Joseph Douglass

Joseph Douglas is a classical guitarist who played in the 2019 Labor Day Concert at FPC. He also participated in the Summer Monday Bluegrass services last year. His bio is below.


Joseph is a world-class guitarist and pedagogue who is best known for his chamber performances and innovative music instruction. As a member of the Third Rail Flute and Guitar Duo, Joseph has performed at The Morgan Library regularly and premiered new works by Cypriot composer Aris Antoniades, Christine Elise Chen, and Milad Yousufi. Joseph also performs with other chamber musicians across the US and was recently invited to Juilliard Pre-College’s anniversary celebration as part of a guitar chamber performance. As a soloist for the Long Island Classical Guitar Society, Narnia Arts Summer Festival, and Reaching for the Arts, he brought his historically informed playing and knowledge of the guitar’s greatest repertoire. He is well known for his sensitive and evocative playing of the works of Giuliani, Sor, Matiegka, and Regondi. 

Cherisse and Cherissia Williams

Featured Performers: Sopranos Cherisse and Cherissia Williams. Cherisse sang at the memorial service for FPC member Jim Ely, and both Cherisse and Cherissia joined our virtual choir for Easter Sunday, singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. They were also slated to perform in the Bach Festival, which had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Identical twin sopranos Cherisse and; Cherissia Williams are Brooklyn, NY natives. They recently starred in the Verizon Quadruplets Holiday commercial. Cherisse and Cherissia hold a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College. Cherisse holds a Masters of Music from Ithaca College and Cherissia holds a Masters of Music from Manhattan School of Music. After finishing their masters, the two obtained a Professional Studies certificate in opera from Manhattan School of Music. Cherisse and Cherissia have performed in several operas and musicals throughout the country such as Mile Long OperaThe Magic FluteHansel and Gretel, Carmen, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Falstaff, L’enfant et les Sortilèges, Nine, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Mikado, and The Wizard of Oz; just to name a few. Cherisse & Cherissia have been soloists for The Altino Brothers and sing their arrangements. The twins are the owners of The Sparkle Twins. The Sparkle Twins embellishes shoes with genuine Swarovski Crystal at an affordable rate. They also offer Mouth Masks to protect you from unwanted germs! 

Kristi Shade

Kristi has had a long-standing relationship with First Presbyterian Church, playing for concerts, most notably our annual Christmas concert, and services for many years. Her biography is below.


Kristi Shade is a harpist based in New York City, where she maintains an active performing schedule and private teaching studio. Kristi is the Principal Harpist with The Chamber Orchestra of New York, with which she has recorded four albums on the Naxos label. She is a member of the flute-viola-harp trio, Hat Trick, and the harp duo, Duo Scorpio. Duo Scorpio has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards from Chamber Music America, the Classical Recording Foundation and the American Harp
Society.


Kristi has been a guest artist with the Baltimore Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami Symphony and the Albany Symphony Orchestra. She has been on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division since 2007 and served as the Vice President of Metroharp, the New York Chapter of the American Harp Society, from 2010-2015.


www.kristishade.com

Chere Ko (Organ)

Organist Chere Ko has played several services at FPC as a substitute organist, she was also a performer in last year’s labor day concert, and was slated to join us for the Bach Festival, which had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Born in Hong Kong. Chere graduated from the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music (U.K.). She was the first female recipient of The Flentrop Scholarship, which enabled a residency at the Flentrop Orgelbouw and further studies with renowned Dutch organists. Chere was the recipient of the Artistic Excellence Award (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University) and the John R. Rodland Memorial Organ Competition (Third Prize). She has given recitals at notable venues such as Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Portland, OR), St. Mark’s Cathedral (Seattle), St. George's (Hanover Square, London), Central Synagogue (NYC), Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine (NYC). She also participated in the Pipedreams broadcast - Pipedreams Live – Indiana University II!  Her past teachers includes Janette Fishell (Indiana University) and David Briggs (Artist-in-Residence at St. John the Divine).

The Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir supports congregational singing and provides an anthem in the 10am Sunday worship services, and at special worship services and concerts during the year. It is an all-volunteer choir and welcomes singers of middle school age and older, who love to sing in a group, who can match a pitch, and who can make a reasonable commitment of rehearsal time. The Choir is active from September to June, and rehearses Thursday evenings, 7:30 – 9pm, and Sunday mornings, 9 – 9:40am. The Choir becomes a time of fellowship, a way of developing musical skills, a way to serve the church and community, and a means to be inspired by the beauty and wonder of great music and text. For extra learning help, some of the more challenging anthems are placed in the Virtual Choir room, with password protected access.

Our Choirs: Chancel & Christmas

2019 Margaret Hsiao Scholarship Recipient: Matteo Paoli

The Worship and Music Committee is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Margaret “Peggy” Hsiao Scholarship is Matteo Paoli, a Senior at Rutherford High School. He will be attending Mannes School of Music at the New Schools College of Performing Arts in Manhattan. Congratulations to Matteo!



Past Margaret Hsiao Scholarship recipients to recognize:

2018 - Jonathan Yap  •  2016 - Larissa Nam

The Margaret Hsiao Scholarship

As a tribute to the dedication of our former Director of Music and the many hours of service she has given to the music program at First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford, we are pleased to be offering a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior who plans on majoring in music.


The Margaret Hsiao Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving high school senior who is graduating and should fall into one of the following categories: 1) Be a resident of Rutherford; 2) Be a member of the congregation of First Presbyterian Church; or 3) Be associated with the Northern New Jersey American Guild of Organists.


Anyone interested in applying for this scholarship should contact the church office at 201-438- 3569 for a copy of the application. Completed applications must be returned to the church by June 1st. All applications will be reviewed and interviews will be conducted mid-June. The recipient of the Margaret Hsiao Scholarship will be notified during the first week of July and will be recognized during a church service during the summer.

Music Events


If you are looking for information on past events or our summer series, please scroll down. 

Click below for information:

Church Calendar and General Events   -    Location & Directions   -   Contact Us

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Powers and Hall presents First Presbyterian with the gift of music

In 2015, the church was given a wonderful gift representing hours of recording Christmas carols on our Möller pipe organ. The artists are friends of our church: Bill Powers, saxophonist, and Jonathan Hall, organist. You may click on each of the songs, or download them into a folder or onto a USB stick where they can play continuously. Please enjoy the music as part of your holiday listening, with gratitude for the musical talents of Powers and Hall, and for showcasing our Möller organ in this special way. Listen here.

Welcome! Organist Susan LaFever

We welcome Susan LaFever who will be sharing her gifts as our Interim

Organist/Choir Director. Susan lives in West New York and has served as Organist

and Music Director in churches in Ridgewood, Eastchester, Armonk, and

Weehawken. Growing up in the Midwest, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in

Music from Union College and Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Nebraska.

She continued her studies at the Manhattan School of Music and Rutgers. Along with

playing for our Sunday services, Susan will also provide leadership and direction for our

Choir. We anticipate Susan providing musical leadership until we complete our search

process for our next Organist/Director of Music.

Family Choir

Family Choir is a brand new program at First Pres. Beginning in October, 2015, parents, children, grandparents (or anyone really who would like to sing) is invited approximately once a month at 9:30am to meet in the chapel. A simple song is taught, practiced, and then sung at the 10am service. Stay tuned for our next upcoming date of Family Choir.

Summer Music Series

Our air-conditioned chapel space is an invitation to enjoy informal concerts during the summer. During 2015 we heard “Sounds of the 60’s” with local guitar and vocal talent; marimba artist Clara Warnaar; and “An Evening with Clem Moorman”– piano and vocals. The music was wonderful, the time with friends enjoyable, and the food, of course.

Position: Organist/Director of Music

The Organist/Director of Music must have the musical ability, creativity and training required for the position. The individual must have an understanding of and agreement with the theology and polity of the Christian faith. The individual will display sensitivity and concern for individuals and the church, and possess the necessary leadership skills to develop the music program in concert with the Pastor and the Worship & Music committee.


Music Ministry


The Organist/Director of Music, in consultation with the Pastor, has primary responsibility for the music ministry of the Church, helping the Congregation worship and grow spiritually through the gift of music. The Congregation enjoys an eclectic blend of traditional and contemporary music. The music ministry also includes outreach to the wider community through special music events that provide inspiration, enjoyment and fellowship.


