Staff

Organist/Music Director

Louise Olshan

Louise Olshan is a true “Jersey Girl” having been born in NJ and living here for her entire life, except for one school year in graduate school spent in Cambridge, MA. Louise graduated from Passaic High School, received a Bachelor of Science degree from Upsala College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University. She then worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories and along with a promotion she was sent to Stevens Institute of Technology for a Master of Science degree. Louise then began her teaching career at County College of Morris where she remained as a full-time faculty member for 38 ½ years. She rose from Instructor to the rank of Full Professor. Upon retirement she was awarded the distinction of Professor Emerita. She continued as an Adjunct Professor for an additional 4 ½ years. She was one of the first professors to teach online classes.

Louise married her first husband, Herbert Bernauer, in 1967. He tragically died in an accident in 1979. Their children, Steven and David, were born in 1976 and 1979 respectively. A baby daughter was born in 1975 and died a few days after birth. In 1996 Louise married Sam Olshan who served as an Assistant Scoutmaster in the troop her sons attended and was a widower. His first wife, Jane, had been a very special friend of Louise’s.

Louise began learning to play the piano when she was in the second grade and began organ lessons as a high school freshman. She became the assistant organist at her home church, playing for both English and German language services and served as a Supply Organist. However, as a widow with two children to raise she stopped playing, but kept her name on the substitute list for the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Her Junior High School music teacher contacted her to substitute at his church and Louise began her journey back to playing. She served as one of three organists at her church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Dover, NJ and continued to serve as a Supply Organist.  In 2003 she accepted the position of Organist at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Hackettstown, NJ. She retired in 2014 to have more time to travel, but continued to serve as a Supply Organist. In June, 2017 she played her first service at St. Paul’s. Louise feels very comfortable with the clergy, leaders and congregation of St. Paul’s and actively participates in the life of the congregation.

 
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