Two Concerts to Conclude Peoria AGO 2013-14 Program Year

There two remaining concerts on the Peoria AGO 2013-14 Program Year. Both events are FREE and open to the public and will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 NE Randolph Ave. Peoria. The first is a recital by the Peoria AGO’s youngest member.

Friday, May 9 – 7:00 p.m.
Member Recital – Nicholas Liese
Nicholas Liese, organ
No Admission

Nicholas Liese is a Senior at Brimfield High Shool and a student member of the Peoria AGO. He has received a scholarship to attend Concordia University, Wisconsin next year and study organ with Dr. John Behnke. He has been a student of Dr. Martin Dicke for several years and will be interning this summer with Buzard Pipe Organ Builders. This concert will feature among other things Mendelssohn’s Sonata No. 6 – Variations on “Vater Unser” (“Our Father in Heav’n Above”). For more information on Nicholas, visit his website at

Trinity Lutheran Church
135 NE Randolph Ave.
Peoria, IL 61606

The final concert of the Peoria AGO Program Year features The Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas. This concert is offered in conjunction with the Trinity Concert Series.

Saturday, June 14 – 8:00 p.m.
The Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas
William Adams, Director
No Admission

Since their founding in 1982 by their current director, the choir has grown from 45 initial members into five performing ensembles with about 200 choristers. Located in the Greater Houston area, members are selected from the local area by audition and enter the Training, Town, or Tour Choir. The Tour Choir has traveled to 23 states and gone on nine international tours. For their 30th anniversary tour in 2012, they brought their music to France with concerts performed in several regions including Normandy, the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, the Basque region and Paris. The Tour Choir consisting of 36 choristers is touring Illinois this coming summer by arrangement with Witte Travel & Tours of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Highlights over the past 30 years include: performances for three U.S. presidents; performances with many symphony orchestras; recipient of an Addy Award; and a nomination for a National Emmy.

The choir was organized to give boys with special musical abilities and interests an opportunity to perform more challenging choral literal from classical selections to folk music. The group combines the freshness and enthusiasm of childhood with artistic maturity, something that can only be achieved through serious work. Boyish energy is channeled into dedication to excel, team effort and hard work. For other children, the boys serve as models of purposeful work and high achievement. For adults, they are inspirational reminders of human possibilities.

Trinity Lutheran Church
135 NE Randolph Ave.
Peoria, IL 61606

Jens Korndoerfer to Perform April 25 at First Federated

German-born concert organist Dr. Jens Korndörfer will present a recital on Friday, April 25, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. at First Federated Church, 3601 N. Sheridan Rd., 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. His program will include works by French and German organists from the Baroque period through the 20th century including two works by Max Reger: the Benedictus and his Introduction and Passacaglia in D minor. It will also include a transcription of Sergey Rachmaninov’s famous Prelude in C sharp minor for piano arranged for organ by Louis Vierne. A few of the works will reflect the liturgical season: an improvisation on the famous Easter chant “Victimae paschali laudes” and variations by Maurice Durufle on the Pentecost chant “Veni creator Spiritus.”

Dr. Korndörfer has performed to critical acclaim at many prestigious venues, including Westminster Abbey in London, Notre Dame Cathedral and St. Sulpice in Paris, Chapel Royal in Versailles, Moscow Cathedral, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, the Münster in Ulm, St. James Cathedral in Toronto, Cathedral-Basilica in St. Louis, Suntory Hall and Metropolitan Art Space in Tokyo, Kyoto Concert Hall, and the Cultural Centre in Hong Kong. He graduated with top-honors from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris (Diploma in Organ-Interpretation, class of O. Latry and M. Bouvard), the Oberlin Conservatory (Artist Diploma, J.D.Christie), the Musikhochschule in Bayreuth (Church Music Diploma, Organ with H. Leuschner, Piano with M. Wessel) and McGill University in Montreal (Doctor of Music, H.O. Ericsson). In September 2005, he became the first German appointed organist in residence at the Concert Hall Kitara in Sapporo, Japan. Aside from his numerous performances throughout Japan, he gave master classes and concertized with orchestras. Dr. Korndörfer is a triple prize winner of the Canadian International Organ Competition, held in Montréal in 2008 and 2011.

