NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – In its annual early winter concert, the Bethel College Wind Ensemble will evoke images of bustling trains, old cathedrals and rolling hills through a blend of modern and standard tunes.
The concert is Sunday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
“This concert is a musical painting – it paints pictures with music,” said director Timothy Shade, Bethel instructor of instrumental music.
The Wind Ensemble’s repertoire for the Dec. 6 concert includes “Ghost Train” by Eric Whitacre; “Hold This Boy and Listen” by Carter Pann; “Old Churches” by Michael Colgrass; and “Chorale and Alleluia” by Howard Hanson.
“I went after pieces that the students would enjoy and that would be good for us to play,” said Shade.
The song “Ghost Train” is based on American legends and folktales about cross-country train rides. Audiences hear the sounds of a train starting and journeying across the United States.
“As the train rolls along, you get pictures of where you would be – there’s a jazzy section and one that evokes rolling hills,” said Shade.
“It’s musical imagery – it’s trying to paint a sort of picture with music,” he said.
The next modern piece is “Hold This Boy and Listen,” which Carter Pann wrote following the birth of his nephew.
“It’s supposed to capture the little different feelings of what you would feel about a newborn baby – from innocent and wistful to haunted and serene,” said Shade.
“Old Churches” evokes the setting of old cathedrals through the sounds of murmurs, chants and bells. Whitacre uses aleatoric elements (determined by the performer or performers) to achieve these effects.
“What occurs during these episodes is that students get to play freely within a structure. There are elements of improvisation that at times create a chaotic effect. The piece is effect-driven,” said Shade.
Unconventional percussion adds texture, he said. “One the sides of the stage there will be two set-ups of hanging metal bowls that are to emulate the sound of church bells in the distance,” explained Shade.
“It’s a really neat, atmospheric piece and the students really enjoy playing it,” he added.
The concert also includes “Chorale and Alleluia,” a standard in wind ensemble literature which juxtaposes two main themes.
“It’s very hard work for the Ensemble, but the end is pretty amazing – I just had to get a standard in there,” said Shade.
Shade is quite proud of his ensemble. “The students are doing a great job and I’m excited for the performance. To watch them progress – well, it’s fun to come to work every day,” he said.
Wind Ensemble personnel are: flutes, Heather Garrison, senior from Haysville, Jackie Kamphaus, sophomore from Clay Center, Lisa Penner, sophomore from Fresno, Calif., Kristin Unruh, freshman from Newton, and Anna Voth, sophomore from Wichita; oboe, Cassidy McFadden, sophomore from Elgin, Ill.; clarinets, Janesa Bartel, sophomore from Meade, Joel Boettger, freshman from Hesston, Nicole Eaton, sophomore from Dodge City, community member Valerie Klaassen, Audra Miller, freshman from Hesston, and Natasha Orpin, freshman from Moundridge; bass clarinet, Laura Dueckman, freshman from Abbotsford, British Columbia; bassoon, Kevin Leary, sophomore from North Newton; alto saxophones, Evan Fast, senior from Goessel, Brian Skinner, sophomore from Clay Center, Andrew Unruh, sophomore from Valley Center, and Paul Voran, freshman from Newton; tenor saxophones, Kyle Claassen, senior from Andover, and Jordan Ortman, freshman from Marion, S.D.; baritone saxophones, Michael Linscheid, junior from Reedley, Calif., Camden Pankratz, sophomore from North Newton, and Abram Rodenberg, freshman from Halstead; French horns, Emily Kliewer, sophomore from Aurora, Neb., Jesse Mueller, senior from Halstead, Genevieve Rucker, junior from Lawrence, and Matthew Stucky, senior from Moundridge; trumpets, community member Arlin Buller, Kyle Doesken, sophomore from Derby, John Goering, sophomore from Valley Center, Austin McCabe-Juhnke, senior from North Newton, David Mueller, senior from Halstead, and Kyle Unruh, senior from Goessel; trombones, Jordan Esau, sophomore from Hutchinson, and Benjamin Harder, senior from Hesston; euphonium, Natasha Esau, senior from Hutchinson, and community member Vince Meyer; tubas, Jordan Esely-Kohlman, sophomore from Mullinville, Eric Goering, sophomore from McPherson, Natalia Krahn, sophomore from Mountain Lake, Minn., and community member Mark Lyles; and percussion, Naomi Graber, sophomore from Elkhart, Ind., Matthew Hershberger, senior from Clay Center, community member Mika Patron, Dominic Suter, sophomore from Hutchinson, and Nathaniel Yoder, senior from Kalona, Iowa.
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. 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 2009 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.