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Annual Masterworks concert will feature Bach and Mozart

The annual Masterworks concert 3 p.m., May 6 in Memorial Hall at Bethel College will comprise Bach's Magnificat in D and Mozart’s final choral work, the Requiem in D minor.

Tickets are available at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center on the Bethel campus, or by phone with a credit card at 316-284-5205, during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets will also be for sale at the door.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $6 for non-Bethel students, and $5 for Bethel students, staff and faculty. All seating is general admission.

This year’s concert features six soloists, all of them well known to local audiences, along with the Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra and the Bethel College Oratorio Chorus (all Bethel vocal groups plus 30-40 community singers).

Adam V. Fontana and William Eash, Bethel directors of instrumental music and choral activities, respectively, will share conducting duties.

Mozart began composing the Requiem in D minor, K 626, in Vienna late in 1791 on a commission from an anonymous patron (later revealed to be Count Franz von Walsegg-Stuppach, who probably intended to pass the composition off as his own tribute to his late wife).

The requiem mass was unfinished at the time of Mozart’s death, Dec. 5, 1791. It is believed to have been completed in 1792 by Mozart’s student Franz Xaver Süssmayr, using Mozart’s fragments and notes, plus, most likely, some of Süssmayr’s own composition.

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his Magnificat in E-flat for Christmas in his first year in Leipzig (1723) as director of music at the city’s four main churches. He revised it 10 years later into the Magnificat in D (BWV 243) for Easter.

Soloists for the Bethel Masterworks production of Mozart’s Requiem are Soyoun Chun, soprano; Monica Schmidt, alto; Nathan Snyder, tenor; and Christopher Kliewer, bass.

Chun, Schmidt and Kliewer will also solo for the Magnificat in D, along with Jill Siebert, soprano II, and Ron Garber, tenor.

Chun is Bethel associate professor of music and instructor of voice and has become well known as a soloist for Bethel Masterworks productions. The other soloists are all Bethel College graduates.

Garber retired in 2012 from Butler Community College, where he taught music from 1991-2012 (he continues as an adjunct instructor and online instructor). He also taught at Hesston College and Rockmont College (now Colorado Christian University) in his 40 years as a music educator. From 1997-2006, he directed the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus.

Kliewer is an architect with GLMV Architecture, Wichita. He currently serves as the bass section leader and soloist at First United Methodist Church, Wichita. He performs frequently in the area as a soloist, including last year in First Mennonite Church of Newton’s presentation of Handel’s Messiah.

Schmidt, Newton, is a language arts teacher and assistant debate and forensics coach at Maize South High School. She has studied opera for a number of years, including two summers in Italy, and is a member of the Wichita Grand Opera chorus. In 2016, she sang the title role for Bethel College’s production of Iphigenia in Tauris by Christoph Gluck. She has also sung Annina in Verdi’s La Traviata for the WGO.

Siebert is making her debut as a Bethel Masterworks soloist. She graduated from Bethel in 2016 and now teaches elementary music and art at Hillsboro Elementary School. This fall, she will follow her sister, Megan Siebert, as the new artistic director of the Newton Community Children’s Choir.

Snyder, Greeley, Colorado, continues to make a name for himself in the operatic community. Earlier this year, he reprised the role of Martin in The Tender Land by Aaron Copland with the University of Wyoming – a role that is quickly becoming one of his signatures and which he first sang in Bethel’s 2012 production of the opera. Snyder recently debuted with the Laramie Chorale as the tenor soloist in the Mozart Requiem.

Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to TitleIXCoordinator@bethelks.edu.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.