First United Methodist Church of Gilbert offers many opportunities for singers and musicians of all ages and levels of musicianship to join its lively and varied music program. The Music Ministry strives to provide a diverse spiritual offering.
The Sunday 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. services center around traditional music, regularly requiring the use of the organ, piano, and sometimes orchestral instruments, so as to establish an atmosphere conducive to worship and prayer. A broad range of musical styles can fall under this traditional music umbrella ranging from music of the Renaissance church through anthems influenced by the contemporary Christian movement.
The Sunday 11:00 a.m. service provides a more casual and contemporary atmosphere with a band.
There are numerous opportunities to participate or assist the Music Ministry. All ensemble rehearsals are held at the church—some in the choir room, some in the bell room, and some in the sanctuary—and while we have a steadily growing program of participants, we are always looking to add to the ranks of both experienced and inexperienced volunteers. If you have an interest in joining one of our groups in the music program, please email our Director of Music Ministries, Marty Province, or through the church office at (480) 892-9166.
For more than thirty years, Martin Province has conducted a wide range of ensembles including choirs, orchestras, chamber ensembles, and wind bands. He most recently served on the faculty at Arizona State University, preceded by positions at Iowa State and Wake Forest (NC) Universities.
His ensembles have received accolades from and premiered works by such composers as Karel Husa, Michael Torke, Frank Ticheli, David Maslanka, Charles Young, Roger Cichy, and Daron Hagen. In 1996, he conducted the Denver Concert Band at the National Convention for Community Bands in Phoenix, Arizona, and was guest conductor for the Arizona State University Wind Symphony at the College Band Directors National Association Biennial Convention in Minneapolis in 2003.
Prior to his tenure with university ensembles, he served in the public schools of North Carolina and Colorado, teaching chorus, band, and general music to students in elementary, junior, and senior high schools. His first conducting position was as Choir Director for Emmanuel Baptist Chapel (later Pfafftown Baptist Church) in North Carolina. As a clinician and adjudicator, Province has worked with ensembles from more than 25 states and Canadian provinces.
Dr. Province holds both a Doctor of Musical Arts and a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Wake Forest University. He was chosen to participate in the 1992 Conductors’ Guild Conducting Symposium held in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and was one of only four international participants selected for the conducting symposium sponsored by the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1995.
As a performer, Dr. Province has played percussion with the Winston-Salem (NC) Symphony, the Governor’s School of NC Symphony, and the Wilkes (NC) Symphony as well as with the Faculty Chamber Ensemble at the University of Colorado. Until recently, he was a member of the tenor section with the Phoenix Symphony Chorus and entertains – singing and accompanying himself on banjo, guitar, autoharp, and other folk instruments – at events in the East Valley. Marty also has theater experience both in the pit and behind the podium. He recently sang the role of “Enjolras” in a local production of Les Misérables and “Washball” in a Bicentennial resurrection of The Disappointment, America’s first ballad opera.
Dr. Province lives in Chandler, Arizona with his wife Elice and two sons.
Any questions you might have regarding any of the programs within the Music Department, please email Marty.
Jonathan Cochran – Organist
Jonathan has accompanied such varied choral works as Handel’s Messiah, Christmas Oratorio by Camille Saint-Saens, John Leavitt’s Requiem, and J.S. Bach’s Wachet auf, rutf, uns die Stimme, BWV 140. As a pianist, he has played music theatre production, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, and more recently a showcase of the 1932 Broadway revue Walk a Little Faster at Central Community Theatre in Phoenix. As a solo organist, he has performed n the Temple Square Concert Series (in Salt Lake City) as well as at St. Mark’ Cathedral and the Mormon Tabernacle. Combining his organ skills with his theatrical side, Jonathan has been known to stir audiences with this rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theme to Phantom of the Opera! Formerly a violinist (as well as an organ concerto soloist) with the Mesa Symphony Orchestra, his awards include National Finalist of the National Music Teachers Association for Organ and winner of Utah State Fair Organ Competition. In London, he was Associate Director of Music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Eaton Square. Jonathan — a certified teacher of Alexander Technique– earned his music degree from Utah State University, where he was also a teaching assistant in the organ performance program. Jonathan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is fluent in German. He accompanies the Chancel Choir and is the resident organist at First United Methodist Church of Gilbert.
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The Sonshine Singers is one of two children’s choirs here at First United Methodist Church of Gilbert. Children in grades 3-6 are welcome to join with the permission of their parents. This group works on choral repertoire that inspires a joyous connection to God while developing musicianship and harmony skills. They learn to sing classics such as “Pass It On” and “They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love” as well as anthems, hymns, contemporary Christian songs, and even active church camp songs such as “Pharoh, Pharoh!”
