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Last concert of the year to feature music of living composers

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- When the Bethel College Wind Ensemble and Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra present their final concert of the year on May 1, they will feature music written or arranged by living American composers--including two who will be sitting in the audience. Jeff Kurtenacker, who earned his B.A. in music composition and audio/video technology from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., composed "Emerging Sanctuary" for the Wind Ensemble and "Sentient" for the Sinfonia. Kurtenacker arrives at Bethel on Friday, April 28 to work with the ensembles on the pieces and will stay for the concert on Monday.

The other composer in the audience will be J. Harold Moyer of North Newton, Bethel College professor emeritus of music. Moyer arranged "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," which the Wind Ensemble will perform.

"It’s very exciting to have both composers with us and able to hear us play their pieces," said Sinfornia and Wind Ensemble director Richard Tirk, assistant professor of music. "It’s part of my philosophy to celebrate living composers whenever we can."

In addition to the pieces by Kurtenacker and Moyer, the Wind Ensemble will perform "Scenes from the Louvre" by Norman Dello Joio. The Sinfonia will also perform "Shortcut Home" by Dana Wilson and "Sinfonia for Strings" by Eric Ewazen.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center (note change from Memorial Hall). Admission is free and open to the public.

"The students have been working hard, which is especially difficult this late in the school year," Tirk said. "I think this concert will really show how far we’ve come this year."

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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