NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Concert Choir is headed to the Pacific Northwest and northern California for this year’s spring break tour.
The first and last concerts of the 48-voice choir’s spring tour will be in Kansas, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. performance at Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church (655 S. Lorraine Ave.) in Wichita Friday evening, March 18. The concert will be followed by a reception at the church with Bethel alumni and friends.
The choir arrives in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, March 19, and will sing at Saint Aloysius Catholic Church (330 E. Boone Ave., Spokane) at 1 p.m.
After home stays in the Ritzville, Wash., area Saturday night, the choir will sing in the 10 a.m. worship service at Menno Mennonite Church (1378 N. Damon Rd., Ritzville) Sunday, March 20. That evening, they will give a 7 p.m. concert at Seattle Mennonite Church (3120 NE 125th St.).
The choir will be in Oregon starting Monday evening, March 21, when they will sing at 7 p.m. at Portland Mennonite Church (1312 SE 35th Ave., Portland).
After a free day in Portland Tuesday, March 22, the choir will be at Zion Mennonite Church (6124 S. Whiskey Hill Rd., Hubbard) for a 7 p.m. concert that evening.
The next day, March 23, the choir will stop at Newport (with time on the beach if weather permits) and possibly the Oregon Coast Aquarium before a 7 p.m. concert that evening at Lebanon Mennonite Church (2100 S. 2nd St., Lebanon).
On Thursday, March 24, plans call for a day at Silver Falls State Park. The choir will sing at 7 p.m. that evening at Salem Mennonite Church (1045 Candlewood Dr. NE, Salem).
Following a travel day March 25, the choir will round out the tour in northern California Saturday, March 26. Tour organizers worked with First Mennonite Church in San Francisco to secure the Mission Dolores Basilica (3321 16th St., San Francisco) as the venue for the choir’s 7 p.m. concert March 26. The basilica is across the street from First Mennonite’s meeting place.
The spring tour officially concludes with the traditional home concert in Memorial Hall on the Bethel campus at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 27 (note change in time from previously printed calendars).
The Bethel College Concert Choir repertoire includes “Laudetur Jesus Christus” by Jiří Teml; “Haec dies” by William Byrd; “Christus est natus” by Damijan Močnik; “Sistah Mary,” arr. Rollo Dilworth; “The Leave-taking: Ye were sometimes darkness” from Requiem by Randall Thompson; “Gloria” by Randol Alan Bass; “The Rune of Hospitality” by Alf Houkom; “Stranger” by Norman Luboff; “Amazing Grace,” arr. Norman Luboff; “Danny Boy,” arr. Jonathan Rathbone; “Deep River,” arr. Anders Paulsson; “This Little Light of Mine,” arr. Moses Hogan; “John the Revelator,” arr. Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory; “Not One Sparrow is Forgotten,” arr. William Hawley; and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by Peter Lutkin.
The choir is under the direction of William Eash, professor of music at Bethel College, with student conductors Rachel Voran and Andrew Voth, recipient of the Walter H. Hohmann Choral Conducting Endowed Scholarship at Bethel College. Rehearsal accompanists are Jordan Ortman, Austin Unruh and Kristin Unruh. Student choir manager is Justine Erb with assistant choir manager Julia Huxman.
All of the choir’s concerts are free and open to the public. Freewill offerings will sometimes be taken.
Bethel College Concert Choir personnel are: Landon Bartel, Newton, Kan. ; Ariane Bergen, Moundridge, Kan.; Joel Boettger, Hesston, Kan.; Jacob Brubaker, Miami, Ariz.; Dmitry Bucklin, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Garrett Byler, Hesston; Anna Cook, Lawrence, Kan.; Kyle Doesken, Derby, Kan.; Nicole Eaton, Dodge City, Kan.; Justine Erb, Henderson, Neb.; Rachel Gaeddert, Larned, Kan.; Maggie Goering, Hutchinson, Kan.; Kellen Goertzen, Henderson; Ryan Goertzen, Goessel, Kan.; Naomi Graber, Elkhart, Ind.; Sara Gragg, Topeka, Kan.; Clint Harris, Manhattan, Kan.; Julia Huxman, Wichita; Kevin Leary, North Newton, Kan.; William Lewis, Newton; Taylor McCabe-Juhnke, North Newton; Audra Miller, Hesston; John Miller, Partridge, Kan.; Julia Miller, Hesston; Jordan Ortman, Marion, S.D.; Lacey Parker, Lone Tree, Iowa; Sarah Pohl, Moundridge; Joshua Powell, Basehor, Kan.; Sierra Pryce, North Newton; Amanda Regehr, Whitewater, Kan.; Renee Reimer, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Genevieve Rucker, Lawrence; Megan Siebert, Topeka; Brian Skinner, Clay Center, Kan.; Nathan Snyder, Hesston.; Caleb Stephens, Lawrence; Taylor Stucky, Moundridge; Aaron Tschetter, Freeman, S.D.; Austin Unruh, Goessel; Kristin Unruh, Goessel; Sara Volweider, Haven, Kan.; Rachel Voran, Newton; Andrew Voth, Topeka; Cameron Voth, Goessel; Andrew Walker, Newton; Lindsay Waltner, Freeman; Miriam Weaverdyck, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Allison Yoder, 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.