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Wind Ensemble kicks off a big year with first concert Sept. 24

April 16th, 2018

by Sam Bertholf

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Wind Ensemble kicks off a big year with their first concert, Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

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

Adam Fontana, Bethel director of instrumental music and Wind Ensemble conductor, believes this will be a special year for the group.

“This is a big year for the Wind Ensemble,” Fontana said. “We are going to be playing at the Kansas Music Educators Association state conference in February – the first time [our] Wind Ensemble has played there in eight years. It is a huge honor.”

He continued, “This concert is kind of starting the ball in motion to set up that concert in February.”

Sarah Balzer, a sophomore clarinet player, thinks the concert will be as enjoyable to listen to as it is for the musicians to play.

“Dr. Fontana always does a good job of picking music that is fun to play and fun to listen to,” she said.

She said her favorite piece on the program is Bernstein’s “Slava!”

“It is a bit challenging, so I was definitely intimidated when I first got the music,” she said, “but it is such an entertaining, sarcastic-sounding piece.”

Charles Lenley, a sophomore percussionist, added, “This year’s first Wind Ensemble [performance] is going to be a very exciting one.

“Dr. Fontana has made sure that everyone is working hard,” Lenley said, “and everyone that attends the concert will be thrilled with the performance. I encourage everyone to come out to the concert so we can all share and make music together.”

In addition to “Slava!” by Leonard Bernstein, the Sept. 24 program will include ?the overture from Dancing in the Dark by Bjork; “Prelude,” “Siciliano” and “Rondo” by Malcolm Arnold; “Amazing Grace” by Frank Ticheli; and “Lincolnshire Posy” by Percy Grainger.

Wind? ?Ensemble? ?personnel are: flutes, Chloe LaCombe, Abilene, Matthew Lind, Newton, Jesus Martinez, Newton, Neil Smucker, North Newton, and Mackenzie Young, Peabody; clarinets, Sarah Balzer, Inman, Paige Cooper, Hutchinson, Juliana Drouhard, Hesston, Reece Hiebert, Walton, Jessica LaRocque, Cawker City, Anna Lubbers, Peabody, Sarah Turner, North Newton, Ben Wiens, Goessel, and Kaho Yanagidaira, Newton; saxophones, Caleb Abbott, Wichita, Ryan Fritz, Salina, Westen Gesell, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Aaron Long, Wichita, Zane Richter, McPherson, and Autumn Strecker, Goessel; trumpets, Connor Born, North Newton, Arlin Buller and Alec Loganbill, Hesston; trombones, Ben Abel, Paola, Adam Kroeker, Augusta, Nate Kroeker, Augusta, Seth Larson, Wichita, and Billie Selichnow, Wichita; horns, Abby Phillips, Maple Hill, Anna Wiens, Goessel, and Jen Meysing, Goessel; euphoniums, Brendan Ostlund, Mount Hope, and Nicholas Preheim, Peabody; and percussion, Shawn Bontrager, North Newton, MacKenzi Eisenbraun, Shawnee, Charles Lenley, Kansas City, Missouri, Laura Schaar, Valley Center, Micah Miller Wyse, Hesston, and Eli Brockway (bass), McPherson.

Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, for 2017-18. 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.