Our music program is rich and varied, offering opportunities for all ages and abilities to participate with the goal of providing music for a worship that reflects the whole Body of Christ in our midst.  Many soloists (vocal and instrumental) are found in our congregation, and we are blessed to use their gifts in worship from time to time.

Organ:  Our organ is a 1938 build 45 rank (with cathedral chimes), 3 manual Henry Pilcher’s Son’s pipe organ.  The instrument was fully restored in 2009 and is very well maintained.

 Piano:  We also play a wonderful historic Mason & Hamlin grand piano and a more modern K. Kawaii (built for Japanese market) grand piano.  

 Hand Bell Ensemble:  Our English Hand Bell ensemble is 3 octaves plus chimes.

 Music Ensembles:

 Adult Chancel Choir (open to Senior High through adult) consists of approximately 16-20 members.  Rehearsal is 7:30 pm every Wednesday (September through May), and each Sunday morning at 10:15 am June through August.  Anthems and choral responses range from classical to contemporary and encompass many styles.  The Choir sings each Sunday during worship, year round.

 Melodious Ringers English Hand Bell Choir meets at 6:30 each Wednesday from September through May.  This 3-octave plus chimes ensemble is open to anyone interested in playing - with opportunities for musical novices as well as experienced ringers, youth and adults.  This ensemble performs approximately 6 times per school year in worship.

 Children’s Choir is open to all children, ages pre-K through elementary school.  The Children’s choir is a great opportunity to use music to reinforce the basic tenants of our faith through song, and to allow young worshipers the opportunity to experience guided worship as a way of teaching our worship traditions to the next generation.  This ensemble performs in worship as they are able, usually several times per school year.


A year ago, Frank Kennerly came to First as our Organist.  We had an opportunity to get to know Frank as Brian wound down as our Interim Music Director, and knew that Frank was 
the right person to take over the “fuller time” position we had been envisioning:  Director, Musician, Host.

Frank’s time will be divided three ways as he helps us give glory to God.  First, as Director, he will prepare and conduct our adult choir, bell choir, and soloists for Sunday Services and special occasions.  As the church’s primary instrumentalist, he will continue to help us literally “Fine Tune” the organ as we bring it up to good repair, play the organ and grand piano, and continue to discover uses for the electronic instrument – such as the trumpets we experienced at Easter – to enhance our services.  Finally, as an Outreach Equipper, Frank will serve as host to music groups we are already in fellowship with – such as SMF, Heifetz, and Ovation Singers – but also is charged with reaching out to new and established musicians and musical groups as we build our mission of outreach to the community.

Frank is well suited to the expansion of this position.  His training on the organ began in 6th grade.  Later, at Brevard College, Frank deepened his knowledge of music theory, history, and excelled in his keyboard and vocal skill development.   

Frank served as organist at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Orangeburg, SC while also working at Jeffers Handbell Supply reviewing arrangements and compositions for Jeffers magazine, which he also came to edit.  At Jeffers he  learned to disassemble, clean and repair handbells, and attended American Guild of English Handbell Ringer National Conventions across the United States. 

His next calling was as Organist and Handbell Director at Seven Oaks Presbyterian in Columbia. In 1987 he was elected Dean of the Columbia, SC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

In 1991 Frank moved to Staunton.  During the next 6 years he was Handbell Director for Covenant Presbyterian.  Also during this time his arrangement of the gospel tune “Whispering Hope” for piano and solo/duet handbells was accepted for publication by JHS.

Frank moved to Waynesboro in 1996 with his partner and now husband, Dan Hamilton, and renovated a home in the Tree Streets Neighborhood.   For six years he served as Interim Organist and then Organist at First Presbyterian Waynesboro.  From 2012 through 2015 he was Organist and Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Waynesboro.  Serving in a choir director/organist combination, he developed new ways to communicate with the choir during anthems/hymns.  

It is clear that God has blessed us with a great experienced leader and a terrific fit as we move into the next steps of our mission.  We are so glad to welcome Frank into his “new” and “next” permanent position.