Music Ministries

Music is a vital part of our Sunday celebration as we offer a blend of musical styles each week.  Music is offered by one of four praise teams each week. Our Sanctuary Choir sings each Sunday, Labor Day through Memorial Day.  In addition to contemporary worship music, traditional hymns are sung each week accompanied by organ and piano. Our 85-voice outreach choir, Voices of Praise, presents cantatas during the Christmas season and in April.

For more information about the music department at Emmanuel, contact Rich Criss at

Sanctuary Choir

choir singing in church
choir singing in church

The Sanctuary Choir is a 45-voice group that sings each week during worship from September through May. Singers from sixth grade through adult gather each Monday evening from 6:30 until 7:15 p.m. to rehearse, fellowship and grow in the Lord.  

Directed by Ministry Coordinator Rich Criss, the Sanctuary Choir offers a large variety of musical styles, singing fresh arrangements of well-loved hymns, arrangements of current worship music, and beautiful ballads.  The Sanctuary Choir desires to bring the congregation into worship of our God, rather than be a performance feature. The Choir dedicates its ministry to the glory of God. 

Praise Teams

Emmanuel is blessed to have three praise teams that lead worship each week at Emmanuel, alternating throughout the course of the month.  “First Sunday,” “Exaltation,” and “Crosswalk” are the names of the teams that share worship music with the congregation during our worship set.  At times, Ministry Coordinator Rich Criss will lead a worship set with piano accompaniment expanding the variety of worship experiences taking place at Emmanuel Church.

Voices of Praise

Voices of praise logo

Voices of Praise is an 85-voice outreach choir that provides Christmas and Spring Cantatas open to the community. This choir is comprised of members of Emmanuel’s Sanctuary Choir and singers from the surrounding area. They rehearse from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on Monday evenings at Emmanuel following the Sanctuary Choir rehearsals from September-April.  This group presents their cantatas most typically on the third weekend of December and the last weekend in April.

Voices of Praise has been blessed to average more than 1,100 people in attendance during these presentations. Anyone in sixth grade and older with a genuine desire to honor and glorify God through music is invited to join the Voices of Praise family. We love sharing Spirit-filled Monday evenings together where rehearsals include hard work mixed with a lot of laughing, good times and occasionally even some tears.

Churches represented besides Emmanuel:

  • Bethel Reformed, Sterling
  • Bethesda Lutheran, Morrison
  • Brethren in Christ, Morrison
  • Christian Reformed, Morrison
  • Crossroads Community, Morrison
  • Dutchtown Church of the Brethren, Milledgeville
  • Ebenezer Reformed, Morrison
  • First Lutheran, Chadwick
  • First Baptist, Clinton, IA
  • Hanover Presbyterian, Hanover
  • Harvest Time Bible, Rock Falls
  • Hope United Methodist, Chadwick
  • Milledgeville Brethren, Milledgeville
  • New Life Lutheran, Sterling
  • Our Savior Lutheran, Bettendorf, IA
  • River Church, Clinton, IA
  • Salem Lutheran, Andrew, IA
  • St. Mary’s Catholic, Morrison
  • St. Peter’s Lutheran, Morrison
  • Second Reformed, Fulton
  • Spring Valley Reformed, rural Fulton
  • Trinity Evangelical Lutheran, Milledgeville
Voices of Praise
women singing