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.


Faith Formation

Sunday School

Children and Youth are a vital part of our congregation at First Congregational U.C.C. We offer programs to provide for the spiritual growth and fellowship of our young people. Whoever we are, whatever our age, we encounter and interpret the biblical story through the lens of our life experience.  We learn from it and grow with it and when we share our understandings with others, we learn and grow even more.

Our Sunday School program meets on Sunday mornings during the 9:30 worship service. The children begin in worship with their families (except on the first Sunday of the month when they join their families in worship at the end of the service for Holy Communion).  Children learn to worship by being in worship and following along in the service. Just prior to the scripture reading in the worship service the children are invited to join their classmates in age-appropriate classes which are held in our education building.

Sunday School classes meet in the education wing of the church from 9:30 – 10:30 (ushers will be glad to assist you in finding the appropriate classroom). In this safe environment, children and youth are invited to learn and explore the stories of our faith through storytelling, discussion, games, drama, crafts, exploration, discovery and fellowship. They are then encouraged to live their lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. Please plan to join us for any of our educational programs. For more information about any of the Christian Education programs at First Congregational United Church of Christ please feel free to contact  Rev. Jesse Tanner at 847-741-4045.

Nursery (Babies – 3 year olds) 

This class is held in the nursery on the main level. The babies will be cuddled and the toddlers will be taught about the love of God through play, story and song.

Pre-Kindergarten – Kindergarten (ages 4-5)

Classroom is on the main level next to the Conference Room. The active little ones enjoy playing, hearing a story and making a craft to take home.

First and Second Grade

Classroom is on the upper level, north end of the building. These young learners are engaged in one of the many stories of our faith. With the use of their imaginations, emotions, and minds, students will be invited into the biblical world, its dilemmas, and situations. By entering into the biblical story, persons of all ages may come to imagine themselves, their community, and their world in new ways.

Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades 

Classroom is on the upper level middle of the hall. Students at this level read the biblical story, and experience and participate in various activities to enhance their understanding of the message. Lessons often include arts & crafts, games, and drama to help the biblical story have meaning for their daily living.

Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades 

Classroom is on the upper level. Students in this age group will use the lens of their faith to explore issues affecting their daily life. Through the discussion of current events, teen pressures, moral dilemmas, and decision making they will seek to discover ways the biblical story connects with their daily life. Special activities such as retreats and mission trips are an important part of the faith formation of this age group.

Sr. High School 

Classroom – upper level. The Senior High class remains in worship* through the sermon each Sunday and leave the service during the hymn after the sermon. Class time includes discussion of the sermon, current events, teen pressures, moral dilemmas, scripture reading and how faith impacts their daily life. decision making they will seek to discover ways the biblical story connects with their daily life. Special activities such as retreats and mission trips are an important part of the faith formation of this age group



Located in the Conference Room on the main level. Seventh and Eighth grade students are given an opportunity to enter into a year of intentional study about what it means to claim the name Christian. Sessions include Bible Study, a study of the life of Jesus and what it means to live as a disciple. Classes are held on designated Wednesday evenings (September – May).  For more information about the program please contact Pastor Jesse Tanner at 847-741-4045.