Kensington Arts Center - Music
Like many Episcopal parishes, at Emmanuel, music plays an important role. We take great pride in traditional worship while meeting the diverse needs of our children's choir and youth ensemble. The beauty of our sanctuary and its fine acoustics make Emmanuel an ideal venue for concerts. It's surrounding buildings make up the Kensington Art Center, a community space for arts and music education.
Contact: George Tarasuk
Our regularly scheduled rehearsals are held every Wednesday at 7:00 PM
Emmanuel's Adult Choir has been singing for over one-hundred years. They are noted for having performed much of the best choral compositions written for the Church. Presently they sing at the 9:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday and on major Holy Days. They are a very dedicated group of nearly twenty men and women who see singing in the choir as a ministry to the parish. They rehearse September through May on Wednesday evenings in the Choir Room from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m.
Do you enjoy singing at Mass, in the car, or even in the shower? Why not consider joining Emmanuel's Adult Choir? The Adult Choir is always looking for enthusiastic people of all voice types who love to sing and who would like to participate. Music adds so much to the Liturgy, adding another dimension to the prayer of the community. Singing has a long history in our worship, starting with King David, who composed the Psalms. Come and join us and help to keep the tradition of beautiful music at Emmanuel alive and well!
Children's Choir and Youth Ensemble
Contact: George Tarasuk
The Children’s Choir is a great way for your child to actively participate in the liturgy! The Children’s Choir sings approximately four liturgies per year. Rehearsals are on Sundays at 10:15 a.m. for children in grades 1 - 6 and are incorporated into the religious education program at Emmanuel. George Tarasuk is joined by Jen Enriquez and Ben Nesler from the Religious Education program who assist in this group's direction.
The Youth Ensemble consists of several young singers, and instrumentalists. The ensemble leads the assembly in song at approximately four liturgies per year. The group is led by George Tarasuk and is open to anyone in grades 7 - 12 who can sing or play an instrument. The Youth Ensemble rehearses on three Sundays every other month and are joined by LaGrange classical guitarist and educator, Jason Deroche.
These groups are are important to our church for many reasons. Primarily, they encourage children to take an active role in the liturgy. Participating in the children's choir will not only teach your children to sing correctly, but it will foster in them, a deeper understanding of Anglican liturgy, and music's role within it. As children get older, graduate, and move on to high school, many enjoy participating with our Youth Ensemble and Adult Choir. This provides the Adult Choir with fresh voices, and somewhat eases the difficult task of recruitment. Lastly, singing is a fun and positive activity that anyone can do. Studies even suggest that children who participate in school music programs get better grades and develop a strong, positive self-image.
Concerts in Emmanuel's Sanctuary
The present building was built in 1925-26 following a fire on December 1, 1924 that destroyed the 1893 church and parish house. The architect for the present building was John "Jack" N. Tilton, Jr. who at the time was with the Marshall and Fox Architects, Chicago. Jack Tilton lived in La Grange and was a member of the parish. Bertram Goodhue and Associates of in New York City, experts in Gothic architecture, were consulting architects. The first service in the new sanctuary was Easter Day, 1926.
The church building is "cathedral" style 12th Century English Gothic. The windows are in keeping with this style of architecture. Just as in medieval cathedrals, the windows and art work are based on scripture and history to tell the story of Christ and the church. Only one window dates from 1926: the east window above the altar. Designed by Harry Wright Goodhue, it depicts the Life of Christ. The remaining windows were done in the 1950s and 60s. These windows were designed by Connick and Associates, Boston, and Henry Willett Glass Studio, Philadelphia. The plan for the windows was developed by Jack Tilton, Architect, Harley W. Mitchell, Buildings and Grounds chairman, and Rectors Rev Everett Carr and Rev Gordon Galaty. There are three windows dedicated to music. These windows are in the choir section of the church and dipict individuals important in developing church music.
Emmanuel is proud to be a musical home to the William Ferris Chorale, Tower Chorale, New Comma Baroque, and the Lyons Township High School Madrigal Singers. The Christ Church Cathedral/Oxford boys choir after a very popular 2016 concert, will be here again in April, 2018.These and all musical ensembles who perform at Emmanuel all enjoy its grand space, lovely acoustics and Casavant pipe organ. We also host the Hinsdale Chorale, the Drake University Choir, and many more.
2017-2018 Concert Events
April 13th, Friday @ 7.30pm
Tickets are $50 each by check or cash
Please click on the Oxford Choir Poster for online sales
*Tickets purchased online will incur $1.75 per ticket convenience fee, and will be emailed to you once purchased. Thank you.
The Spirito Singers, a mixed multi school ensemble will be using our fabulous accoustics to record an event for WFMT on March 11th at 2.30pm.
We believe the recording will be closed, but you can listen on the radio on WFMT.
April 29th, Sunday 3.00pm
The Joy of Music
New Comma Baroque Ensemble
New Comma Baroque returns as artists-in-residence at Emmanuel Episcopal Church of La Grange with our energetic and virtuosic program “The French Connection,” featuring the Viola da gamba & Harpsichord in works by Jacques Champion de Chambonnières, Le Sieur dubuisson Marin Marais & Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe.
$20 General Admission, $15 Seniors, $10 Students, Free Under 18
For more details, please visit
May 6th, Sunday @ 3pm
Kipp Cortez Benefit Recital
June 2nd, Saturday June 2nd @ 7.00pm
Schola Antiqua Choral Concert
October 21st, Sunday 4:00pm
Their program will celebrate the quincentenary of composer Pierre de la Rue — the “other Josquin” of the early sixteenth century.
Please visit their website for more details
Parents and caregivers of child students are welcome any time during classes. Pop in any time or stay for the entire lesson!
Piano Lessons are taught at the KAC by Joseph Cisar. For information on pricing and scheduling, call KAC music director George Tarasuk at 312.835.2526. He can put you in touch with the correct teacher. Once your lessons are scheduled, complete and bring the Music Student Registration Form with your registration fee and tuition to the first lesson.
Please complete one form per student and submit with $20 annual registration fee and class tuition at or before the first KAC lesson attended. Music students must re-register ANNUALLY. Class tuition is paid monthly at the first lesson in each month by check payable to Kensington Arts Center. PARENTS OR CAREGIVERS OF UNDERAGE STUDENTS ARE WELCOME TO OBSERVE LESSONS AT ANY TIME.
The Kensington Art Center at Emmanuel currently offers private piano instruction with Joe Cisar. Prospective students/parents are asked to contact 708-352-1275 for more information.
Pianist and music educator Joseph Cisar (BA & MA Music) will be available to students of ALL ages on Thursday afternoons and evenings at Emmanuel, using the new (donated) grand piano in the choir room. Mr. Cisar is currently a faculty member at the Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College and is the Music Director of the First Baptist Church in La Grange. The Chicago Sun Times declared him “a pianist who can find the charm and make it thoroughly beguiling for all of us.” Mr. Cisar has an extensive resume (available upon request) which includes tours with Leonard Bernstein, lectures and recitals across the US, studies with Dr. Karen Shaw at Indiana University, and study in New York with master teacher German Diez (HIS pedagogical lineage links back to Franz Liszt and Beethoven).