There’s no doubt about it: at First Wayne Street, we love music. Our sanctuary’s acoustics are superb and are considered by many to be the finest in the Fort Wayne area. We have a long history of fine music, and we support an active concert series, Wednesdays on Wayne Street (WOWS) in June and October. Our pipe organ was designed specifically for our building by renowned organ builder Rudolph von Beckerath of Hamburg, Germany, and it has been delighting both congregations and concert audiences ever since its installation in 1974. Our sanctuary is also home to an exquisite Yamaha Concert Grand piano. Both the organ and the piano are heard in worship every Sunday.
The music in our Sunday service is eclectic, embracing a wide spectrum of music genres. On any given Sunday morning, you can expect to hear everything from old Wesleyan hymns to contemporary Christian rock, from spirituals and gospel music to the meditative chanting of Taize, from jazz & blues to Mozart anthems and Bach fugues. Dr. Geoffrey North, our music director, is not only talented and extremely versatile, but he also has a genuine love of and for all kinds of music, and that love shines through each week. Our children’s music program is led by Phyllis Boester, who is both a talented musician and a wonderful teacher.
Our wonderful music program would not be possible without the enthusiastic volunteer participation of many musically talented people of all ages (as young as 3), who participate by singing and playing instruments (some by doing both!). Our choirs include four adult groups: a Praise Team, Sanctuary Choir, Chamber Choir, and Handbell Choir – as well as three groups for children: the Wesley Singers, the Cherub Choir, and the Gloria Ringers.
First Wayne Street is also blessed with many other musicians who generously share their talents by singing solos, or by playing instruments such as the trumpet, flute, French horn, percussion, violin, piano, and organ.
While music plays an important part of every Sunday service, it is especially vibrant during our yearly October hymn fest, our Lessons & Carols service before Christmas, and on high holidays like Easter. Our WOWS Concert Series showcases local talent every Wednesday in June and October. In addition, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic performs concerts in our sanctuary every season, and we routinely welcome other choirs from the local area and regionally.
First Wayne Street currently has three adult choirs: a Praise Team, our Sanctuary Choir, and a Chamber Choir. All three choirs sing regularly in worship services and rehearse on Wednesday evenings throughout the school year (the Praise Team also rehearses and performs in the summer). The Praise Team focuses on contemporary music, while the Sanctuary and Chamber Choirs focus on more traditional and classical music – however, all three choirs are versatile and perform music from a variety of musical genres.
The Sanctuary Handbell Choir is an advanced choir for teens and adults who read music. This choir plays regularly in worship and during special services. The handbell choir rehearses weekly, September through May, on Sunday mornings at 11:15 a.m. in the bell rehearsal room.
Children’s Music Programs
Our Children’s Music Program is led by Phyllis Boester, who directs two singing groups – the Wesley Singers (for elementary-aged children) and the Cherub Choir (for preschool-aged children), as well as a handbell choir called the Gloria Ringers. She also teaches the children & youth the music involved in our annual Children’s Musical. During her time at First Wayne Street, Phyllis continually she demonstrates her love for and dedication to our children and their musical education.
The Beckerath Pipe Organ
First Wayne Street’s mechanical action pipe organ was designed by Rudolph von Beckerath of Hamburg, Germany, and was installed in the rear gallery of the sanctuary in the fall of 1974. It has three manuals and pedals with 37 stops (51 ranks) and a total of 2520 pipes. The organ is composed of four divisions of pipes, three of which are housed in…
WOWS Concert Series
First Wayne Street’s sanctuary is a wonderful acoustic space, and First Wayne Street has a long history of supporting and offering fine music. Our music program includes vocal and handbell choirs for preschoolers through adults, and often features soloists and instrumentals (including both members of our congregation and of the community). In addition, we produce an active concert series. Every Wednesday in…