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. 

Adult Choir                                     
Children's Choir & Youth Ensemble      
Concerts in Emmanuel's Sanctuary
Music Education


Adult Choir
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.  Earlier in the year we hosted a special performance by Christ Church Cathedral/Oxford. These and all musical ensembles who perform at Emmanuel all enjoy its grand space, lovely acoustics and Casavant pipe organ.  


2017-2018 Concert Events


New Comma Baroque Ensemble

February 25th, Sunday @3pm

May 6th, Sunday @ 3pm


The Tower Chorale

March 3rd, Saturday @ 7.30pm

March 4th, Sunday   *time tbc


Drake University Choir & Chamber Choir Concert

March 8th, Thursday @ 7.30pm


Oxford Christ Church Choir Concert

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 $1.50 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.







Music Education

Piano and Violin Lessons for All Ages

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.  Violin Lessons are taught by Emily McGinn.  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, violin instruction with Emily McGinn and percussion with John Marella.  Prospective students/parents are asked to contact 708-352-1275 for more information.  

Joseph Cisar
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).

Emily McGinn

John Marrella
John Toured Internationally and Nationally with The Lovin’ Spoonful, Head East, and Beatlemania. He is in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll.  In Chicagoland, John instructed privately for many years at Perry’s Music Center, and Kagan and Gaines music stores. John served as the Percussion Instructor at Riverside-Brookfield High School for 4 years, and at Proviso East High School for 2 years. John has 27 years experience as a private instructor.


Contents © 2018 Emmanuel Episcopal Church | Church Website Provided by | Privacy Policy