301 First Street NW
Mount Vernon, IA 52314
Worship Sunday at 9:30 am
After saying good-bye and thank you in December 2016 to Damon Cole after forty-seven years of wonderful music, we were blessed to find two talented musicians to continue leading us in our tradition of meaningful and uplifting music.
Karen Keele Kober is our Director of Music.
Karen joined the FirstPresMV staff in January of 2017 as the Interim Music Director, but discovered she was having so much fun that she might stick around these Presbyterians indefinitely! She is, you see, married to a United Methodist (gasp!) pastor, Scott Keele Kober, who serves a church down the road in (double gasp!!) Solon, IA. But, fear not, her sacred music passion is not toward one denomination or another, but for the intersection of Music, Word, Social Justice and God, which, we hope, transcends church walls.
Karen, a lyric soprano, has degrees in Voice Performance and Music Therapy from Iowa State University and Southern Methodist University, and has taught private voice lessons for many years. She has also been very involved in church choirs through the years, on both sides of the baton, as well as highly involved in worship planning as a volunteer. She writes and arranges music for choir and solo voice (including a number of pieces co-written with FirstPresMV pianist Julia A. West), and for her folk string band, Kindred Minds, with whom she plays hammered dulcimer and sings.
Her other passions are her family, including 15-year old son Ethan, gardening at her acreage in Fayette county, visiting arboretums and admiring trees, birdwatching and observing Mother Nature, walking, reading, and lazy daydreaming whenever possible.
Julia Andrews West is our Pianist/Organist. After filling in at the keyboard several times between January and June 2017, we were thrilled to welcome Julia as our regular Pianist/Organist in July 2017. An active performer of chamber music and jazz piano across the Midwest, Julia graduated with the Master of Music degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and is on the music faculty at Cornell College. She also has also shared her talents as a church musician for many congregations. Julia lives with her family, Janeve and Ruth, in Mount Vernon, where she also owns Piano Works Piano Studio. (If you want to learn piano, talk with Julia.)
Choir practice is at 8:15 AM every Sunday morning, September through May.
New singers are always welcome!