At the First Congregational Church of South Portland, we have a very active music program under the direction of Shirley Curry and with the help of an active Music Committee and encouraging staff. We have four choirs that participate regularly in services: Meetinghouse Choir, Hilltop Ringers, Children’s Choir and Joyful Noise Choir..
THE MEETINGHOUSE CHOIR
The Meetinghouse Choir is open to all seventh graders to adults of any age. They rehearse on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:45 p.m. in the rehearsal room in the undercroft level of the church.
The Meetinghouse Choir is open to all who can carry a tune and tap a toe. Music reading skills are wonderful but not mandatory. The director and fellow choir members are always ready to help you along. The choir sings each week at the 10 a.m. Sunday worship service. We do a variety of styles of music from Gospel to Classical to Renaissance. We also sing for several special services and events each year:
* Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols
* Good Friday Service in which we do extended works such as Stainer’s Crucifixion; Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ; Rutter’s Requiem’; Fauré’s Requiem.
THE HILLTOP RINGERS
The Hilltop Ringers (Handbell Choir) is open to ninth graders through adults. They rehearse Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the balcony of the sanctuary. Please contact Ms. Curry for openings in this group.
The Hilltop Ringers play monthly in Worship. Here is where rhythm really counts. You may only play two or three notes. But the question is “when” It is a lot of fun. Once a year we try to do a program at a nursing home which becomes a very meaningful experience for both the ringers and the audience.
THE CHILDREN’S CHOIR
The Children’s Choir includes boys and girls in grades two through six. They rehearse on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. in the rehearsal room. The Children’s Choir sings monthly in worship and also for a special early Christmas Eve service. They also sing at an early Good Friday service.
One of the most engaging ways of teaching God’s love to children is through group singing, clapping, marching and drumming. One of their anthems expresses that so well as it says “Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice – It takes a whole person to sing and rejoice”.
THE JOYFUL NOISE
The Joyful Noise Choir for little ones ages three through first grade is directed by Robin Reinhold. They rehearse Sundays from 11:15 to 11:30 in the preschool classroom in the Undercroft. The Joyful Noise chorus is exactly that. It is Joy. It is Singing. It is Noise. And it is filled with love. They sing monthly in worship and the congregation is always warmed by their enthusiasm.
OUR MUSIC DIRECTOR
Our Minister of Music, Shirley L. Curry, grew up in Portland. She had excellent local piano teachers. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in both Music Education and Piano at Boston University. Shirley taught junior high school in Malden, Massachusetts before returning to Maine. She was the accompanist for the Choral Art Society in Portland from its inception in 1972 through 1999 and played for ten years with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Shirley Curry has played organ for churches and directed choirs for parishes in Bradford, Massachusetts and South Portland, Maine. She has been devoted to music in this church since 1968 and still finds great joy and challenge in her ministry here.