Family Music at First Pres

Family Music, a new venture at the First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles, continues this week with a multigenerational premiere of

a choral work written especially for the program.

"When singing, you pray twice," said the Reverend Craig Lindsey, Pastor of the church. "Music is very important to the life of our congregation, and we like to involve as many people as possible."

Last spring, the church's Organist and Coordinator of Music, Karen Hindenlang, advanced a proposal for children and parents to join together to make a musical offering in worship. The idea was embraced by the adult and youth choir directors, Tom Baker and Carol Vedder.

This fall, the program expanded of its own accord to include grandparents, friends and, according to Hindenlang, "anyone who enjoys being part of a friendly, inclusive short-term worship ensemble, above and beyond our regular choirs."

Finding the right sort of music for such a group proved a challenge, one that Hindenlang took home. Her husband Crawford Thoburn, Professor of Music and Chair of the Arts Division at Wells College, has composed dozens of published choral works that have been performed by ensembles of all sorts and sizes all over the world.

For Family Music's second outing, Thoburn offered to arrange a work specifically for the group, providing a fresh setting for youth, adults and organ of a beloved familiar hymn, Come, Christians, Join to Sing. The hymn first appeared in an old Scottish collection called Sacred Melodies for Sabbath Schools and Families, and it carries a refrain that combines a jubilant Alleluia with an emphatic Amen.

The First Presbyterian Church is located at 97 Genessee Street in Skaneateles, and Sunday's worship service is at 9:30 am. The church is accessible, parking is ample, and nursery care is provided for infants and toddlers.

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