  1. ACCOUNTABILITY & RELATIONSHIPS:  

The Organist/Director of Music is accountable to the Pastor as head of staff and Session through the Worship & Music committee.


  1. MUSIC PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITIES:

Church Services

  1. The Organist/Director of Music will work with the Pastor and the Worship & Music committee to develop and design the music programs to be used for various worship experiences, including the recruitment and development of the choir and other musicians as needed. Responsibilities will also include:

    • playing the organ or piano during weekly Church Services at 8 am and 10 am
    • providing music and any other musicians where appropriate  
    • providing appropriate choral music during services of worship
    • preparing, rehearsing and directing the Chancel Choir, by holding weekly rehearsals (except during the summer) and providing leadership to the choir in choral technique
    • securing appropriate substitute musical leadership replacements during     approved time off.
  2. Other responsibilities related to Church Services, include:

    1. Congregational Singing: leading the congregation in singing during worship services and developing ways to increase the congregation’s participation in the music ministry of the church by:

      • recruiting people to sing in the choir and otherwise offer their musical talents
      • increasing the congregation’s understanding and enjoyment of congregational singing
    2. Instrumental Music: Exploring the use of various options, such as recorders, hand bells, Orff instruments, etc.

    3. Children’s Music: Provide oversight for a music program for children and youth as requested by the Christian Education committee through the Worship & Music committee.

    4. Temporary Paid Musicians:  Audition and hire temporary singers and instrumental musicians as needed, within budget guidelines, making recommendations under the direction of the Session through the Worship & Music committee.

    5. Instrument, Music & Choir Robe Maintenance: Provide for the routine care, regular tuning and maintenance of the organs and pianos.  Maintain inventory of all music instruments of the church, the music library and choir robes, making recommendations for appropriate action to the Session through the Worship and Music committee.

    6. Music Library: Keep abreast of new sacred choral and church music.

    7. Budget Responsibility: Request new music purchases for the music library and for special events through the Worship & Music committee and provide assistance in the preparation of the annual music ministry budget.


Special Services and Events established by Session.

  1. Prepare and play music appropriate for the Church’s special services on Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.  

  2. Prepare and play music appropriate for weddings and funerals, on a fee basis, as approved by Session. The Organist/Director of Music is responsible for securing an appropriate substitute if unable to play at a wedding or funeral.  

  3. Coordinate with relevant committees to plan and supervise special music events i.e. the annual Christmas Concert, Labor Day Street Fair, Karen Kaiser Concert Series, and Bach Birthday Lunch Program.  

  4. Collaborate with the Worship & Music committee to recommend new events.


Administrative Duties

  1. Submit weekly music selection and information for Sunday bulletins and bulletins for all special services.  
  2. Provide articles and information for Tidings/The Church website/Social Media/Annual Report.
  3. Insure that the use of sheet music complies with copyright laws.
  4. Attend weekly staff meeting with the Pastor and participate in monthly Worship & Music committee meetings.


  1. INSTRUMENTS:

  • The 350-seat sanctuary has a restored 71 stop, 3 manual Moeller pipe organ (enhanced with 9 Walker        digitals), along with an upright piano.
  • The 120-seat chapel has a 50 stop Walker digital organ, along with a grand piano.
  • Two octaves of handbells, timpani, several Orff instruments, and small percussion.

Specifications of the two organs can be viewed on the church’s web site – www.fpcrutherford.org


  1. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION:

Performance reviews will be conducted annually, no later than November, according to the Personnel Policy.


  1. TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT:

Part-time position (30 hours), subject to the terms in the “Employment Contract” and the Church Policies and Procedures.

Interested in applying for this position? 


