Music

Music at First Baptist Greenville is a thriving ministry with an incredible level of talent.

Gifted musicians work with Children’s Choirs for those 3 years old through elementary school. Many students in our youth group not only sing in the choir, but play a variety of instruments. We are fortunate to maintain a strong relationship with Furman University. Furman students sing in the Sanctuary Choir and have additional leadership opportunities through the Herring church music internship and Herring choral scholar program. The Sanctuary Choir is the primary choir for our worship services and usually prepares from four to six music services each year. 

The Sanctuary Choir has had the honor of performing for national and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. They have sung for Furman Church Music Conferences with guest conductors, Mack Wilberg, Andre Thomas and John Ferguson. In 2016, they hosted a residence with composer Morten Lauridsen and had the opportunity to work with him on his Lux Aeterna with chamber orchestra.

They have also traveled to sing in the Riverside Church in New York City, Duke Chapel in Durham, NC, and been invited to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. They have sung major choral and orchestral works including: Handel’s Messiah, Faure Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Rutter Gloria and Magnificat, Pinkham Christmas Cantata, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The Sanctuary Choir is an energetic, dedicated group of people who sing everything from Handel and Mendelssohn to Latin American sambas and jazz. If you want to be part of a community of faith where music is a vital part of our services and youth and children’s ministries, join us in worship and discover the gifts that music can offer us all in our spiritual journeys.

Dr. Vivian Hamilton

Minister of Music

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Dr. Vivian Hamilton conducts the Sanctuary Choir and is the primary planner for music in our worship services at First Baptist Greenville. An accomplished pianist as well as vocalist and conductor, Dr. Hamilton also conducts the Furman University Women’s Chorale and serves as a collaborative pianist on the music faculty of Furman University. Dr. Hamilton has been a singer in the Robert Shaw Institute Festival Singers where she had the opportunity to work with Robert Shaw and has studied conducting with Dan Lewis and Edvard Tchivzhel. She has worked with choirs at Simmons College, Emerson College, the University of South Carolina, Northeastern University and Clemson University. For twelve years, she conducted the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium Chorale and is a former president of the South Carolina American Choral Directors Association. Her choral conducting experience also includes work at Baptist and Methodist churches in Massachusetts and South Carolina, and in the public schools of Boston and upstate South Carolina. She has worked as a collaborative pianist in Boston, Massachusetts, and throughout South Carolina. She received her doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting from the University of South Carolina, her masters degree in piano performance from New England Conservatory of Music, and her bachelors degree in music education from Furman University.

Shelton Ridge Love

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Shelton Ridge Love grew up in a musical family. His love for music began by watching his mother play the organ at the church where his father served as pastor. It was not long before Shelton was actively involved in the church music ministry. Since that time, he has served as pianist, organist and director of music in several churches in Kansas City, MO, and Upstate South Carolina.
Shelton earned his undergraduate degree in Organ Performance from Bob Jones University studying with Dr. Ed Dunbar. He also studied composition with Dan Forrest, Joan Pinkston and Seth Custer. He owes much of his training to his time spent working as Shelly Hamilton’s assistant at Majesty Music here in Greenville, SC, through which many of his choral, keyboard and orchestral works have been published.
In addition to his duties as Organist at First Baptist Greenville, Shelton works as a composer, arranger and piano instructor. Shelton enjoys being actively engaged in social work in the community, and he performs stand-up comedy as a hobby.
A native of Kansas City, MO, Shelton has lived in Greenville for ten years and currently resides near downtown.

Kimberly Coates

Music and Worship Ministry Assistant

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Kimberly Coates has served as the Music and Worship Ministry Assistant at First Baptist Greenville since 2008. Kimberly works closely with Vivian Hamilton and Shelton Ridge Love with regard to the Sanctuary Choir and worship services. She has the privilege to work on many aspects of the worship services from planning to implementation. She also enjoys working with Priscilla Harris, the leaders of the Children’s Choirs and Amy Joye, providing whatever support she can. Getting to know members of the choirs and their families is a joy and makes a large church seem smaller. Kimberly is also responsible for the church newsletter, trying to keep the church informed on events within the church as well as those within our community and affiliates. A graduate of Mars Hill College, Kimberly has a math degree but continued music study, singing with Dr. William Thomas in the Mars Hill College Choir. Kimberly and her husband, Lee, have three grown children: Brittany, Jordan (Gracie) and Sara Kathryn.

