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London-based a cappella group to present final HBPA concert

September 11th, 2017

HESSTON, KAN. – The Swingles, a vocal group that has morphed with and pushed the boundaries of music for more than 50 years, will perform the final concert of the 2015–16 Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts (HBPA) season at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 3, at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus.

HBPA season ticket holders are invited to a come-and-go pie reception in the Hesston Mennonite Church Community Center from 6 to 7:15 p.m., prior to the concert. The 2016–17 HBPA season will be unveiled at 6:50 p.m. Single ticket holders may attend the pie reception at an additional cost of $5.

The seven young singers who make up today’s London-based group are driven by the same innovative spirit that has resulted in five Grammy® wins since the 1960s.

“The vocal and choral world has changed considerably in the last 50 years. … But The Swingles have managed to hold on to their distinctive niche and continue to thrive,” said a Chicago Sun-Times review.

The Swingles were born in 1963 when American-born Ward Swingle assembled a group of Parisian singers to sing Bach’s keyboard music. The resulting album, Jazz Sebastian Bach, launched the group to fame.

Over the last half century, the group’s repertoire has expanded to include music across the spectrum – both covers and original songs. They have released more than 50 recordings and appeared on numerous film and TV soundtracks, including Glee, Grey’s Anatomy, Sex and the City and Milk.

The Guardian praised the group’s versatility, saying, “Stunning reinventions of songs by the likes of John Martyn, Elbow and Mumford & Sons, with subtle beatboxing and audacious harmonies…superhero singing to truly raise goosebumps.”

That versatility has led to collaborations with artists as diverse as the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jamie Cullum and Labrinth.

Luciano Berio was one of the first composers to explore the sound of The Swingles’ amplified voices in an orchestral setting, and the group continues to perform his groundbreaking Sinfonia around the world, including recent performances at London’s Royal Festival Hall and La Scala opera house in Milan.

In 2015, the group released two new albums, Deep End and a Christmas album, Yule Songs Vol. II.

The Swingles’ tour schedule takes them throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. They also present their own London A Cappella Festival at Kings Palace each January, the first of its kind in the city, which welcomes vocal talent from around the world.

Reserved seating and general admission tickets for The Swingles are available at or by calling 620-327-8158.Ticket prices range from $23 to $27 with discounts available for students and senior citizens.

The HBPA The Swingles concert is funded in part by the cities of Hesston and North Newton, Excel Industries and Hustler Turf Equipment (Hesston), the Hesston Community Foundation, the North Newton Community Foundation, Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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.