NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Ken Medema, internationally known Christian singer, pianist and master of musical improvisation, will perform at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 1 in Memorial Hall at Bethel College, North Newton. For tickets, call Thresher Bookstore, (316) 284-5281. "Ken Medema sings to the heart," says Jeffrey Graber, a member of the Bethel College Student Activities Board, one of the sponsors for the event. "He is an entertaining, dynamic performer who engages the audience by inviting personal stories that he turns into songs on the spot. When you realize how well he can play the piano and relate to his audience even when he is not able to see, it makes the experience very powerful."
Graber and many Mennonite youth have heard Ken Medema perform at national youth assemblies for Mennonite Church USA, including the most recent assembly held last July in Atlanta. He has also performed for youth conferences for other denominations.
"Obviously we are promoting this event for high school and college age youth, but adults are welcome too," Graber says. "He brings a lot of humor, passion and faith to his performances. He is usually an enormous hit."
At age eight, Ken Medema began piano lessons, guided by a teacher who used Braille to teach him the classics and taught him to play by ear and to improvise. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Michigan State University.
In 1970 Ken Medema started writing music when he composed original material for his work as a music therapist in a psychiatric hospital. In 1973 he left his work as a therapist and began a career as a performing and recording artist. He recorded albums for Word and Shawnee Press and in 1985 founded Brier Patch Music. Today his full-time performing schedule takes him to venues all over North America as well as to Africa, Australia and Europe.
Ken Medema lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife, Jane. They have two grown children.
Admission for the Ken Medema concert is $5 for adults, $2 for students. All seating is general admission. For tickets, call Thresher Bookstore at Bethel College, (316) 284-5281. Because of Ken Medema’s popularity, advance ticket purchases are suggested.