by Sam Bertholf
NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The annual Masterworks concert at Bethel College will feature a choral work by Haydn and a piano concerto by Mozart, with Karen Bauman Schlabaugh in her last solo appearance before retirement.
The concert is May 7 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the Bethel campus. Unlike past Masterworks concerts, there is no admission charge for this one. A freewill offering will be taken.
On the program are Missa in Angustiis (Mass for troubled times) by Joseph Haydn, and the Piano Concerto in A major, K. 488 by W.A. Mozart.
As always, there will be an oratorio chorus made up of the Bethel College Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble and Women’s Chorus, plus a community chorus, for a total of about 100 singers.
William Eash, Bethel director of choral activities, is rehearsing the oratorio chorus and will conduct the Haydn on May 7.
The Masterworks orchestra is comprised of the Bethel College Philharmonia and area alumni and friends.
Eash believes the Masterworks concert is the perfect way to blend the talents of student musicians and community members.
“The Masterworks [event] is designed to bring together all the student musicians on campus as well community members,” he said. “This concert is oftentimes centered on large pieces of music written for chorus and orchestra.”
Missa in Angustiis features four soloists, all of whom are connected to Bethel College. Soprano Soyoun Chun is Bethel assistant professor of music and instructor of voice. The other soloists are all Bethel graduates.
Alto Monica Schmidt, Newton, is a language arts teacher in Wichita who has studied opera and sings with the Wichita Grand Opera. Tenor Nathan Snyder, Greeley, Colorado, is a busy opera performer in northern Colorado. Bass Riley King, Newton, is a middle-school choir director in Hutchinson.
Both Schmidt and Snyder were soloists for last year’s Masterworks, the Te Deum by Bruckner.
Eash chose Missa in Angustiis for several reasons. One was that he wanted a piece that would complement Schlabaugh’s Mozart piano concerto.
“Putting Haydn and Mozart together is a natural conjunction,” Eash said. “They were writing music in the same time period and they even knew each other.”
Eash also wanted a piece that was the “appropriate difficulty level.”
“[The choir] piece last year was more difficult, so I wanted something a little easier this year,” he said. In addition, he thinks the title of the piece, Mass for troubled times, will resonate with listeners.
“Many people view [now] as being ‘troubled times’ in the nation and the world as a whole,” he said, “so I thought it would be appropriate.”
Eash says he is convinced that audiences will be delightfully surprised at “the creative genius that is Haydn.”
“Audiences should expect to hear work from a wonderfully creative composer. There are trumpet fanfares that occur throughout, which really are a rare thing coming from the French Revolution time period in which he was writing.”
Eash encourages the audience to follow their text translations printed in the program (the mass is sung in Latin). “The music will decorate the text,” he said.
Adam V. Fontana, Bethel director of instrumental music, will conduct the Mozart.
Schlabaugh chose the Concerto in A Major because, she said, “[it] has long been a favorite of mine. All the movements are so beautifully crafted and have wonderful contrasts in mood.
“The opening movement features lyrical and expressive melodies in dialogue with the orchestra. Then comes the second movement, with an almost heart-wrenching emotional quality and slow tempo in minor. The final movement is all about exuberant joy.
“All these aspects contributed to my choice.”
Oratorio Chorus personnel are Bethel students Benjamin Abel, Mareike Bergen, Elizabeth Friesen Birky, Sydney Bollinger, Stephanie Brown, Kim Carbonell, Polly Carlson, Carine Claassen, Candy Dao, Caleb Epp, Emily Epp, Matthew Garber, DrewAnne Gatlin, Dominick Geddert, Westen Gesell, Matthew Graber, Anna Grimsley, Hailey Heide, Reece Hiebert, Madison Hofer-Holdeman, Kate Jolliff, Shekhinah Jones, Emily Knight, Nathan Kroeker, Seth Larson, Cayla Lawless, Olivia Leif, Garrett Lindley, Araeleigha Marcy, Sophia Minder, Lauren Nehrbass, Shannon Neifert, Mackenzie O’Brien, Nicholas Preheim, Ryne Preheim, Austin Regier, Connick Roe, Bruce Rosario, Callie Ross, Madison Roth, Randall Schmidt, Michelle Schrag, Kylee Schunn, Tara Schwartz, Billie Selichnow, Tyler Shima, Garrett Smith, Bailey Strausz, Chase Stucky, Andrew Thiesen, Lila Tibbetts, Drew Trollope, Luke Unruh, Marieke van Bergeijk, Kendrick Weaver, Grace Whittaker, Anna Wiens, Benjamin Wiens, Kaci Wilson, Serena Wong, David Wullf-Cochrane, Jayce Yoder and Mackenzie Young; and community singers Dolores Banman, Sylvia Bartel, Nanette Bergen, Anita Bohn, Yvonne Bontrager, Joan Brubacher, Esther Kreider Eash, Lacretia Fitzgarrald, Leah Fitzgarrald, Karl Friesen, Clyde Goering, David Goering, Harv Hiebert, Carol Klingenberg, Sharon Kniss, Philip Koontz, David Kreider, Heidi Regier Kreider, Robin Lamb, Cynthia Linscheid, David Linscheid, Gail Lutsch, Virginia Mininger, David Nance, Heath Parsons, Boots Raber, Elizabeth Raid, Carolyn Roth, Barbara Thiesen, John Thiesen, Marvin Thieszen, Mary Jane Waltner, David Wiebe, Wendell Wiens, Ruth White and Jim Yoder.
Masterworks Orchestra personnel are: flute, Neil Smucker, North Newton; oboes, Cindy Thompson (Bethel faculty) and Austin Coulter, Pretty Prairie; clarinets, Matthew Lind, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Juliana Drouhard, Hesston, and Kaho Yanagidaira; bassoons, Zachary Hague (faculty) and Elizabeth Schrag; French horns, Mirella Gauldin (faculty), Abby Phillips, Maple Hill, and Rebecca Schrag, Newton; trumpets, Evan Koch, North Newton, Connor Born, North Newton, and Alec Loganbill, Hesston; first violins, Nancy Johnson (faculty), orchestra manager, Grace Bradfield, Derby, Callie Ross, Overland Park, Rebecca Schloneger and Jason Wong; second violins, Dominique Corbeil, Emma Girton, Wichita, Anna Harder, Grace Roth and Kara Tann; violas, Joey Menninga, Kevin Monroe and Hailey Treas; cellos, Seth Girton (faculty), Allie Chesbrough, Leawood, Kate Cherveny, Topeka, Madeline Harder Crawford, Jordan Schroeder, Newton, and Diana Unruh; bass: Dennis Danders (faculty), Eric Crawford and Eli Brockway, McPherson; organ, Donna Hetrick (faculty); and timpani, Brad Shores (faculty).
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2016–17 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States. 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.