Immanuel has a Comprehensive, Rewarding, & Fulfilling Music Program

Here at Immanuel, we not only value and teach the language of music, we value and pursue an even greater calling — to serve and worship our God.  All of us — teachers, parents, and students alike — have been called to use our talents and to use them in a way that brings honor and glory to God.

And while we may not offer instruction on the harp or the ram’s horn, each of our musical ensembles and every one of our groups’ directors share five goals, which form the heart of Immanuel’s music program. The shared goals of the musical ensembles here at Immanuel are:

  • to bring glory and honor to God
  • to help each child discover and maximize his/her God-given musical talents
  • to develop ensembles that will enrich the educational experience
  • to strive for excellence within each musical group
  • to create an environment within each group that encourages creativity, cooperation, and a commitment for work

Our Commitment to You

As directors of the musical ensembles here at Immanuel, we promise not only to strive to meet the goals listed above, but also to be fair in our treatment of each student within each of the ensembles. Students who participate in music ensembles are asked to put forth their best efforts and be faithful in both rehearsal and performance participation. Click on the link below to access the Attendance Policy and Covenant for Music Ensembles

Download ILS Music Participation Opportunities 2023-24



vocal ensembles

Vocal Ensembles

Participating in a vocal ensemble is an exciting and fulfilling musical experience. Working together, those who enjoy singing can blend their voices to make music that touches the listener in the way that the spoken word only rarely can. Here at Immanuel Lutheran School, students have the opportunity to participate in various vocal groups, which are described below.

PK and Kindergarten Class Choirs

Students in these classes have a natural love for music and singing.  Students enjoy music while singing and participating in related activities during daily classes.  They also have the opportunity to sing songs of praise to their Lord during preschool chapel time and sing as a group in several worship services at Immanuel.

Lower Grade Choirs

All students in Grades K through 4 participate in a choir class as part of their regular music instruction at Immanuel. Through the singing of fun-filled vocal warm ups, hymns and contemporary praise songs, traditional and folk songs, song/movement videos, and more, students learn the fundamentals of singing. Students in Grades K, 1-2 and 3-4 have the opportunity to prepare songs and sing praises to our Lord when their group participates periodically in weekend worship services at Immanuel. Students in the 3rd and 4th Grade Choir also perform several selections at the Spring Concert in May, which gives students an opportunity to showcase what they’ve learned in classes throughout the year. Recent selections include “Lean Forward, Lean Backwards", John Had Great Big Waterproof Boots On!”, “It’s In My Desk”, “Happy” and “The Friday Song”– a real favorite that is requested over and over again each year.

Gr. K-4 Music Information and Dates 2023-24


Chancel Choir

This extra-curricular group brings together the voices of students in grades 5-8. Its purpose is to praise the Lord through song and further develop the musical talents He has given us. Students are expected to make a commitment to attend practices and performances as scheduled.  This group rehearses on Thursday mornings at 7:30 a.m. from August through May in the church basement music room. The group is led by Immanuel’s 8th grade teacher Mrs. Cena Becker, an experienced musician who truly enjoys working with students to help them use their voices to fullest potential. Mrs. Kris Bartelt, Immanuel’s music teacher, serves as the group’s accompanist and assists Mrs. Becker with this group. The Chancel Choir, also referred to as the School Chorus, performs as a group at two concerts during the school year — the Winter Concert and the Spring Concert. In addition, this group sings specially chosen selections at various Immanuel church worship services. Every other year, all chorus members participate in the gr. 5-8 fall musical.  Many of the Chancel Choir members also sing in vocal ensembles and/or prepare solos for the D300 Solo and Ensemble Contest and as well, and the chorus sings as a group in a Lutheran Fine Arts Festival each spring.

2023-2024 Gr. 5-8 Chorus Schedule


HANDBELL ensembles

Handbell Ensembles

Being part of a handbell group is a terrific learning experience which is both challenging and fun! Each student is assigned to play several bells from the musical scale (for example, middle C and D) and rings a bell each time he/she sees the note representing that bell written on the page of music. Together, the choir of bell ringers makes beautiful music–but it requires a great deal of teamwork and concentration. It can be said that being part of a bell choir is an experience that is both rewarding and unique at the same time. Here at Immanuel Lutheran School, our older students have the opportunity to participate in several handbell ensembles.

Chancel Ringers

This group typically includes students in grades 7-8. They meet for rehearsals on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. in the church balcony from the end of August through May. The group is led by Mrs. Shelly Pieper, an excellent teacher and musician with a wide variety of musical experiences and interests. The Chancel Ringers usually perform at two concerts throughout the school year —the Winter Concert and the Spring Concert. They also work together to play special music for various Immanuel Lutheran Church worship services.

