Music at First Church

First Congregational Church of Los Angeles has enjoyed a long history of musical excellence.  The Great Organs of First Church, with over 18,000 speaking pipes, is one of the largest pipe organs in the world, brought to life each Sunday by Dr. Christoph Bull.  While our worship services are steeped in rich church traditions, as our congregation becomes increasingly diverse, so does our music program -- spanning European sacred canon, jazz, Americana and gospel, world music, and even influential secular artists whose message aligns with First Church’s focus on love as a core to spirituality.

Come and join our choir, everyone is welcome, you will love being here because you’ll be singing music that is so beautiful uplifting and you will leave feeling better and changed.
— Choir Member
 
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Dr. Christoph Bull

Organist-in-Residence

Chrsitoph has performed around the world, including the U.S., Europe, Asia and Central America, and recorded for numerous albums, TV shows and movies. Equally versed in classical and popular styles, he especially likes to play organ music, rock music and rocking organ music.

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Dr. David Harris

Director of Music

David (drdavidharrismusic.org) specializes in new music, American music, and the intricacies of communication in choral singing and conducting.  He is also the co-director of VoiceScienceWorks (voicescienceworks.org), a composer, a frequent performer around LA, and a regular contributor to voice and choral publications.

 

Cathedral Choir

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For over a century, the First Church Cathedral Choir has led the congregation in regular Sunday worship and special events.  Today’s Cathedral Choir includes professional artists from LA’s robust vocal, theater, and film worlds in addition to avocational singers whose professionalism and insight from their unique careers helps to create the essential core of the Cathedral Choir community.  Singers looking to hone and share their developed talents sing alongside those who are newly exploring the vocal arts. Each voice shares in the leadership of the ensemble, coalescing their perspective and life wisdom into a cohesive whole. The Cathedral Choir is a welcoming group, and celebrates the diversity of race, creed, and identity that make up the ever-growing ensemble.  Dr. Harris, Music Director, also the co-founder of VoiceScienceWorks (voicescienceworks.org), guides members through explorations of their voices and the music using contemporary research that helps all singers excel individually and as a part of the whole. There are few experiences as uplifting as singing with The Great Organs, and collaborating vocally with Dr. Bull, whose creativity and sensitivity feed the choir every week.

I am so grateful to have the outlet of singing in a supportive, uplifting atmosphere.
— Choir Member

On any given Sunday, music from the classical choral canon of Bach, Pergolesi, Beach, Brahms, Bernstein, Dawson, and others can be heard intermingled with music from around the world, popular music, and contemporary compositions.  The Cathedral Choir, home to several composers, premieres dozens of new works each year. The group actively seeks to promote less-represented demographics whose spiritual message adds richness to the diverseness of worshippers at First Church.

Participating in the musical leadership at First Church brings joy, passion, fulfillment, excitement, community, skill development, and fun to each member’s life. For more info about becoming a part of the First Church Cathedral Choir, email Dr. David Harris at dharris@fccla.org.

This is a great choir where people with varying levels or training are able to work together in an inclusive environment to combine into something much greater than the sum of its parts.
— Choir Member

Laude

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The members of Laude represent some of the brightest vocal and choral stars in Los Angeles.  Ensemble and business leaders, composers, soloists, film and stage actors, and instrumentalists make up this robust chamber group, lending it noted flexibility and strength.  Laude members sing with the Cathedral Choir as section leaders in addition to meeting on their own to present more intimate musical experiences. Each member also frequently presents solo features from the breadth of their professional acumen.

 
Molly Pease - FCCLA Music Coordinator  Vocalist, composer, improviser ( mollypeasemusic.com ), songwriter and bandleader ( acklandband.com ), Sings with Tonality, the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles, and indie band Easy.

Molly Pease - FCCLA Music Coordinator

Vocalist, composer, improviser (mollypeasemusic.com), songwriter and bandleader (acklandband.com), Sings with Tonality, the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles, and indie band Easy.

Fahad Siadat - Vocalist, composer, conductor ( FahadSiadat.com ), Director See-A-Dot Music Publishing ( seeadot.com )

Fahad Siadat - Vocalist, composer, conductor (FahadSiadat.com), Director See-A-Dot Music Publishing (seeadot.com)

Abbe Drake - Vocalist; Volunteer Community Outreach Singer, Urban Encore, Creator of MakeMeCrafty ( facebook.com/makemecraftyplease ,  makemecrafty.blog )

Abbe Drake - Vocalist; Volunteer Community Outreach Singer, Urban Encore, Creator of MakeMeCrafty (facebook.com/makemecraftyplease, makemecrafty.blog)

Franklin Hobbs - Singer, Voice Actor, Photographer ( www.franklinhobbs.com )

