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Organ recital to feature early music and contemporary composers

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College graduate Chelsea Vaught, Fort Wayne, Indiana, will give an organ recital Feb. 12 in Bethel’s Administration Building chapel.

The performance is at 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Andrew Thiesen, Newton, a senior music and education major at Bethel, will be featured on trombone on one of the pieces. He studied piano with Vaught when she was a student at Bethel.

Though Thiesen does not play organ himself, he has an interesting connection to Bethel’s Dobson pipe organ – his uncle, Jon Thieszen, works for Lynn Dobson Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa, which installed the organ in the chapel in the mid-1980s.

The first half of Vaught’s program will be music from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, before making a switch to contemporary composers.

On Vaught’s Feb. 12 program are “Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542” by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750); “Vater Unser im Himmelreich” and “Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten” by Georg Böhm (1661-1733); “Fantasia Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La” by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621); “Meditation on ‘Adoro te Devote’” by Charles Callahan (b. 1951); “Elegy” by James Biery (b. 1956); and Fiesta! (three movements: “Conversations,” “Stride Dance” and “Finale”) by Iain Farrington (b. 1977).

Thiesen will be featured on the Callahan.

Vaught is currently the director of music and organist at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, where she plays organ for weekly worship services, conducts the adult choir and handbell choir and administrates the music series, along with several other duties.

She is a 2007 graduate of Bethel College, where she was a student of Karen Bauman Schlabaugh (piano) and Rosi Penner Kaufman (organ). Vaught then went on to the University of Kansas, where she completed Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in church music with an emphasis in organ performance, studying with Dr. Michael Bauer.

Vaught is a native of Henderson, Nebraska, and is the daughter of Cheryl and Rick Vaught.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016'17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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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.