First Congregational Church welcomed Sheldon Gaard as its new director of music at its Oct. 1 service. Gaard has 30 years’ experience as a church musician, organist and director of musical ensembles, including vocal, harp and hand-bell choirs. He has served churches in Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Rhode Island. An accomplished musician, he has taught organ, piano, violin and harp and has formed ensembles in the communities where he has served, involving the young up through retirees. Performances have included new organ dedications and harp music in a variety of venues.