Concert Series

First Church has long been a center of music and the arts in Summit County. The beauty and architectrual grandeur of the Meetinghouse space is one of the gems of Akron. The acoustics compliment music like no other venue in the area. Experience the beauty, grandeur and acoustics all in one place – First Church.

Hal Walker

Friday, November 10, 2017, 7:30pm
Hal Walker 
writes soul-searching songs that celebrate community, diversity, and the creative process. A multi-instrumentalist, composer and improvisor on the guitar, piano, harmonica, the khaen, jew’s harp and concertina, Hal has also developed a modern version of a traditional African instrument called a “Banakula.”

Harmony Ringers

Saturday, December 2, 2017, 3:30pm
An auditioned Handbell choir, Harmony Ringers with Christine Allison as Director, will help you get in the Christmas spirit with their quick moves, festive apparel and a variety of music that will soothe your frazzled soul and get your toes a-tappin’!

Cleveland Orchestra: Youth Orchestra Ensemble

Saturday, December 9, 2017, 1pm
COYO Advanced Performance Seminar (CAPS) is unique in that members of the program are not only coached by members of The Cleveland Orchestra, but their coaches play alongside them as embedded musicians. In addition, the members attend weekly masterclasses and professional development seminars.

Two Men on a Bench

Saturday, March 17, 2018, 7pm
Entertaining and informative, the organ duet team of Mark Thewes and Chad Pittman – “Two Men on a Bench.” Unique repertoire for four hands and four feet at one organ! Recent performance venues include Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dayton, Boston, and Washington DC.

Chad Pittman is the Director of Choirs for the Akron School for the Arts at Firestone High School, where he conducts and maintains a renowned choral program of six choirs. A recent graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, he studied music education, organ, and conducting. He studied organ with Margaret Scharf, Jonathan Moyer, and Nicole Keller, and conducting with Dwight Oltman and Judith Burns, serving as conductor of the women’s chorus and symphonic wind ensemble, and assistant conductor/accompanist of the outreach department honors chorales. Chad is currently the Director of Music (Organist and Choirmaster) for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Massillon. Prior to his appointment at St. Paul’s, he served as Director of Music and Organist at historic Church of the Savior United Methodist in downtown Canton. Active in public school music education, he has also directed choirs at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, and Kimpton Middle School, receiving Baldwin Wallace University’s clinical practice/student teaching award for outstanding teaching and musicianship. He has also served as Head Counselor and Assistant Choir Director for Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory Summer Intensive, a two week intensive for high school students who wish to study music in college. An active performer in northeast Ohio, he has presented programs at Church of the Covenant (Cleveland), First United Methodist Church (Berea), Remsen Christian Church (Medina), Crossroads United Methodist Church (Canton), Westbrook Park United Methodist Church (Canton), and has served as guest organist for Christ Presbyterian Church (Canton), the Akron Civic Theater, and VOCI (Voices of Canton), and guest speaker/clinician for the Canton and Akron chapters of the American Guild of Organists. Chad is also the current Dean of the Canton Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Recipient of the 2014 Baldwin Wallace University Outstanding Conservatory Senior award, he has frequently collaborated as guest organist with the Baldwin Wallace University College Choir, Concert Wind Ensemble, and orchestra.

Mark Thewes is a resident of Massillon, full-time Organist-Director of Music at Westbrook Park United Methodist Church in his 40th year there. He holds both a Bachelor’s Degree, and Master’s Degree of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Akron, and received his Certification in Church Music from Baldwin Wallace University. He is the immediate past Dean of the Canton Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is a published composer with Morning Star Publishing Co., CPP Belwin-Warner Bros. Co., Abingdon Press, Beckenhorst Press and writes reviews of organ music for the Worship Arts magazine, the national publication of the Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians. One of his compositions Trumpet Tune in Eb was featured on Pipedreams, a national public radio station that airs weekly broadcasts of music written for the organ. He is also a performing member of the Canton MacDowell Club and the Director of the MacDowell Chorale. Mark is also an adjunct faculty member at Malone University in organ and is the accompanist for the Malone Chamber Chorale. He has studied organ with Phillip Hodel of Canton, Richard Shirey and Barbara MacGregor from the University of Akron. Mark is also the accompanist for A Chorus for a Cause, a 80 voice community choir in Canton, Ohio.

Since the two have started performing duet concerts in the fall of 2013, they have been invited to performed at Crossroads United Methodist Church (Canton), Westbrook Park United Methodist Church (Canton), Christ Episcopal Church (Warren), Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Pittsburgh), and Shiloh United Church of Christ (Dayton), St. Paul”s Lutheran Church (Alliance), and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (Canton). Performed on the 2016 (July 20th) concert series at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, outside of Boston and at the National City Christian Church in Washington DC on April 21, 2017.

A Chorus for a Cause

Saturday, April 21, 2018
A Chorus for a Cause is a group 70-80 musicions, under the direction of Christine Allison, who make a difference by bringing compelling music and enjoyment to the community while supporting causes which make our world a better place. This concert will benefit Summit Food Coalition.

The University of Akron Chamber Orchestra

Under the direction of Dr. Guy V. Bordo
Sunday, October 1, 2017, 3pm
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 7:30pm
Thursday, December 7, 2017, 7:30pm
Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 7:30pm
Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:30pm
Thursday, May 3, 2018, 7:30pm