Celebrate World Music and Culture

Stay Safe, we do our best

About Peoria International Choir

Founded in 2015, Peoria International Choir is passionately committed to celebrating world music and culture! Music has brought cultures together. Music has healed people and should be accessible to everyone. We believe that the world can be a better place with more music! Our mission is to remove barriers associated with access to music for people in and around Central Illinois and to meet the needs of those in the music community, through singing songs in different genres and languages and supporting fledgling and experienced musicians at the grassroots levelPeoria International Choir embodies the spirit of sound, and invites you to join them on their vibrant musical journey!

Peoria International Choir update Jan.2021

What can we do as a Peoria International Choir in this difficult situation. 

We actually continue rehearsals after the lockdown,

but only very limited number of singers.

Hopefully we can have 'regular' ( how wonderful to hear this word!!) rehearsals with all the members again pretty soon.

Next Concert, Spring 2021 is May 1 ( Saturday) evening at First Christian Church.

​Only limited number of the tickets are available. Stay in tune!!

For the past 3 years, we have sang at the OSF Children's Hospital in Peoria. We even got to sing in the Children's Ward in 2019. We were also able to donate $800.00 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation from the Winter 2019 Concert!

Masako Somano Johnson

Choir Founder and Music Director

Ms. Masako Johnson hails from Tokyo, Japan and is a Graduate from Yokohama National University with a BA in Music Education and a Post Graduate from Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Glasgow, Scotland. 

Ms. Johnson is the founder and director of Peoria International Choir since 2015 and her past accomplishments include:

  • Singing Recitals in Tokyo and Hokkaido, Japan, Cambridge, England and Peoria, Illinois and Singapore.

  • Special concerts for Japanese Royal Family.

  • Music Director for CWAJ Women's Choir in Tokyo, Japan and Women's Choir in Peoria, Illinois.

  • Leading Soprano for British Embassy Choir in Tokyo, Japan and for Bradley Community Choir for in Peoria, Illinois.

  • Piano accompanist for Bradley Community Choir, Bradley Chorale and for Dunlap Middle School and High school esp. for String players.

  • Music Director for American Women's Association International Choir and International Festival Chorus in Singapore.

  • Winner of the Ye Cronie Opera Award in 1994.

Ms. Johnson is a music advocate and offers private voice and piano lessons for both children and adults.

Justin Kothenbeutel


Mr. Justin Kothenbeutel finished his Bachelor's of Music in Piano Performance from Western Illinois University and did his Post Graduate studies in Piano Performance at University of Illinois. Studying under many different artists, his primary teachers were Ian Hobson (https://music.illinois.edu/faculty/ian-hobson) and Tammy Walker (http://www.wiu.edu/cofac/music/faculty_staff_info/Tammie_Walker.php).

Mr. Kothenbeutel won the Western Illinois University Concerto Competition in 2005 and has performed many solo piano recitals regionally. Mr. Kothenbeutel's accompanying experience spans many different genres from classical, musical theater, to pop music and jazz. Some of his recent performances include - Ignite Peoria, The Color Purple, and many other collaborations. 

Mr. Kothenbeutel has been with Peoria International Choir since 2015 and has served as the one and only very talented pianist playing a variety of musical pieces from around the world year after year!


Mr. Kothenbeutel is a music advocate and offers private piano lessons to both children and adults.


Peoria International Choir

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