FIRST CHURCH WELCOMES INTERIM MUSIC DIRECTOR
Eugenia Sullivan was born in New Britain, CT and attended local schools. Her mother was a pianist and started teaching Eugenia how to play the piano when she was old enough to sit on the piano bench. After attending her first organ recital as a teenager at First Church, she began taking organ lessons with Lorraine Revelle, here at First Church. In high school, she won several musical scholarship competitions and performed in a piano recital at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City. She earned Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in organ from the Juilliard School in New York City. Her first organ recital was, again, here at First Church and she has gone on to perform many organ recitals in New York and New England. She has been active in several American Guild of Organist chapters in the northeast and served as the Dean of the Greater Hartford Chapter AGO, a faculty member of Pipe Organ Encounters, and a judge for musical competitions. An accomplished pianist, she has served as accompanist for the St. John University Chorus, the New Britain Chorale, and the South Windsor Community Chorus, and is a private piano and organ instructor. She has served many denominations in her career as a Music Director and is finding her return to First Church, to serve as the interim Music Director, a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
When she isn’t pursuing her passion for music, Eugenia enjoys outdoor activities such as bicycling, sculling, kayaking, skiing, hiking, and travel with her husband Michael.
MUSIC AT FIRST CHURCH
Music is a wonderful gift from God. Our earliest recorded Hebrew scriptures reveal that music has been central to worship from the beginning. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we are instructed to “sing a new song to the Lord,” and to “praise God with strings and pipe!” This rich tradition continues around the world and here at First Church.
Our largest choir is you, the congregation, as you sing the hymns each Sunday. The Adult Choir is open to anyone high school age and above, and welcomes all who love to sing. We are fortunate to be assisted by professional Section Leaders who provide musical leadership and support to the choir. This group rehearses each Thursday evening and sings in worship each Sunday morning from September to June. We welcome new members at any time. A highlight of the Choir’s year is the annual candlelight Festival of Lessons & Carols, presented each year at 4:00 p.m. on the Sunday before Christmas. NOTE: Over the two-plus years of the COVID-19 pandemic normal attrition and caution about gathering to sing have left us with a choir that is too small to rehearse and sing weekly. We have begun a monthly pre-service rehearsal and singing in the service on an informal basis, but still lack numbers and personnel to sing in all parts. We look forward to growing the choir back to its pre-pandemic health.
Our wonderful carillonneur, Tanya Lukyanova, plays the carillon on the first Sunday morning of the month during the year and through the summer. She usually begins around 9:45 am and plays after worship, too. If you would like, you can come to the church and listen from your car and then stay for our summer “drive-in” worship. This is also a nice gesture to the neighborhood.