Aside from his busy concert schedule on three continents, Dr. Korndörfer has taught in various settings (organ studio at the School of Fine Arts of FPC Atlanta; master classes in Japan, France and Germany; teaching assistant of Prof. Christie at the Oberlin Conservatory) and shared his knowledge and experience in presentations at conferences in Germany and the USA (AGO National Convention 2012). Furthermore, he has published several articles in English, French, German and Russian music journals. He has recorded two CDs as a soloist (“Great Moments in German Music”, Jasrac 2006, “Variations on America”, ORGAN 2011) and one CD together with Kazuhiro Maekawa, solo-trumpet of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, at the Harmony Hall in Fukui in Japan. Since September 2012, Dr. Korndörfer serves as organist at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which houses two magnificent instruments by Möller/Zimmer (IV/105) and Klop (II/15).

For further information, phone Dr. Martin Dicke at 696-4797.

AGO Announces New College Scholarships

February 7, 2014

The American Guild of Organists is delighted to announce a new college scholarship program for organ students with financial needs:

The Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Memorial Scholarship will be available to six students (four undergraduate, and two graduate) beginning with the 2014–2015 academic year.

  • Four undergraduate scholarships in the amount $7,500 each will be offered: one each to an incoming college freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. Each scholarship will be renewable through completion of the student’s undergraduate years of study.
  • Two graduate scholarships in the amount of $15,000 each will be offered and will be renewable for a total of two years of graduate study.

Eligibility requirements and application details are available online. The application deadline is March 1, 2014.

The mission of the AGO is to enrich lives through organ and choral music. For more information, please call 212-870-2310 or e-mail

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

Merry Christmas from the Peoria AGO

In this busy Christmas season, we at the Peoria AGO would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for all you do at your places of worship and for the art. We have some great concerts and events planned for the second half of the concert season. Check out our Concerts and Events page and watch for announcements in the New Year! For some interesting information on the beloved Christmas carol “Silent Night,” the Handel Messiah libretto, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, check out

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Annual Community Hymn Sing for Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving – Sunday, November 10

Join us on Sunday, November 10 at 3:30 p.m. as members of the Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists present “God Bless America: A Community Hymn Sing for Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.” This is a program for the entire community that honors our veterans and allows us to give thanks for our great country. Come, listen to some great organ music and join together in singing some of the beloved patriotic songs as well as the great hymns for Thanksgiving. This year’s program will be held at:

First Baptist Church
411 W. Lake Ave.
Peoria, Illinois 61614

The program is free. A free-will offering will be taken and donated to a charity devoted to helping veterans. A reception will follow the program in the Fellowship Hall. To download a poster for the event, please click here. For more information, please call 309-696-4797.

Youngest Peoria AGO Member Presents Recital – October 16, 7:00 p.m.

Nicholas Liese, youngest member of the Peoria AGO, is presenting a concert 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 16 at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 228 W. Clay St., Brimfield, Illinois. Admission is free. Entitled Music of the Church Year, the concert will include some of Bach’s Eight Little Preludes and Fugues,part of Mendelssohn’s Sonata No 6, and Purcell’s Voluntary on the Doxology , and other music. He is currently studying organ with Dr. Martin Dicke. After High school, Nicholas plans to matriculate to Concordia University Wisconsin, where he will study with John Behnke and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Parish Music and K-12 Choral Education. Ultimately he desires to serve in a full-time capacity as Church Organist & Choir Director. As an organist, harpsichordist, and trumpeter, he has arranged works for solo organ, harpsichord, brass, and also choir. All of which are based on the Hymns of the Church. For the concert poster, please click here.

The Peoria AGO Begins its 2013-14 Concert Artist Series

The Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) is proud to announce the commencement of its 2013-14 Concert Artist Series. This year’s series will consist of several member recitals as well as concerts by organists of national and international acclaim including AGO National Young Artists Competition Winner Scott Montgomery. We will once again hold a Community Hymn Sing featuring patriotic hymns and hymns for Thanksgiving on Sunday, November 10. This year’s concerts begin on Friday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m. with a member recital by Rachel Keehner at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 NE Randolph Ave., Peoria, IL 61606. For more information on this recital, please visit our Concerts and Events page or call 309-676-4609.