Jon Riss

Award winning conductor and organist Jon Riss will present a recital of works by Vierne, J.S. Bach, Alain, Ireland, and Liszt on the organ built by Orgelbau Klais at Irvington Presbyterian Church at 2:00 and 4:00.

Originally from Smithtown, NY, conductor and organist Jon Riss was appointed as Director of Music at Irvington Presbyterian Church in November of 2016.

An avid choral musician, he serves as the Director of Choral Activities at Hastings High School and Farragut Middle School, where he leads an award winning program consisting of 5 choirs as well as teaching general music to the fifth and eighth grades.

In 2016, he was named a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, the highest distinction offered by the Guild. The rigorous exam took place over two days and included a series of written and playing tests in 16th-century counterpoint, 18th-century fugue, historical research, orchestration, composition, sight-reading, vocal score reduction, open score reading for movable C clefs, sight-transposition, improvisation in ternary form, and organ repertoire. He received the 2013 American Guild of Organists’ Choir Master Prize for the highest score nationwide on the Guild’s day-long written and practical exam in choral conducting, and was awarded 2nd Prize in the 2009 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Student Conducting Competition, Undergraduate Division. Under Riss’ baton, the Hastings High School choral program received both Choral Sweepstakes (outstanding overall choral program) and Outstanding Choral Ensemble at the 2016 WorldStrides OnStage Philadelphia Festival. He is a Voice Adjudicator for the New York State School Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festivals held each spring.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Justin Bischof since 2015, Riss is studying orchestral and choral conducting, advanced repertoire, and improvisation at the post-graduate level. He holds degrees in Conducting and Music Education from Temple University and Ithaca College, and was honored as the 2012 recipient of the Elaine Brown Tribute Award, presented annually to the Temple University choral conducting graduate “who most reflects the musicianship, dedication to excellence, and humanitarianism that has distinguished the career of Dr. Elaine Brown.” Riss has toured the United States and Europe as a guest accompanist for choral festivals, including the inaugural NAfME All-Eastern Honors Treble Voice Chorus (2013), the 2013 OAKE National Youth Choir, the 2012 ACDA Western Division Junior High Girl’s Honor Choir, and the 2010 Rhapsody! Children’s Music Festival (Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague), all under the baton of Dr. Janet Galván. He has also been a frequent participant in Ithaca College’s all-Bach harpsichord recitals in collaboration with former teacher Jean Radice. Past conducting studies have been with, among others, Paul Rardin, Janet Galván, Luis Biava, and Rollo Dilworth; organ and harpsichord with Timothy Olsen and Jean Radice; and voice with Brad Hougham and Jennifer Kay.

Performance: 2:00 PM & 4:00 PM, Irvington Presbyterian Church