The Chancel Choir meets for practice each Sunday at 9:15 am, and sings each Sunday at 11:00 am.
Handbells meet for practice at 12:10 pm (after the 11:00 service) on Sundays, and perform regularly throughout the year.
Children's Praise Team
The children's praise team meets for practice each Wednesday (September-April only) at 5:00 pm.
Director of Traditional Music and Worship
My name is Derek Weston, and I am the Director of Traditional Music and Worship at First United Methodist Church of St. Petersburg. I am also the Assistant Principal and Program Director for the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, having previously served as the Director of Choral Studies at PCCA for thirteen years. Previously, I have held the positions of Director of Music for St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Visiting Director of Choral Activities for Eckerd College, Artistic Director of Una Voce: The Florida Men’s Chorale, Conductor of the Richey Community Orchestra, and held conducting positions at Eastern Illinois University.
My Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Master’s Degree in Orchestral and Choral Conducting are from Eastern Illinois University, and my conducting schedule has included performances throughout Florida, Illinois, South Carolina, Colorado, and New York, including serving as Assistant Conductor for a performance in Carnegie Hall. My wife Gwenn and I live with our two wonderful children, Greg and Grace, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Rick was born in Fairmont, West Virginia and moved to Dayton, Ohio with his family at age 4. He was drawn to the organ from childhood and started on a Magnus Chord organ at age 11. He took lessons from the organist at his church, Ethel Dare. Mrs. Dare realized his potential and had him play a duet with her during a church service. At age 16 he played his first service in church, filling in during his teacher’s vacation. He decided to pursue a career in organ and studied with Paul Jones at Wright State University, where he majored in organ performance. Rick moved to Florida in 1975, and has been the organist at several area churches, including Riviera United Methodist. He has played for church services, concerts, dedications, weddings, and funerals in over 30 churches in West Virginia, Ohio, and Florida. Rick has over 50 years experience in church music, and has been church organist at FUMC St Petersburg for over 25 years.