Veterans Day Concert – Friday, November 6, 2015

From Sea to Shining SeaConcert featuring Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organ

Celebrate Veterans Day on Friday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. as the Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and First Christian Church, Peoria present a unique multi-media concert entitled “From Sea to Shining Sea.” With stunning visuals, this concert traces the history of early America with some of America’s most-beloved concert organ music. A narration and a live video feed of the organist is provided so that audience can fully understand and appreciate the program.

Admission is $12 Adults / $10 Senior Citizens / Children and Students free. Veterans will also be offered FREE admission for this special concert.

James & Jeanine JordanConcert Information

Title: From Sea to Shining Sea: The Organ-ization of America”

Date and Location:

Friday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m.

First Christian Church
6400 N. University Ave.
Peoria, IL 61614

Artists: Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organ, and David Jordan, media specialist

Admission: $12 Adults / $10 Senior Citizens / Children and Students free. Veterans will also be offered FREE admission for this special concert

Concert Website:

Concert Poster: Poster – Veterans Day Concert 2015

Press Release: Press Release – Veterans Day Concert 2015

Concert Description

3aEvinIWith this program Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist, and media artist David Jordan share the fascinating story of early American and how the organ developed in America from its roots in Europe to becoming the premiere social and concert instrument.

Through the voices of organists past, the thrilling performance of their organ music, and the lens of the camera that takes us not only back to 1703 but also in real time to see the magic of creating the music you’ll come to know and love, “From Sea to Shinging Sea” celebrates America, its music, and its musicians!

“From Sea to Shining Sea” begins with Dr. Jordan’s performance of a thrilling uniquely American organ piece, Blithely Breezing Along, composed by Stephen Paulus in 2008 to celebrate the International Year of the Organ.  This riveting piece sets the stage for what the organ has become in the three centuries since it was first brought to the Colonies from Europe.

james-hewitt-the-battle-of-trenton-4Following this foray into the 21st century, Dr. Jordan takes us back to 1703 with a quote from a diary describing the “playing of a voluntary on the organ in the gallery, by Jonas, the organist.”  Discovered in a diary belonging to a member of the Mystics of Wissahickon who worshiped in the city of Philadelphia, colony of Pennsylvania, this entry is the first documented evidence of an organist, an organ, and organ music in America.  Against a backdrop of visuals taking us to that wintry day in Philadelphia three hundred years ago, Dr. Jordan plays organ voluntaries by Cutler and Johnson that Jonas may have played on that little organ.

We also enter homes, churches and concert halls on the Eastern seaboard with intriguing anecdotes interspersed with the music of Palma, Bremner, and Selby, all of which could have been played on those first home and church organs in the colonies. You’ll also hear the music of Jennie Allatt, one of the first women in America to become an organist and composer.

The Revolutionary War is vividly brought to life with a musically and visually captivating performance of The Battle of Trenton by James Hewitt (1770-1827). You’ll watch as organs became not only valued church instruments, but stunning and awesome concert instruments filling halls from sea to shining sea; instruments which thousands of people flocked to hear.  You’ll hear the organ music of America growing from its simple humble beginnings to the audience pleasing grand Toccata by Alfred Barnes.

31HBwWmCU+L._BO1,204,203,200_“From Sea to Shining Sea” concludes with a rousing performance of the well-loved organ piece, The Concert Variations on The Star Spangled Banner by Dudley Buck (1839-1909). The bombs burst in air with the rockets red glare as the power of the 19th century American organ music comes alive with this famous and historic piece.

Please join as at First Christian Church on Friday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. for this amazing concert.


“Thank you once again for a beautiful and inspiring program last Friday night. It was clear to all of us that you have put an incredible amount of time and effort into its preparation, and I was privileged to be among those viewing it. Jeannine’s exceptional talent at the keyboard and David’s facility with the visual aspects combined for a superb evening. Bravo!”

