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Fall concert to feature all five Bethel choral groups

September 11th, 2017

by Cassie Josselyn

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. — All five Bethel College vocal groups will come together for a fall afternoon “choral extravaganza.”

The concert is Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. in Bethel College Mennonite Church, and will include the Women’s Chorus, Men’s Ensemble, Concert Choir, Woven (women’s a cappella) and Open Road (men’s a cappella).

“For the first time in a long time, I’m able to bring all the singers together for a November concert, because there was no invitation this year from the Wichita Symphony Orchestra,” said William Eash, Bethel director of choral music.

In the past several years, the Bethel College Concert Choir has joined the WSO Chorus to perform a major choral masterpiece during the fall orchestra season.

Eash said the “extravaganza” at Bethel will feature a wide variety of music. One of those to be sung by combined choirs is “Ash and Starlight” by Timothy C. Takach, which Dan Graber, a 2008 Bethel graduate and Concert Choir alumnus, commissioned for his choirs at Freeman (South Dakota) Academy.

Combined choirs will also sing “Omnia Sol” by Z. Randall Stroope and, as a concluding piece, “Amazing Grace,” arranged by Mack Wilberg.

The Women’s Chorus program is “The Lord is my shepherd” by Will Todd; “The lake isle of Innisfree” by Eleanor Daley; “Agnus Dei” by Ryan Brechmacher; “Prayer for the gifts” by Kinley Lange; “Lay Earth’s burden down” by Caldwell and Ivory; and “The poet sings” by Stroope.

The Men’s Ensemble will sing “My Lord, what a morning,” arranged by R. Lee Gilliam;“Two Chanteys: Eight Bells and Away to Rio” and “Keep in the Middle of the Road,” both arranged by Marshall Bartholomew; “Hard Times,” arranged by Parker; and “O Mister Moon,” arranged by Val Hicks.

Woven, Open Road and the Concert Choir will each sing two numbers: “Jabula Jesu” by Stephen Hatfield and “Bring me a little water, Silvy,”arranged by Moira Smiley and VOCCO; “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre and “Yonder Come Day” by Craig Carnahan; and “Only in Sleep” by ?riks Ešenvalds and “Will there be any morning?” by Dan Campolieta.

“I’m excited to hear all the Bethel college women and men [vocalists] and how they sound together,” Eash said. “I think they will sound great. I’m really excited that all of the singers have the chance to join together.”

Candy Dao, freshman from Salina, said, “I am super excited to be performing in a college choir, because we go through so much more literature at a faster pace than high school chamber choirs. It’s amazing.

“Also, I love the choir director because he is literally a ray of sunshine. It makes my heart so happy.”

“It’s a new idea this year, and I’m really excited about it,” said Jill Siebert, senior from Topeka. “It will be really cool for all of the different choral groups on campus to perform at one event.

“It’s incredible, for such a small college, how many students are involved in a choir of some kind, and I’m pumped to .perform a couple pieces all together,”

“I’m always so intrigued with the diverse musical background our students have,” Eash said, “and it’s always pleasing to hear them when they come together.”

Women’s Chorus personnel are: Kylee Addis, Mount Hope; Chloe Bequillard, Valley Center; Stephanie Brown, Newton; Jazmynn Burris, Winfield; Kimberly Carbonell, Wichita; Alona Crigger, Melbourne Beach, Florida; Candy Dao, Salina; Emily Epp, Marion, South Dakota; Leah Friesen, Henderson, Nebraska; Mikayla Hiebert, Peabody; Kate Jolliff, Newton;

Emily Knight, Moundridge; Cayla Lawless, Burlingame; Gretchen Maddox, Wichita; Shannon Neifert, Pratt; Mika Patron, North Newton; Emery Potucek, Derby; Elizabeth Schrag, Galva; Michelle Schrag, Moundridge; Billie Selichnow, Wichita; Bailey Strausz, Moundridge; Amy Wedel, Peabody; Sutton Welsh, Wichita; Mikala Wertz, Wichita; Serena Wong, North Newton; and Lauren Woodward, Highland Ranch, Colorado.

Men’s Ensemble personnel are: Connor Born, North Newton; James Goerzen, Goessel; Nathan Kroeker, Augusta; Blake Overman, Peck; Nicholas Preheim, Peabody; Matthew Rodenberg, Halstead; Connick Roe, Kingman; Garrett Smith, Moundridge; Max Stucky-Halley, Topeka; Peter Voth, Newton; and Jayce Yoder, Topeka.

Concert Choir personnel are: Abigail Bechtel, Henderson, Nebraska; Mareike Bergen, Moundridge; Joshua Booth, Goessel; Stephanie Brown; Makayla Epp, Marion, South Dakota; Brenan Erb, Henderson, Nebraska; DrewAnne Gatlin, Broadus, Montana; Westen Gesell, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Lisa Goering, Lawrence; Olivia Gehring, Manhattan; Matthew Graber, Freeman, South Dakota; Hailey Heide, Wichita; Mikayla Hiebert; Reece Hiebert, Walton; Bryce Hostetler, Dodge City; Kate Jolliff; Shekhinah Jones, Salina; Jennifer Kaufman, Moundridge; Kathryn Kelman, Fort Worth, Texas; Nathan Kroeker; Seth Larson, Wichita; Matthew Lind, Harrisonburg, Virginia; Garrett Lindley, Goddard; Alec Loganbill, Hesston; Megan Meyer, Valley Center; Blake Overman; Michelle Peachey, Manheim, Pennsylvania; Holly Peters, Hesston; Cameron Ponce, Elkhart, Indiana; Nicholas Preheim; Austin Regier, Newton; Erin Regier, Newton; Tim Regier, Newton; Kyle Riesen, Beatrice, Nebraska; Randall Schmidt, Lawrence; Abby Schrag, Newton; Liz Schrag, Newton; Rebecca Schrag, Newton; Kylee Schunn, Whitewater; Billie Selichnow; Tyler Shima, Topeka; Alexandra Shoup, Newton; Will Shoup, Newton; Jill Siebert, Topeka; Chase Stucky, Moundridge; Andrew Thiesen, Newton; Lila Tibbets, Newton; Leah Towle, Lawrence; Drew Trollope, Kingman; Braden Unruh, Goessel; Peter Voth; Amy Wedel; Ben Wiens, Goessel; and Jayce Yoder, Topeka.

Woven members are Mareike Bergen, Stephanie Brown, DrewAnne Gatlin, Lisa Goering, Michelle Peachey, Erin Regier, Abby Schrag, Rebecca Schrag, Kylee Schunn and Jill Siebert.

Open Road members are Joshua Booth, Matthew Graber, Nathan Kroeker, Matthew Lind, Tim Regier, Randall Schmidt, Tyler Shima, Chase Stucky and Braden Unruh.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015–16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015–16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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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.