Kirsten Olson is originally from “cheese country” in Wisconsin, where she started piano lessons at age 6. At age 12, she began studies on the organ, and soon, got her first job as a church organist. Kirsten’s father, a family doctor and organist/choir director, realized that he was being called out of church too many times to deliver babies, set broken bones, etc. and therefore was not dependable as a church musician. Therefore, Kirsten and her brother took their dad’s place on the organ bench and directing the choirs at ages 13 and 14.
After switching majors from pre-med to music, Kirsten graduated with music degrees from University of Wisconsin-Madison (BA,) Valparaiso University in Indiana (BM), Westminster Choir College in Princeton, (MM-Choral Conducting and MM Sacred Music) and Temple University (post-graduate studies in Early Music Education and Child Psychology.)
Ms. Olson has held full-time Director of Music positions at three Lutheran churches and a UCC church; and part-time positions in Baptist, Catholic, Christian Scientist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Reformed, and UCC churches, plus two synagogues. She specializes in teaching sacred music to all ages – “from womb to tomb”—and secular music, too. Ms. Olson gives lectures and workshops for Choristers Guild, the American Guild of Organists, and has conducted children’s choir festivals throughout the United States. For twelve years, Ms. Olson was the Associate Conductor of Bel Canto Children’s Chorus, an auditioned children choir that toured in Italy, Ireland and Germany.
Ms. Olson also enjoys musical theater and was the musical director at Montgomery Theater in Souderton for “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Hair,” “Tommy,” “Chess,” “Cabaret,” “Batboy,” and more. She also did the musical direction for Montgomery Too, the children’s theater, for “Seussical,” “Willie Wonka,” “Aladdin,” and more. For the past seven years, Kirsten has been a supply organist throughout the Philadelphia area and teaches preschool music. She also gives private lessons in her home. And, for fun, Kirsten plays keyboards (her husband Roy plays trombone) in the rock band “Midnight Revue,” which was formed at St. Peter’s and has been playing together for over 25 years.
Kirsten and her husband Roy have two grown daughters Greta and Inga, and on the rare times they are together, they enjoy hiking, biking, cooking, gardening, traveling, and all kinds of music.← Back to St. Peter's Staff