Music

Wesley is home to a diverse, multi-faceted music ministry. From handbells to historic organs, Wesley’s members have many opportunities to experience—and make—a joyful noise.

Wesley's Praise Band

Wesley’s Praise Band

Chancel Choir

Wesley’s Chancel Choir, under the direction of Dr. Barrington Coleman, is made up of everyone from university students to retirees. The choir rehearses weekly and performs regularly during the 9:30 service. Additionally, the choir has held special concerts at Wesley and at Allerton Park. The choir is always interested in welcoming new members, whether you are an expert singer or an enthusiastic novice. The Chancel Choir rehearses every Wednesday, 7-8:30pm, in the Choir Room. If you are interested in joining the choir, email barringtonl.coleman@gmail.com.

Handbell Choir

The Wesley Handbell Choir is a multigenerational group of players, with skill levels ranging from novice to expert. Players work together, in a fun and relaxed environment, to make beautiful music to accompany worship at Wesley. The Handbell Choir plays on the first Sunday of each month during the traditional worship, as well as at special occasions. With rehearsal once a week (7:00pm on Wednesdays in room 49), scheduled around the University of Illinois break schedule, the Handbell Choir offers a unique and low-stress way to enjoy making music. If you are interested in joining—the choir welcomes everyone, even if you’ve never touched a handbell before—contact the choir director at handbells@wesleyui.org. Small ensembles are available for special performances; please contact the director to schedule.


 

Praise Band

The praise band at Wesley is a small, flexible, and eclectic group of musicians who lead the 11:15 worship service. We have been blessed to have a number of committed and talented individuals over the past few years. The current line-up includes a pianist, drummer, bassist, back-up vocalist, and acoustic guitar- though the drummer often breaks out in a flute or melodica solo, and the guitarist has been known to dabble on mandolin or trumpet. Most of the group’s members are graduate students, so the rehearsal schedule tends to be a bit erratic. All music is read from lead sheets so interested musicians should have a relatively good ear. Music is mainly drawn from contemporary Christian musicians such as Gungor, Chris Tomlin, John Mark McMillian, Israel Houghton, Ascend the Hill, and Rend Collective Experiment. The goal is to worship together through creating music that any congregation member can join in on. Its about participation, not presentation. We are open to just about any creative and spirit-filled musician who wants to join us, its quite informal. Play the viola de gamba? The hurdy-gurdy? Banjolele? Come join us! Something more traditional? We’ll take you too! Want more info? Email Kerrith Livengood at daisystomper@gmail.com or just go say “Hi!” after church. He’s the one with a guitar and a beard, seldom seen without either.

 

Organ

Wesley is also home to a historic organ. Once found in the University of Illinois’s Smith Hall, the organ is now housed in Wesley’s sanctuary. It plays an integral role in the 9:30 service, when it is played by Wesley organist Mike Schmidt or, occasionally, by Pastor Dan.

Children’s Choir

The children’s choir rehearses every Sunday during Sunday school. Along with singing, they learn how to play hand bells and various percussion instruments. The children perform during the traditional church service once a month. They also participate in the Hanging of the Greens Christmas pageant and the Easter Sonrise service, where they sing and perform skits. During summer vacation bible school, the children’s choir learn songs and dances.  If you have any questions you can contact the director Sarah Flygare.

a person plays a piano at the front of the sanctuary

The 9:30 service is usually accompanied by our historic organ, though sometimes we also use the piano.