Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series

In September, 2013, the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford established a permanent fund to memorialize the generosity of Karen Kaiser towards First Presbyterian Church. This action was prayerfully taken after reviewing various options and trying to decide how Karen might have wanted to be remembered.

Karen joined First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford in 1992 and shared her time and talents chiefly in two areas - she was an active Deacon, serving many terms on the Board of Deacons, and a devoted member of the Chancel Choir for many years. After her retirement Karen moved to Lancaster, PA, where she died in 2008.

In recognition of her interest in the music ministry of our church, Session has seeded this memorial fund with $50,000, under the direction of the Worship & Music Committee. The intent is to hold periodic musical events, particularly featuring our newly restored pipe organ, and funded by these monies as a living memorial to Karen. Any donations received through freewill offerings at these concerts will go back into the fund.

Music, as part of our worship, has become one of the central interests of our congregation. The Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series will serve as an extension to our music program and an outreach to the greater Rutherford community that First Pres serves. We believe that it is a fitting memorial to Karen and one she would approve of.

Past Organ Concerts

in the Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series

May 5, 2019 - Vince Carr

November 12, 2018 - Daniel Umholtz

April 27, 2018 - Eric Olsen

March 19, 2017 - Amanda Mole

August 4, 2017 - Kristen Lee Sergeant

April 3, 2016 at 3 p.m. ~ Brent te Velde

September 20, 2015 at 3 p.m. ~ Monte Maxwell
February 15, 2015  ~ Chelsea Chen 
November 16, 2014 ~ Kent Tritle
May 4, 2014 ~ Dr. Adrienne M. Pavur
January 26, 2014 ~ Dr. Jon Gillock
December 1, 2013 ~ The Rodland Duo
Catherine Rodland, organ, and Carol Rodland, viola

  • Monte Maxwell

    Monte Maxwell thrilled the crowd as he played the dedicatory recital featuring the chapel's new Walker digital organ. Also highlighted was the church's Möller pipe organ. This concert was an unusual and exciting program, free and with a reception that followed. Kind thanks to Mr. Maxwell and our guests.

    Learn more about our Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series.


    Lovely Kristen Lee Sergeant performed her soulful jazz songs for us Friday night, along with her amazing piano player, David Budway, and bass player, Chris Smith. From Cole Porter to her own compositions, it was quite a special evening at First Pres.

    Learn more about our Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series.



    Daniel Umholtz, presented an organ concert in the chapel at Rutherford’s First Presbyterian Church, He played a wide variety of music that will display the organ’s array of sounds in the fabulous acoustics of the chapel.

    Learn more about our Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series.

  • Brent te velde

    organ recital

    Brent te Velde, a fifth generation, prize-winning young organist, played this April at the First Presbyterian Church. His recital continued a fine tradition of recitals in the Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series, featuring the church’s 3-manual Möller pipe organ. The program included works by German, English, and French composers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Learn more about our Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series.


    They played their unique jazz takes on classical melodies from their album Sea Changes, as well as brand new jazz arrangements of classical favorites and original compositions. The ReVision Quartet featured Eric Olsen on piano and keyboards, Don Braden on saxophones, Ratzo Harris on bass and Tim Horner on drums. For more information, please visit Eric’s website at www.ericolsenmusic.com.

    Learn more about our Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series.


    ORGAN Recital

    Amanda Mole, Director of Music at St. Michael’s Church in Rochester, NY, and at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Webster, NYplayed a wonderful program of organ works, including Mendelssohn tr. Best: St Paul Overture Bach: Erbarm dich, BWV 721; Bach: Christ unser Herr, BWV 684, Schumann: Innig, Op. 56, No. 4, Widor: 1st movement from Symphonie 5, Liszt: WKSZ, an organ arrangement of the hymn “What Wondrous Love is This” and Vierne: Final from Symphony No. 1.

    Learn more about our Karen Kaiser Memorial Concert Series.