The Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, in conjunction with Lutheran Hillside Village Chapel Staff, announce a Midwinter Hymn Fest on Sunday, February 24 at 3:00 pm.  This event will feature David Byrkit, organist; Ashlie Schlatweiler, soprano; and Stephanie Ashton, flautist. 

The hymn fest will incorporate a number of favorite hymns sung by participants with special music by our featured soloists. This service will be led by Rev. Pat Monroe. 

Join us in celebrating the gift of music made possible with the Rodger’s organ donated by Ben Sommer in memory of his wife, Phoebe Sommer. Also congratulate David Byrkit on his 60 years as a member of the American Guild of Organists. 

Lutheran Hillside Village chapel is located on the second floor at 6901 N. Galena Rd., Peoria. 

A reception will follow in the Galena Room. 

For further information, contact David Byrkit at or 309-637-1283

David Byrkit, Ben Sommer, and Rev. Pat Monroe at the organ in Living Waters Chapel

David Byrkit, organist, was the Director of Music at Peoria’s Westminster Presbyterian Church retiring in 2014 after eight years in that position.  He earned his bachelors at Bradley University with post graduate studies in music at Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, Brooklyn Conservatory, Juilliard, and Mannes School of Music in NYC.  David was an organist choirmaster in the Greater New York City area for 25 years.

Ashlie Schlatweiler, soprano, is originally from the St. Louis area. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in K-12 Vocal Music Education from Bradley University in 2013. She has taught general music, band, and chorus at St. Mark Catholic School, Trewyn School, Putnam County Junior High and Elementary Schools, and St. Joseph Catholic School in Central Illinois. She has been singing with the Westminster Presbyterian Choir since 2009, and was promoted to soloist and soprano section leader in 2016. She has been a voice and piano instructor at the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts and Kidder Music in Peoria, Illinois since 2014. She is currently working on graduate studies in Music Therapy in fall 2018 and expects to begin internship in 2020.

Stephanie Ashton, flautist, first learned to play flute through Peoria Public Schools, beginning in fifth grade.  She continued in the band program at Richwoods High School, during which time she also had the privilege of studying privately under Denise Cooksey. She then learned the piccolo and spent four years at the University of Illinois performing in the Marching Illini and Basketball Band ensembles, as well as various concert bands.  Since graduation, Stephanie has served as a substitute flautist for the Peoria Municipal Band and has occasionally performed at Westminster Presbyterian Church.  Stephanie is the granddaughter of long-time Hillside Village resident Jim Ashton.

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