Music Ministry


Music is a vital part of Fairfax Presbyterian Church because music is a vital part of Christian spiritual living. Christianity throbs with song! Through music we not only praise the Triune God, we also confess our sins, recommit our lives to Christian service, reaffirm our Christian faith, comfort those who mourn or are troubled, lift our prayers to God, reach out to those who do not know the gospel of Jesus Christ, and share fellowship with other believers. We sing when we are happy, of course! But we also sing (or play) when we are grieving, when we are penitent, when we are worshipful, when we are in company with other Christians, and when we are alone. Music helps us express ourselves to God and before others in ways that go beyond mere words.

The music program at FPC offers many ways to do any and all of these things! Explore the links below to find out more about our music program and how you can deepen your own faith and broaden your life in Christ as a participant. If you need more information about any of the material in these pages, please contact Director of Music Gretchen Kuhrmann at gretchen@fairfaxpresby.com or (703) 273-5300.

  • Music Staff – FPC currently has a highly trained and experienced staff of three professional church musicians, augmented by several volunteers who assist in leadership of the music program
  • Music Groups – information about our choirs and ensembles at FPC
  • Facilities and Resources – Information about the rooms, instruments, and equipment that help make our music program more effective
  • Music Events — Coming events, recent events, and other announcements about music at FPC

“Are Any Cheerful? They Should Sing Songs of Praise.” (James 5:13)

Music Groups

The Fairfax Presbyterian Church music program is built around multiple music groups that draw participants of all ages and all levels of ability from our congregation and beyond giving  them opportunities to use their musical talents in service to the kingdom of God.  FPC is blessed to have not only choral organizations such as the Sanctuary Choir , Children’s and Youth choirs, but also handbell choirs, and a pick up instrumental ensemble, as listed below.  There is a place for YOU in at least one of these groups!

  • Congregation — The center and foundation for our entire music program
  • Sanctuary Choir – A traditional SATB choir for adults and high school aged singers
  • Summer Choir – An ad hoc SATB choir open to adults, youth, and even children that functions only during the summer months
  • Youth Handbell Choir– A traditional bell choir for youth in grades six through twelve
  • Carol Choir – Music training for children age four through first grade
  • Chapel Choir – Music training for children in second through fifth grades
  • Chancel Ringers – Comprised of more experienced handbell ringers
  • Instrumental Ensemble – A church orchestra for adult and youth instrumentalists – woodwind, brass, percussion, and strings that offers music for some special services during the church year
Sanctuary Choir

The Sanctuary Choir is the Primary Musical Ensemble at FPC.

  • A traditional SATB choir of high school singers and adults
  • Leads the congregation in worship through a broad range of varied sacred choral music
  • Rehearses on Thursday evenings, 7:30-9:15, in the Choir Room (Rm 235)
  • Sings in worship most Sundays, primarily at the 11:15 service, but sings for both worships services roughly every five weeks
  • Presents at “Sermon in Music” during Advent and Lent
  • Not auditioned
  • Prior music background or the ability to read music are highly desirable, but not requirements if you are willing to learn!
  • Directed by Gretchen Kuhrmann, Director of Music; Keyboard Artist,  Sanghwa Lee
  • For more information about any aspect of our Sanctuary Choir, please contact Gretchen Kuhrmann at gretchen@fairfaxpresby.com
Youth Handbell Choir
  • A traditional bell choir for youth in grades six through twelve
  • Rehearses on Sunday mornings, 12 p.m., in the Handbell Room (Rm 232)
  • Leads in worship approximately every two months
  • Directed by Erin Sanzero, Associate Director of Music
  • For more information, contact Erin Sanzero at erin@fairfaxpresby.com
Carol Choir
  • Music training for children age four through age seven (first grade)
  • Meets Sunday mornings from 10:00 to 10:45 in the Choir Room (Rm 235) as part of the Sunday Express integrated schedule for children on Sunday mornings
  • Sings in regular worship services occasionally through the year and participates in the Christmas Eve Family Service at 4:30

Directed by Erin Sanzero, Associate Director of Music

Chapel Choir
  • Music training for children in first through fifth grades
  • Meets Sunday mornings from 11:15 to 12:15 in the Choir Room (Rm 235) as part of the Sunday Express integrated schedule for children on Sunday mornings
  • Sings in regular worship services occasionally through the year and participates in the Christmas Eve Family Service at 4:30

Directed by Erin Sanzero, Associate Director of Music

Chancel Ringers
Prior handbell ringing experience or music sight reading ability are strongly encouraged.

  • Membership open to talented HS students and adults with prior experience in ringing or very strong music skills
  • Rings five octaves of bells and/or chimes (or more when sufficient personnel are available)
  • Rehearses on Mondays from 7:15-8:15, in the Handbell Room (Rm 232)
  • Plays in worship approximately every five weeks month
  • A few of our most advanced ringers occasionally rehearse and play as a separate small ensemble (quartet or quintet)
  • Directed by Karen Hammond.