First Presbyterian Church Music Ministries

Music is a vibrant part of the life of the congregation at First Presbyterian Church. If God has gifted you in the area of music, we encourage you to use your musical gifts for God.

If you sing, please consider joining our Chancel Choir and/or contemporary Praise Team. The Chancel Choir leads the congregation in worship from September-June and also plays a key role in our Community Christmas Concert in December, our Christmas Eve Service, and our Easter Celebration Service. The Praise Team leads the congregation in worship from January-December.

If you are an instrumentalist, consider joining using your instruments during our celebration services at Christmas and Easter, as part of the Praise Team, or as a soloist during summer or other times of the year.
If you are a young person (starting in the 5th grade) to adult, consider joining one of our handbell choirs.
If you are interested in knowing about some of the key hymns and praise songs we sing regularly at First Presbyterian Church, check out our “Church Canon.”

Chancel Choir

  • Chancel Choir meets for rehearsals on Wednesday nights from 7:00-8:30 pm from September through early June.

Praise Team

  • The contemporary Praise Team rehearses on Sunday mornings and at other times during the year.

Bell Choirs

The Chapel Bell Ringers is a choir designed for grades 5 through 8. They rehearse Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Middleton Parlor (down the long hall on the left). This is a training group that rings three octaves of bells.

The Lindsey Bell Ringers (named after our pastor emeritus, Dr. Albert J. Lindsey), is composed of grades 9 and up. They rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Middleton Parlor. This group rings 5+ octaves of bells at an advanced level.
No prior music knowledge is needed to join a bell choir (it helps, of course). We will train you to read your notes. Our bell choirs use a double set of bells so each new member is partnered with an experienced ringer. Rehearsals are planned with fun in mind and our ringers enjoy the rehearsals and ministry to our church and outside groups.
For more information please contact the Bell Choir Director Daniel Heath at or Sonja West at

Chapel Bell Ringers 2018-2019 Schedule

  • The Chapel Bell Ringers (5th- 8th grade) meet from 7-8 pm on Wednesday nights in Middleton Parlor (Room 109 on the church map).
  • The first practice for the 2018-2019 school year is on September 19.

Lindsey Bell Ringers 2018-19 Schedule

  • The Lindsey Bell Ringers (9th grade and up) meet from 5:30-6:30 pm on Wednesday nights in Middleton Parlor (Room 109 on the church map).
  • The first practice for the 2018-2019 school year is on September 19.

News and Updates

Rehearsal Updates (dates not listed follow normal schedule above):

  • Wednesday, April 3: Lindsey Bell Choir Rehearsal from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. No Chapel Bell Choir Rehearsal.
  • Wednesday, April 24: No rehearsal for either bell choir.
  • Wednesday, May 15: 50th Anniversary Bell Choir Rehearsal with Lindsey Bell Choir. No Chapel Bell Choir Rehearsal.

Upcoming Bell Performances:

  • On Easter Sunday, April 21, the Lindsey Bell Choir will be performing in the Sunday morning service.
  • On Mother’s Day, May 12, the Chapel Bell Choir will be performing in the Sunday morning service.
  • On Sunday, May 19, the 50th Anniversary Bell Choir will be performing in the Sunday morning service. Anyone who has played in our bell choirs in the last 50 years is invited to join. Contact Bell Choir Director Daniel Heath at for more information.



  • To get more information on how to become involved, contact our Minister of Worship, Dr. Daniel Perrin.

Music News

Watch Our 2016 Christmas Concert on YouTube!

Our fabulous concert of Christmas carols was attended by several hundred people last week. If you missed it (or you want to experience it again), you can now watch it on video thanks to our worship intern Jesús Gomez. And plan to participate (and invite your friends) next year!


Join Us for a Celebration of Carols in Tacoma on Dec. 4

Sing in the Christmas season with chancel choir, youth handbell choir, and orchestra at First Presbyterian Church’s annual community Christmas concert on Sunday, December 4 at 6:00 pm in Tacoma. This year the theme of the concert will be Christmas carols. So if you enjoy singing and listening to carols, you won’t want to miss this special FREE event. Invite your friends and family! Enjoy hearing a choir and soloists present carols, and also the thrilling experience of actually singing carols yourself accompanied by a choir and orchestra in the historic cathedral-like sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church. Following the concert will be a reception in Fellowship Hall with cookies and hot cider.
In addition to classic carols like “Joy to the World,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” the concert will feature several of the beloved carols of Alfred Burt, including “Some Children See Him,” “The Star Carol,” and “Caroling, Caroling.” It will also include such audience favorites as “Silver Bells,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and “The Little Drummer Boy.” You won’t want to miss this FREE concert and sing-a-long.

Christmas Events 2016

Are you seeking something more this Christmas season? A place to call home? Love and acceptance? New hope? We invite you to join us at First Presbyterian Church this Advent and Christmas Season to celebrate “The Hospitality of God,” as our Senior Pastor Dr. Eric Jacobsen explores each week how God extends the ultimate hospitality to us at Christmas by making room for us as part of His family. Also join us for a series of special Christmas season events that you won’t want to miss:

Sunday, December 4 @ 6:00 pm
A Celebration of Carols

Sing in the season with choir, soloists, handbells, and orchestra at our joyous community Christmas concert, followed by hot cider and cookies. Experience the thrill of hearing and singing carols new and old accompanied by an orchestra and a pipe organ with more than 3,000 pipes. Bring your friends and entire family to this FREE concert!

