Below you will find a link to our September/October 2015 Newsletter. Please forward it to anyone who might be interested.
World renowned artist, Diane Bish, returns to First United Methodist Church, Peoria (FUMC) for a concert on Sunday, May 15 at 4:00 p.m. She performed there previously during the 1988-89 Concert Artist Series of the Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. As part of the FUMC 2015-16 Music Series, this concert will feature a variety of repertoire and will include the FUMC Sanctuary Choir. The intricate choreography of Ms. Bish’s hands and feet will be displayed on the Sanctuary screen.
The concert is free and open to the public, however, tickets will be required. Tickets are available from the church office or by clicking here. Co-sponsors of the concert are the Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and John-Paul Buzard Pipe Organ Builders.
Diane Bish is the most visible and influential classical organist performing today. Concert and recording artist, composer, conductor, and international television personality, she displays her dazzling virtuosity and unique showmanship the world over to international acclaim. Her organ performances are hailed as “stunning, virtuoso, fiery, and astonishing.”
Diane’s unparalleled achievements as a young performer gave her the credibility and determination to launch The Joy of Music international television series in 1982 as a platform for awareness and appreciation of “the king of instruments.” Broadcast to over 300 million people around the world each week, The Joy of Music combines exhilarating organ and ensemble performances with an informative, inspirational narrative and exciting world travel. The Joy of Music boasts over 500 episodes featuring famous cathedrals, concert halls, churches and organs. This tremendous outreach to the general public on behalf of the organ and Diane Bish’s longevity as a leading recitalist distinguishes her in the world of music.
In 1989, Diane was awarded the National Citation by the National Federation of Music Clubs of America. Considered to be the Federation’s highest honor, Diane Bish shares this rare distinction with such legends as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Van Cliburn, Robert Shaw, Irving Berlin and Fred Waring in receiving this award “for distinguished service to the musical, artistic, and cultural life of the nation.”
A consummate church musician, Diane Bish served as senior organist and artist-in-residence at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for over 20 years. While at Coral Ridge Church, she led the design of the 117-rank Ruffatti organ, distinguished as one of the great organs in America. She was instrumental in developing one of the country’s first church concert series and creating an annual church music workshop for musicians around the world. In her book Church Music Explosion, Diane shares her philosophy of excellence in church music.
Diane has recorded on the foremost organs of the world and was the first American woman to record on the four organs of Freiburg Cathedral, Germany. Featured on over 30 of her recordings are music for organ and orchestra, brass and organ, great organ masterpieces, organ and harp, original works, and hymn arrangements.
The sparkling creativity and artistry of Diane Bish is equally evident in her compositions. She has composed numerous solo pieces, arrangements, and full symphonic works that have received much acclaim and are performed regularly due to her ability to combine musical quality with accessibility.
Her list of creative projects also includes the Diane Bish Signature Series by Allen line of digital organs. Working closely with the technicians and designers at Allen Organ Company, Diane beautifully combined her musical vision and expertise with the superior technical design of the Allen Organ. Many Diane Bish Signature Series Organs have been installed around the country and are available through the Allen Organ Company.
Diane Bish began her study with Dorothy Addy in Wichita, Kansas, and continued as a student of Mildred Andrews. She was a recipient of Fulbright and French government grants for study in Amsterdam and Paris with Nadia Boulanger, Gustav Leonhardt and Marie Claire Alain. Diane Bish: First Lady of the Organ by Warren Woodruff was published in 1993. Diane Bish is represented worldwide by JEJ Artists.
For more information on Diane, please visit www.dianebish.org.
First United Methodist Church
116 NE Perry Avenue • Peoria, IL 61603 • 309.673.3641
Free admission, but tickets required
To acquire your free ticket, please call the number above or visit
On Friday, February 19 at 7:00 p.m. the National Lutheran Choir (www.nlca.com), as semi-professional choir from Minneapolis led by artistic director and organist David Cherwien, presents a unique blend of choral music, spoken reflections and congregational hymnody on the Trinity Concert Series at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 NE Randolph Ave, Peoria, IL 61606. For more information or directions, please visit www.trinityconcertseries.org or call (309) 676-4609. The concert is free (a free-will offering will be taken to offset the choir’s expenses). For a poster of the concert, please click here.
Experience the artistry of the National Lutheran Choir as they perform songs of faith, and join together in singing well-known – and perhaps new – hymns with the choir! This special concert features works by James Miller, Moses Hogan, Andre Thomas, as well as Stanford and Cherwien. The choir was founded in 1986 by Dr. Larry Fleming and is celebrating its 30th anniversary. It seeks to strengthen, renew and preserve the heritage of sacred choral music through the highest standards of performance and literature. The choir performs literature from the entire spectrum of sacred choral music, with and without instrumental accompaniment. The choir’s rich and diverse repertoire ranges from early chant to new compositions and from simple folk anthems to complex orchestral masterworks. Members of the National Lutheran Choir are drawn from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and beyond for weekly rehearsals and local and national performances. The ensemble presents a wide range of choral works in concert and worship settings, leads workshops in choral techniques, hymnody and liturgy, commissions and publishes new compositions, and broadcasts and records extensively.
David Cherwien, artistic director of the National Lutheran Choir, is a nationally known conductor, composer and organist. Recognized for his contributions to the field of church music and liturgy, he is in demand as a clinician and hymn festival leader across the country. David serves as Cantor at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, a parish known for its passion for creative high quality liturgy and music. He also serves as editor of the National Lutheran Choir Series of choral music published by Morningstar Music Publishers. David is a founding member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and has served in its leadership in a variety of capacities, including as National President from 1993 to 1997. He is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association, American Guild of Organists, Chorus America and Choristers Guild. David holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance and the Master of Arts degree in Theory and Composition from the University of Minnesota. In the Fall of 2000, he was honored as a “Distinguished Alumnus” by Augsburg College (Minneapolis, MN), where he studied choral music education and organ performance as an undergraduate. David also spent two years at the Berlin Church Music School studying conducting, composition and organ.David Cherwien is the 2007 winner of the Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition for his piece “The Souls of the Righteous.”
The Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is helping to underwrite this event.
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.
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: www.fromseatoshiningsea.net
Concert Poster: Poster – Veterans Day Concert 2015
Press Release: Press Release – Veterans Day Concert 2015
With 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.
Following 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.
“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