Making Music at Penney Retirement Community
Music is part of the every day fabric of daily life at Penney Retirement Community. From from a concert band to instrumental and vocal ensembles, there is abundant opportunity to express yourself musically or enjoy the talents of your neighbors. Among the many musical opportunities at Penney Retirement Community, we offer:
The Penney Community Band – This concert band of about 30 musicians plays at various major community events. No audition is required. We would love to have you join us! Participation while refreshing previous skills is also welcomed. We have some loaner instruments available. Come practice with us on Friday afternoons for an hour to an hour and a half. The band’s varied repertoire includes marches, Broadway tunes, hymns, patriotic songs and concert favorites.
Penney Brass Ensemble – This group consists of eight Penney Community Band players with more advanced skills. This group plays for campus events, Christmas community serenades, as well as off campus events with an emphasis on promoting Penney Retirement Community.
Hearts in Harmony – This is a ladies a capella group that currently has eight members.
Men’s Barbershop – This group of gentlemen performs Barbershop favorites at numerous events.
Music Groups at Penney Memorial Church
These opportunities are made available through the church. Church membership is not required. All of these groups are sponsored by Penney Memorial Church.
Women’s Chorus – The chorus meets every Monday in the church lecture room. The group numbers about 30 and sings three-part treble music. A PRC resident directs the group. The group performs in the church for Advent, Lenten and other special services.
Men’s Chorus – This dedicated group of about 25 men meets every other Tuesday in the lecture room at the church. They are under the direction of Neil Petty, Minister of Music of PMC. They sing for Sunday PMC services and other special events in the community.
Chancel Bells – This group rehearses on Wednesday afternoons at PMC. A local resident of Orange Park is the director of this three-octave group.
Sanctuary Choir – This choir provides the music ministry for Sunday services at PMC. The choir meets weekly on Thursdays at the church. The group numbers 46 members and sings 4-part music. The Director is Neil Petty, Minister of Music for PMC.
Musical Instruments at Penney Memorial Church
The church is not only at the center of Penney Retirement Community, but it is also home to many unique and wonderful musical instruments that our residents enjoy. A new Holkamp Organ was installed in the early 1990s and additional pipes were added in 1998 and 2002. In 1961, the nine-foot Steinway Piano was moved from J.C. Penney’s New York City apartment to the church. It was recently reconditioned for continued years of use. Our Commemorative Concerts bring professional players who perform on these instruments.
The Northeast Florida Music Scene
We are blessed with many amateur and professional instrumental groups in the greater Jacksonville area. For PRC residents, the closest practice venue is a nearby Orange Park school where the Clay County Community Band practices for two hours on Tuesdays. This band is the official band of Clay County and plays for major local and national events in the county, including concerts at the Thrasher-Horne conference facility on the campus of St. John’s River State College. The Recycles Orchestra practices in Jacksonville once a week and is only 30 miles away.
In addition, Jacksonville boasts a celebrated symphony orchestra and opera, and local venues regularly bring nationally-known musical performers to their stages.