First Church welcomes Philbrick, calls for singers

Oct 04, 2018
Larry Philbrick

Belfast — First Church UCC, 104 Church St./8 Court St., has announced its new music director is Larry Philbrick, filling the roles of both organist and choir director.

Philbrick grew up in North Hornell, N.Y., starting piano lessons at age 8. Drawn to the organ music at his family's church, he also played on an old pump organ his grandparents had. At age 12, they gave him an organ of his own and he soon began to teach himself how to play.

In his high school, Philbrick occasionally played his church’s annual Children's Service; and took a job playing the organ at another local church. His high school choral director was renowned church anthem writer Don Besig, and a fellow choir member was lyricist Nancy Price.

Philbrick would return to his home church and take the organist and choir accompanist positions there for many years and later at churches in Alfred, N.Y. He moved to Montville in 2013 and has played in a number of local churches before coming to First Church. He has a son, Ian, who attended Mt. View High School and is at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y.

Philbrick invites anyone interested in singing with the First Church choir to contact him at Rehearsals are Sundays from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., before the 10 a.m. worship service. Also welcomed are singers to help with the Advent Vespers concert to be held Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3:30 p.m. Rehearsals for that will Thursdays in November (except Thanksgiving) at 6:30 p.m.

The First Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation and ADA accessible. For more information, call the church office at 338-2282; check out the Facebook page; or visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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