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Organ recital is a celebration of collaboration

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – In the next concert in Bethel College’s Organ Recital Series, Karen Bauman Schlabaugh will celebrate collaboration.

Schlabaugh, professor emeritus of music at Bethel, will play a program she calls “The Organ in Ensembles,” that will include works for organ with trumpet and with clarinet, and two that call for a second musician at the organ keyboard.

The performance is Nov. 12 at 4:30 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel on the Bethel campus, and is free and open to the public.

Two of Schlabaugh’s collaborators are musicians known to some in the region.

Richard Tirk, trumpet, was a member of Bethel’s music faculty for several years. He will join Schlabaugh on “Toccata” by Martini, “Sonata No. 2” by Viviani and “Tenebrae” by Sampson.

Schlabaugh will play “Concertino” by Tartino and “Pastorale” by Mathews with Suzanne Tirk, formerly of the Wichita State University faculty, on clarinet. Suzanne Tirk and Schlabaugh have played together frequently over the past decade, usually with Schlabaugh on piano.

Richard Tirk is associate professor of music at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

He has a master’s degree in trumpet performance from Western Michigan University and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Suzanne Tirk, associate professor of music at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, earned her M.M. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Schlabaugh will close out her concert with two pieces for two organists, in which she will be joined by Donna Hetrick, Wichita, Bethel instructor of organ.

They will play the “Organ Sonatina for Four Feet” by Brown and “Sonata in D Minor, Op. 30” by Merkel.

Hetrick earned her Master of Music degree in church music/organ from the University of Kansas. In addition to teaching organ at Bethel, she is director of music at Grace Presbyterian Church in Wichita.

Schlabaugh retired from Bethel College at the end of the 2016–17 school year after teaching on the music faculty there since 1994.

She has a master’s degree in piano performance from Ithaca (New York) College and a doctorate in music from the University of Iowa.

Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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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.