Please email the following information to: fpcormdsc@gmail.com


Candidate Requirements

1. Resume & cover letter

2. Candidate repertoire

3. Video link of candidate performing the Bach Fugue (“St. Anne”) BWV 552

4. Video link of candidate performing a piece of his or her own choice.

5. References

2018 Margaret Hsiao Scholarship Recipient: Jonathan Yap


The Worship and Music Committee is pleased to announce that Jonathan Yap, a senior at Rutherford High School, received the Margaret Hsiao Scholarship this year at the recent Rutherford High School Awards breakfast. Jon is an accomplished pianist and student, ranking in the top 5% of his class. He will be attending NYU Steinhardt and studying with Eteri Andjaparidze in the fall. We wish him much success in his future endeavors.


You can listen to his recordings at the following sites:

https://youtu.be/S2aqef5_KAY

https://youtu.be/E50MxRsVVBY

https://youtu.be/5yw4nZIbDug


On another note, we would like to thank the Choir members who so faithfully provided music that enhanced our worship service this year. Ellen Smith and Linda Lanz, Co-Chairs.

LOADING PLAYER…

Margaret Hsiao Scholarship - 2016

The Margaret Hsiao Scholarship Committee has chosen Larissa Nam as the 2016 award recipient.

 

Larissa is a senior at Rutherford High School and will be graduating in June. Currently her GPA is 4.363 and she will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in September with a major in Music.

 

Larissa exemplifies the spirit of this scholarship. She has studied music since the 3rd grade. She plays numerous musical instruments including clarinet, tenor saxophone, cello and bassoon. She also plays piano and has a wonderful singing voice.

 

She was accepted into the New York Classical Voice Intensive Training, Rowan University Choral Camp, Bergen County Chorus (4 years) Region I Chorus (3 years) and New Jersey All-State Chorus (3 years). She attended and participated in the NJMEA Opera Festival.

 

These musical accomplishments do not include the fact that she is a member of numerous clubs at Rutherford High School, including Interact Club, French Club, Amnesty, FCCLA, and Harvesters. This last club discuss various Bible passages and the various interpretations group members have of them as well as promote universal love and acceptance of others.

 

Larissa’s ultimate goal is to be able to share her love of music through teaching. She will receive her scholarship at the Rutherford High School Achievement Breakfast in June, but has also been asked to attend one of our services to be recognized by our congregation.

 

This committee is very proud to have selected Larissa Nam as our 2016 Scholarship winner.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

  • What: Free family-friendly concert featuring outstanding musicians from the region who will perform works by J.S. Bach to benefit the Rutherford Food Pantry
  • When: 12:00 noon to about 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 19 (in several sessions with breaks between)
  • Where: First Presbyterian Church, on the triangle at Ridge Road and Park Avenue in Rutherford

100% of freewill donations of nonperishable, unexpired food items or monetary donations go to the food pantry.

Click here to print the Event Flyer!


A varied program of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach will be presented by outstanding instrumentalists and vocalists in the sanctuary and chapel of this beautiful 19th century church.  Great organ works will be performed on the newly restored pipe organ. Vocal and choral works will be performed, as well as solos and ensembles for woodwinds, brass, strings, piano, and handbells. Some light treatments of “serious” works will be offered up, such as jazzed-up piano arrangements and a guitar-pop vocal version of the Minuet in G often attributed to Bach.

Musicians include students, professionals, and accomplished amateurs. Accomplished musicians as young as 11 years old and students or recent graduates from Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, and Mannes School of Music are among the performers.  Many Bach works have been arranged for instruments other than the original and will be heard in unusual ways.  Movements from a cello suite, for example, will be performed on classical guitar.  A Prelude from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier has been arranged for French horn and piano. Another work will be heard on vibraphone, another by two pianists four-hands, and other pieces performed by a solo handbell artist.  Works originally composed for organ, flute, and voice will be performed in that manner.

Click here to read about the individual performers.


Here’s the approximate schedule:

12 noon – 12:50 pm (Sanctuary)
Organ works, vocal solos, choral pieces,
Flute and Organ
Intermission and distribution of Bach’s (box) lunches


1:00 – 2:15 pm  (Chapel)
Works for solo instruments – clarinet, horn, cello, guitar, vibraphone
Works for piano and piano 4-hands
Jazzed-up Bach
Foggettes (women’s trio)


2:20 – 3:00 pm  (Sanctuary)
Solo handbell artist
Organ works
Chorus
Light refreshments in the Chapel

Here’s a sample of the music to be performed:

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
All Glory Be to God on High
My Heart Ever Faithful
Sheep May Safely Graze
Dona nobis pacem
Rondeau, Polonaise, Badinerie from Orchestral Suite No. 2
Cello Suite No. 3
Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor
Fugue in G minor
Toccata in D-dorian
Selections from Bach’s Notebook for Anna Magdalena
And more!