2023-2024 Chancel Ringers Schedule

Chancel Chimes

This group typically includes students in grades 5 and 6, and begins on Friday mornings at 7:30 near the start of the second semester each January.  Students use both handbells and handchimes to create their music in the church balcony from January through May. This group is also directed by Mrs. Shelly Pieper. The Chancel Chimes are normally scheduled to perform in at least one concert each school year (the Spring Concert in May), as well as during several worship services at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

2023-2024 Chancel Chimes Schedule.


BAND ensembles


Immanuel offers a variety of band opportunities. For cost/tuition to participate in band,

please contact Mr. Bill Gade, Immanuel’s Music Director.

Concert Band

Typically, Immanuel's Concert Band involves students in grades 6 through 8 and performs at two concerts — one in winter and one in spring. Many band students also play at the D300 Solo and Ensemble Contest each April. In some years band students also play at one or two Immanuel Church services as well as the Lutheran Honor Band Festival in Peoria.

Concert and Cadet Bands and specific group rehearsals take place before school.  Weekly student instrument lessons are held during the school day (as a "pull out" on a rotating schedule so the student doesn't miss the same subject each time.)

See specific information below from Mr. Gade, distributed on Registration Day in August, 2023.

2023-2024 Band Information and 8.30.23 Parent Meeting


Our Cadet Band for beginning students is comprised mostly of 5th and 6th graders, and performs first at a mini-concert in March or April, and then at the spring concert in May. Read the information distributed on Registration Day (below) to find out more about beginning band.

Large group rehearsals are held weekly before the school day, with weekly lessons for students on their instruments during the school day (as a "pull out" on a rotating schedule so the student doesn't miss the same subject each time.)

2023-2024 Band Information and 8.30.23 Parent Meeting


Upper Grade Musical

Immanuel's grades 5-8 students worked together to perform "Sister Act, Jr." on November 10-11, 2023. It was "FABULOUS" (that's a song title from the musical if you didn't know) to see how everyone working together could make such a great show.

Musicals showcase the talents of a wide variety of ILS students, who participate by acting, singing, dancing, managing stage and props, serving on sound and spotlight crew, and more.  We praise God for blessing us with the opportunity to have fun putting on a show and grow as we use our talents to His glory.


Lower Grade Musical

Immanuel's gr. 1-4 students work together to present a musical every other spring.  In May of 2023, Immanuel's gym was transformed into a circus extravaganza and we performed "The Prodigal Clown", which took the Bible story of the prodigal son and put it into a circus setting. All were amazed as we showcased our musical and drama abilites and everyone had fun "under the bigtop", while we all were reminded that our God loves each and every one of us unconditionally!

Gr. 1-4 students and teachers will work to present their next operetta in the spring of 2025.





Preschool Program

Each year, Immanuel’s PK students perform a special program featuring their singing, dancing, new knowledge and smiles that receives rave reviews from parents, grandparents and friends.  The 2022-23 school year production was a Christmas themed program in December.  Thanks to our teachers and classroom aides who work so diligently to help these little ones shine and share what they’re learning!

Students presented their spring musical "All Year Long" on April 12, 2024.

The Kindergarten Showcase

Throughout the schoolyear kindergarten students learn songs, actions and more to share at their annual Kindergarten Showcase, which is scheduled for Friday, May 10, 2024.  They'll been singing, learning and smiling throughout the months of this school year to get ready for this special performance for family and friends.

Curious as to what they'll be sharing?  In past performances students have delightfully recounted much of what they had learned including the days of the week, the months and seasons of the year along with counting to a 100 by fives, and about God's never ending for them and everyone He created.  At their last showcase they included favorites such as “Albuquerque Turkey” and “Pizza Hut”.

What a joy it's been to watch those little ones sing, dance, tell jokes (“What is a race car driver’s favorite day of the year? April Fuels Day!”), and share their newly learned skills.  We say "Great job, students"–and thanks to Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Hollquist for your wonderful leadership!  Kindergarteners, we love to see you perform and share how you have “grown up” as you progress through the months of kindergarten.



2023-24 Music Opportunities for Gr. 5-8 Students

Lutheran Honor Band Festival – Seven of Immanuel’s band students were selected to perform at this event in Bloomington in March of 2024.

D300 Piano Festival is open to piano students in gr. 3-8 who attend school in the district. Further information and the opportunity to register is shared with students during music class each January.

D300 Solo and Ensemble Contest is also held in April each year.  Mr. Gade communicates with band students and their parents about this opportunity.  Mrs. Becker connects with our 8th grade vocalists about the opportunity to participate.

The 2024 Lutheran Schools Fine Arts Festival was held on Friday, April 19th at Grace Lutheran School in River Forest.   What a wonderful opportunity this has been over the years for our students to grow in their musical abilities and experiences! The music-filled day will begins after lunch and culminates in a grand evening concert featuring performances by the mass bells, mass band, mass choir, and selected student entries from participating school. In addition to musical entries, ILS also send some art projects to be judged. Mrs. Becker sends information to students and families in mid January.