Rehearsals are between the second and third services, from 10:45 to 11:15am in Room 221. Attendance is taken every week, and it is important that that the singers attend unless an absence is communicated in advance or an unexpected illness or family emergency occurs. We are diligent that the kids are well prepared to be in front of an audience.
The Sonshine Singers follow the school calendar, with school holidays and summers off. The Sonshine Singers perform for the congregation every 4-6 weeks. A schedule of performances is available for the entire school year.
The Sonshine Singers, under the direction of Susan Bowers, please email her with any questions.
At First United Methodist Church of Gilbert we are blessed to have a mixed (SATB) choral ensemble that performs at the 8:15 and 9:45 Worship services during the months of September through June. Our Choir, averaging fifty plus singers on any given Sunday, enjoy singing together to assist in creating a musical presence for worship services at Christ Church and beyond
Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm and begin in the sanctuary. Music that is practiced is for the upcoming Sunday Service.
Who is Welcome?
The Chancel Choir is open to all singers High School age and above. There is no audition required. We have singers of all levels, those with little choral background to the very accomplished with a lifetime of choral experience. This unique group is bound together through its love of Christ and the joy of making great choral music in his worship. New singers are always welcome. To sing with the Chancel Choir simply attend a rehearsal, or for more information email Marty Province, Choir Director
Concerts, Larger Choral Works and Special Events
Special performances during Advent and Holy week and throughout the year are also performed. The the past we have performed A Festival of Lessons and Carols by John Leavitt; A Ceremony of Lessons and Carols by Anna Laura Page and Jean Anne Shafferman. During Easter, 2010, we sang Requiem by Gabriel Fauré.
The Chancel Choir takes a well deserved break during the months of July and August. During those summer months, members from the Choir and Congregation perform as solo’s or groups during the first two services. Please email Mary Province if you would be interested in sharing your God given talent during this time.
Precision crafted from fine lightweight aluminum, Suzuki ToneChimes have adjustable clapper heads for variable expression and overtone tuning for perfect harmonics. Beautiful, yet cost effective ways to share the music.
Chapel Chimes is another activity for the children/youth of First United Methodist Church of Gilbert. The Chapel Chimes Choir is comprised of youngsters ranging from 1st grade through 7th grade. They learn to play their individual note in combination with every other student’s note form a beautiful song. No experience is required in order to join, just the love of music and the willingness to learn.
Chapel Chimes practice on Sundays from 4:30-5:00 pm in the Bell Room, with summers off. They play throughout the year during the 1st and 2nd Worship Services on Sunday.
Chapel Chimes is under the direction of Mrs. Tami Bruce. If you have any questions at all regarding this group, please email Tami.
The Cherub Choir is open to all children, both boys and girls, from 3 to 7 years old (second grade), who learn the basics of music in a fun and nurturing environment through singing, movement, and games. If and when an individual child is ready, he or she will also learn to read music. The Cherubs perform for the congregation every 4-6 weeks. during the 9:45 Worship Service. They rehearse on Sunday mornings from 11:00am to 11:20am in the choir room under the direction of Susan Bowers and her accompanist. Currently the Cherub Choir has over 35 children participating and is always open for your child to join at any time.
The Cherub Choir follow the school calendar, with school holidays and summers off. A schedule of performances is available for the entire school year.
For more information regarding the Cherub Choir, please email Susan Bowers.
Handbells were invented in 17th-century England, as a solution to a noisy problem. People living near church bell towers had grown tired of listening to long change-ringing rehearsals. The invention of smaller, quieter bells that could be rung with one hand made it possible for rehearsals to take place in the spirited warmth of pubs.
It wasn’t long before people realized that handbells could be used for more than change-ringing, and people began to assemble fully-chromatic sets of bells.
Handbells were first brought to the United States around 1840, where they were popularized by P.T. Barnum as a circus attraction. Not long afterward, handbell teams went into the Vaudeville circuit. In the 1940’s, people began ringing handbells in American churches.
Handbells were first manufactured in the United States in the 1960’s. Today there are over 10,000 handbell choirs in North America, most of which are associated with churches.
Bells are among the most ancient of musical instruments, and have been used in worship since the some of the earliest documentable times. First United Methodist of Gilbert has a long tradition of bell choirs. Our ensemble generally rings with 9-10 bell ringers (playing Schulmerich Bells, as well as Suzuki Tone Chimes. The Wesleyan Bells welcomes capable ringers of high school age and above.
The Wesleyan Bells rehearse Wednesdays from 5:30pm – 6:30pm in the bell room (with summers off). Nursery/child care is available for both Wednesday rehearsals and Sunday morning worship services. They play frequently through out the year during the 1st and 2nd service and have been requested to play at funerals held at the church as well.
For more information regarding the Wesleyan Bell Choir, please email Marty Province, Choir Director.