A free, simple box lunch ("Bach's lunch") will be offered on a first come, first served basis during intermission. Coffee, tea and cookies will be served at the conclusion of the program.

Audience members are asked to bring non-perishable (unexpired) food items or monetary donations for the Rutherford Food Pantry.

The inspiration for this event came from "If Music Be the Food..." -- a benefit concert series created by Carol Rodland in Rochester, NY. All music performances, refreshments, and support are being donated, in accordance with the mission of the concert series, so that 100% of donations will go to the Food Pantry.

The Church is located on the triangle in downtown Rutherford, at Park Avenue and Ridge Road. On-street parking is metered in the business district near the church and in the Kip Parking Garage. Unmetered on-street parking can be found south and east of the church. For more information contact the church office via email or phone 201-438-3569. To keep informed of the Church’s upcoming recitals and music programs text FPCORMUSIC to 24587. Check us out on Facebook, too.

___________________________________________________


About the Rutherford Food Pantry....


The Rutherford Community Pantry is a non-profit organization that meets emergency and ongoing needs for food and personal hygiene items for people in Rutherford and members of Rutherford Institutions who are referred by an approved agency. Visit them on Facebook for information on their specific needs.

 
Join us to support the Food Pantry....listen, lunch and learn

___________________________________________________

Upcoming Events

We are pleased to offer the following musical events.

  • “Where there is devotional music, God is always at hand with His Gracious Presence” J.S. Bach


    J. S. Bach Mini-Festival

    to Benefit Rutherford Food Pantry


    Saturday, May 6, 2017

    12:00 noon to 2:00 pM

    • What: Free family-friendly concert featuring outstanding musicians from the region who will perform works by J.S. Bach to benefit the Rutherford Food Pantry
    • When: 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM on Saturday, May 6th (The program will be presented in several brief sessions with breaks in between)
    • Where: First Presbyterian Church, on the triangle at Ridge Road and Park Avenue in Rutherford

    100% of freewill donations of nonperishable, unexpired food items or monetary donations go to the Rutherford food pantry.


    Here’s the approximate schedule:

    12 noon – 12:40 PM (Sanctuary)

    Organ works, vocal solos, choral piece,

    Flute and Organ

    Intermission and distribution of Bach’s (box) lunches


    12:45 – 1:15 PM (Chapel)

    Works for solo instruments and voice


    1:20 – 2:00 PM (Sanctuary)

    Solo handbell artist

    Organ works

    Light refreshments in the Chapel


    A free, simple box lunch ("Bach's lunch") will be offered on a first come, first served basis during intermission. Coffee, tea and cookies will be served at the conclusion of the program in the chapel.

    Audience members are asked to bring non-perishable (unexpired) food items or monetary donations for the Rutherford Food Pantry. 

    The inspiration for this event came from "If Music Be the Food..." -- a benefit concert series created by Carol Rodland in Rochester, NY. All music performances, refreshments, and support are being donated, in accordance with the mission of the concert series, so that 100% of donations will go to the Food Pantry.

    The Church is located on the triangle in downtown Rutherford, at Park Avenue and Ridge Road. On-street parking is metered in the business district near the church and in the Kip Parking Garage. Unmetered on-street parking can be found south and east of the church. For more information contact the church office via email or phone 201-438-3569. To keep informed of the Church’s upcoming recitals and music programs text FPCORMUSIC to 24587. Check us out on Facebook, too.

    ___________________________________________________


    About the Rutherford Food Pantry.... 


    The Rutherford Community Pantry is a non-profit organization that meets emergency and ongoing needs for food and personal hygiene items for people in Rutherford and members of Rutherford Institutions who are referred by an approved agency. Visit them on Facebook for information on their specific needs. 

     
    Join us to support the Food Pantry....listen, lunch and learn

    ___________________________________________________