Gretchen R. Iben Arts Series



Friday evening, October 26 at seven-thirty o’clock

            THE KAIA STRING QUARTET from Chicago

Returning for their second visit to open the Iben Series are the musicians of the KAIA Quartet.  Their repertory is vast and varied.  They approach the great historical literature for string quartet with great mastery and passion.  They also are deeply committed to the ‘tango music’ of Astor Piazzolla, the Argentinian composer who set the world on end with his brilliant music of the tango set in classic language.  The vital rhythms and passion make for the brilliant music of the twentieth century.




Friday evening, November 30 at seven-thirty o’clock


Professor Kevin Harrington who is about to publish a book on the great religious buildings of Ben Weese of Chicago will offer a lecture centering on the three major religious buildings of Weese in Illinois, including Westminster.  A professor at Illinois Institute of Technology, Harrington has done extensive research and visited all these buildings noting their superb touches making each a great piece of art.  Here in Peoria, the Westminster building stands as a great architectural gem on distinguished Moss Avenue where Westminster stands among the great historic homes including those of Frank Lloyd Wright.   His talk is sure to make all of us who call Westminster our spiritual home, proud of this important work of a great, award-winning American architect.


Sunday afternoon, December 9 at four o’clock


The Westminster Choir presents the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols once again this season.  Beautiful carols of Warlock, Elizabeth Poston, Rutter, Michael Head and others will offer a taste of Christmas in early December.  Also included is music from the Hand Bells and congregational singing of the great carols of Christmas!  The reading of the Nativity Narrative from the King James Bible makes this a particularly inspiring service.  Following the service is a church-wide Christmas Dinner.  Please call the church office for details and to make reservations.  Reservations may also be made on the web at Thomas Clark-Jones conducts the choir and presides at the beautiful Westminster pipe organ.  Come and begin your Christmas at Westminster!

Sunday afternoon, December 16 at four o’clock


            A JAZZ CHRISTMAS!

David Hoffman and the Westminster Jazz Quartet will present music of the season in jazz.  Swinging carols in joyous arrangements done by Dave himself.  In addition to great jazz will be readings from contemporary poetry appropriate to the Christmas Season, and scripture for the season from modern translations of the Word.  This is our fourth Jazz Christmas, and it is always a great afternoon of music.  Best to come a bit early so you can get the seat you prefer.


ALL EVENTS IN THE GRETCHEN R. IBEN ARTS SERIES  are open to the public and are given without charge.  There is a free-will offering plate available at the door as you leave each concert.  If you wish to help support the series, a donation card is enclosed with this leaflet.  Support of the events each year by the public means we can make the very generous Iben bequest to the church go even further in bringing great art to Peoria. 

… events in the second half of the series


February 22 … Friday evening at seven-thirty

Chee Hyeon Choi and John Orfe in music for two pianos by Rachmaninoff and others. 


March 24 … Sunday afternoon at three

            “Peter and the Wolf” … a multi-media program for children and adults, too.

            The Woodwind Quintet led by David Cyzak of Bradley University brings

            the music and Lee Wingert is the Narrator for this great work.


May 3 … Friday evening at seven-thirty

            Zach Barnes and Gus Martini … seniors at Knox College bring an evening

            of jazz for the simple, yet magnificent sounds of piano and bass.  A few other

            instruments might make cameo appearances, too.  These are two young,

            brilliant musicians with a great future in jazz. 


May 31 … Friday evening at seven-thirty

            Organist Caroline Robinson from the Eastman School in Rochester, NY opens

            The Peoria Bach Festival at Westminster.  Another brilliant, young musician

            whose talent is extremely impressive. 

More information on these events in the brochure for the second half of the season!



Westminster Church of Peoria is pleased to present the 2018 – 2019 season of events in the Gretchen R. Iben Arts Series.  This season we offer a wide variety of events … everything from a brilliant, young String Quartet, to a lecture about the architecture of Westminster Church, to Christmas celebrations, to music for duo pianos and the opening of the Peoria Bach Festival … all come together to make a most impressive season for the Iben Series. 

We cordially invite you to join us in these events.  There is no charge for the events, although a basket will be available for donations if you are so moved.  If you wish to support the series with a significant donation, all gifts of $25 and more will be acknowledged in each program during the season. 

Westminster Church is easily accessible from anywhere in the Greater Peoria area. We also offer plenty of off-street parking on the church campus … and the church is completely handicapped accessible.  Please join us for this wonderful season! 







These concerts are made possible by gifts from those who enjoy these concerts and by a generous endowment left to Westminster Church from the Estate of Mrs. Gretchen R. Iben The church decided that since Mrs. Iben was a benefactor of the arts throughout Central Illinois, this gift should be used for an arts series in her honor.

All concerts and services are presented free of charge.  The opportunity for a free-will offering may be provided, but you do not need to feel that you must contribute.  Any gifts of $25 and over are acknowledged in each program of the series. Gifts large and small help to defray expenses and allow the endowment to stretch further and provide more programming each year. Give as you are led, but don’t stay away if you do not make a donation … this series is for everyone … no strings …except those attached to violins, violas, and cellos, of course!

A nursery for young children is available at all concerts and services.

If you wish to be a part of helping to defray costs of these concerts and thus make the funds available each year more plentiful, you may do so by writing a check to Westminster Presbyterian Church and mark the memo … “Iben Series”.  All gifts $25 and above will be acknowledged in each of the season’s programs.