Mission and History of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale


The Peoria Area Civic Chorale exists to develop, create, produce and perform a diverse repertoire of the highest quality presented in the most professional manner for the enjoyment, entertainment, aesthetic enrichment and education of its members, its audiences, and those who live in the communities it serves.

Artistic Excellence

Artistic Excellence:
PACC transforms lives by building upon our tradition of excellence in choral artistry and serving as the region’s premier all-volunteer community choral ensemble.

PACC transforms lives by bringing together individuals, families and groups from a host of diverse backgrounds in the shared enjoyment of singing.

PACC transforms lives by inspiring a love of singing that motivates both children and adults to pursue musical excellence.


Founded in 1982, the Peoria Area Civic Chorale began as a small ensemble of singers who enjoyed performing vocal music.  This diverse group has now grown into an organization of around seventy singing voices representing approximately twenty cities in Central Illinois. From Renaissance to contemporary, art music to folk and pop, and Broadway to jazz, the repertoire of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale continues to encompass a wide variety of styles and delight its audiences.

Members of the Chorale are united by their passion for choral music excellence, and are devoted to bringing glorious choral music to the Peoria area via public performance and community outreach. The Chorale enables singers to improve their musicianship, and to be an integral and active member in the cultural life of the Peoria area.

Founder Barth Dowling served as Conductor from 1982 until 1994.

Dr. Joseph D. Henry, Professor of Music at Eureka College, served in the role as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale from June 1994 until December 2011. PACC then had the privilege of sharing the stage with the talents of Mr. David German in 2012, Dr. Tim Fredstrom in the spring of 2013, and Mr. Mark Grizzard for the 2013-2014 concert season.  Dr. Joseph Henry resumed the role of Artistic Director and Conductor during the 2014-2015 season.

The Chorale presents two concert series annually: An American Family Christmas Holiday concert each December and a themed concert each spring.

Since 1982, the Civic Chorale has performed at two Illinois gubernatorial inaugurations, sang in concert with Michael Crawford at Chicago’s United Center, and performed at conventions for both the America Choral Director’s Association and the Illinois Music Educators Association.  In addition, the Peoria Area Civic Chorale has collaborated on several occasions with area arts organizations including the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the Heartland Festival Orchestra, the Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra, Air National Guard Band of the Midwest, the Peoria Heritage Ensemble, Opera Illinois, Peoria Ballet, and the Bradley Community Chorus.  The Chorale has also traveled and performed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and New York City.

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale is a proud member of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, (www.peoriachamber.org) and the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.peoria.org)

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale is governed by a Board of Directors that is dedicated to the Civic Chorale’s Mission and Values.