NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The spring tour for the Bethel College Concert Choir will take them this year to venues in northeastern Kansas, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, including a concert at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati. The 45-voice choir, under the direction of William Eash, will travel during the college’s spring break, March 16-25.
The choir will open their tour Friday, March 16, at Southern Hills Mennonite Church, 511 SE 37th Street in Topeka, Kan., with a 7:30 p.m. concert.
March 17-18, the choir will be at the Mennonite Church of Normal, 805 South Cottage in Normal, Ill., for a 7 p.m. Saturday evening concert and as part of the 9:30 a.m. Sunday worship service. On Sunday evening, the choir will sing at the Chapel of the Sermon on the Mount at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 3003 Benham Ave. in Elkhart, Ind., at 7 p.m.
Monday, March 19, will be the choir’s busiest day of the tour. They will start out at Bethany Christian High School, 2904 South Main Street in Goshen, Ind., at the 8:40 a.m. chapel, will sing at noon at Zion Mennonite Church, 300 Short Buehrer Road in Archbold, Ohio, and will finish at First Mennonite Church, 101 South Jackson in Bluffton, Ohio, at 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 20, the choir will perform in the 9:45 a.m. chapel at Central Christian High School, 3970 Kidron Road in Kidron, Ohio, and in the evening at Oak Grove Mennonite Church, 7843 Smucker Road in Smithville, Ohio, at 7 p.m.
The choir will sing at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, 325 West 8th Street in Cincinnati, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21.
After a free day to explore Cincinnati, the choir travels Friday, March 23, to First Mennonite Church of Champaign-Urbana, 902 West Springfield Ave. in Urbana, Ill., for a 7 p.m. concert.
They will be back in their “home state” on Saturday, March 24, for a 7 p.m. concert at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 West 67th Street in Prairie Village, Kan. On Sunday, March 25, they will be part of the 10:30 a.m. worship service of Rainbow Mennonite Church, 1444 Southwest Blvd. in Kansas City, and will conclude the tour with the traditional home concert in Bethel College’s Memorial Hall at 7:30 that evening.
All of the choir’s concerts are free and open to the public. Freewill offerings will sometimes be taken.
The choir’s spring tour repertoire includes “Esto Les Digo” by Kinley Lange, “Kyrie eleison” and “Richte mich, Gott” by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, “Warum Toben die Heiden” by Heinrich Schutz, “The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee” by Jean Berger, “Das Wort ward Fleisch” by Andreas Hammerschmidt, “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre, “Gloria” by Jan Sandstrom, “Ave verum corpus” by Javier Busto, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” by Bob Burroughs, “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by Peter Lutkin and several arrangements of African-American spirituals.
Choir personnel are: Sara Adrian, senior from Butterfield, Minn.; Brittany Baker, sophomore from Kingman, Kan.; Allison Banman, freshman from Goessel, Kan.; Hannah Blalock, sophomore from Coppell, Texas; Caitlin Buerge, junior from Kansas City, Mo.; Chelsea Chaffin, senior from Lawrence, Kan.; Erinne Coit, senior from Wichita; Aislinn Conrad, senior from Goessel; Jon Dean, senior from Buhler, Kan.; Kate Duncan, junior from Kansas City, Kan.; Kelsey Easterday, freshman from Manhattan, Kan.; Evan Fast, freshman from Goessel; Andrew Findley, junior from Burlington, Kan.; Julie Fromm, senior from Newton, Kan.; Kelsey Goertzen, senior from Henderson, Neb.; Tyler Goertzen, senior from Hesston, Kan.; Peter Goerzen, senior from Goessel; Joel Garber, senior from Hesston; Dan Graber, senior from Marion, S.D.; Chelsea Hahn, senior from North Newton, Kan.; Ben Harder, freshman from Hesston; Megan Herman, senior from Kingman; Jeff Janzen, senior from Fresno, Calif.; Heidi Johnson, senior from Topeka, Kan.; Ben Kliewer, senior from Buhler; Kate Larson, senior from Clay Center, Kan.; Aaron Linscheid, senior from North Newton; Joel Linscheid, junior from North Newton; Austin McCabe-Juhnke, freshman from North Newton; Sara Miller, senior from Mount Hope, Kan.; Andrea Nickel, senior from Windsor, Colo.; Caley Ortman, junior from Marion, S.D.; Joshua Powell, freshman from Basehor, Kan.; Shawn Rath, senior from Moundridge, Kan.; Kelly Reed, freshman from Edinburg, Texas; Charles Schrag, junior from Freeman, S.D.; Benjamin Shea, freshman from Wenatchee, Wash.; Greg Shelly, freshman from Lenexa, Kan.; Aimee Siebert, freshman from Topeka; Jill Swenson, junior from Hutchinson, Kan.; Kyle Unruh, freshman from Goessel; Michael Voth, sophomore from Topeka; MeLissa Warkentine, senior from Chandler, Okla.; Kristin Wedel, senior from Hutchinson; Max Wedel, sophomore from Tucson, Ariz.; Caitlin Welch, senior from Lawrence; Brittany Wiens, junior from Hutchinson; and John Wiens, junior from Goessel.
Assistant conductors are Sara Adrian and Joel Garber. Rehearsal accompanists are, in addition to Adrian and Garber, Sara Miller and Dan Graber. Student tour coordinators are Megan Herman and Ben Kliewer.
Conductor William Eash is director of choral activities at Bethel College, where he is responsible for four choirs and also teaches conducting and music history. Eash is a graduate of Bluffton College (now University) with a bachelor’s degree in music performance (voice and string bass). Following graduation from Bluffton, Eash studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. He completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Iowa.
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 www.bethelks.edu.