Heritage Center to Hold First Summer Organ Sampler Concerts

Jun 7, 2021 | University Relations staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Summer Organ Sampler Concerts at the University of Dubuque Heritage Center will debut this summer with 30-minute presentations that showcase the new custom-crafted John and Alice Butler Pipe Organ in John and Alice Butler Hall.

Organist Elisa Williams Bickers will kick off the series with a performance at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Open to the public, the event is free to attend. No ticket is required. Attendees will receive a voucher for a free ice cream treat from Mike and Betty’s Ice Cream Shoppe after the performance.

Summer Organ Sampler Concerts mark the first in-person events open to the public in over a year.

“We are so thrilled to welcome audiences back to John and Alice Butler Hall. Nothing compares with the excellent acoustics of the hall and kinetic energy of the new organ than being physically present at live concert events,” said Thomas Robbins, executive director of Heritage Center.

Elisa Williams Bickers is the associate director of music and principal organist at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, where she leads the Alegría Young Adult Choir and the Village Ringers handbell ensemble. She is also the harpsichordist for the Bach Aria Soloists, a chamber music group dedicated to performing the works of Bach and those inspired by him.

Bickers has performed worldwide as a solo and collaborative organist and harpsichordist. She has collaborated with musical groups such as the Te Deum Chamber Ensemble, Spire Chamber Ensemble, Kansas City Symphony, and Grammy award-winning Kansas City Chorale. She holds degrees in church music and organ performance from Texas Christian University and the University of Kansas. She also earned a fellowship certificate from the American Guild of Organists, the guild’s highest certification.

Bickers is represented by Concert Artist Cooperative.

Heritage Center’s Summer Organ Sampler Concerts are held in cooperation with the 30th anniversary of Sinsinawa Mound Center’s Summer Organ Concert Series.

The University of Dubuque dedicated the John and Alice Butler Pipe Organ on May 15, 2021. Designed for teaching, solo recitals, and performances with other musical ensembles, the pipe organ will expand students’ musical horizons and enhance campus events for generations. It was gifted by UD Trustee John Butler (DHL’17) and his spouse, Alice (DHL’17). Dobson Pipe Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa, built and installed the pipe organ - the 97th new organ built by the firm.

For more information, please visit www.dbq.edu/HeritageCenter.