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Vocal ensembles to give spring concerts

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s small vocal ensembles will give their spring concerts on the next two weekends.

The Bethel College Men’s Ensemble will perform with the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus Sunday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the Bethel campus. The Bethel College Women’s Chorus concert is Sunday, April 17, at 1:30 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel.

This is the second year that the Men’s Ensemble has been invited to sing with the KMMC, which gives two concerts each spring as fundraisers for the work of Mennonite Central Committee.

The concert offers a good opportunity for the ensemble to work with a larger group of men, said Men’s Ensemble director William Eash. Ensemble members also have the option of singing with the KMMC at its second concert of the 2011 season, at Buhler High School on Sunday, April 17, at 7 p.m.

“This works really well for the college men,” Eash said. “It gives them an opportunity to sing with a big men’s chorus. The KMMC men think it’s great, because it gets a lot of college singers engaged. It’s beneficial for everyone.”

KMMC membership is currently at around 300. Director is Ron Garber of Hesston. The concerts are free, with a freewill offering for MCC taken at each one.

Of the 15 selections on the April 10 and April 17 programs, Eash said the Men’s Ensemble singers seem to most enjoy “Christ is the Rock” and “Ride the Chariot.”

Men’s Ensemble personnel are juniors Michael Bowman, Syracuse, and Peter Wintermote, Hillsboro; sophomores John Regier, Beatrice, Neb., Chris Riesen, Beatrice, Neb., and Aaron Rudeen, Osage City; freshmen Jacob Brubaker, Miami, Ariz., Cody Claassen, Whitewater, Kevin Goering, Topeka, Aaron Heidebrecht, Inman, Carl Lehmann, Marion, S.D., Cristopher Nelson, Marietta, Ga., Casey Schunn, Whitewater, Dalton Smith, Burrton, Micah Smith, Topeka, Aaron Tschetter, Freeman, S.D., and Hank Unruh, Newton; and community member Nathan Patron.

Eash also directs the Women’s Chorus, whose April 17 concert program will include, among others, “i thank you God” and “The Gate of the Year” – musical settings of poems by e.e. cummings and Minnie Louise Haskins, respectively – as well as some opera choruses. There will be a piano duo, by freshmen Marissa Bontrager, North Newton, and Julie Wedel, Peabody, and a women’s vocal trio on the program as well.

“The women are looking to present their gifts to the community,” Eash said. “We will be celebrating really good women’s [choral] literature as well as the gifts of the women in the group.”

The Women’s Chorus will preview their spring concert during the morning worship service at Shalom Mennonite Church (800 E. First Street, Newton) on Sunday, April 10, beginning at 10:45.

Women’s Chorus personnel are juniors Annika Janzen, Fresno, Calif., Melissa Volk, Newton, and Jennifer Warkentine, Wichita; sophomores Elizabeth Akins, Topeka, Ariane Bergen, Moundridge, Sara Gragg, Topeka, Jenae Janzen, Newton, Emma Regier, Newton, Megan Siebert, Topeka, Miranda Weaver, Hesston, and Allison Yoder, Kalona, Iowa; and freshmen Alise Anderson, Spring Hill, Keari Bennett, Sharon, Marissa Bontrager, North Newton, Erin Engle, Salem, Ore., Rebecca Epp, North Newton, Rachel Evans, Bel Aire, Hope Goertzen, Hesston, Brooke Hansen, Effingham, Emily Harder, Hesston, Kaitlin Heller, Lawrence, Andrea Klassen, Moundridge, Caroline Mayhew, Lawrence, Kaitlyn Preheim, Peabody, Katie Regier, Whitewater, Ariel Silva, Colorado Springs, Colo., Nicole Smith, Elkhart, Ind., Payton Walker, Sharon Springs, Cindy Watterson, Mount Gilead, Ohio, Julie Wedel, Peabody, and Jocelyn Wilkinson, San Antonio, Texas.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is in the first tier in its category in the “U.S. News & World Report” annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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