Gretchen R. Iben Arts Series

the gretchen r. iben arts series …

                                  at westminster church of Peoria

WELCOME to the NEW SEASON of the Gretchen R. Iben Fine Art Series at Westminster Church of Peoria

Here at Westminster, we have had much changed in the daily life of our congregation by the appearance of the COVID-19 virus in the US.  Taking shut down requests most seriously, we have not worshipped in the church since last March and will open once again on Sunday, September 27 when we will resume public worship in a limited manner, with safety precautions in place as firmly as possible.  No one can guarantee a completely safe experience at this time, but we are doing everything in our power to get back to some normalcy while following the guidelines set before us by the scientific community.

Jazz has become an integral part of the worship at Westminster in the last few years and we continue that tradition with this opening Iben Concert for 2020-2021. David Hoffman has led this endeavor from the start and continues with us this year as the leader of the group.  Come, enjoy some great music … music to lift your spirits.

Thank you for your interest in the Iben Series. We hope you will enjoy the various offerings to be given during the 2020-2021 season. If you wish to help fund this series, there will be an offering plate at the door at the end of each concert.  If you wish to make a donation of $25.o0 or over, your name will be mentioned in program booklets through the rest of the season.  Contact the church office for further information about this support opportunity.

Thomas Clark-Jones
Organ & Choirmaster
Gretchen R. Iben, Chair


Sunday, October 4, 2020
4:00 PM & 7:30 PM

Jazz on Moss Ave – 10.04.20 Program

David Hoffman and the Westminster Jazz Quartet.

David Hoffman, trumpet | Mike Nellas, guitar | Steve Jackson, string bass | Jason Brannon, percussion | Jamica Welch, vocals

The Gretchen R. Iben Arts Series of Westminster Presbyterian Church, of Peoria, presents a concert of Jazz with the Westminster Jazz Ensemble, David Hoffman directing. The combo includes well-known jazz musicians from Central Illinois including Mike Nellas, guitar, and Jason Brannon, percussion among others. Music to lift your spirits and send you home with a smile.  Jazz standards as well as some of David Hoffman’s original compositions are featured.

The concert is FREE. Reservations are needed.
Reserve at EventBrite.com or click the time you want below.
(4:00 pm concert) or the (7:30 pm concert).
Covid-19 safety precautions will be observed.   


MAKE PLANS NOW to attend this first concert in the Iben Series 20-21 Season. Admission by ticket ONLY, available as linked above. Social distance gives us 50 places for each of the two concerts.  Masks must be worn.  Seating in the direction of ushers only.  Hand sanitizer and clean restrooms available.

CHOOSE YOUR TIME and make your reservations soon.  No charge for this opening concert of the season.  An offering plate will be available as you exit the concert.  Please, come and join us in celebrating life even in a time of darkness.  You are bound to leave the concert with a smile on your face!





  • Make a reservation for your seat by clicking on the time you want to attend above.
  • Groups of family members who live together are able to sit together.
  • All others will be separated by at least six feet.
  • Seating will be in every other row of pews with an optimum distancing from performers.
  • Everyone in attendance will wear a mask.  If you forget yours, we have a disposable one for you.
  • Seating by ushers only. They will guide you to your seat.
  • Ushers will also dismiss the audience/congregation by rows.
  • Applause is greatly appreciated as it is totally safe!
  • Questions can be answered by contacting us at www.westminsterpeoria.org OR by
  • calling the church office during business hours … 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Spring events of the 2019-2020 season




MARCH 1, 2020

The Chamber Choir of Peoria under the direction of Dr. John Jost presents an evening of challenging choral works with the elegant beauty of all Dr. Jost’s work.  The highlight of the concert is a performance of the brilliant cantata, Rejoice in the Lamb by a twentieth-century master, Benjamin Britten.  It will be an evening of inspiration and delight!  Admission: $10; students $5.





A program of contemporary masterworks. Dr. John Orfe, pianist; Adrinna Ransom, cellist; Kelsey Klopfenstein, violinist and David Gresham, clarinetist join to present the dazzling twentieth-century masterpiece, Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen. This is music to challenge your soul and intrigue your mind. It seems suspended in place and time as only the music of Messiaen can.  Along with the featured work is a world premiere of John Orfe’s Clarinet Sonata.  Admission free; an offering is taken as you depart.


This is an update on the Iben Concert scheduled for 27 March.  As with any event planned well in advance, on occasion, some changes must be made.  And so it is with the Iben Concert scheduled for 27 March.  First … it will be at 8:00 p.m. rather than our usual 7:30 time frame. The concert, entitled, “Music for the End of Time” still features Olivier Messiaen’s dramatic and deeply spiritual ‘Quartet for the End of Time’  with Dr. John Orfe at the piano, Kelsey Klopfenstein, violinist; Adrianna Ransom, cellist and David Gresham, clarinetist.  It is a performance you will not want to miss.  This rarely performed masterwork is a profound expression of our own times in the music language.  Originally scheduled for this concert was a premier of Dr. Orfe’s new “Clarinet Sonata”, but it has not been possible to complete and rehearse the work to include it in this concert.  In its place will be a piano work entitled, “Toward the Center” by American composer Yehudi Wyner.  Wyner is highly respected in the musical world and has won the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2006 for his Piano Concerto.  In the past few years, he has become one of Dr. Orfe’s mentors and we are pleased to present this work composed in our own time.  Soooo … remember the time change to 8:00 p.m. and come and enjoy some wonderful music.             …tcj



(in the English Tradition)


 The Anglican Church’s service of Evening Prayers, well established by 1662, and known as Choral Evensong will be sung by the Choir of Westminster Church.  Preces and Responses by Thomas Clark-Jones; Evening Canticles by Harold W. Friedell and anthems by Francis Jackson, Benjamin Britten and Balfour Gardiner.  And a short homily by the Rev. Denise Clark-Jones.  It is a beautiful way to end a Sunday … in the beauty of Westminster Church with great music.



(opening concert)


This year we present Dr. Craig Cramer who will come to Peoria newly retired from his long-time post of Professor of Organ at Notre Dame University in Indiana.  Dr. Cramer holds a degree from Westminster Choir College and the Eastman School of Music, where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance. He has performed for conventions of the American Guild of Organists and Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. He has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras and has 15 CD recordings to his credit.  He regularly tours in Europe and across North America.





We cordially invite you to join us in these events. 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.

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!

There is no charge for the events, although the opportunity for a free-will offering may be provided, you do not need to feel that you must contribute.  Any gifts of $25 and more 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. Just click the “DONATE” button below or write a check to Westminster Presbyterian Church and mark the memo line … “Iben Series”.

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!