We are very excited about the 2014-15 Concert Artist Series of the Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (see below for details). It begins with a concert by the Anima Young Singers of Greater Chicago (formerly the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus) at Trinity Lutheran Church in Peoria. We are also pleased to offer two more fabulous concerts this year featuring past and present winners of the American Guild of Organists’ National Youth Artists’ Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP). Our March concert features Dr. Jonathan Rudy, winner of First Prize and Audience NYACOP Prize at the 2014 AGO National Convention. Our May concert will be held in conjunctioin with the Peoria Bach Festival 2015 and features our very own Dr. Matthew Dirst who grew up in Morton and won the NYACOP prize in 1990.

If you have not already done so, we hope that you will renew your membership in our chapter and/or become a patron. If you are so inclined, please contact us at agopeoria@gmail.com or by calling (309) 696-4797. We look forward to sharing another season of great music with you.

Dr. Martin Dicke, Dean
Peoria American Guild of Organists

Concert Artist Series 2014-15
Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists


A Concert by Anima : Young Singers of Greater Chicago Saturday, November 15 – 8:00 p.m.
Anima (formerly the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus) – Emily Ellsworth, director

Anima – Young Singers of Greater Chicago

We are pleased to bring to Peoria Anima, one of the premier children’s choruses in the world also known as the Young Singers of Greater Chicago and formerly as the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus. We are especially honored to host them as this year they celebrate the 50th anniversary of their founding. Founded in 1964 by Barbara Born as a Park District program called the Glen Ellyn Children’s Theater Chorus, the choir quickly established strong ties with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus due to the professional level of its training. By the early 1970s it had expanded beyond its local membership to reach children from dozens of other Chicagoland communities. It grew to international prominence under the musical directorship of Dr. Doreen Rao. Anima is acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of performance-based music education, creating innovative concerts, commissioning new works, and demonstrating that young people are capable of extraordinary musicianship when given extraordinary leadership and vision. Emily Ellsworth accepted the artistic leadership of the Chorus in 1996 bringing with her over twenty years of vocal performance and teaching experience and a distinctive, warm, and spirited style. Anima continues to be a leader in the field having won several national awards. For more information, visit www.animasingers.org.

Please join us as we celebrate their 50th anniversary with them. The choir will also sing a few selections for the 10:45 a.m. worship service at Trinity on Sunday, November 16.

Trinity Lutheran Church
135 NE Randolph Ave. • Peoria, IL 61606 • (309) 696-4797
No Admission (a free-will offering will be taken)

The King of Instruments at the Cathedral Sunday, March 8 – 3:30 p.m.
Jonathan Rudy, organ

Jonathan Rudy
Jonathan Rudy

Jonathan Rudy, recognized by colleagues and audiences for excellence as a performer, church musician, improviser, educator, and conductor, is proud to serve God through music. A native of Batavia, Illinois, Jonathan’s recent concert appearances have included Cambridge MA, Columbus GA, Terre Haute IN, Kokomo IN, Bloomington IN, and Charlotte NC. These engagements included recitals, competitions, and dedicatory/commemorative events. Upcoming performances include Sacramento CA in July, as well as an appearance at the 2016 AGO National Convention in Houston TX.

Jonathan is a laureate of several performance competitions and most recently won First Prize and the Audience Prize at the American Guild of Organists 2014 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, the Guild’s premiere young organist competition. He was also a finalist in the National Organ Playing Competition in Fort Wayne, as well as the Second Prize Winner of the Regional Competition for Young Organists (Quimby Competition) in 2011. He received the Immanuel Organ Scholar Award in 2009 (Evanston, IL) in recognition of excellence in performance and sacred music, as well as high praise and prizes during competitions hosted in Detroit, Bloomington IN, Wheaton IL, and Glen Ellyn IL.

