Abendmusik welcomes you to a year-round offering of musical excellence. 

We hope that Abendmusik inspires us all to unite in hope as we face the challenges of a divided world.  

Only Light… Only love

Sun | SEPTEMBER 29 | 3:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

This concert will be repeated on Saturday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, and Sunday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Omaha.

The Abendmusik season opens with music that strives to keep the light and love of Martin Luther King’s message alive.  Duo-B joins sounding light to share a kaleidoscopic array of music that illuminates this timely and timeless message.

sounding light chamber choir
duo-B: Hirono Borter, violin, and Philip Borter, cello

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate:
only love can do that.”
— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Messiah Community Sing

OFFERING for Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach

Sun | December 1 | 4:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

Handel’s Messiah gives us reason enough to gather to sing together, but for this special community sing, we have the opportunity to support Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach in its mission to defeat hunger and homelessness and to restore hope. 

Volunteer guest soloists
Volunteer guest conductors
Tom Trenney, organ
Handel: Messiah (excerpts)

“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, and he shall gather the lambs with his arm.”
— Messiah 20

Guide Us to Thy Perfect Light:
Christmas with Abendmusik


FRI | December 20 | 7:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church
Sun | December 22 | 4:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

This concert will be repeated at the Nebraska State Penitentiary on Friday, December 13.

Experience the spiritual power of the Christmas story, and reawaken your spirit to the hope and light of the season.

Plymouth Choir
Plymouth Ringers
Abendmusik Festival Orchestra
Nebraska Academy of Vocal Arts Children’s Choir
First-Plymouth Choristers
Tom Trenney and Ariel Merivil, conductors

“The true light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world.”

New Year’s Eve Last Blast

TUE | December 31 | 7:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

2019 would not be complete without Abendmusik’s annual Last Blast.  Spend your New Year’s Eve with the delightful and entertaining musicians of the Plymouth Brass and special guest organist Nathan Laube—the most celebrated young organist of our time. 

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
— TS Elliot

The American Spiritual Ensemble


Sun | January 19 | 3:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

The American Spiritual Ensemble has inspired audiences around the world with dynamic, heartfelt renditions of African-American spirituals.   Now in its 25th season, the ensemble makes its Nebraska debut on the Abendmusik stage.  In this performance, honoring Martin Luther King weekend, several community choirs will unite with ASE in the world premiere of a new spiritual arrangement by Lincoln’s own Marques Garrett.

The American Spiritual Ensemble (Nebraska debut)
UNL Chamber Choir,
Plymouth Choir,
Nebraska Wesleyan University Chamber Choir,
Lincoln High School Choir,
Quinn Chapel Choir
Everett McCorvey, conductor

My Funny Valentine


FRI | February 14 | 8 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

Abendmusik wants to be your Valentine!  Gather around the Steinway piano as Tom Trenney and friends serenade us with melodies of the Great American Songbook, including beloved standards of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and the Gershwins. 

Light refreshments and desserts to follow



SAT | FEBRUARY 22 | 7:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

Having recently performed for the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association, the Iowa State Singers and conductor James Rodde from Iowa State University come to share an eclectic program and an electric performance as they make their long-overdue Abendmusik debut.

Iowa State Singers
James Rodde, conductor

Youth Masterworks Festival


MON | February 24 | 7:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

Conductor Marques Garrett leads more than 200 high school musicians in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo—an enlightening work which brings to life the global outreach of Psalm 100’s “O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands,” by setting it in seven different languages.  Three local high school choirs collaborate with talented youth and professional instrumentalists in Abendmusik’s annual Youth Masterworks Festival. 

Jubilate Deo by Dan Forrest
Norris High School
Lincoln East High School
Lincoln Southeast High School
Marques Garrett, conductor

Bach Birthday Concert

Sun | March 22 | 4:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

This concert will be repeated on Friday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Grace Cathedral, Topeka, Kansas, and Saturday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Liberty United Methodist Church, Liberty, Missouri

Johann Sebastian Bach’s music has enlightened musicians and audiences for more than three centuries.  Abendmusik celebrates Bach’s 335th birthday by offering five of his six motets- among the most challenging and rewarding pieces in the choral repertoire- sung by the radiant voices of sounding light.  Tom Trenney will perform Bach’s incomparable “Passacaglia” on the majestic Lied Organ. 

sounding light chamber choir
Jessica Freeman, organ
Karen Becker, cello
Tom Trenney, conductor and organist

 Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225
Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229
Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor, BWV 582
Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf, BWV 226
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227
Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230

The Light of Unity

Sun | April 19 | 4:00 PM ~ First-Plymouth Church

Offered in loving memory of Cornell Runestad

This epic, grand finale of the season brings our Abendmusik Chorus and Orchestra together with choirs from UNL, Doane, Nebraska Wesleyan, and Wayne State to perform inspiring works by Leonard Bernstein, Jake Runestad, C. Hubert H. Parry, and Abendmusik’s own Tom Trenney, including Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem.  Hear this cast of thousands sing into the light of unity: “Nation shall not lift up war against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore.”  “If we come together, we can mend the crack in the sky.”

Abendmusik Chorus
Doane University Choir
Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir
Wayne State College Choir
University Singers | University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Abendmusik Festival Orchestra
Tom Trenney, conductor