arcangelo Corelli's Christmas Cantata

Corelli140160.gifOn Sunday, December 18th, 2005 the Chancel Choir, Soloists and Fiume de Musica presented Arcangelo Corelli's Christmas Cantata - a choral adaptation of the famous Christmas concerto by Richard Shephard during our 10:25 am worship service.

At a time when the violin was replacing the viola, the Italian violinist-composer Arcangelo Corelli was in great demand. He had a great influence over the following generation of composers, especially Handel who worked with him for a short time in Rome in 1707. Corelli spent most of his life in Rome, where he served the exiled Catholic Queen Christina of Sweden, Cardinal Pamphili and the young Cardinal Ottoboni, in whose palace he lived for a number of years. He died a wealthy man and was buried in the Pantheon, a sign of the respect in which he was held.

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Bach Advent Cantata

Bach108144.gifOn Sunday, December 4, 2005 the Chancel Choir, Soloists and Orchestra presented Johann Sebastian Bach's Advent Cantata - BWV 61 during our 10:25 am worship service

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (“Now come, saviour of the gentiles”), one of the best known of all J.S. Bach’s cantatas, was composed at the end of 1714 and first performed in the Weimar court chapel on Advent Sunday, 2 December 1714. The libretto is by Erdmann Neumeister, pastor in Hamburg and the main architect of the reform cantata incorporating simple recitative and da capo arias characteristic of Italian opera. The text was published three years later in Neumeister’s Fünffache Kirchen-Andachten (Leipzig, 1717). The cantata is therefore one of Bach’s earliest expositions in the new cantata form, and the first one he is known to have composed to a libretto by Neumeister.

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Welcome
Next Sunday: Join us for worship at 8:45 and 10:45 am.

Can't make it to Church?
Watch online
at 10:45 am


Recent Sermons
February 5 - You are the Salt and Light - Rev. Sione Halafau

January 29 - Unlikely Heroes: Jonah - Rev. Linda Holbrook

January 22 - Unlikely Heroes: Enoch - Pastor Beth Cademartori

January 15 - Sitting at the Feet of our Children - Rev. Linda Holbrook

January 8 - A Camel on the Roof - Rev. Linda Holbrook


Koinonia (2/11)
Ton Fingar will be leading a discussion entitled "Origins and Implications of President Trump's 'America First' Foreign Policy." Dessert, coffee, and discussion on Saturday at 7 pm in Kohlstedt Hall.


Great Decisions 2017
Our 2017 lecture and discussion series will begin on Feb. 19 and run for eight weeks. Join us on Sunday evenings from 7–8:30 pm. Topics include U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum, Conflict in the South China Sea, Latin America's Political Pendulum, Nuclear Security, and more.