“If music is the language of the soul made audible, then human voices, raised in concert in human gatherings, are primary instruments of the soul.”

Don Saliers

Erin Bonski-Evans, Director of Music 687-0754, Extension 111Erin Bonski-Evans Smaller

 Mission Statement

To bring vitality, creativity, healing, unity, joy and prayer to God’s people of all generations through psalms, hymns and songs of the Spirit in a diversity of musical expressions.


At First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, we are sensitive to the varying musical tastes of a diverse community of worshipers. Whether you seek the meditative contemplative worship style at 8:30, the contemporary, energetic vitality of the 9 o’clock service, or the deep, liturgical beauty of the 10:30 am service, there is a place at the table for you. Music is our prayer, and is a means of expressing our praise to God. Below, you will find descriptions of the various ways we seek to minister to God’s people through music.

Praise Band

The Praise Band provides support for congregational singing of music representing a blend of newer contemporary sounds and older, familiar hymns at the 9 am service in the CFC.   Opportunities are available for college students, youth and children to play guitar, drums or other instruments with the praise band during worship.

Chancel Choir

Our Chancel Choir provides support for congregational singing and worship through song at the 10:30 service in the sanctuary. Our 18 members are comprised of volunteers and paid section leaders. Musical selections range from Bach chorales, classical anthems and oratorio excerpts, to world music and contemporary hymn arrangements. Rehearsals involve fellowship, prayer, fun warm-ups and lots of singing! We are always open to new members who want to try it out and become part of the worship team.

The Chancel Choir rehearses Thursday evenings, 7-8:30 pm, in the Choir Rehearsal Room downstairs.

Sing Santa Barbara! Children’s Choir

Our children’s chorus is currently open for enrollment! Children and youth learn harmony, theory, history and healthy vocal technique in a fun-filled rehearsal setting…and is free for members of First Presbyterian Church! Community members are welcome to participate for a nominal fee.

Jubilate (grades 1-5) meets Thursdays from 4-5:15 pm in the Choir Rehearsal Room downstairs.

American Riviera Children’s Choir (grades 6-8) rehearsal day TBD.


Handbells enhance our worship experience during Advent, Christmas, and Easter. We are currently looking for new members for special anthems during Advent this year. Come join this very special ministry of the church!

Community Outreach

We strive to extend our music ministry outside of our Sunday morning brick and mortar services to the community at large throughout the year. During Advent, the Chancel Choir will deliver Singing Telephone-agrams to loved ones across the USA. Members of the church gather to carol at Vista Del Monte and other nursing homes in Santa Barbara. Plans are in the works to expand this singing ministry throughout the year.

For more information about any of these programs, please do not hesitate to contact:

Erin Bonski-Evans, Minister of Music [email protected], (805) 687-0754 ext. 111