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A Festival of Music

A Festival of Music 

Now in its 25th season, First Presbyterian sponsors this concert series that is free and open to the public. The offerings have included soloists, both instrumental and vocal, instrumental ensembles, and dramatizations. The music offered has ranged from classical and sacred to popular song.  All concerts are Sundays at 4 p.m. We also sponsor a series of Lenten Organ Concerts on five Wednesdays from 12:15 to 12:45 beginning the second Wednesday of Lent.


2015-2016 Season


  • October 11, 2015 – Gabriel Preisser, lyric Baritone; New York City, NY 
  • Gabriel Preissser has been praised for having a “matinee idol’s charm and charisma” “a beautiful, luscious baritone voice.”  and a compelling stage presence.”  He has made a name for himself as a versatile performer and has especially been active in presenting new works.  His resume includes over 40 operatic and musical theater roles including Billy Bigelow in Carousel with the Minnesota Orchestra.  Figaro in II Barbiere de Siviglia with the St Petersburg Opera, Escamillo in Carmen with the Lyric Opera of the North and Bob Baker in Wonderful Town.  He has been a resident artist at Minnesota Opera, Kentucky Opera, Pensacola Opera, and an apprentice artist at the Des Moines Metro Opera.  With a double major in Vocal Performance and Commercial Music and a Masters degree in Voice, he comes well equipped for his frequent recitals throughout the United States.  He is a proponent of American composers the likes of Charles Ives, Carlisle Floyd, Aaron Copeland and John Duke.  His concert, “The Melody Lingers On” will feature such selections as Toreador Song from Carmen,  Someone to Watch over Me by George Gershwin, Ideale by Francesco Paolo Tosti and I Did it My Way by Paul Anka.  Gabriel will be accompanied on the piano by First Presbyterian Church’s Lee Afdahl.


  • November 15, 2015 – Jeremy Filsell, concert organist. Artist-in-residence, National Cathedral Washington DC   

  •  January 31, 2016 – Luther College Nordic Choir; Dr. Allen Hightower, conductor
  • March 13, 2016- Lee J. Afdahl and Friends. Organ/piano plus program


  • April 10, 2015 – Eric Kutz, ‘cellist, Miko Kominami, pianist. Luther College, Decorah IA


                                                               Lenten series recital schedule
February 17, 2016
Brian Williams, Calvary Episcopal Church, Rochester MN
February 24, 2016
Harold Vetter, Gloria Dei Luther Church, Rochester MN
March 2, 2016
Julie Yoonjeong Kim, Congregational Church, Rochester MN
March 9, 2016
Shayla DeJong, Luther College, Decorah, IA
March 16, 2016
Eileen Nelson Ness, Salem Lutheran Church, Albert Lea, MN