First Congregational Church of Elgin presents the 2024 Spring Concert Series

First Congregational Church of Elgin is hosting its annual Spring Concert Series with the first concert in the series on Feb. 25.

The concerts will be held in the historic sanctuary, 256 E. Chicago St. It features a new state-of-the-art audio visual system which was completed last spring. Doors open at 3 p.m.

The Judson University Choir will open the series with a performance at 4 p.m. Founded by Dr. Edward Thompson (universally known and loved as “Dr. Ed”) during the Judson’s first year, 1963-1964, the choir has served as one the primary faces of the university for over 50 years, playing an especially crucial role in attracting new students to the campus in the early days of Judson College.

National and international touring soon became a hallmark of the Judson Choir, with regular visits to Eastern and Western Europe, parts of Asia, and the Caribbean.

Dr. Warren Anderson, a 1986 graduate of Judson, is the choir director. He has taught at Judson since 1991 and served as the Dean of the Chapel from 1992 to 2019. In 2012, he became the Judson University Choir Director and the Director of Judson’s Center for Worship in the Performing Arts — housed in the Edward & Alice Thompson Hall — which proclaims, in the spirit of Romans 12:1, all of life’s activity, particularly academic pursuit, as good and proper worship.

Soprano Kathleen Monson Courtesy of Kathleen Monson

On Sunday, March 10, soprano Kathleen Monson will perform with Canto Zenzero and their pianist Riko Higuma at 4 p.m.

Monson continues to delight crowds with her clear tone and confident stage presence. She was recently seen with Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert Series, and she continues to tour with her well-known ensemble Canto Zenzero, The Singing Gingers.

Canto Zenzero creates a stunning performance that seamlessly crosses the boundaries of musical genres. Their vocalists and pianists each have a formal music education and training in the fields of classical music, musical theater, and folk song.

Canto Zenzero with pianist Riko Higuma will perform Sunday, March 10 Courtesy of Canto Zenzero

Each concert combines multiple vocal genres, blending to create a well-rounded and satisfying performance experience. Vocalists include sopranos Kathleen Monson, Ginny Weant and mezzo soprano Bryn Bixby. They are joined by renowned pianist Riko Higuma.

On Sunday, March 24, the Chicago Harp Quartet will close out the series with a performance at 4 p.m.

Founded in 2012, the Chicago Harp Quartet has established itself as the leading harp ensemble in the United States. The quartet brings its signature mix of original transcriptions of Baroque, Classical and Romantic repertoire, and new works by the world’s leading composers.

It is dedicated to presenting innovative and charismatic programs to stages and audiences of all sorts. Every performance is a unique experience, bringing together the four members’ extensive and diverse solo careers and their combined dedication to sharing the excitement of the harp quartet literature.

The Chicago Harp Quartet, clockwise, from upper left, Catherine Litaker, Marguerite Lynn Williams, Emily Granger and Julie Spring, will perform on Sunday, March 24 Courtesy of Todd Rosenberg

All concerts are free admission and open to the public. A freewill offering is being taken to defray costs. For information, visit or contact Dr. Jeffrey Neufeld at (847) 741-4045.

About First Congregational Church

As Elgin’s first church, established in 1836, First Congregational is committed to staying in downtown Elgin and continuing its ministry begun so long ago.

Sitting at a prominent location on Elgin’s “Holy Hill,” the church has been a steadfast leader over its 185-plus years in promoting music and the arts through recitals, concert series, community events, education, and collaboration with organizations like the Elgin Symphony, Elgin Master Chorale, and area colleges and high schools.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.