2023 Spring Concert Series

First Congregational Church of Elgin invites the wider community to our annual Spring Concert Series, featuring four performances from local and international musical artists. All concerts are free admission and open to the public. A free-will offering will be collected for donations to the Music Program at First Congregational.



Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Lindsay Garritson, concert pianist

Dr. Lindsay Garritson has performed throughout the United States and abroad since the age of four. She has appeared on stages such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Place des Arts (Montreal), and has been featured as soloist with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra (Texas), Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica Barra Mansa (Brazil), the Yale Philharmonic Orchestra, and the European Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. An award-winning performer, Lindsay has received top prizes at the Montreal International Piano Competition, USASU Bösendorfer International Piano Competition, and the Mozarteum International Chopin Competition (Salzburg).


Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Elgin Symphony String Quartet

Eleanor Bartsch is a violinist with a diverse and vibrant career as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, Concertmaster, soloist, educator, and entrepreneur. In addition to serving as Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, she is Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2018 was named first violinist of the critically acclaimed Kontras Quartet.

Eric Pidluski is a native of Fairfield, CT, where he began playing the violin at age 9. He is currently a member of the first violin sections of Elgin and Rockford Symphonies. He attended the DePaul University School of Music, where he received a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and a certificate in violin performance.

Rebecca Swan received her Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory. She is a member of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and is principal violist with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and Illinois Philharmonic. She is also a member of the Elgin Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta.

Sara Sitzer is an active and versatile freelance cellist and entrepreneur in Chicago. A member of the Elgin Symphony, Sara also performs regularly with orchestras and ensembles including the Milwaukee Symphony and Chicago Opera Theater. 



Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Harper College Steel Drum Band

Paul Ross, director

The Harper College Steel Bands have been entertaining audiences for over 35 years. They perform on a family of instruments called steel pans which were invented and developed in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. These instruments are hand crafted from 55 gallon oil drums/barrels. Harper owns ten steel pans made for them by legendary pan builder and Trinid native Cliff Alexis. Caribbean styles such as calypso, reggae, ska, cha cha, and mambo along with rock, bossa nova, samba, and pop make up the heart of their musical repertoire. Director Paul G. Ross arranges most of their music and has also written many original pieces for them over the years.


Friday, April 7, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Good Friday Choral Concert and Service

Several church choirs in the area join to perform Faure's Requiem, including liturgical elements of scriptures and prayer.



We believe we are called to touch lives not only in our immediate, local community, but also in the larger world in need.


 FCC is a "5 for 5" church in the United Church of Christ. We contribute to 5 worldwide offerings each year:


One Great Hour of Sharing  

One Great Hour of Sharing® (OGHS) is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten collection supports the disaster, refugee, and community development ministries of the UCC.  Along with several other denominations and church organizations, we pool our resources together ecumenically to support people near and far. The OGHS offering will be collected March 27, 2022. To learn more: https://www.ucc.org/oghs_resources


Strengthen the Church

The Strengthen the Church offering supports the expansion of ministry and growth of local congregations in the UCC. Our contributions help create a just world for all by investing in new ministries and practices that meet the emerging needs of local communities. God is always calling us in new directions, and this special mission offering plants new churches, awakens new ideas in existing churches, and develops the spiritual life in our youth and young adults. The Stengthen the Church offering will be collected on Pentecost Sunday. To learn more: https://www.ucc.org/stc


Our Church's Wider Mission 

Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM) is a denomination fund to which we contribute to do mission outside of our walls. The funds go to UCC Associations, Conferences, and to the national and global church, and are invested in programs, resources, and tools needed to keep local churches strong, effective, and growing. OCWM helps provide pastoral placement and education for church leaders, worship materials and theological interpretation, resources and training for stewardship and fundraising, and so much more. To learn more: http://www.ucc.org/ocwm


Neighbors in Need

Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of this offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. NIN grants are awarded to UCC churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. This offering is collected the First Sunday of October as part of World Communion Sunday.

To learn more: https://www.ucc.org/nin


The Christmas Fund

The Christmas Fund is a ministry that congregations have been supporting for over 100 years.  The offering is administered through the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance, the charitable arm of the UCC Pension Boards.  Funds provide direct financial support to those who serve the church and are facing financial difficulties.  Active and retired clergy, lay employees, and their surviving spouses may be eligible for the Supplementation of Small Annuities, Supplementation of Health Premiums, Emergency Grants, and/or Christmas “Thank You” Gift Checks. This offering will be  collected on the Sunday before Christmas. To learn more: https://www.pbucc.org/index.php/christmas-fund-home


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