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Instrumentalists to spread 'good music and holiday cheer'

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Audience members at the upcoming Bethel College Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra concert will be treated to both a festive musical celebration and the technical mastery of the music performed.

“This is one of the hardest programs we’ve done for the Wind Ensemble,” said director Richard Tirk, assistant professor of music. “The piece by Welcher is very challenging, but it shows how far we’ve come since the beginning of the year.”

The Wind Ensemble will perform “Zion” by Dan Welcher and “William Byrd Suite” by Gordon Jacob. Joining the group for Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival will be the Bethel College Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble and Women’s Chorus.

The Chamber Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s Character Dances from Nutcracker Suite and Vivaldi’s Concerto for two celli. The latter features cellists Parker Stanley, senior from Liberty, Mo., and Terra Wiens, freshman from Newton.

Also appearing on the program is the Bethel College Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Michael Holland, adjunct professor of percussion, with Lou Harrison’s “Bomba” and Mitchell Peters’s “Study in 5/8.”

“I’m excited about this concert,” Tirk said. “We will be joined by the full choral forces of Bethel College on the Anderson, which will be fun. It should be a nice night of good music and holiday cheer.”

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Members of the Wind Ensemble are: flutes Jennifer Regier, junior from Newton, Megan Schrag, junior from McPherson, and Erin White, junior from Bel Aire; oboes Leanne Reimer, sophomore from Hesston, and Sharayah Williams, sophomore from Kalona, Iowa; clarinets Megan Abrahams, senior from Canton, Amy Balzer, senior from Hesston, Daniel Graber, senior from Marion, S.D., and Valerie Klaassen, guest artist from Whitewater; bass clarinets Brent Badawieh, senior from Parsons, and Kasey McClendon, junior from Cunningham; bassoons Rebecca Claassen, junior from Moses Lake, Wash., and Heather Robertsen, sophomore from Hesston; alto saxophones Brett Jackson, senior from North Newton, and Joel Linscheid, senior from North Newton; tenor saxophone Leah Smith, freshman from Aurora, Colo.; baritone saxophone Michael Linscheid, freshman from Reedley, Calif.; French horns Jesse Mueller, sophomore from Halstead, and Genevieve Rucker, freshman from Lawrence; trumpets Arlin Buller, guest artist from North Newton, Ben Claassen, freshman from Davis, Calif., Dalen Dickerson, freshman from Moundridge, Justine Erb, freshman from Henderson, Neb., Aaron Linscheid, senior from North Newton, Austin McCabe-Juhnke, sophomore from North Newton, David Mueller, sophomore from Halstead, Ryan Stutzman, freshman from Westminster, Colo., Kyle Unruh, sophomore from Goessel, and Ken Ward, freshman from Hugo, Colo.; trombones Andrew Toews, senior from North Newton, Benjamin Harder, sophomore from Hesston, Matthew Root, junior from Topeka, and Daniel Glascock, junior from Cunningham,; baritones Natasha Esau, sophomore from Hutchinson, and Vince Meyer, guest artist from Newton; tuba Mark Lyles, guest artist from North Newton; and percussionists Matthew Hershberger, sophomore from Clay Center, Blake Long, senior from Moran, Ben Stucky, freshman from Moon Township, Pa., and Nathaniel Yoder, sophomore from Kalona, Iowa.

Members of the Chamber Orchestra are: violins Whitney Coleman, freshman from Lawrence, Daniel Graber, senior from Marion, S.D., Daniel Lassman, freshman from Lawrence, Blaire Mayhue, sophomore from North Newton, Isaac Olson, junior from Denver, Colo., and Paul Regier, junior from Newton; violas Kelsey Easterday, sophomore from Manhattan, Nicole Schmidt, freshman from Newton, and Amy Swartz, senior from Wichita; cellos Parker Stanley, senior from Liberty, Mo., Bradley McKellip, sophomore from Newton, Taylor McCabe-Juhnke, Newton High School student from North Newton, Matthew Moore, freshman from Wichita, and Terra Wiens, freshman from Newton; and bass Michael Voth, junior from Topeka.

Members of the Percussion Ensemble are Brent Badawieh, Matthew Hershberger, Blake Long, Nathaniel Yoder and Mark Smith, guest artist from North Newton.

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 was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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