Fourth of July Organ Recital in Eureka

by Rachel Keehner on June 7, 2016

An organ recital will be held at Eureka Christian Church, 302 South Main Street in Eureka, on July 4 at 11:30 a.m.  A program of patriotic and American music, the recital will be the first performance for the general public since the restoration of the church’s Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ.  Performers for the recital will include Sherry Seckler, Jon Kroepel, and John Orfe.

The two manual Aeolian-Skinner was originally installed at Eureka Christian in 1936, designed to be enlarged later on.  In 1964 and 1965 the instrument was rebuilt and the intended additions to the organ’s pipes were made.  Restoration of the 15 rank pipe organ was completed last year by John-Paul Buzard Pipe Organ Builders.

Eureka Christian Church

302 South Main Street • Eureka, IL 61530 • 309-467-2369

Admission is free

James Kibbie to Perform at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Sunday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m.

by Rachel Keehner on May 25, 2016

James Kibbie

James Kibbie

Dr. James Kibbie will be presenting some of Bach’s organ works at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1420 West Moss Avenue in Peoria, on Sunday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m.  The concert is being hosted as part of the Gretchen Iben Concert Series at Westminster, and will also be the opening concert for this year’s Peoria Bach Festival.  The program will present a sampling of Bach’s genius, presenting works in a variety of forms ranging from a recently-authenticated work from his teenage years to familiar masterworks, including the iconic Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

Dr. Kibbie is Chair of the Department of Organ and University Organist at the University of Michigan.  He maintains a full schedule of concerts, recording, and festival engagements throughout North America and Europe, including appearances at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, Royal Festival Hall in London, Dvořak Hall in Prague, and Lincoln Center in New York.  A frequent jury member of international organ competitions, he has won prestigious competitions in Chartres, France and Prague, Czech Republic.  His recent recordings of the complete Bach works on historic baroque organs in Germany have been welcomed with enthusiastic critical and audience acclaim.  The University of Michigan is offering these recordings to the public as free internet downloads at

Westminster Presbyterian Church
1420 West Moss Avenue • Peoria, IL 61606 • 309-673-8501
Admission is free

Diane Bish Returns to Peoria on Sunday, May 15

by Martin Dicke on April 13, 2016

Diane BishWorld 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


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