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ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT | Local Talent to Appear in Elgin Symphony Orchestra

Batavia Native Jonathan Rudy, Organ, to Appear with the ESO February 11 & 12

BATAVIA – Organist Jonathan Rudy, a native of Batavia, IL, will appear with The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) on Saturday, February 11, 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 12, 2:30 pm at the Hemmens Cultural Center, performing Saint Saëns’ majestic Symphony No. 3, Organ Symphony. Saint-Saëns said of the piece "I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again.”

The music was used to create the popular song, If I Had Words, featured in the movie, Babe. Perfect for the family or your favorite Valentine, the program also includes lush, passionate and beautifully melodic works like Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, highlighted in Disney’s Fantasia, Liadov’s ethereal Enchanted Lake, and Respighi’s romantic Fountains of Rome. Music Director Andrew Grams will give a pre-concert chat one hour before the concert. Tickets are only $30-$65. Student tickets $12. There is convenient free parking or valet service. Saturday concertgoers are invited after the performance to Mingle with the Musicians at the Elgin Public House. For concert tickets, call 847-888-4000 or visit ElginSymphony.Org.

Jonathan D. Rudy is recognized by colleagues and audiences for excellence as a performer, church musician, improviser, educator, and conductor. A native of Batavia, Illinois, Mr. Rudy’s recent concert appearances, including recitals, master classes, competitions, and dedicatory/commemorative events, have included locations all across the United States.

Mr. Rudy is a laureate of several performance competitions and most recently won First Prize and the Audience Prize at the American Guild of Organists 2014 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, the Guild’s premiere young organist competition. He was also a finalist in the National Organ Playing Competition in Fort Wayne, as well as the Second Prize Winner of the Regional Competition for Young Organists (Quimby Competition) in 2011. He received the Immanuel Organ Scholar Award in 2009 (Evanston, IL) in recognition of excellence in performance and sacred music, as well as high praise and prizes during competitions hosted in Detroit, Bloomington IN, Wheaton IL, and Glen Ellyn IL. In addition to appearances as organist and church musician, Mr. Rudy maintains a career as a conductor. He studied Choral Conducting at Indiana University with Dr. William Gray and Dr. Richard Tangyuk, and regularly leads choral and instrumental ensembles. He has served as conductor for the Valparaiso University Men’s Chorus, the AGO Bloomington Choralfest Ensemble, and the choral and instrumental ensembles at his church positions, amongst other leadership positions. Mr. Rudy received his Master’s Degree in Organ and Sacred Music at Indiana University, where he studied organ with Janette Fishell, improvisation and sacred music with Bruce Neswick, and pursued minors in Music Theory and Choral Conducting. Mr. Rudy completed his undergraduate degree at Valparaiso University, studying Organ and Sacred Music with Lorraine Brugh and Karel Paukert. While at Valparaiso, he was initiated into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honors society, and received the Reidenbach Award in Church Music. In his early years he studied organ with Karl Bruhn and piano with his mother, Melinda J. Rudy. Jonathan D. Rudy currently serves as Music Director at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Cookeville, TN, where he lives with his beautiful wife, Katie. He tutors students privately in Aural Skills, Music Theory, Piano, and Voice, and maintains an amateur recording studio. Mr. Rudy has served as Organist at Central Presbyterian Church, Terre Haute, IN, as Associate Instructor of Music Theory and Aural Skills at Indiana University, and as Dean and Member-At-Large of the American Guild of Organists Bloomington Chapter (Region V).

Andrew Grams became music director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in June 2013 after an international search. A graduate of the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, he holds degrees in violin performance and conducting and has appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world. Grams was a protégé of Franz Welser-Möst and served as assistant conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra for three years. Named 2015 Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras, his charismatic conducting and easy accessibility have made him a favorite of Elgin Symphony audiences. He has extended his contract with the ESO through 2021. To learn more about Andrew Grams, visit and

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