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Masterworks concert will showcase 20th-century works

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The annual spring Masterworks concert at Bethel College this year will feature choral and symphonic work from the 20th century.

The Bethel College Oratorio Chorus, consisting of members of all Bethel student choirs along with community singers, with Bethel music faculty soloists and the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, will perform in Memorial Hall on the Bethel campus on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, at 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $6 for non-Bethel students. Bethel College faculty, staff and students pay $5.

The featured works are Symphony of Psalms (1930) by Igor Stravinsky, Concerto, Opus 114 (1988) by Derek Bourgeois, and Gloria (1961) by Francis Poulenc.

Conductor for this Masterworks performance is William Eash, Bethel College professor of music, who chooses the music to be performed for the event each year. Eash is the director of choral activities at Bethel, where he is responsible for four choirs. He also teaches conducting and music history. He graduated from Bluffton (Ohio) College with a bachelor’s degree in music performance (voice and string bass), studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria, and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in choral conducting at the University of Iowa.

Concerto, Opus 14 was written for trombone or euphonium and will feature Timothy Shade, Bethel College instructor of music, on euphonium. Poulenc’s Gloria includes a soprano solo part, which will be performed by Soyoun Lim Chun, Bethel College assistant professor of music.

Timothy Shade directs the instrumental music and music education programs at Bethel College, where he is responsible for the Bethel College Chamber Orchestra and the Bethel College Wind Ensemble and gives private instruction in low brass. A versatile performer on euphonium and trombone, Shade has performed in numerous venues from cruise ships to concert halls. He is principal euphonium with the Wichita Wind Ensemble and an active recitalist and soloist who has performed with numerous bands and wind ensembles around the country. A proponent for new music, Shade has premiered several new works – most recently a piece by Paul Rudy for the Bethel College Wind Ensemble – and is currently in the process of commissioning more repertoire for euphonium. Upcoming performances include a premier by Libby Larsen with the Youngstown (Ohio) State University Wind Ensemble.

Soyoun Chun is instructor of voice at Bethel College. She has performed in a variety of settings, from opera to solo recitals, with orchestras and in chamber music settings. Chun earned a D.M.A. with honors at the University of Kansas and has her Master’s of Music from the New England Conservatory and her B.A. from Seoul National University. She has also participated in master classes at the famed Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Chun is making her fourth straight Masterworks appearance as a soloist, having sung in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in 2007, Bach’s Magnificat in 2008 and Verdi’s Requiem in 2009.

The Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, now in its 53rd season, is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the performance of orchestral music for south central Kansas audiences. NMKSO is comprised of musicians from the Newton, Harvey County and the surrounding area, including professional musicians, music educators, community players and advanced high school and college students.

Tickets for the Masterworks concert are available at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center on the Bethel College campus during regular business hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., phone (316) 284-5205, or at the door. All seats are general admission.

Eash will make a convocation presentation on the Symphony of Psalms and the Gloria, Friday, May 7, at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center, to which anyone interested is welcome.

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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