First & Central's Music Program includes Festival Concerts, Thursday Noontime Concerts, the Chancel Choir, Center City Chorale, and Mastersingers of Wilmington. All of our programs are developed and overseen by our Minister of Music, David Schelat.
We are proud to partner with Market Street Music for many of our musical presentations.
You can get a sense of music in worship at First & Central by watching any of our YouTube service recordings. It is, of course, always better in person! The Christmas Eve service in 2021 and the service for All Saints (October 31, 2021) are good places to start.
Chancel Choir of First & Central
The Chancel Choir helps lead Sunday worship at F&C. It sings a variety of anthems, from standard sacred choral music of J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel to new music by Americans Gerald Near and Bruce Neswick, as well as music from cultures around the world. The Chancel Choir has about 22 members, both amateur and professional, and is open to new singers upon consultation with David.
Led by the choir, and aided by the stirring acoustics of First and Central's sanctuary, we are a congregation who enjoy robust participation in worship. Come and sing along.
Community Concerts & Events
Groups from the Greater Wilmington community are welcome at F&C! Market Street Music of Delaware (see below), The Wilmington Children’s Chorus, the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware, and the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware hold many of their concerts at the church. In addition, F&C is the rehearsal home for the Wilmington Children’s Chorus, the American Guild of Organists offers periodic educational and fellowship programs, and musicians from the community regularly hold recitals and small concerts.
While not a program directly sponsored by First and Central, we are proud to support the musical education offered by the Wilmington Children's Chorus, who use our classroom space to prepare sell-out concerts in our sanctuary (and elsewhere).
Market Street Music programming
Thursday Noontime Concerts
Our primary musical offering to the community is Thursday Noontime Concerts — half-hour concerts of outstanding classical, jazz, folk, and multicultural music in a location and time that fits easily into the schedule of downtown workers and shoppers. The concerts are free. This program is made possible, in part, by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Delaware Division of the Arts, as well as corporate support from Parcels, Inc., and generous donations from our concertgoers.
Center City Chorale
The Center City Chorale is a 45-voice mixed SATB choir designed for and primarily comprised of people who work in downtown Wilmington. The Chorale rehearses each Tuesday, 12:05–12:55 pm, from September through May. It usually performs during Thursday Noontime Concerts, singing repertoire that ranges from sacred to secular, from Bach and Mozart to music from non-Western cultures, spirituals, and vocal jazz. No audition is necessary, but a commitment to weekly rehearsal is essential. For details, contact David Schelat.
Mastersingers of Wilmington
Mastersingers of Wilmington is a select choral ensemble, which has developed from the Chancel Choir and will thrill you with the beautifully blended sound, remarkably well-tuned singing, and insightful and exciting performances you have come to expect when attending a choral concert at First & Central. Mastersingers of Wilmington will explore classics of the choral repertoire, music that is delightfully new, and sounds of cultures around the world. The ensemble is made up of the finest amateur and professional singers in the region. See a brief introductory video here, or enjoy their latest pandemic-era concert (in a parking garage!) here.
Support Music in Our Community!
Support the music that First & Central provides through a donation to Friends of Music! Click here to donate.