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Fine Arts

Choral Ensembles

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

Professional theater

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.

Learn more

For more information, contact William Eash, director of choral activities.

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.