Graham Hicks, LaGrande, Oregon



Kapelle from Concordia University Chicago to Perform in Pekin

The Kapelle from Concordia University Chicago, under the direction of Dr. Charles Brown, will present a concert at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 711 Court Street in Pekin, on Friday, October 23 at 7 PM. The performance is part of the choir’s Fall tour, with a program titled “God is Love’: Music for Reformation and All Saints.” A freewill offering will be taken.


Kapelle is the premier choral ensemble of the university, with members chosen by audition and including both music majors and those focusing on other fields of study. Each year the choir embarks on tours in the Fall and Spring, traveling to different regions of the U.S., in addition to participation in the university’s annual Service of Lessons and Carols and other performance opportunities. Every four years the Kapelle also completes an international tour, most recently touring in Poland last spring. In addition, the ensemble has produced eleven recordings of sacred music.


Dr. Charles Brown is in his fourteenth year as director of choral activities at Concordia University Chicago where he conducts Kapelle and also Männerchor. He earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Arizona in choral conducting and voice performance. At Concordia, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, choral literature, singer’s diction, applied voice, aural skills, and choral music education. Brown is also regularly involved in festivals and workshops throughout the country, serves on the board of the American Choral Directors Association Central Division, and has been active in the Chicago area singing bass-baritone roles, specializing in Baroque oratorio music.


Concordia University Chicago is a liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and a member of the Concordia University System. Founded in 1864 as a teacher’s college, the university now offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and business. The academic institution also continues to prepare individuals for service to the church as Lutheran school teachers, Directors of Christian Education, Deaconesses, and church musicians.

Walter Stout in Concert and Peoria AGO Meeting

We would like to invite you to a special organ concert featuring Walter Stout on Sunday, October 4 at 3:00 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church, 200 Colona Ave., Bartonville on their newly renovated Casavant organ. The concert will feature music of John Knowles Paine, Dietrich Buxtehude, J. S. Bach, Marcel Dupré, and Louis Vierne. Julie Clemens will join him to sing Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate, KV 165 (158a) in Walter’s own transcription.

This concert will be the first event of the 2015-16 Peoria AGO Concert Artist Series. The concert will be followed by a short Peoria AGO meeting and a chapter dinner. To attend the dinner, please RSVP to this e-mail or call Martin Dicke at (309) 696-4797.

Walter J. Stout is a Peoria AGO member who has served as organist at Bethel since November 2010. A church musician since 1976, he has served churches ranging in size from 12 members to 1,500 families in Texas, Oklahoma and Illinois. He holds degrees in Music performance from Texas State University, San Marcos, and the University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma and completed post-graduate work at the University of North Texas and the University of Oklahoma. He began work as Bethel’s parish secretary in January, 2013. He also serves as an Adjunct professor of Musicianship and Class Piano at Illinois Central College in East Peoria.

Matthew Dirst to Open Peoria Bach Festival 2015 with Concert at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, May 31

Matthew Dirst
Matthew Dirst

Award winning organist and harpsichordist and now acclaimed musicologist Matthew Dirst returns to Central Illinois to present the opening concert of the Peoria Bach Festival 2015 at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 NE Randolph Ave., Peoria. Co-sponsored by the Peoria AGO and the Peoria Bach Festival, the concert will include Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in Eb Major (St. Anne) and several excerpts from the Art of the Fugue. It will also include works by organists influenced by Bach: a trio by Hugo Distler, a concerto by Christian Friedrich Rüppe, Variations sur un thème de Clément Janequin by Jehan Alain, and Anton Heiller’s In festo corporis Christi.

For more information on Matthew, please see our May/June newsletter (see previous post) or visit his webpage at

Please help us welcome Matthew back to Central Illinois.

