We are pleased to share with you our 2019-2020 Music and Fine Arts Season.

We hope you will consider becoming a Patron or a Sponsor. As a Patron, with your tax-deductible gift of $50, you will receive your name in programs, reserved seating for The Sights & Sounds of Christmas concert, the Voctave concert (ticket purchase required) and the Fanfares and Flourishes concert (ticket purchase required). As a Sponsor, with your tax-deductible gift of $100, you will receive all Patron benefits and a special invitation to attend a pre-concert reception before the Sights & Sounds of Christmas concert, Voctave concert (ticket purchase required) and the Fanfares and Flourishes concert (ticket purchase required). To learn more, contact Karen Buie (kbuie@firstumc.org or 863-687-9856) Monday through Thursday from 8:30am – 4:30pm.

Lawn Fest 2019 – A Night of Bluegrass & BBQ on Sunday, November 10 at 5:30pm on the Front Lawn: Join us for an entertaining evening of Bluegrass and BBQ on our front lawn overlooking beautiful Lake Morton. This year’s concert will feature The South Porch Bluegrass Band from St. Petersburg, Florida. A $5 meal will include your choice of slow-cooked BBQ chicken or pork with a mix of southern sides. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, a favorite lawn game and a neighbor or friend. Be sure to come with an appetite for smoky southern flavors and songs. Lawn Fest is a family-friendly event hosted by the 11:20am contemporary worship service leadership team.

The Florida Southern Children's Chorus and Girls' Chorus on Wednesday, November 20 at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary: The Florida Southern Children’s Chorus, under the direction of Deborah Zahner, is an auditioned choir for children in third through sixth grades. The Florida Southern Girls’ Chorus, under the direction of Claudia Bolano-Becerra, is an auditioned choir for young women in seventh through twelfth grades. These talented young singers are from public schools, private schools and homeschools throughout the Lakeland area and surrounding Polk County communities. Both choirs were established in 2012 by the Lakeland Choral Society, and they enjoy performing in the Central Florida area with the Choral Society as well as in concerts on their own. To learn more, visit lakelandchoralsociety.org/childrens-chorus.

The Sights and Sounds of Christmas on Sunday, December 8 at 4pm and 7pm in the Sanctuary: The “Sights and Sounds” holiday musical tradition is back! With the choirs of First United Methodist, the Handbell Ringers & Singers and a full orchestra, you won’t want to miss this concert of your Christmas favorites. Join us as we set the stage for another exciting holiday season through music. Childcare is provided for children six weeks through four years old – check in opens 15 minutes prior to the start of the event.

Voctave on Saturday, January 18 at 7pm in the Sanctuary: Back by popular demand, this talented group of a cappella singers all have professional roots in Orlando-area theme park entertainment and world-wide reputations. Their musical range does not stop there. The group performs everything from gospel music and musical theatre to contemporary Christian and barbershop. The voices that bring their artistic arrangements to life represent a wealth of diverse backgrounds and musical experiences. Members of Voctave have performed all over the world and can be heard on countless recordings. Tickets ($15/each) are available exclusively online for this extraordinary concert - to purchase tickets, click here. For more information about Voctave, visit voctave.com.

Dinner Theatre and Silent Auction - Death by Dessert on Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22 at 6:30pm in the Fellowship Center: Written by Nathan Hartswick, Produced by special arrangement with Brooklyn Publishers and Presented by the Ringers & Singers. It’s dinnertime and you are invited to a meal so good it’s to die for! In New York’s little Italy, the Donnaducce family and the Duccedonni family have been feuding for a generation while operating two competing Italian restaurants that share a common wall. When the building’s landlord is suddenly murdered, everyone becomes a suspect – from the old-world Italian grandmother to the chefs and the bumbling wait staff. Whodunit? This delightful and delectable comedic mystery will have you wondering until the very end. Tickets ($20/each) are available exclusively online for this hilarious evening of fun with the Ringers & Singers - to purchase tickets, click here.

Fanfares and Flourishes featuring Organist Matthew H. Corl, AAGO with the Clarion Brass Quintet on Tuesday, March 17 at 7pm in the Sanctuary: The fabulous Clarion Brass Quintet joins amazing organist Matthew Corl, an Associate of the American Guild of Organists, for a festive evening of music for organ and brass including Flourishes by Carlyle Sharpe and Eugene Gigout’s thunderous Grand Choeur Dialogue. These talented professional musicians have performed together for many years, and this excellent performance will blow you away! Tickets ($5/each) are available exclusively online - to purchase tickets, click here.

Kids PRAISE Children's Choir Musical - The Lost Boy: Young Jesus in the Temple on Wednesday, May 6 at 6pm  in the Sanctuary: Written by Allen Pote and Tom Long, The Lost Boy tells the story of Luke 2:39-52. Mary and Joseph lose track of twelve-year-old Jesus for three days and when they finally find him he is sitting in his “Father’s house,” demonstrating with his questions a great understanding of God. Within the musical is a reassuringly human message: even parents chosen by God can lose a child and even a perfect child can give his parents anxiety. This message presented by our Kids PRAISE Children’s Choir is sure to comfort anyone who has ever been a parent or a child as well as those who have misplaced Jesus for a while.

Ringers & Singers Tour Concert on Sunday, May 31 at 7pm in the Sanctuary: Ringing two six-octave sets of Whitechapel handbells plus five octaves of Malmark ChoirChime instruments, the Ringers & Singers combine the arts of ringing and singing in a marvelous presentation. This talented group has traveled all over the world sharing God’s love through music throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and the United States. Performing a variety of different musical styles, they will present music from their upcoming concert tour.