2019 Margaret Hsiao Scholarship Recipient: Matteo Paoli

The Worship and Music Committee is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Margaret “Peggy” Hsiao Scholarship is Matteo Paoli, a Senior at Rutherford High School. He will be attending Mannes School of Music at the New Schools College of Performing Arts in Manhattan. Congratulations to Matteo!

Music & Song at First Presbyterian

Music is a powerful way of expressing our faith. Hymns, responses, choral and organ music connect us with centuries of faith tradition and carry us through our joys and sorrows, as individuals and as a community. Music from many sources, both sacred and secular, lifts hearts, touches souls, connects people to one another and provides solace in personal meditation.

Our music draws on the resources of congregation, choirs, organs, and instruments including piano, handbells, recorders, Orff percussion, and other instruments. Guest musicians frequently join us for special times such as All Saints Day, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. We invite all ages, and of all abilities, to participate in our music-making, to share talents and the joy of music. As the number of young people in our church is increasing, so are the opportunities for them to share their music.

We encourage musical development at any stage of life. This could include older adults learning to play the recorder, young people playing instrumental solos in a worship service, or the family choir learning a song that they will sing in church later that morning. The church makes available a scholarship of $1000 for an outstanding high school student who has been accepted to study music in college. See below for the more recent application instructions and download.

Through our music, we invite people to be engaged as a community tuning in with the Divine. We also offer concerts and informal times throughout the year for music to speak in many different ways. Please join us in our musical journeys.

Congregational Singing

Congregational Singing is at the heart of our worship times. Supported by choir and organ, voices are joined in highest praise and deepest prayer. We sing the earliest hymns of the Christian Church, Gregorian melodies, hymns from Renaissance, Baroque, Classical periods, English and American hymns, praise hymns, global and folk hymns. 

In our two worship spaces, we use two different hymnbooks – The Presbyterian Hymnal: Hymns, Songs, and Spiritual Songs (1990) and Glory to God (2013). We often include hymns and songs from other sources too. Occasionally we gather for “Soup, Salad, and Sing,” an informal time of exploring the hymnals and singing both new and favorite hymns. With mind, body, and spirit, voices are raised – unison or harmony, high or low, strong or weak – and woven together in a tapestry of sound. 

    …be filled with the spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves,singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:18-20