First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Instrumental / Keyboard Division

The Instrumental/Keyboard Division includes the FBC Orchestra (adults and youth) and stretches into smaller ensembles as well as a fully graded handbell choir program. 
Pipe Organ & Keyboards

The primary instrument of worship in the First Baptist Church sanctuary is an 80-rank pipe organ built in 1965 by Casavant Frères, Ltd. of Quebec, Canada with later additions. The organ is a four manual instrument capable of playing an extreme range of organ literature and provides dynamic leadership in the accompaniment of congregational singing, choral anthems, instrumental and vocal solos.  A Steinway concert grand is also used to enhance the worship at FBC.  Other keyboard instruments of note at FBC are the 12-rank Reuter pipe organ in the chapel, a six-foot Steinway piano in the sanctuary and a seven-foot Boston piano in the choir room.
FBC Orchestra

The FBC Orchestra seeks to live out the mission of First Baptist Church, Huntsville: knowing, loving, serving Christ...together. Members of the orchestra come from many walks of life----teachers, engineers, doctors, civil servants, police officers, students (graduate, collegiate, and high school), social workers, musicians (active and retired), etc. Each Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. this diverse group gathers for a rehearsal time that ushers forth not only in beautiful music but also in a deeper sense of worship, fellowship and ministry to and through the ensemble. It is a group that experiences "family" as we rehearse and perform together. Experienced players sit next to inexperienced players and help to foster the development of God-given talents. Prayer times allow the group members to share in the joys and sorrows of each other. Devotional messages can also be found in our approach to rehearsal time every week. Musical and spiritual challenges are continually placed before this organization!
The FBC Orchestra provides a unique opportunity to instrumentalists in Huntsville. Tackling a wide range of literature from the classical to the contemporary, the orchestra regularly assists with worship leadership at FBC and performs at special functions such as the Living Christmas Tree and Hymn Festivals. The orchestra usually gives two full concerts each year. The group is open to high school students through adults. An Orchestra Council (rotating membership) helps to guide and facilitate the ministry of the group.
Ensembles and Soloists from the FBC Orchestra appear regularly in worship services of First Baptist Church. Growing out of the orchestra is a Woodwind Choir, the First Baptist Brass, flute ensembles, a woodwind quintet, trombone choir, and various smaller groupings.
Recent Orchestra Concert Programs
A Sampling of Repertoire and Projects from the Past Couple of Years:
Orchestra Alone:
My Jesus, I Love Thee (arr. Cranfill)
Morning Praise (Winkler)
Were You There (arr. Dunn)
On a Hymn tune of Philip Bliss (Holsinger)
How Great Thou Art (arr. Dickinson)
My Eternal King (Marshall/orch. Krogstad)
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing (arr. Winkler)
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing (arr. Cranfill)
I Sing the Mighty Power of God (arr. Dunn)
Fanfare and Processional (arr. Kirkland)
Passacaglia on KIRKEN (D. Smith)
Enigma Variations….NIMROD (Elgar)
Festive Overture (Shostakovitch)
Be Still My Soul (arr. Kirkland)
First Suite (Holst)
Gloria (Mozart/P. Allen)
Beautiful Saviour (arr. Winkler)
Toccata (Frescobaldi)
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (arr. Kirkland)
My Heart Is Filled with Longing (Bach/Reed)
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (arr. Kirkland)
Chorale Prelude on “Rejoice Ye Pure In Heart” (C.T. Smith)
I Sing the Mighty Power of God (arr. Lawrence)
Jesus, Lover of My Soul (D. Smith)
Prelude on Three Welsh Hymn Tunes (Vaughan Williams)
Finale from Symphony No. 1 (Kalinnikov)

Several years ago, a harp fund was begun by the Staggs family in memory of Wayne Staggs. This fund grew to where we were able to purchase two harps, both Lyon & Healy harps, one the 85 CG concert pedal harp and the second, the Prelude lever harp, which is more suitable for a beginning harp student.
85 CG Concert Grand                   Prelude Lever Harp              
Rev. Alicea Williams, daughter of Wayne Staggs,  who lives in Port Huron, MI
helped us dedicate our pedal harp on Sunday, August 15, 2010.                         
First Fellowship Worship Team

The Worship Team provides music leadership for the First Fellowship worship service on Sunday morning.  They meet regularly for rehearsals and are always looking for new team members.  Contact the Contemporary Worship Leader, Jeremy Wilkerson,, for audition information.
Youth Band

The Youth Band provides music leadership for the Wednesday student youth service, Liftoff, 6-7:15 p.m.

Handbell Choirs

Handbell choirs provide an instrumental experience for all age groups (children, youth, and adults). Ringing handbells opens the doors of ministry, musical training, and worship leadership. The small group atmosphere also strengthens fellowship.  
48 Bell Carillon Tower

The FBC bell tower houses a 48-bell (Verdin) carillon. The largest bell weighs 3300 pounds and the smallest weighs 22 pounds. The carillon may be played from a clavier located in a room in the tower directly below the bells. Two octaves of the carillon have electrical strikers and are playable from a small electronic keyboard in the music suite. A computer continually controls these two octaves by playing Westminster chimes or other chime patterns. The computer also provides a means of playing pieces and pealing automatically at specific times or occasions.