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Concert Choir to sing in KC area after convention appearance

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Fresh from its performance for the convention of the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association, the Bethel College Concert Choir will be singing in two Kansas City-area venues.

The 60-voice choir, under the direction of William Eash, performed March 21 in Little Rock, Ark., for the SWACDA.

Doyle Preheim, Santa Fe, N.M., retired professor of music at Goshen (Ind.) College and a Bethel graduate, has been working with the choir this semester during Eash’s sabbatical.

The choir sang six numbers for the choral directors: “There is no Rose of such virtue,” by Kevin Memley; “Die Stimme des Kindes” by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi; “Selig sind die Toten” by Heinrich Schütz; “Filled with his voice,” commissioned for the choir, by Steve Danyew; “The Prayer of St. Patrick” by Ross Bernhardt; and “Hold On,” arranged by Moses Hogan.

They will give a full concert, including these pieces, at Johnson County Community College’s Yardley Hall Saturday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. as part of JCCC’s Performing Arts series. As an “Academic Concert,” the event is free and open to the public.

On Sunday, March 23, the choir will sing in the 10:45 a.m. worship service at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood (live streaming at www.rezonline.org).

The Bethel College Concert Choir was one of 18 choirs selected to perform at the SWACDA convention and one of only five traditional college choirs.

ACDA is the umbrella organization for all choir directors across the country. The SWACDA territory includes Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

“Each year, the organization gathers to hear the most recent research on singing, discover new music, listen to choirs and network with other choral directors,” Eash said. “In preparation for these events, any choir director who is a member of ACDA may submit recordings to audition their choir for the performance aspect of the convention.”

The auditions are blind auditions – selected professionals from within ACDA listen to unlabeled CDs.

In January, the choir made its every-four-years concert tour in Europe, singing in 12 venues in Poland, Germany and The Netherlands.

In April, the choir will join the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and music director Daniel Hege for a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, “Choral”, April 5-6 in the Concert Hall at Wichita’s Century II.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the 2013-14 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 2013-14. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.