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Bethel College Concert Choir to head east for spring break tour

NORTH NEWTON, KAN.– The Bethel College Concert Choir is heading east for this year’s spring break tour, singing in 12 venues in five states, including Kansas, between March 15 and March 24.

The choir’s traditional end-of-tour home concert will be March 24 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

The 54-member group leaves campus March 15, with its first concert of the tour that evening at 7:30 p.m. in Topeka at Grace Episcopal Cathedral (701 SW 8th Avenue).

The choir next travels to St. Louis, where it will sing at 7:30 p.m. March 16 in St. Francis Xavier College Church of St. Louis University (3628 Lindell Boulevard) and in the 9:30 a.m. Sunday worship service, March 17, at St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship (3752 Giles Avenue). 

The next stop is Cincinnati on Sunday evening and a concert at Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship (4229 Brownway) at 7 p.m.

March 18, the choir will travel to Bluffton, Ohio, for a 7 p.m. concert at First Mennonite Church, 101 South Jackson Street, Bluffton.

On March 19, the choir visits Bethany Christian High School, Goshen, Ind., to sing in the 11 a.m. chapel service. That evening, there is a concert in Elkhart, Ind., at Prairie Street Mennonite Church (1316 Prairie Street) at 7 p.m.

The next day, March 20, the choir travels to Chicago, to sing for the 7:30 p.m. mass at St. John Cantius, (825 North Carpenter) .

After a free day in Chicago, the choir will give a concert March 22 at Mennonite Church of Normal, Ill. (805 South Cottage Avenue), at 7:30 p.m.

The choir returns to Kansas March 23, to sing at 7:30 p.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Mission (6630 Nall Avenue) and, on March 24, in the 9:30 a.m. worship service at Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City, Kan. (1444 Southwest Boulevard), before returning to Bethel for the home concert in the evening.

All concerts are free and open to the public. Freewill offerings will sometimes be taken.

William Eash, professor of music at Bethel College, directs the choir along with student conductors Evan Koch and Renee Reimer, recipient of the Walter H. Hohmann Choral Conducting Endowed Scholarship at Bethel College. Rehearsal accompanists are Jordan Ortman, Austin Unruh, Marissa Bontrager, Amanda Regehr, Renee Reimer, Julie Wedel and Michelle Unruh. Student choir manager is Ariane Bergen.

The 2013 Bethel College Concert Choir repertoire includes “Hope” by Ysaye M. Barnwell; “Now Thank We All Our God” (arr. John Rutter); “Kyrie,” “Sanctus,” “Benedictus” and “Agnus Dei” by Ludovico da Viadana; “Ave Verum Corpus” by Mozart; “Talismane” by Robert Schumann; “Agnus Dei” by Paul Halley; “In the Rifted Rock” (arr. Jonah Kliewer); “There is No Rose of Such Virtue” by Kevin Memley; “Die Stimme des Kindes” by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi; “O Nata Lux” by Andrew Steffen; “Anima Christi” by Ryan Cayabyab; “Filled with His Voice” by Steve Danyew (a commission in honor of Bethel College’s 125th anniversary in 2012); “Horizons” (arr. Peter Louis van Dijk); “Cells Planets (arr. Vince Peterson); “My God is a Rock” (arr. Shaw & Parker); “Way Over in Beulah Lan’” (arr. Stacey Gibbs); “Not One Sparrow is Forgotten” (arr. William Hawley); and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by Peter Lutkin.

Bethel College Concert Choir personnel are: Landon Bartel, Newton, Kan.; Ariane Bergen, Moundridge, Kan.; Joel Boettger, Hesston, Kan.; Marissa Bontrager, North Newton, Kan.; Leland Brown, Galveston, Texas; Jacob Brubaker, Top-of-the-World, Ariz.; Cody Claassen, Whitewater, Kan.; Kevin Coash, El Dorado, Kan.; Kyle Doesken, Derby, Kan.; Erin Engle, Salem, Ore.; Caleb Epp, Freeman, S.D.; Maggie Goering, Hutchinson, Kan.; Sara Gragg, Topeka, Kan.; Emily Harder, Newton; Annika Janzen, Fresno, Calif.; Riley King, Lawrence, Kan.; Evan Koch, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Clarie Koehn, Cottonwood Falls, Kan.; Benjamin Kreider, North Newton; Carl Lehmann, Freeman; William Lewis, Newton; Emily Luedtke, Wichita; Andrew Miller, Freeman; Audra Miller, Hesston; Julia Miller, Hesston; Cristopher Nelson, North Newton; Jordan Ortman, Marion, S.D.; Karina Ortman, Marion; Jessie Pohl, Moundridge; Amanda Regehr, Whitewater; Emma Regier, Newton; Renee Reimer, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Christopher Riesen, Beatrice, Neb.; Aaron Rudeen, Osage City, Kan.; Casey Schunn, Whitewater; Elizabeth Shelly, Lenexa, Kan.; Megan Siebert, Topeka; Ariel Silva, Colorado Springs; Dalton Smith, Moundridge; Micah Smith, Topeka; Nicole Smith, Elkhart, Ind.; Taylor Stucky, Moundridge; Aaron Tschetter, Freeman; Austin Unruh, Goessel, Kan.; Braden Unruh, Goessel; Henry Unruh, Newton; Michelle Unruh, Goessel; Andrew Walker, Newton; Lindsay Waltner, Freeman; Miriam Weaverdyck, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Julie Wedel, Peabody, Kan.; Mycah Westhoff, Newton; Jocelyn Wilkinson, San Antonio, Texas; and Allison Yoder, Kalona, Iowa.

William Eash directs choral activities at Bethel College, where he is responsible for four choirs. He also teaches conducting and music history. He has been at Bethel College since 1999. Eash is a graduate of Bluffton (Ohio) University with a bachelor’s degree in music performance (voice and string bass). He studied voice at the “Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst” in Vienna and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in choral conducting at the University of Iowa.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the 2012-13 Forbes.com analysis of premier colleges and universities in the United States and ranks in the top five “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2012-13. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.