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HBPA celebrates 35 years with wide array of performances

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – For its 35th season, the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts (HBPA) series will feature a variety of performing arts and culture from some of the world’s most popular ensembles.

An improvised musical comedy will open the season Oct. 5 at Bethel College’s Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

“Broadway’s Next Hit Musical” is a unique performance wherein musical theater meets “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Master improvisers gather made-up song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter.

Renowned as one of the finest vocal ensembles in the world for more than five decades, the Vienna Boys Choir returns to the HBPA stage for the first time since 1993. The group performs Nov. 9 at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus.

Made up of 23-26 boys who audition from around the world, the choir performs annually throughout the United States and the world at renowned concert venues like Carnegie Hall and Chicago’s Symphony Hall.

HBPA will celebrate the holiday season with “Christmas with Mirari Brass Quintet,” Dec. 1 at Hesston Mennonite Church.

Commissioners of multiple new works for brass, the group balances intensity, lightness, refined virtuosity and fun. Their repertoire spans many centuries and genres in celebration of the holiday season.

The British vocal ensemble VOCES8, now established as one of the world’s most versatile and best-loved singing groups, will take the HBPA stage Feb. 9 at Hesston Mennonite Church.

Touring extensively throughout Europe, North America and Asia, the group performs a repertoire from Renaissance to contemporary commissions and arrangements.

The culmination of the 35th anniversary season will be classical guitarist Berta Rojas with the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, April 8 in Bethel College’s Memorial Hall.

Hailing from Paraguay, Rojas ranks among today’s foremost classical guitarists and has been praised by the Washington Post as “guitarist extraordinaire” and “ambassador of the classical guitar” by Classical Guitar magazine.

The first four performances are at 7:30 p.m. Berta Rojas with the NMKSO will be at 4 p.m.

HBPA season tickets are priced from $80-$90 for adults, dependent on seating area. Single tickets can also be purchased for individual performances. Discounts are available for students and senior citizens.

For more information or to purchase season tickets, call 620-327-8158 or go to Single tickets are also available at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center on the Bethel campus several weeks before each performance.

Started in 1982 as Hesston Performing Arts, the series expanded in 1998 when Hesston College joined forces with Bethel College for the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series. The series presents five performances by world-renowned or regionally acclaimed artists each year.

HBPA is funded in part by the Hesston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city of North Newton, Excel Industries and Hustler Turf Equipment (Hesston), the North Newton Community Foundation, the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Area businesses and patrons provide additional funding for the HBPA series.

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.