The Music Ministry at First Baptist Church is an inspiring and integral part of the worship service, offering a variety of musical styles by a variety of musical groups, for every taste and every age. Congregational involvement is encouraged through hymn and response singing and, of course, participation in the various musical ensembles: Children’s Choir, Chancel Choir (for adults and teens), the Keenan Hand Bell Choir and the Instrumental Ensemble. One of the treasures of the church is the 1864 E & GG Hook tracker organ, the oldest in the City and one of only four of that manufacturer in the State of Vermont. It was fully restored in 1996. We have a terrific organist. The Children’s Choir is an integral part of the Christian Education program and the children sing during worship several times each fall and each spring. The Chancel Choir sings every Sunday between Sept. and June and for special occasions. They rehearse each Thursday from 7-8:30 pm. The hand bells and instrumental group haveregular practice times and play regularly for worship from Sept. to June. The musical groups not only participate in the Sunday services, but also enhance holiday services, and other special occasions including pageants and concerts. During the summermonths, the musically-talented congregation and some of their friends provide “special music,” along with the organist, for worship services.
Music is very important to this church and has been throughout its long history. We have “great acoustics.” The church is also a regular venue for other musical groups to hold concerts and recitals (e.g. Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont, Violin Virtuosi, Anima and piano teacher recitals). On New Year’s Eve we are the “Classical Music Venue” for Burlington’s First Night event and the sanctuary is filled for at least 6 concerts. Every year a visiting artist is invited to play the annual Dopp Organ Recital, endowed by her daughter in honor of former organist, Katharine E. Dopp. We also host other organ recitals and sometimes conventions of national organist groups, because of the historically and musically significant nature of the instrument.