Sunday, December 11 @ 10:30 am
Children’s Christmas Pageant

See Christmas through the eyes of children in our traditional Christmas pageant.

Sunday, December 18 @ 9:00 am
Taproot Theatre Christmas Play, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

Jesse is returning home from a two-year trip on Christmas Eve. But nothing goes quite as expected in this Christmas comedy about forgiveness, calling and hope. This live play will be presented for FREE on our stage in Fellowship Hall by Taproot Theatre Co. Invite your friends and family!

Monday, December 19 @ 12:00 pm
Annual Seniors Christmas Friendship Luncheon

Experience a sumptuous Christmas luncheon in Fellowship Hall in our annual Friendship Luncheon for Seniors.
Saturday, December 24 @ 7:00 pm
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
A wondrous night of music, candles, scripture readings, and the story of Christmas—all in our cathedral-like sanctuary and featuring our chancel choir, youth handbell choir, soloists, an instrumental ensemble, and our magnificent pipe organ with more than 3,000 pipes. A Tacoma-area tradition!
Sunday, December 25 @ 10:30 am
Christmas Morning Celebration Service
Experience the joy and privilege to celebrate the joyous meaning of Christmas with your family at First Presbyterian on Christmas morning!

A Personal Invitation to Attend Our Evensong Service on Oct. 30

by John G. West
The day was October 29 three years ago. Our family had just arrived in Cambridge, England after an all-night flight from Seattle to London, followed by a very long taxi ride. I was supposed to deliver a talk on C.S. Lewis in a couple of days for the annual Cambridge University Festival of Ideas. But at the moment, we were all exhausted and ready to crash.
Then I learned that King’s College in Cambridge would be holding a Choral Evensong service that very evening. So I convinced Sonja, Katherine, and Garrett to come along with me for the service. Despite our tiredness, it was a not-to-be-missed experience. The singing and scripture readings and prayers calmed my heart, focused my mind, and gave me a sense that I was somehow linked not only to Christians around the world, but to Christians past, present, and future.
I have loved the Anglican Evensong service ever since the first time I experienced it after my junior year in college, when I spent several weeks one summer traveling around the UK. Evensong is a formal service, but even if you don’t usually like formality, it can touch your heart, especially if you are experiencing anxiety or stress or are simply overloaded by everything that is going on in your life. In the quiet darkness of a soaring sanctuary filled with stained glass, the Holy Spirit works through the music and the readings and the prayers.
If you have never experienced Choral Evensong, I have good news for you: You don’t need to fly to Cambridge, England to experience it! You can come to the FPC Sanctuary at 6:00 pm on Sunday night, October 30. The service will be under an hour, so it won’t take a lot of your time. But if you want to experience a peaceful oasis of reflection and renewal and restoration, please come join us!
Many thanks to Daniel Perrin, Jesús Gomez, Annie Lockwood, and our chamber singers for making this special event possible.

Choral Evensong at FPC Tacoma on October 30

Join us Sunday, October 30 at 6:00 p.m. at “Tacoma’s Cathedral” (First Presbyterian Church) as we celebrate the beautiful prayer service of Choral Evensong—meditations and music at the close of the day. Help us initiate a new South Sound tradition. Some regard Evensong as one of the most beautiful and prayerful services in the liturgical tradition, especially as celebrated in cathedrals. Evensong, a “prayer as night falls,” expands the form of daily Evening Prayer and includes the offerings of our Chancel Singers. With elements of both Evening Prayer and Compline, the service of Evensong includes congregational hymns, choral chants and anthems, scripture readings, and prayers, all celebrated in the candlelit wonder of one of Tacoma’s great architectural treasures. You’ll be transported by the ethereal music of our choral Evensong in our beautiful, soaring Romanesque sanctuary with its unique acoustics and jewel-like stained glass rose windows, a feast for the ears, eyes and soul.
As you pray Evensong with us, you will become aware of the uniqueness of the present moment and the experience of “sacred time.” Evensong is a deep encounter with God’s beauty, a rite at the close of the day poised between light and darkness, and a Sunday-night music-rich observance, which will become part of your weekly natural rhythm of prayerful, Spirit-filled reflection. The qualities of peace and calm repose that follow from the recitation of the last of the great monastic daily offices will become a sacred moment and meditation— a refuge from the hectic world of school or work—as it has for so many others throughout the centuries. Hear the beautiful words of the service, centuries old and ever new, and the contemplative music that brings these words to life. Come with prayerful heart, ready to embrace the stillness that knows God’s presence and the “quiet night and perfect end.” Leave renewed with a still and peaceful heart for the week to come and the night ahead.
This is a unique treasure for Tacoma and the South Sound area. Don’t miss it!

Bach in Worship THIS Sunday

Remember to come early to worship by 10:20 am this Sunday (July 31) and hear the first part of J.S. Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins performed by our very own Barbara Trapp and Patrice Barnett (violins), Kerry Franzke (piano), and Max Marcus (cello-basso continuo). The rest of the Concerto will be played during the Offertory and Postlude.

An old wooden piano sits with a violin, bow, and sheet music.