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Concert Choir to head south, west for spring tour

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Concert Choir will sing at venues to the south and west, in New Mexico, Arizona, California and Oklahoma.

The first and last concerts of the choir’s spring tour will be in Kansas, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. performance at Hope Mennonite Church (868 N. Maize Rd.) in Wichita Friday evening, March 20.

Sunday, March 22, the choir will sing in the 9:30 a.m. worship service at Albuquerque Mennonite Church (1300 Girard Blvd NE). That evening, they will be at New Life Baptist Fellowship, which meets at DeGrazia Elementary School (5051 W. Overton Rd.) in Tucson, Ariz., for a 7 p.m. concert.

Tour organizers hope to arrange a service project in Tucson on Monday, March 23, for the morning and early afternoon. That evening, the choir will sing at 7 p.m. at Trinity Mennonite Church (4334 W. Vista Ave.) in Glendale, Ariz.

The choir then heads to central California to sing at First Mennonite Church (1208 L St.) in Reedley at 7 p.m. Tues., March 24. The next evening, Wed., March 25, will be a 7 p.m. concert at First Mennonite Church (379 North Campus Ave.) in Upland.

The choir returns to Tucson Thurs., March 26, where they will sing at Shalom Mennonite Fellowship (6044 E 30th St.) at 7 p.m.

The choir will wind up the 2009 spring tour by singing in the morning worship service at Turpin (Okla.) Mennonite Church at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 29, and then the traditional home concert in Memorial Hall on the Bethel campus that evening at 7 p.m.

The Bethel College Concert Choir repertoire includes “Gloria” by James Mulholland; “O Magnum Mysterium” by César Alejandro Carrillo; “Und das Wort ward Fleisch” by Georg Philipp Telemann; “Te Deum” by Domenico Scarlatti; “Let the Heaven Light Shine on Me” (arr. Moses Hogan); “Lord, I Want to Be a Christian” (arr. Brazeal Dennard); “Talismane” by Robert Schumann; “Ego sum pastor bonus “ by Javier Busto; “The Sermon on the Mount” by Dave Brubeck; “Hope, faith, life, love” (words by e.e. cummings) by Eric Whitacre; “Calling My Children Home” (arr. Joseph Jennings); “Danny Boy” (arr. Roger Wagner); “Rock-a My Soul” (arr. Uzee Brown); “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” (arr. Lee Dengler); “Lux Aeterna” by David Dickau; “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” (arr. Norman Luboff); “Nothin’ Gonna Stumble My Feet” by Greg Gilpin; “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by Peter Lutkin; and the premiere of an original piece by choir member Nathaniel Yoder, “Echo Song.”

The choir is under the direction of William Eash, professor of music at Bethel College, with student conductors Benjamin Harder and Nathaniel Yoder, both recipients of the Walter H. Hohmann Choral Conducting Endowed Scholarship at Bethel College. Rehearsal accompanists are Evan Conrad, Kelsey Easterday, Evan Fast, Rachel Gaeddert, Joshua Powell, Genevieve Rucker and Aimee Siebert. Student tour coordinator is Brittany Baker.

All of the choir’s concerts are free and open to the public. Freewill offerings will sometimes be taken.

Concert Choir personnel are: Holly Anthony, sophomore from Sterling, Kan.; Brittany Baker, senior from Kingman, Kan.; Allison Banman, junior from Hillsboro, Kan.; Alex Boldt, sophomore from Parlier, Calif.; Evan Conrad, freshman from Lakewood, Colo.; Anna Cook, freshman from Lawrence, Kan.; Kelsey Easterday, junior from Manhattan, Kan.; Justine Erb, sophomore from Henderson, Neb.; Evan Fast, junior from Goessel, Kan.; Andrew Findley, senior from Coffeyville, Kan.; Rachel Gaeddert, sophomore from Larned, Kan.; Kellen Goertzen, freshman from Henderson, Neb.; Ryan Goertzen, freshman from Goessel, Kan.; Benjamin Harder, junior from Hesston, Kan.; Alyssa Harvey, sophomore from Wichita, Kan.; Victoria Janzen, senior from Wichita, Kan.; William Lewis, freshman from Newton, Kan.; Austin McCabe-Juhnke, junior from North Newton, Kan.; Lacey Parker, sophomore from Lone Tree, Iowa; Joshua Powell, junior from Basehor, Kan.; Sierra Pryce, sophomore from North Newton, Kan.; Keila Quenzer, sophomore from Visalia, Calif.; Kelly Reed, junior from Edinburg, Texas; Jennifer Regier, senior from Elbing, Kan.; Heather Robertsen, junior from Newton, Kan.; Genevieve Rucker, sophomore from Lawrence, Kan.; Ben Santos, junior from Smithville, Mo.; Susan Schmeichel, senior from Hurley, S.D.; Monica Schmidt, sophomore from Mount Hope, Kan.; Aimee Siebert, junior from Topeka, Kan.; Caleb Stephens, sophomore from Lawrence, Kan.; Kyle Unruh, junior from Goessel, Kan.; Michael Unruh, senior from Peabody, Kan.; Ryan Unruh, senior from Moundridge, Kan.; Andrew Voth, freshman from Topeka, Kan.; Brittany Voth, junior from Goessel, Kan.; Cameron Voth, freshman from Goessel, Kan.; Michael Voth, senior from Topeka, Kan.; Max Wedel, senior from Tucson, Ariz.; Sharayah Williams, junior from Kalona, Iowa; and Nathaniel Yoder, junior from Kalona, Iowa.

William Eash directs choral activities at Bethel College, where he is responsible for four choirs. He also teaches conducting and music history. He has been at Bethel College since 1999. Eash is a graduate of Bluffton (Ohio) College with a bachelor’s degree in music performance (voice and string bass). He studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in choral conducting 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 was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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