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Recital to feature piano music for four hands

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Lovers of piano music – especially that written for four hands – can look forward to a treat Sunday, Nov. 16, at Bethel College.

Bethel graduate Susan Gaeddert, Madison, Wis., and Bethel Professor of Music Karen Bauman Schlabaugh will play a piano duet recital that day at 3 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel on the Bethel campus. The recital is free and open to the public.

The program is Beethoven’s “March in C Major,” Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite,” Brahms’ “Three Hungarian Dances,” Bizet’s “Children’s Games” and “Four Fantasies on American Folk Songs” by Townsend.

Susan Gaeddert received a B.A. in music and German from Bethel College in 2000, where she studied piano and organ and won the Thresher Award for Music. She holds a double master’s degree in piano performance/pedagogy and collaborative piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, where she completed a DMA in collaborative piano in 2007.

That same year, Gaeddert was chosen as a winner in the first Shain competition for piano and woodwind duos at the UW-Madison School of Music. Also in 2007, she premiered John Harbison’s Vocalism I and II with soprano Sarah Davis at Pepperdine University.

Never content playing just one instrument, Gaeddert started harpsichord lessons in 2003 and frequently plays continuo in local performances. She has been active in the musical community teaching private piano lessons, touring Wisconsin as an accompanist with Opera for the Young and adjudicating for local youth piano competitions and festivals.

Karen Bauman Schlabaugh has degrees from Oberlin (Ohio) College, Ithaca (N.Y.) College and the University of Iowa and spent a semester studying at the Royal College of Music in London with the support of an Alumni Fellowship from Oberlin. She has been chair of Bethel’s music department since 1998. Her current teaching assignments include piano, music theory and music history, as well as involvement in a piano pedagogy program.

Schlabaugh performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. On Sunday, Nov. 9, she will play a piano dedicatory recital at 3 p.m. in Bethel College Mennonite Church. Included on the program are pieces by Brahms, Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Schwantner, as well as hymn preludes by Bethel Professor Emeritus of Music J. Harold Moyer, North Newton, to accompany congregational singing. A freewill offering will be taken to help cover costs and expenses for rebuilding the church’s Baldwin grand piano. A reception follows in the church fellowship hall.

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 only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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