Promoting Excellence in the Arts
First Presbyterian Church of San Diego has enjoyed a long tradition of presenting outstanding music presentations for the members of our church and community. The location, history, habits, and values of the congregation point toward a calling to encourage the flourishing of the arts within the church and within our city. We invest in the performing arts, especially music, and other arts which we teach to children, promote among the young, call forth from all. We connect to professional musicians and to the other churches of the city. We host a wide range of events that invite all to appreciate and enjoy the creative gifts of God given to humanity – all for the sake of humanity flourishing.
The resources of the congregation – our location, 1200 seat sanctuary and more intimate chapel, the organ, the professional musicians on staff and within the membership – are directed to invite artists, and thus the arts, to excel within church and city. Besides classical instrumental and choral music, the church also offers worship in contemporary styles. The sanctuary has hosted a variety of prominent musical artists, concerts, and recitals
The vocal programs are rich in breadth and depth. The Westminster Choir has presented works by contemporary composers such as John Rutter, Mark Hayes, and Joseph Martin, and many works by the giants in sacred music – Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. Through the past 50 years the choirs have been led by only a few directors – Harold Lutz, Myron Tweed, Dr. Keith Whitlock, and currently Dr. Edwin Basilio.
Walking into the sanctuary for the first time it is hard to say what is more striking: the nearly 6,000 pipe Casavant organ or the stained glass windows. Both come with a long and rich history, and both have played their part in our witness to God’s love. The present organ was rebuilt and rededicated after an arsonist set fire to the church kitchen directly underneath the sanctuary chancel and organ loft. The organ console was consumed, some ranks of the pipes melted, and the chimes were ruined, but the firemen were able to save the beautiful stained glass windows and the Casavant company rebuilt the organ. Lawrence Phelps, the designer of the original organ, was brought back as a consultant. Ninety-five percent of the original pipes were saved and restored.
Our present organist is Rodney Girvin. Besides being an excellent organ player, Rodney is an accomplished classical pianist, accompanist, and teacher. Previous organists include: Charles Prestinari, Janice Fehér, Tom Leonard, Robert Plimpton, Jet Turner, and Virginia Cox.
If you are looking for a place to worship and to use your talents, we invite you to consider joining the music ministry of FPC as we seek to glorify God with the gifts God has given us. We humbly encourage you to visit us and consider the following opportunities:
Rehearsals for Westminster Choir are Thursday evenings 7-8:30 p.m. The choir participates in the 11 a.m. worship service every week. No auditions necessary. Please contact Traditional Music Director and Westminster Choir Director, Dr. Edwin Basilio at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FPC Contemporary Worship Team
Rehearsals for the Contemporary Worship Team are Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m. The team leads worship every Sunday at the 8:30 a.m. service. Please contact Contemporary Music Director, Adam Michel at email@example.com for more information.
This ensemble plays in the 11:00 traditional service on 2nd and 4th Sundays. They accompany the hymns, along with the organ and present one feature piece.
Other yearly FPC Orchestra events include Christmas Eve, Palm Sunday or Good Friday and an annual season ending event: a concert and hymn sing.
Rehearsals are held on Wednesday nights previous to the 2nd and 4th Sundays, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, in the church rehearsal room, behind the sanctuary.
For more information please contact: Judith Thomas, 619 518 5700