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Philharmonia goes from dark to light with Persichetti, Brahms

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra opens its 2014-15 season with Brahms and T.S. Eliot.

The concert is Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall. It is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support music study and performance at Bethel.

The third Menno Simons Lecture also takes place that evening, but Philharmonia conductor Chris David Westover, Bethel director of instrumental music, said it will be possible to attend both. The lecture begins at 8 in Krehbiel Auditorium.

The Philharmonia program opens with “The Hollow Men, Op. 25” by Vincent Persichetti.

Persichetti based the work, for orchestra and trumpet, on Eliot’s poem of the same title. Both the poem and the piece attempt to convey the hopelessness and universal human need for redemption felt in post-World War I Europe.

Bethel graduate Evan Koch will be featured on the trumpet solo.

The bulk of the program will be Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 by Johannes Brahms.

While Brahms’ first symphony took him two decades and much struggle to write and finish, he composed his second in just months, over a summer holiday.

It is often described as “pastoral” or “cheery” as compared to the “tough and stormy” First Symphony.

Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra personnel are: violins, Nancy Johnson, concertmaster, adjunct instructor of violin, Grace Bradfield, junior from Derby, Rachel Unruh, Emily Wedel, junior from Hutchinson, Abby Schrag, junior from Newton, Conner Mitchell and Rebecca Schloneger, adjunct instructor of violin; second violins, Dominique Corbeil, principal, adjunct instructor of violin, Emma Bradley, junior from Newton, Lina Adame, senior from Newton, Emily Epp, Abigail Christensen, sophomore from Gardner, Brianna Newport, freshman from Haysville, Stephen Cranston and Emily Bishop; violas, Kay Buskirk, principal, adjunct instructor of viola, Sharon Cranston, Rachel Unruh, senior from Raytown, Missouri, and Erin Regier, junior from Newton; cellos, Seth Girton, principal, adjunct instructor of cello, Allie Chesbrough, sophomore from Leawood, Jordan Schroeder, freshman from Newton, Riley King, senior from Lawrence, and Addie Henley, sophomore from Winfield; contrabasses, Dennis Danders, principal, adjunct instructor of string bass, and Evan Vermilyea; flutes, Neil Smucker, freshman from North Newton, and Koki Lane, senior from North Newton; oboes, Jocelyn Wilkinson and Cindy Thompson, adjunct instructor of oboe and English horn; clarinets, Jacob Anderson, freshman from Newton, and Tyler Gauldin; bassoons, Elizabeth Schrag, junior from Newton, and Zach Hague, adjunct instructor of bassoon; French horns, Tim Regier, junior from Newton, Mirella Gage Gauldin, adjunct instructor of French horn, Paige Cooper, freshman from Hutchinson, and Mia Ryan; trumpets, Evan Koch and Braden Unruh, junior from Goessel; trombones, Andrew Thiesen, sophomore from Newton, Issei Tsuji, junior from Chiba-shi, Japan, and Billie Selichnow, freshman from Wichita; tuba, Mark Lyles; and timpani, Adam Voth, senior from Wichita.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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.