Making Music at Penney Retirement Community
One of the little joys of living on the Penney campus is being able to hear the church carillon marking hours throughout the day. But if you’re lucky enough to be strolling past the right place at the right time, you are liable to hear residents making their own kind of music. Music is truly a rich part of life at Penney Retirement Community. The Director of Music for the Penney Memorial Church observes that the total number of residents participating in our vocal and instrumental groups is roughly 100. That’s a lot of joy being spread around campus!
If you love music but don’t feel inspired to join a group, you will appreciate our Memorial Concert Series. These complimentary programs are performed monthly during the concert season. The series brings us musical talent from around the world as well as from around the Jacksonville metropolitan area.
Penney’s regular Musicale presentations give performers as well as their audience an opportunity to share some facet of the music world and enjoy it together.
If you do want to make music with one of our groups, here are some of the opportunities to express yourself musically:
The Penney Community Band is a concert band of about 30 musicians playing for various Penney events. No audition is required and local folks from the larger community enjoy membership in the Band, too.
Penney Brass Ensemble is made up of Penney Community Band’s brass musicians with more advanced skills. This group performs for campus events as well as off campus events to promote Penney Retirement Community.
Music Groups at Penney Memorial Church
These musical opportunities are made available through the Penney Memorial Church (PMC). They are sponsored by PMC but church membership is a requirement for only the Sanctuary Choir and the PMC Ensemble.
Women’s Chorus is a 30 member chorus singing in three-part-treble voices. These women sing in PMC for Advent, Lenten and other special services.
Men’s Chorus is made up of about 25 men who sing for Sunday PMC services and other special events in the community.
Hearts in Harmony is a small acapella group of shimmering- voiced women.
Chancel Bells is our three-octave bell choir directed by a local professional.
Sanctuary Choir provides the music ministry for Sunday services at PMC. The group numbers about 40 voices and sings 4-part music.
Musical Instruments at Penney Memorial Church
Penney Memorial Church is home to our lovely 20-rank Holtkamp Pipe Organ. Sharing that musical home is J.C. Penney’s nine-foot Steinway Piano, moved here from his New York City apartment. These fine instruments are in regular use at the church for concerts in addition to their blessing the regular worship services of PMC.
The Northeast Florida Music Scene
We are blessed with many amateur and professional instrumental groups in the greater Jacksonville area. For Penney residents, the closest practice venue is a nearby Orange Park school where the Clay County Community Band practices weekly. 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.
The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Jacksonville Opera maintain full concert seasons. Local venues regularly bring nationally-known musical performers to their stages as do the area colleges and universities .