Music is a vital and inspiring part of worship at First Reformed Church. Each Sunday our congregation raises its voice in hymns of praise, supplication, and celebration. Musical groups include the Chancel Choir (adults), Junior Choir (children in 4 years old through 5th grade), Bell Choir (12 adults - 5 octaves of Schulmerich handbells & 5 octaves of choir chimes), and the First Church Band (middle & high school youth). Congregational singing as well as these goups are accompanied by a variety of instruments including our beautiful Casavant pipe organ, a magnificent Mason and Hamlin grand piano, timpani, several Orff instruments (bass xylophone, alto metallophone, soprano glockenspiel), and wide variety of percussion instruments. In addition, we host the Free @ 3 Concert Series on Sunday afternoons throughout the year.
Our Magnificent Casavant Organ
The organ in our sanctuary was custom built by Casavant Freres Limitee of St. Hyacinths, Quebec, Canada in 1962 for the new building of First Reformed Church.
It consists of 39 ranks (sets of pipes) and Zimbelstern. The original three manual console was replaced in 2016 with a Rodgers Infinity 484 four manual console which controls all 2086 pipes as well as 443 digital sounds.
The organ is used each week to support the singing of hymns, provide accompaniment for the choirs and soloists, and to play service music such as preludes and postludes. It is also featured in recitals throughout the year.
To find out more about the history and the specifications of the organ, click on the button.
Free @ 3 Concert Series
The Free @ 3 Concert Series is held on various Sunday afternoons at 3:00 in the sanctuary of the First Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. These concerts are open to the public and are free of charge. The sanctuary boasts a beautiful Mason & Hamlin grand piano which is used in many of the Free @ 3 concerts. The chancel was remodeled in 2013 in part to accommodate the various musical groups which perform on the Free @ 3 series.
Click on the button to find out more about Free @ 3 and our schedule of concerts.
The Chancel Choir
The Chancel Choir is a volunteer group of adults who love to sing God's praises. This choir generally sings an introit, two anthems, and a choral closing each Sunday from September through May. In addition, the Chancel Choir sings for special services on Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday and presents an annual Christmas concert in December and a year-end concert in May. The members rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 until 7:30 in the choir room (L6) on the lower level.
You are welcome to join us. Membership is open to anyone high school age and older. No audition is necessary. You just need to love to praise God with singing.
The Bell Choir
The Bell Choir is a group of twelve dedicated adults who rehearse every Wednesday evening from 5:30 until 6:30 in the choir room and play for worship services periodically throughout the year. They present an annual concert in early May and also ring at the annual Christmas concert using five octaves of Schulmerich handbells and a three octave set of choir chimes.
The Junior Choir
The Junior Choir is a regular part of our Sunday School. The members are all of our kindergarten through first grade children. They meet each Sunday morning during the school year from 10:50 until 11:20. The Junior Choir sings once a month in the morning worship service. They are also a big part of the annual Sunday School Christmas program and present a concert in late May or early June to end their season. Ocassionally they present a musical as well.
This enthusiastic group of kids sing with all their hearts and enjoy playing Orff instruments (xylophone, metallophone, glockenspiel) and other percussion instruments in making a joyful noise to the Lord!
The First Band
The First Band is a group of middle and high school students who use their musical talents in singing, playing guitar, drums, and other instruments to enhance our worship with a contemporary sound. They practice each Wednesday before Youth Group.
The First Church Music Resource Library
Our church maintains a library of music resources for its members as well as the community at large. It is located on the lower level (Room L13) off the hall at the foot of the main basement stairs. The library is open to everyone during regular church hours (weekdays from 8:30 - 4:30) and whenever else the church is open. You are free to borrow any items from the library for as long as you would like. We just ask that you would write down your name, the date, and the item(s) you borrowed. When you return the item(s) just cross off that line.
The library includes the following items:
Over 200 titles of organ music (Click here to see a list of available titles/composers Organ Music )
DVD’s of television program The Joy of Music with Diane Bish (Click here to see a listing of programs Program List )
Books about the organ (including brochures of individual organs and improvisation guides)
About 100 different hymnals and hymnal supplements (including children’s hymnals and old Dutch Psalters)
Books of hymn stories and histories
Biographies of composers
Music history books
Back issues of magazine
Back issues of magazine
Older copies of magazines
Worship planning materials
Books on sacred symbolism
Single copies of choral music pieces
Various editions of Handel’s Messiah (including the G. Schirmer organ score)
Organ scores for the Brahms, the Fauré, and the Durufle Requiems
Books of musical scores and songs
Many LP’s (vinyl) of classical and church (organ/choral) music
A few CD’s
We are hoping that this will be a useful addition to our church and the wider community. Stop by whenever you can and see what is available.
We would love to keep building the library up with more musical materials (including more organ pieces, CD’s, DVD’s, and possibly musical instruments). If you would like to donate any items to the library, we would be happy to accept them. You may drop them off in the church office or leave them in the music library.