Youth

 Vocare

Vocare is the vocal ensemble of youth in grades 6-12. They rehearse on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 before Youth Family activities begin at 5:00pm. Amy Joye is their director, and Shelton Ridge Love serves as their accompanist.

Amy Joye

Vocare Director

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Originally from Woodruff, SC, Amy grew up as a member of Woodruff First Baptist Church where her mother was Minister of Music and father was Choir Director. She graduated from Furman University in 1995 with the Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music. She also attended Converse College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, studying vocal performance and music education. Amy has taught preschool and elementary music in Kentucky and North Carolina and has led workshops for children’s choir directors in Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri. Amy has served as the Children’s Choir Director at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, as the Music Associate for Children at Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, and as the Children’s Choir Coordinator at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC.
Upon moving back to Greenville in 2008, Amy joined First Baptist Greenville and became active in the Music Ministry here, serving as Junior Choir Director and singing in the Sanctuary Choir. She is a children’s choir curriculum author and has had music and materials published by Lifeway and Growing in Grace. She also created her own preschool church choir curriculum Sing, Play, Rejoice in God!
Amy is also an accomplished singer and performs with the Greenville Chorale, the Herring Chamber Ensemble and the South Carolina Bach Choir. Amy is the proud mother of Will Bailey, who is also an active musician and church member at First Baptist Greenville.

Children

The six Children’s Choirs range in age from 3 years old to 5th grade. They meet on Wednesday evenings throughout the school year. The Children’s Choirs and the Children’s Missions groups coordinate their schedules and meet between 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. with music following missions at 6:15 p.m. Each choir is named: Angel Choir (3 year olds), Archangel Choir (4 year olds), Treble Choir (5 year olds), Melody Choir (1st grade), Harmony Choir (2nd grade), and Junior Choir (3rd/4th/5th grades).

Priscilla Harris

Children’s Choir Coordinator

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Priscilla Harris is the coordinator for the Children’s Choirs at First Baptist Greenville. She is a graduate of Furman University with degrees in music and mathematics. She has sung in several choral organizations including the Furman Singers, the Atlanta Choral Society, the Appalachian Chorale, the Greenville Chorale and the FBG Sanctuary Choir. Priscilla has also been a soloist for each of these musical groups. As a sign language interpreter by trade, she enjoys using sign language with the Treble Choir she directs. Priscilla thinks it is wonderful to be in a church that values the meaningful contributions of our children through music.

Bell Tower Ringers

Julie Treu has a long history of playing and directing handbells.

She joined First Baptist in 2016, coming from a local church where she directed five handbell choirs for 18 years. Here at FBG, she assisted with resurrecting the handbell ministry and was both the administrator and a ringer for the first few years until taking over as director in 2019. She also has participated in local handbell ensemble groups such as Carolina Bronze to make sure her “hands keep ringing!”

The Bell Tower Ringers ensemble handbell choir was born in the spring of 2016 and consists of 13-14 ringers, most of whom have many years of ringing experience, but some are without any but have a willingness to learn! New ringers are always welcome to join the sub list, with the anticipation of being first to be asked to permanently join the choir when positions open up. Rehearsals are on Sunday evenings, and the Bell Tower Ringers provide music for Sunday morning worship services throughout the year. Rehearsals are suspended during the summer months.

Music Series

October 5, 10:30am
Riley Hagan, Bass Guitar (Sanctuary)

October 26, 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Greenville Symphony Orchestra Spotlight Series: Women of Music – ticketed event (Fellowship Hall)

November 22, 7:30pm
SC Bach Choir Concert – ticketed event (Sanctuary)
Pre-Concert Talk, 7:00pm

December 1, 10:30am
Hanging of the Green Service (Sanctuary)

December 6, 7:00pm
Chicora Voices Holiday Concert – ticketed event (Sanctuary)

December 8, 15 and 22, 10:30am
Premiere of Music for Advent by Jim Dant and Shelton Ridge Love (Sanctuary)

