Since its inception, RPC has expressed our love of God through music and has played a significant role in music and the arts in Jacksonville. This commitment to a high quality of worship began with the installation of a 48 rank Möller pipe organ (Opus 5002) in 1928, shortly after the construction of our present sanctuary was completed.
In 1943, Marshall Pierson was called to be the Organist and Choirmaster. He created a program of organ recitals (including a recital by Marcel Dupré in 1946) and choir performances that made Riverside a musical star, a reputation that still endures. This often involved cooperation and collaboration with other local congregations, creating a musical impact throughout the Jacksonville community, which included Jacksonville’s first performance of Bach’s “The Passion According to St. Matthew” in 1949. Pierson’s commitment to musical education was also evident in his introduction of an organ scholar program and the implementation of a graded choir program, which at its height included seven ensembles for children and youth.