First Church has a very active and exciting music arts program. With a variety of choirs and styles of music, there is definitely a place for you in the music arts program.
The Sanctuary Choir
Open to all adults and sings at either the 8:00 AM or 11:00 AM worship services. Rehearses Wednesdays from 6:15 PM – 7:45 PM.
The Chancel Singers
Open to all adults and sings at the 9:30 AM service.
The Handbell Choir
Open to all adults and performs throughout the year. Rehearses Mondays from 4:15 – 5:15 PM.
ICON Praise Choir
Open to all adults and sings once a month at ICON. Rehearses twice a month in Wesley Abbey.
The Kindergarten and 1st Grade Choir
Open to kindergarten and 1st graders and performs at services and special productions.
The 2nd – 4th Grade Choir
Open to 2nd – 4th graders and performs throughout the year at services and events.
Club 56 Choir
Open to 5th-6th graders and rehearses on Sundays. This choir performs throughout the year.
Mid-High and Sr. High Youth Choir
Open to youth in grades 7th – 12th and rehearses on Sundays. This choir performs throughout the year and tours each summer.
Senior High Female and Male Ensembles
Open to youth in grades 6th–12th and rehearses on Sundays. These are auditioned groups.
Youth Praise Band
Leads worship at youth events and other services.
Praise and worship band which leads music weekly at ICON.
Rick Branch, Minister of Music
Email Rick, 850-432-1434 ext. 115
The Rev. Rick Branch is an ordained Deacon and is professionally certified as a Minister of Music. He received a B.A. in Piano Performance from the University of Central Florida and a M.A. in Church Music and Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, VA. He has done post-graduate work at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Rick joined the staff at First Church in 1994 and oversaw our massive organ expansion in 2001. Under Rick’s leadership our ten choirs provide an opportunity for everyone to lift up their voice to the Lord! Rick is married to Heidi and they have two children.
Jeb Hunt, Director of Contemporary Worship Arts and Communications
Email Jeb, 850-432-1434 ext. 123
Jeb Hunt is a native of Pensacola, Florida and serves as the Director of Contemporary Worship Arts and Communications at First United Methodist Church in Pensacola. As Director of Communications, Jeb is responsible for the overall communication strategies for Florida’s oldest Methodist church including print, web, and television advertising. He received a B.A. Degree in Communication Arts with a specialization in Telecommunications and Film from the University of West Florida. He is currently working on a Masters of Arts in Christian Practice from Duke University with intentions to become an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. In the Fall of 2013, Jeb took a 3 month month sabbatical to ride a bicycle 4,100 miles across the United States from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia (http://www.willandjebbiketheus.com). He also enjoys biking, swimming and running and is currently training for an Ironman triathlon.
Heidi Branch, Assistant Music Director/Accompanist
Libby Hargrave, 9:30 Worship Leader/Music Assistant
The Music department is located on the third floor of the main administration building at First Church. A large choir rehearsal room and handbell room are located in the music department. The Minister of Music’s office is also located on the third floor.