December 10, 7:30pm
SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra Concert – free event (Sanctuary)

December 11, 6:00pm
First on Main: Children’s Choirs (NOMA Square)

December 13, 7:00pm
Greenville Gay Men’s Chorus Concert – ticketed event (Fellowship Hall)

December 22, 6:30pm
Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols (Sanctuary)

January 11, 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Greenville Symphony Orchestra Spotlight Series: The Changing Seasons – ticketed event (Fellowship Hall)

February 8, 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Greenville Symphony Orchestra Spotlight Series: Past & Present – ticketed event (Fellowship Hall)

February 16, 10:30am
Valeria Scott, Vocalist (Sanctuary)

Latest News

Music Ministry

Summer Music Services 2019

The first two Sundays in August will be summer music services when we are hosting the Furman Singers Alumni Choir on August 4 and guest singer-songwriter Pat Terry on August 11. Jim Dant will be the speaker during both of these services. On August 4, alumni from the...

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Sanctuary Choir Sing & Sips: Come Mingle!

Summer is here! It’s time to have a little fun… and we want you to join members of the Sanctuary Choir for our summer socials! Each summer, the Sanctuary Choir hosts three “Sing and Sip” Soirées. Because the choir is off from regular rehearsals...

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Herring Church Music Intern Awarded

For the past two years, during his junior and senior years at Furman University, Bergsvein Toverud served as the Herring Church Music Intern here at FBG. He also served as a Herring Choral Scholar here during his freshman and sophomore years in college. At...

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June 23

10:30AM SANCTUARY | 6:00PM FERNWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH DINING ROOM Ryan Madora, bass guitarist, and her husband, singer-songwriter Craig Haller, will provide music in our morning worship service then travel to Fernwood Baptist in Spartanburg for an evening coffeehouse...

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Save the Date for Summer Music Sunday

AUGUST 11 | 10:30AM SANCTUARY (LUNCH CONCERT TO FOLLOW)/ 6:00PM FERNWOOD BAPTIST PAT TERRY Pat Terry will be our guest for Summer Music Sunday, singing during morning worship and giving a lunch concert. Then he will go to Fernwood Baptist for an evening coffeehouse...

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The Celebration Singers

TUCKER FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH | TUCKER, GEORGIA Sunday, June 2, at 10:30am the Celebration Singers, a 47-voice youth choir from Tucker First United Methodist Church (UMC) will provide the music for our worship service. The choir of Senior High and Middle School...

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Amy Joye

Bonclarken Guest Conductor Amy Joye, director of our Junior Choir and Vocare, has been invited to serve as a guest conductor for the Bonclarken Music Conference this summer. She will serve as junior clinician, working with 4th and 5th-grade singers, and be part of...

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FURMAN SINGERS ALUMNI CHOIR

AUGUST 4, 10:30AM The Furman Singers, the oldest of Furman University’s choral ensemble, was founded in 1946 by the late DuPre Rhame while he also served as the director of music at First Baptist Greenville. In 1979, DuPre Rhame (retired in 1970) and the then...

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NOTE FROM VIVIAN…

The Sanctuary Choir is preparing some especially great music for our worship service on February 17 – some old and some new. Handel’s Coronation anthems are some of the most beautiful choral sacred music in the repertoire. We will sing “Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened,”...

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Music from the Group

  MARCH 24, 10:30AM ASHEVILLE YOUTH CHORALE The Asheville Youth Choirs is a community choral organization sponsored by the Academy for the Arts at First Baptist Church of Asheville. The Youth Chorale is a very diverse group of 75-80 middle and high...

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Music from the Edge

WINTER MUSIC SUNDAY FEBRUARY 10, 10:30AM NITA STRAUSS Nita Strauss has been named #1 Female Rock Guitarist in the world. She is tour guitarist for Alice Cooper, has just released and toured a solo album Controlled Chaos, is the first woman to have a...

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ACDA Fall Concert

The South Carolina American Choral Directors Association extended an invitation to our Sanctuary Choir to sing for their fall conference in Charleston, South Carolina. It is an honor for our choir to be invited to participate in this concert where the best choral...

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