The study of voice at Bethel College is a dynamic and engaging experience. Coordinated by Dr. Soyoun Chun, a graduate of the New England Conservatory and the University of Kansas, the program actively shapes and nurtures students in the vocal experience. Singers perform recitals and serve as soloists in orchestral and choral performances. A fully orchestrated and staged musical theater or complete opera work is performed each year. Recent productions include Into the Woods, the first regional production of The Light in the Piazza, and The Magic Flute.
Bethel College singers are encouraged to participate in the annual National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) voice competition. Bethel's studio singers have done exceptionally well in this regional contest, advancing to the semifinal and final rounds, with one singer winning first place in the men's senior classical division, and another taking first in both freshman women's classical and music theater divisions.
Choral and vocal alumni
Many Bethel graduates have had significant success in the music profession, attending graduate schools and/or serving as music teachers, from kindergarten through college (and beyond).
Select alumni at the collegiate level
• Dr. Paul Crabb, University of Missouri
• Janeal Krehbiel (retired), Lawrence (Kan.) Children's Choir
• Dr. Paul Wiens (retired), Wheaton College
• Dr. Doyle Preheim, Goshen (Ind.) College professor emeritus
• the late J. Harold Moyer, composer, Bethel College professor emeritus
• Paul Rudy, composer, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Select alumni at the K-12 level
• Greg Bontrager, past president, Kansas Choral Directors Association, Buhler (Kan.) High School
• Riley King, Haven (Kan.) High School
• Julia Miller, Andover (Kan.) Central High School
• Amy Regier, Newton public schools
• Elizabeth Lind, Albuquerque public schools
• Christopher Shaw, Goddard (Kan.) High School
• Jill Siebert, Hillsboro (Kan.) public schools
• Megan Siebert, Madison (Wis.) public schools
• Braden Unruh, Goessel (Kan.) High School
• Michelle Unruh, Newton public schools
• Garrett Epp, Olathe (Kan.) North High School
Arthur W. Marks has sung with orchestras throughout the United States and in numerous international venues, and he is in great demand as a choreographer. In addition, he performed in off-Broadway productions of SIDD, The Screams of Kitty Genovese, and Backstage at the Funky B. His work in regional theater is substantial. He was featured as the Ugly Duckling in HONK! and his vocal work in that production resulted in the first American cast recording of the musical with Music Theater of Wichita.
Rachel de Benedet has appeared with Nathan Lane as Morticia in the Broadway production of The Addams Family. She created the role of Paula Abagnale in the world premiere of Catch Me If You Can, played at Chicago's Goodman Theater in the world premiere of Turn of the Century, and spent nine months in the role of Guenevere in a national tour of Camelot. Other Broadway appearances include Muriel in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Diana in Nine, and The Sound of Music, in which she also toured as Elsa, winning the JUDY award. Among her recordings are Adrift in Macao, Three Musketeers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nine and Carols for a Cure.
Rachel de Benedet and Arthur Marks were featured in 2012 in Bethel College's 125th-anniversary celebration choral masterworks concert with the Bethel College Oratorio Chorus and the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra.
For more information, contact William Eash, director of choral activities.