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Moms and others welcome at Open Road's Mother's Day concert

September 11th, 2017

by Abigail Bechtel

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The men of Open Road, one of two small a cappella ensembles at Bethel College, invite everyone to their last concert of the year, May 11 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

This “Mother’s Day concert” is free and open to the public.

The group has a diverse and fun set prepared – expect to hear Latin and modern, sacred and secular, and long-time favorite, Open Road signature tune “Here by the Water” by Jim Croegart, arranged by Open Road alumnus Aaron Linscheid.

“I am excited by the wide variety of music that we are singing in this concert. There will be something for everyone to enjoy,” said Carl Lehmann, senior from Marion, South Dakota, who graduates May 18 with a degree in biology.

This is the last Open Road concert for Lehmann and three others, as well as the last official Bethel music event of the 2013-14 school year.

“I am excited because this is our biggest concert of the year and the Bethel community does an outstanding job at coming out and supporting us,” said Aaron Tschetter, senior from Freeman, South Dakota. He will graduate in December with a degree in music with education licensure.

“This last concert is special to me because I have really enjoyed my four years as a member of the group,” he added.

A cappella vocal music is a longstanding tradition at Bethel, and the men of Open Road do not disappoint.

“I suppose one could argue that the unsaid general purpose of each concert is to make music in the best way we can for our audience and ourselves, and to enjoy making that music,” said Taylor Stucky, senior from Moundridge, who graduates May 18 with a degree in mathematical sciences.

“I’m excited to perform with a group of singers I have grown to really like and respect,” added Cody Claassen, senior from Whitewater. “It’s amazing – everyone is incredibly talented and fun to work with.”

Riley King, a non-graduating senior from Lawrence, agreed. “Working with the group is so much fun. Through the year, we all get to be really good friends, and rehearsals are a lot of fun.

“I think the thing I’m most excited for on this concert is that we’re planning to sing a song I worked on arranging last semester,” he added. “Aaron and I [heard] it a year ago and couldn’t ever find the arrangement the recording used so I tried making one as close to it as I could.”

The other members of Open Road are Ben Kreider, non-graduating senior from North Newton, Braden Unruh, junior from Goessel, Matthew Graber, freshman from Freeman, South Dakota, and Chase Stucky, freshman from Moundridge.

The Open Road concert caps a weekend of music, with the women’s a cappella ensemble Woven giving their end-of-season concert May 9 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall, and Danny Barrera and Carl Lehmann’s senior saxophone recital May 10 at 2 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel.

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.