Alumni | Give to BC | Athletics | Fine Arts | Thresher Connect | Search


Violin duo to be joined by pianist in April 5 concert

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Violin duo Nova Deco will give a concert at Bethel College featuring guest artist Karen Bauman Schlabaugh, piano.

The event is April 5 at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel on the Bethel campus.

Admission is free, with an offering taken to benefit the Rupert Hohmann String Scholarship at Bethel.

Nova Deco is comprised of Nancy Johnson and Dominique Corbeil. Although the duo specializes in music by early-20th-century composers, they also play work by European masters.

In the first half of the April 5 program, Nova Deco will play music from W.A. Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni.

Premiered in 1787, the opera inspired many composers to use parts of it as the basis for their own works. Mozart himself arranged much of the opera for small chamber groups.

Nova Deco performs a Mozart arrangement for two violins, first published in 1809, as well as “Variations on a theme from Don Giovanni” by Bartolomeo Campagnoli, from the early 1800s.

The duo will also play Campagnoli’s Sonata No. 6, and Suite No. 1 by Jacques Aubert, in the first half.

Schlabaugh joins Nova Deco in the second half of the recital for works by Moritz Moszkowski and Astor Piazzolla.

Moszkowski’s Suite for Violin Duo and Piano dates from the early 1900s and uses late Romantic harmonies and styles.

Argentinian Piazzolla is known for his tangos and for bringing the traditional tango from the dance hall to the concert hall with a combination of jazz, classical and traditional styles.

In response to Vivaldi’s violin concerti known as The Four Seasons, Piazzolla wrote four works known together as The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.

Composed between 1969 and 1970, these works have been performed as a violin concerto, a tango quintet, a piano trio with violin and cello and here, for the first time, as a trio for piano and two violins (arranged by Johnson).

Nova Deco and Schlabaugh will also play Piazzolla’s famous tango “Oblivion.”

Johnson and Corbeil formed Nova Deco in 2009. The name comes from the Latin word novus (new) in the feminine form, and Deco, a style of decorative art of the 1920s marked by geometric motifs, sharply defined outlines and bold colors.

Nova Deco has been noted for their clean playing and bold musical ideas.

Johnson and Corbeil play with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, in which they are stand partners. They bring considerable experience to their performances, along with the joy of playing and collaborating together.

As artist-teachers for Arts Partners of Wichita, the duo performs school programs for students in the Wichita area. They are also musicians in residence at Newton Medical Center, playing twice a month in different areas of the hospital.

Johnson has been principal second violin in the Wichita Symphony Orchestra since 2000. She also performs with the Wichita Grand Opera and the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra and is on the faculty of Bethel College. She teaches many private violin students and plays extensively in the greater Wichita area.

Johnson holds degrees in violin performance from the University of Kansas and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Born in Montreal, Corbeil received her musical training at the University of Montreal and Montclair State University.

She currently serves as assistant principal second violin with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and performs with the Wichita Grand Opera. She is also a member of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Tulsa Ballet Orchestra.

Schlabaugh is professor of music at Bethel College. She holds a bachelor of music degree from Oberlin (Ohio) College, a master of music degree in piano performance from Ithaca (New York) College and the Doctor of Musical Arts in piano from the University of Iowa.

While at Ithaca, she spent a semester studying at the Royal College of Music in London, with the support of an Alumni Fellowship from Oberlin. She was chair of the Bethel music department from 1998–2015, and teaches piano, music theory, music history and piano pedagogy.

The Rupert Hohmann String Scholarship, for which the recital is a benefit, was endowed by Rupert Hohmann of North Newton, retired violin professor and son of former Bethel music faculty member Walter Hohmann. This is the first scholarship at Bethel to be dedicated to the use of string students.

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

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

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.