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Wind Ensemble and 3rd Honors Band welcome guest composer Maslanka

September 11th, 2017

by Cassie Josselyn

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Wind Ensemble’s second concert of the year also features the 3rd annual Honors Band, 40-plus high school instrumentalists from the local area and as far away as Kansas City and Tulsa.

The concert, at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 in Memorial Hall, caps a two-day honors band clinic with special guest, composer David Maslanka.

Titled “American Contemporaries,” the concert consists mostly of Maslanka compositions: “Tears,” “Letter to Martin” and “Give Us This Day.”

Also on the program are “Prelude, Fugue and Riffs” by Leonard Bernstein.

“Almost all of the music was composed by the composer-in-residence for the weekend,” said Chris David Westover, Bethel director of instrumental music and Wind Ensemble conductor. “Bernstein’s ‘Prelude, Fugue and Riffs’ accentuates the influence of jazz in Maslanka’s music.”

“This concert will be about an hour and a half,” he added, “and I think people and students alike should come out because it is a great opportunity to meet and hear works by an important contemporary composer.”

The Wind Ensemble has been working on this program for about six weeks, Westover said.

“The literature is very difficult from a technical and musical standpoint and the students have risen to the challenge quite well.”

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.