Franklin Hobbs - Singer, Voice Actor, Photographer (www.franklinhobbs.com)

Jaquain Sloan - Vocalist, bassoonist (jaquain  sloan.com )

Jaquain Sloan - Vocalist, bassoonist (jaquain sloan.com)

Katie Hampton - Vocalist for film, tv, and live performance ( katiehampton.com ) ( Katie’s IMDB credits ), Lead Singer for  Sergio Mendes

Katie Hampton - Vocalist for film, tv, and live performance (katiehampton.com) (Katie’s IMDB credits), Lead Singer for Sergio Mendes

David Saul Lee - Vocalist, Pianist, Multi-Instrumentalist ( DavidSaulLee.com ) Artistic Director Selah Gospel Choir ( SelahGospelChoir.com )

David Saul Lee - Vocalist, Pianist, Multi-Instrumentalist (DavidSaulLee.com) Artistic Director Selah Gospel Choir (SelahGospelChoir.com)

David García Saldaña - vocalist ( fccla.com  &  c3la.org ), composer ( davidgarciasaldana.com ), and electronic musician ( pileofwires.com ).

David García Saldaña - vocalist (fccla.com & c3la.org), composer (davidgarciasaldana.com), and electronic musician (pileofwires.com).

Laurel Irene - Vocal Artist ( laurelirene.com ), Voice Educator, Co-Director VoiceScienceWorks ( voicescienceworks.org )

Laurel Irene - Vocal Artist (laurelirene.com), Voice Educator, Co-Director VoiceScienceWorks (voicescienceworks.org)

David Conley - Conductor, Composer, & Vocalist.  www.davidconleymusic.com   Co-Chair of the Performing Arts, Choir Director at Marymount High School ( mhs-la.org )  Sings with the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, Tonality, & the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles.

David Conley - Conductor, Composer, & Vocalist. www.davidconleymusic.com

Co-Chair of the Performing Arts, Choir Director at Marymount High School (mhs-la.org)

Sings with the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, Tonality, & the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles.

Emily Goglia - vocalist, actor, dancer, writer, producer; LA Choral Lab, USO Show Troupe, Sunset Singers ( www.emilygoglia.com , @emilygoglia)

Emily Goglia - vocalist, actor, dancer, writer, producer; LA Choral Lab, USO Show Troupe, Sunset Singers (www.emilygoglia.com, @emilygoglia)

Laura Jackman - Session Vocalist ( https://soundcloud.com/laura-jackman ), arranger, Co-President ( layouthstudio.com ), vocal instructor, vocal contractor

Laura Jackman - Session Vocalist (https://soundcloud.com/laura-jackman), arranger, Co-President (layouthstudio.com), vocal instructor, vocal contractor

 

Commonwealth Community Chorus

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The children of the Commonwealth Community Choir sing in a First Church service a few times annually.  A truly community-focused choir, the CCChorus includes singers from First Church, from Pilgrim School, and from the wider LA community.  Their stated goal of “building a shared future through song” guides their diverse repertoire and performance opportunities. While building community and developing musical skill, they bring attention to issues of equity and justice whose inclusion in the broader life conversation of their generation helps guide their tomorrow in new, positive ways for all.


How to join a First Church ensemble

  • The Cathedral Choir meets on Thursday evenings from 7:00-9:00 in the choir room and on Sunday mornings at 9:30 for the 11:00 service.  Membership is open to all who are interested. There is no formal audition, and potential new members are encouraged to sing in a rehearsal to see if the ensemble is the right fit for you.  Past musical experience is a plus and fits in well with the professional-level of the group, but is not necessary. Those curious to begin exploring their voices can feel free to visit with Dr. Harris in order to get a better scope of the process.  For questions, please email Dr. Harris.

  • Laude is an auditioned, professional ensemble filled by the discretion of the music director.  Those wishing to know more about the opportunity to join Laude can email Dr. Harris at dharris@fccla.org.

  • The Commonwealth Community Chorus meets on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:30.  Those interested in joining who are grades 4-12 should have their parent contact Dr. Harris at dharris@fccla.org to set up a voice interview.


The Great Organs of First Church

The Great Organs of First Church is an instrument appreciated by organ aficionados around the world for its complexity, grandeur, and remarkable sound.  Comprised of several organs joined together, it is among the largest church pipe organs in the world, with 18,094 speaking pipes, 328 ranks, 15 divisions, and a total of 278 speaking stops.  For more detailed info about the Great Organs, click HERE.



Our Music Partners

First Church is also proud to be home-base for nationally recognized choruses; Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Vox Femina of Los Angeles, Southeast Symphony and Top Shelf, and LA Choral Lab. These organizations utilize our space for rehearsals, and perform at least one concert per year in our venue. Members of these groups also participate in our Sunday morning worship from time to time.