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HBPA to feature Kansas musical talent in Lyric Arts Trio

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HESSTON, KAN. – Lyric Arts Trio, an instrumental and vocal ensemble of clarinet, piano and soprano voice, will be the fourth concert in the 2010-11 Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts Series.

The trio, which hails from Kansas City, will present “American Voices” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus.

Acclaimed soprano Sarah Tannehill, clarinetist Elena Talley and pianist Daniel Velicer present classical music with a fresh and innovative approach.

“Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts devotes one concert each year to the finest musical talent in Kansas,” said HBPA director Matthew Schloneger. “Soprano Sarah Tannehill is a rising star and one of America’s finest young singers, so when I heard that she had joined forces with Kansas City’s Lyric Arts Trio, I knew we had to bring them to Hesston. Their program will be a wonderful celebration of Kansas’ 2011 sesquicentennial year.”

“American Voices” celebrates classic American life and landscapes through pieces adapted from famous poets, including Willa Cather, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. The trios, duets and solos also showcase a range of musical traditions from musical theater to works by classical composer Aaron Copland.

Lyric Arts Trio has been performing and traveling across the Midwest for 20 years. Each of the members have careers with other musical endeavors as well.

Tannehill has sung with orchestras and performed leading operatic roles with companies across the United States and Europe. She is a member of the Grammy® Award-winning Kansas City Chorale. She also teaches voice in Overland Park and at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.

Talley, founder of the Lyric Arts Trio, performs frequently with the Kansas City Symphony, and has also performed with the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Kansas City, the Missouri Symphony, the Kansas City Camerata and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. She previously taught at Emporia State University and Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe.

Velicer performs regularly with the Kansas City Symphony and the Kansas City Ballet outreach programs, and is in constant demand as an accompanist and vocal coach. He previously served as an Opera Coach Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and the head staff pianist at the University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music in Stockton, Calif. He is now chamber music coach and artist performer on the faculty at the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

In addition to the HBPA concert appearance, the trio will conduct an educational residency with students from Hesston College and Bethel College Feb. 21. The trio will lead an instrumental master class in the Hesston Mennonite Church sanctuary at 9 a.m., and a vocal master class in the Hesston Mennonite Church Community Center at 10 a.m. Both sessions are free and open to the public.

Single ticket prices for Lyric Arts Trio range from $14 to $17, depending on seating section, with discounts available to students and senior citizens.

The remaining performance in the HBPA season is instrumental ensemble Three Part Invention, Sunday, April 17, at Hesston Mennonite Church.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 620-327-8158 (Hesston College) or 316-284-5205 (Bethel College), e-mail or visit the HBPA website at

This program is presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes a great nation deserves great art, and is supported by Mid-America Arts Alliance, with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kansas Arts Commission and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts Series, now in its 29th year, started in 1982 as the Hesston Performing Arts Series (HPA) with funding and planning provided by Hesston College and the Hesston community. In 1998, HPA planners launched a partnership with Bethel College (North Newton) and the name changed to Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts. Hesston College and Bethel College host five performances by world-renowned or regionally acclaimed artists each year.

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