For over 125 years the musical arts have played an important role in the worship life of Peace Church. A strong choral tradition developed early on in our history, and the close proximity of Kaukauna to Appleton's Lawrence University has meant that our programs have been enriched over time by both staff leadership and guest musicians. At various times in the past, both the organist and choirmaster positions have been filled by Lawrence Conservatory students or Lawrence graduates. Our Praise Team founder/leader, Lauren Viljamaa , is a Lawrence graduate, and teaches vocal music in the Appleton Public Schools.
Reflecting the diversity of musical styles that make up both the historic and contemporary components of Sunday Worship, Peace United Methodist has six different musical groups.
Heralds of Peace Mixed Choir
Singing music from unison to four parts taken from both traditional and modern musical styles, the Heralds lead worship at the 10:30 service twice a month, as well as at special services and Christmas Eve. Membership is open to all ages from middle school onwards, with the only requirement being a basic ability to match a tone. The Heralds practice Saturday mornings, from 9:00 to 10:00.
Founded in 1999, the Peace Praise Team leads the 9:00 a.m. Sunday service during the regular program year (September through May) with a Contemporary Christian musical focus. Many of their songs you will recognize from Christian radios stations such as Q90FM. The Praise Team is made up of singers, drums, keyboard, guitars, and various other instruments.
Peaceable Kingdom Men's Choir
Founded in 1998 by Peace organist Michael Meyer, the Peaceable Kingdom sings music that spans the entire history of the Church, from early chant melodies, through the baroque, American camp meetings & spirituals, and the sounds of today, with about half the music sung unaccompanied. The Kingdom practices Saturday mornings at 8:00. Membership is open to gentlemen of all ages who can match a tone and love to be a part of that "grande old harmony" that is the all-male choir.
Peace Notes Handbell Choir
Directed by Mark Muthig, Peace Notes currently leads worship at irregular intervals and participates in special services during the church year. In addition to purchased music, Mark also composes/arranges music especially for the choir.
Instruments of Peace Ensemble
The Instruments are made up of members and friends of Peace Church who play a musical instrument. They play at the 10:30 service on an occasional basis, leading the hymns and offering an instrumental voluntary. All types of instruments, from brass, to woodwinds and strings, are welcome in the group. Membership is open to all who play, from middle schoolers to those long past middle school who enjoy getting their horns out of the closet and getting their "chops" in shape. Call the parish office for the latest information regarding practice times and worship leadership schedule.
The Little Peaces
About four times a year the children of our Sunday School sing during the 10:30 service. They also present the annual Christmas program and celebrate "Christ's Birthday Party." All members of the Sunday School program are welcome to participate in these musical offerings.
The Peace Pipe Organ
This year of 2010 marks the 85th anniversary of the arrival of Wangerin Organ Company #416 at Peace Church. Originally built and installed as a five-rank unit pipe organ in the former Peace Church building, the Wangerin was completely rebuilt and enlarged by Salzman Pipe Organ Services in 2000. Now containing 10 ranks and 713 individual organ pipes, the Wangerin/Salzman instrument leads the worship at the 10:30 service during the program year and at the 9:00 summer worship service. To see the specification of the organ and read about its long history at Peace, please click here.