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Music Ministry

Make a Joyful Noise!

The FUMC Music Ministry

Fairfax UMC’s Music Ministry is charged with proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ through our gifts of music. Individuals of all age ranges and musical abilities are invited to participate in this calling. Reflecting the diversity of our congregation, the Music Ministry of Fairfax UMC encompasses multiple musical styles among and within our music ensembles.

Adult & Intergenerational Choirs

Mike Horanski, Music Director

Chancel Choir

Rehearsal Thursdays, 7:00–8:30pm in Room 216


The Chancel Choir of Fairfax Church is our traditional adult choir, participating weekly during the Sunday 9:30am worship service. The Chancel Choir performs a wide range of works from classical favorites to contemporary masterpieces. Open to singers of all abilities, the Chancel Choir presents concerts of special music throughout the year. New participants are always welcome, and an audition is not required.

George Mason Chancel Choir Singers


Fairfax Church is fortunate to be a partner with George Mason University and have four auditioned singers in our choir. These singers enhance our worship service by singing in the Chancel Choir as well as singing as a special quartet. Auditions are conducted each August and the commitment is for the school year from September through May.


All of our groups practice safe protocols using masks, safe distancing and other precautions as appropriate.

Handbell Choirs

Alan Payne, Handbell Director

Dulce Ringers

Intergenerational (Grade 6–Adult)
Rehearsal Sundays, 5:15-6:00pm in Room 216


The Dulce Ringers invite everyone to ring handbells, regardless of musical experience. Reading music or having played a musical instrument before is not a prerequisite, though both are helpful; all necessary skills, including how to read music, will be taught through participation in the choir. This group of intergenerational ringers is open to youth in grades 6 and up and adults of all ages. If you’ve ever wanted to give handbells a try, contact our Handbell Director, Alan Payne, via email at alan.payne@e-ware.net or by phone at 703-216-1962. Want to try the bells before you commit? Contact Alan, and he’ll arrange an introductory session.

Bellissimo Ringers

Rehearsal Wednesdays, 7:00-8:15pm in Room 216


Handbell music is a rich part of our Music Ministry at Fairfax! Our adult handbell ensemble, the Bellissimo Ringers, participate in worship several times throughout the year. Additionally, they ring in church concerts and in our community. This ensemble places a strong emphasis on developing handbell techniques for all ringer ability levels. The group rings for in person worship about every 6 weeks. There are also opportunities for solo and smaller ensemble ringing throughout the year. Please contact Alan Payne (Alan.Payne@E-ware.net)  or phone 703.216.1962 for additional information.

Handbell Musicians of America Festival


Some of the Bellissimo Ringers attended the Handbell Musicians of American – Area 3 Festival in Roanoke, Virginia. The clinician was Mr. David Harris, Director of the Raleigh Ringers, an internationally acclaimed, advanced handbell ensemble from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Attendees included, from left to right:

Front Row: Ms. V, Susi, Bernadine

Middle Row: Deanna, Laure, Gina, Melissa

Back Row: Erin, Mr. David Harris, Meghan, Tanner, Alan Payne

More About Music at Fairfax UMC


The campus of Fairfax UMC is blessed with great spaces and resources for musical offerings. Our beautiful Sanctuary presents wonderful acoustics for all types of musical performances and contains a powerful mixing board for any electronic needs. The church houses two Kawai grand pianos, five upright Yamaha pianos, a Sabathil and Son harpsichord, timpani, Schlumeric handbells, Malmark handchimes, and an extensive library of choral and instrumental music.


Our Sanctuary houses a three manual 42 rank pipe organ built by Zimmer and Sons with pipe work by Laukaff of Germany.  The instrument features a movable console, which allows it to be in full view of the audience for recitals.  Our organ is in constant use by the church and students and has been featured in many articles and used for recordings and workshops sponsored by the American Guild of Organists and George Mason University.


Fairfax UMC is blessed to have a robust handbell program and the instruments to support it. We have a 3-octave and a 5-octave set of Schulmerich handbells, 7 octaves of Malmark Choirchimes, and Malmark F2 and G2 aluminum bells. Additionally, the church owns 3 timpani and a harpsichord. The handbells are often joined by additional percussive instruments including the timpani, glockenspiel, congas, bodhran, triangle, cymbals, and other handheld instruments.