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Double cheer as two bands bring holiday favorites

November 25th, 2019

Bethel College Steel Drum Band

The Bethel College Steel Drum Band will give its Christmas concert Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., with special guests Steel Paradise.

The concert is in Memorial Hall on the Bethel campus (note the different day of the week than some printed calendars). It is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to help defray music and other program costs.

The Steel Paradise set list is “Deck the Halls,” “Spin Cycle,” “Blue Samba,” “Coral Reef,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “God Bless America.”

The Bethel College Steel Drum Band will play “Urban Spice,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy,” “Home for the Holidays” and a medley of “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Here We Come A-Caroling.”

Brad Shores, who directs Bethel’s athletic band, leads both steel drum groups.

He came to Bethel in 2016, after a 30-year career teaching in the Nickerson and Haven school districts. During his and the steel drum band’s second year at Bethel, the band’s audition CD won them the chance to perform for the Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) annual meeting in February 2019.

Shores performs solo or with family members as Tropical Shores, and he writes and arranges music for steel-drum ensembles. In the Dec. 4 concert, Steel Paradise will play three of his arrangements and the Steel Drum Band will play one.

Members of the Bethel College Steel Drum Band are: leads, A.J. Dugan, Walton, Krista Loomis, Walton, Callie Ross, Overland Park, Elizabeth Tran, North Newton, Alayna Wallace, McPherson, and Briley Young, Wichita; double seconds, Jaxie Gerk, Holyoke, Colo., Charlotte Ehrmann, Augusta, and Lauren Nehrbass, Parsons; double guitars, Georgia Anderson, Wichita, and Laura Tran, North Newton; and bass, Rachel Geyer, Oxford, Iowa, and Kayla Newman, Sedgwick. Shores directs from the drum set.

Members of Steel Paradise are: leads, Cindy Combs, Stefani Knopp, Fritz Juhnke, Brendan Ostlund, Deeksha Sriram and Denise Woelk; double seconds, Jennifer Horn and Erica Nance; double guitars, Tyler Ives and Brad Shores; bass, Shirley Dietzel; and drum set, Kaden Anderson.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel is the highest ranked Kansas private college, at #12, in “Washington Monthly,” Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges; ranks at #23 in “U.S. News & World Report,” Best Regional Colleges Midwest; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and earned its second-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star gold award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2019-20. For more information, see

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.