In addition to appearances as organist and church musician, Jonathan maintains a career as a conductor. He studies Choral Conducting at Indiana University with Dr. William Gray and Dr. Richard Tangyuk, and regularly leads choral and instrumental ensembles. He has served as conductor for the Valparaiso University Men’s Chorus, the AGO Bloomington Choralfest Ensemble, and the choral and instrumental ensembles at his church positions, amongst other leadership positions.

Jonathan keeps a rigorous academic schedule, currently pursuing his Doctorate degree in Organ and Sacred Music at Indiana University, where he also received his Masters Degree. There he studies organ with Janette Fishell, improvisation and sacred music with Bruce Neswick, and is pursuing minors in Music Theory and Choral Conducting. Jonathan completed his undergraduate degree at Valparaiso University, studying Organ and Sacred Music with Lorraine Brugh and Karel Paukert. While at Valparaiso, he was initiated into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honors society, and received the Reidenbach Award in Church Music. In his early years he studied organ with Karl Bruhn and piano with his mother, Melinda J. Rudy.

Jonathan D. Rudy currently serves as the Organist of Central Presbyterian Church, Terre Haute (IN), and is an Associate Instructor of Music Theory and Aural Skills at Indiana University. He tutors students privately in Aural Skills, Music Theory, and Voice. Jonathan has served as Dean and Member-At-Large of the AGO Bloomington Chapter (Region V), and currently maintains an amateur recording studio.

Cathedral of St. Mary
607 NE Madison Ave. • Peoria, IL 61603 • (309) 682-5823
Admission: $12 Adults / $10 Senior Citizens / Children and Students free

Matthew Dirst Plays Bach Sunday, May 31 – 3:30 p.m.
Matthew Dirst, organ

Matthew Dirst
Matthew Dirst

Matthew Dirst returns to his Central Illinois roots in order to present this concert of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) in conjunction with the Peoria Bach Festival 2015. A native of Morton, Matthew is Professor of Music at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, where he teaches courses in music history and performance practice. He is also Founder and Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica Houston, a Grammy-nominated ensemble that specializes in Baroque chamber and dramatic works (see www.arslyricahouston.org).

Matthew is the first American musician to win major international prizes in both organ and harpsichord, including first prize at the American Guild of Organists 1990 National Young Artist Competition in Organ Performance and second prize at the inaugural Warsaw International Harpsichord Competition (1993). Equally active as a performer and scholar, his publications on the music of Bach and its reception appear in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Early Music, Notes: The Journal of the American Music Library Association, Music and Letters, Bach Perspectives, and Eighteenth-Century Studies. He is also the author of a recent book entitled Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Organized around the most productive ideas generated by Bach’s keyboard works from his own day to the middle of the nineteenth century, this study shows how Bach’s remarkable and long-lasting legacy took shape amid critical changes in European musical thought and practice. In the words of one prominent reviewer, it is “a compelling and readable survey, one marked by clarity, judgement and nuance” (Early Music, Feb 2013).

Widely admired for his stylish playing and conducting of Baroque music especially, Matthew was hailed by the Dallas Morning News for his “crisp but expressive direction” of the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers, which it named “Best Classical Performance of 2010.” Early Music America described his recent solo recording, of harpsichord works by François and Armand-Louis Couperin (Centaur), as a “stylish, tasteful, and technically commanding performance…expressive and brilliant playing.” Matthew’s recordings of music by Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti and J. A. Hasse with Ars Lyrica on the Naxos and Sono Luminus labels have earned a Grammy nomination for Best Opera 2011 and widespread critical acclaim.

Matthew’s academic degrees include a PhD in musicology from Stanford University, MM in organ and Master of Sacred Music degrees from Southern Methodist University, and a BM from the University of Illinois. A Fulbright scholar to France, he received the coveted prix de virtuosité in both organ and harpsichord with teachers Marie-Claire Alain and Huguette Dreyfus and did further harpsichord study with Alan Curtis at UC Berkeley. He also serves as Organist at St Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston.

Trinity Lutheran Church
135 NE Randolph Ave. • Peoria, IL 61606 • 309-696-4797
Admission: $12 Adults / $10 Senior Citizens / Children and Students free

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