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Philharmonia, Honors Orchestra to present all-Beethoven concert

September 11th, 2017

by Cassie Josselyn

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. — If you missed the last concert showcasing some of the instrumental talent the Bethel music department has to offer, here’s another chance.

The Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra and the 2nd high school Honors Orchestra will give an all-Beethoven concert Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

The concert is free and open to the public with a freewill offering taken to support the study and performance of instrumental music at Bethel College.

“This concert is going to be a combination of current Bethel Philharmonia members and high school orchestra players from a variety of Kansas high schools,” said Allie Chesbrough, junior from Leawood and a cellist in the Philharmonia.

“The Philharmonia will play three pieces by Beethoven, one of which is the 5th Symphony, which the high school orchestra players will be joining us on. It’s the second year we’re doing this [honors orchestra clinic], and given how well it went last year, we’re excited to see how it’s going to unfold this time around.”

French horn player Rebecca Schrag, freshman from Newton, said, “My favorite piece that we are playing is the last movement in Beethoven’s 8th symphony, because Tim Regier [senior from Newton] and I have a sort of duet part that is a lot of fun to play.”

“I like the pieces that [director] Chris Westover picked out for us, and I like being involved in an orchestra that allows me to play classical and famous pieces. It’s an important repertoire for any young musician to know and play,” Schrag added.

When asked if she was excited for the concert, senior violinist Emily Wedel, Hutchinson, said, “We are playing all Beethoven this concert. It will be fun, especially since we are playing the famous 1st movement of the 5th symphony. It’s going to be big — we have over 50 high school students joining us.”

“I spent a lot of time on my dissertation studying that 5th symphony by Beethoven and it seemed to fit into this concert,” said Westover, director, when asked why he chose all music by Beethoven.

“The music of Beethoven is the equivalent of Shakespeare [to English literature],” he added. “It’s something we should all know, because it speaks to everyone in some way. People will recognize the 5th Symphony because it is the most famous Beethoven symphony.

“I think that people will enjoy it and enjoy hearing the different styles.”

In addition to the first movement of Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 (with Honors Orchestra) and Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93, the Bethel College Philharmonia will open the Oct. 26 concert with “Overture to Collin’s Coriolan, Op. 62.”

Philharmonia personnel are:

1st violins
  • Nancy Johnson (concertmaster)
  • Grace Bradfield, Derby
  • Rachel Unruh
  • Emily Wedel, Hutchinson
  • Alyssa Becker
  • Kara Tann
2nd violins
  • Dominique Corbeil
  • Emma Bradley, Newton
  • Brianna Newport, Haysville
  • Stephen Cranston
  • Reinhild Janzen
  • Emily Bishop
  • Kay Buskirk
  • Erin Regier, Newton
  • Sharon Cranston
  • Seth Girton
  • Allie Chesbrough, Leawood
  • Jordan Schroeder, Newton
  • Diana Unruh
  • Dennis Danders
  • Elijah Brockway, McPherson
  • Jazmynn Burris, Winfield
  • Kristin Shaffer
  • Kenna Graber
  • Cindy Thompson
  • Austin Coulter, Pretty Prairie
  • Jacob Anderson, Newton
  • Benjamin Wiens, Goessel
  • Elizabeth Schrag, Newton
  • Zach Hague
French horns
  • Tim Regier, Newton
  • Rebecca Schrag, Newton
  • Braden Unruh, Goessel
  • Connor Born, North Newton
  • Matthew Graber, Freeman, South Dakota

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015-16 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 2015-16. 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.