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

Jonathan Rudy to Perform at St. Mary’s Cathedral

Jonathan Rudy
Jonathan Rudy

Jonathan Rudy, most recent winner of the American Guild of Organists’ National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP) will perform at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 607 NE Madison Ave., Peoria, Illinois on Sunday, March 8 at 3:30 p.m. Entitled “World of Pipes:King of Instruments,” this innovative program will feature a variety of works from many different eras gathered together by these thoughts from the artist:

The Organ―grandest instrument the hand
Of man has placed in Music’s galaxy;
In which all Nature’s wondrous sounds are linked
In golden chains of countless harmonies.
Responsive to the touch of man’s weak hands
As if a giant’s fingers swept its keys
And called concordant voices from the depths,
The diapason of the storm-struck sea,
The thunder’s peal, the wind’s wild whistling wail,
The songs of swift-winged warblers in the air,
And the soft sighing of the ambient breeze
Temple of Tone art thou! The shrine supreme
Of Sound’s mysterious powers and richest gifts,
God-given thought alone could have inspired
The human mind to frame so grand a work;
Great Organ―Monarch of all Instruments!

—George Ashdown Audsle

Words such as “strength” and “magnitude” often accompany descriptions of the pipe organ.  Yet the true beauty of this glorious instrument is its flexibility and variety; for as Audsle’s poem suggests, it can articulate every tone and picture that human thought could possibly imagine.  Today’s program will capture just a few of these “worlds” – distinct realms of sound and color – and will demonstrate just how diverse, and divine, organ music can be.

Jonathan D. Rudy

Works on the program will include the Grand Dialogue in C Major by Louis Marchand (1669-1732), the Prelude and Fugue in A minor by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), selections from Four Biblical Dances by Peter Eben (1929-2007), Fantasie No. 2 in D-Flat Major Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), as well as works by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643), American composer Pamela Decker (b. 1955), and French organist and composer Jean Guillou (b. 1930). Admission is $12 for Adults and $10 for Senior Citizens. Students and children are free.

For more information on Jonathan, please visit

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

Benefit Concert at FUMC on Sunday, February 8, 2015

FUMC PeoriaOn Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church in Peoria will present an organ concert featuring four organists. It will be a treat for all and will benefit a great cause! We will be hosting a concert for The Geoff Keller Chapter Group of the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States  to raise money and build awareness about Malignant Hyperthermia (MHAUS). Geoff was the son of Rev. Curt Keller, Pastor of Forrest Hill United Methodist Church and passed away of the disease in September, 2012 at the age of 26. Dr. John Orfe, Joshua Marck, Walter Stout and Sherry Seckler will perform music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Marcel Dupré, Percy Whitlock, and others. A free-will offering will be collected to benefit MHAUS.

First United Methodist is located at 116 NE Perry Ave. in downtown Peoria. For directions and/or further details, please call (309) 673-3641 or visit

Announcing the 2014-15 Peoria AGO Concert Artist Series

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 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

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

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

Scott Montgomery in Concert – Sunday, February 2nd at 3:30 p.m.

Scott MontgomeryThe Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will present young virtuoso organist Scott Montgomery in recital on Sunday, February 2, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral, 607 NE Madison Ave., Peoria. The concert is open to the public. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for Senior Citizens, and free to students and children. Tickets will be available at the door. For further information, phone Dr. Martin Dicke at 696-4797.

Organist Scott Montgomery’s achievements include winning the highest and most prestigious performance competitions of America, receiving accolades from judges, audiences, and reviewers alike. Holding undergraduate and graduate degrees in organ performance from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he was a student of Professor Dana Robinson, Scott is Director of Music Ministries and organist for Holy Cross Catholic Church in Champaign. Acclaimed as a sensitive and rock solid performer, one able to hold and capture an audience’s attention and admiration, he is sought after for concert performances for the pipe organ in all venues. His performances have included new organ dedications, American Guild of Organists and Organ Historical Society National Conventions, as well as recitals in concert halls and churches across the USA and abroad. He has been a featured artist on the acclaimed “Pipedreams” broadcast on public radio. As a recording artist, Scott Montgomery has debuted several solo CD albums. His next CD recording will feature the historic pipe organ at St Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, Illinois. He is also engaged in teaching, leading Master Classes as well as offering private instruction. For additional information and to order his recordings, visit