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Have yourself a Caribbean Christmas with Steel Drum Band

December 4th, 2018

Threshing stone

The Bethel College Steel Drum Band will play its annual Christmas concert Thursday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. in Mem Hall.

Come take the last opportunity to see “Terms” by Stephanie Lanter (artist reception beginning at 6 p.m., Regier Art Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center) and then head over to Mem Hall for some steel drum music.

The concert is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support the steel drum program at Bethel.

Part of that support will go to tuning the drums, which must be done when there is a tuner traveling through the area, said Brad Shores, who directs the band. That happens next in January 2019. All 16 drums need to be tuned, at $100 per instrument.

The band will perform a variety of songs, including arrangements for steel drums of some holiday favorites along with traditional steel drum charts, a hymn arrangement, and some of Shores’s original work.

Members of the Bethel College Steel Drum Band are: lead pan, Brendan Ostlund, Mount Hope, Briley Young, Wichita, Elizabeth Tran, North Newton, Alayna Wallace, McPherson, Payton Walters, Highlands Ranch, Colo., AJ Dugan, Walton, and Krista Loomis, Walton; double seconds, Kendrick Weaver, Hesston, Lauren Nehrbass, Parsons, and Anna Lubbers, Peabody; double guitars, Laura Tran, North Newton, Georgia Anderson, Wichita, and Noah Ballesteros, San Diego; basses, Callie Ross, Overland Park, and Kayla Newman, Sedgwick; and Shores on drum set.

The Dec. 6 program is “One for the Boys” and “Pans Gone Wild” by Shores; “Santa in the House” and “What Child is This/Carol of the Bells,” arranged by Shores; “Mango Salsa” by Phil Hawkins; “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano; “Mele Kalikimaka” by Robert Alex Anderson; “Everybody Loves a Saturday Night” (traditional); and “How great Thou art” (traditional/Boberg).

The student musicians have diverse musical experience and academic areas, ranging from English to chemistry to nursing to music/education.

The Steel Drum Band has been invited to perform at the Kansas Music Educators Association conference next February in Wichita.

Holiday events at Bethel College include Christmas Gala Jazz, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center, and the 33rd annual Lighting of the Green, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. in the center of campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

In addition, Shores’ other Bethel-based steel drum group, Steel Paradise, will play at Faith Mennonite Church in Newton, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Steel Paradise is made up of Bethel staff and community members who get together regularly to play for fun, and perform occasionally.

Bethel College is the only Kansas private college listed in the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2018-19. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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

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.