Organist & Handbell Choir Director
In the way that Kristjon Imperio plays the doxology – “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” – the Sunday worship listener gets a sense of the muscular depth and spiritual passion the Wellesley Village Church organist and pianist brings to music. The ponderous chords and emphatic phrasing make the congregation sit up and take notice. Kristjon’s gift could be equal parts nature and nurture; his father is a concert pianist and his mother was a vocalist, and he also spent many Sundays engaged in worship music. What is apparent is his dedication to faithful musical expression.
Kristjon, pronounced KRISST-jon, grew up a Seventh-Day Adventist and worshiping on Saturdays, which allowed him to attend and observe other traditions on Sundays. “I was surrounded by music my whole life,” he says as an explanation for his deep appreciation for traditional hymns, chamber music and classical music. His favorite piece of music is Samuel Barber’s Prayers of Kirkegaard, a modern one-movement cantata written for orchestra and chorus.
The strength that the congregation hears in Kristjon’s playing has echoes in his other great passion, football. Kristjon leads a coed flag football team as quarterback. He sees both football and music as pursuits that allow him to enjoy the team nature of each activity. “I love the idea of weekly preparation. I enjoy the process, working in ensemble and putting together a team effort.”
Kristjon has performed as a soloist and conducted performances throughout New England. He works at Pakachoag Music School as an administrator in Worcester. Before arriving at Wellesley Village Church, Kristjon was minister of music at First Congregational Church of West Boylston. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education at Atlantic Union College, receiving piano instruction from his father, Roy Imperio, and studying organ with William Ness. A resident of West Boylston, he enjoys keeping up with his daughter’s adventures in and out of the home.