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Open Road 'family' includes six seniors in season finale

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. –Bethel College’s exclusive men’s ensemble, Open Road, will perform their end-of-year concert Sunday, May 15, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

The invitation-only group will perform a variety of pieces, including “Yesterday,” arranged by Boyz II Men, and “Here by the Water,” a Jim Croegaert piece arranged by Bethel graduate Aaron Linscheid.

This year the group has increased their size and added some new talent.

“It was pretty tough in the beginning because we had five new guys,” Caleb Stephens, senior from Lawrence, says. “We decided to expand from nine to 11 guys. And we had to replace three or four guys. It got a lot better during interterm, and I think we mesh well now.”

The group is made up of seniors Stephens, Joshua Powell, Basehor, Kevin Leary, North Newton, Andrew Voth, Topeka, Kellen Goertzen, Henderson, Neb., and Cameron Voth, Hillsboro; juniors Nathan Snyder, Hesston, and Landon Bartel, Newton; sophomore Jordan Ortman, Marion, S.D.; and freshman Aaron Tschetter, Freeman, S.D.

Stephens enjoys the music the group makes, how the voices blend together and the time they have spent together practicing.

“It has always been something that makes me happy. It got me through Spanish [class],” he says. “It’s just a bunch of dudes who come together to sing. It’s pretty amazing, I think. It’s like another family.

“I think we sing very well together,” he adds. “And I think it’s really something special when men’s voices blend together well to make music and to convey emotions you can’t necessarily convey [otherwise].”

Since being a member of the Bethel College Concert Choir is a requirement for being in Open Road, Stephens thinks the time spent on tour has been the best.

“Being on choir tour is always amazing,” Stephens said. “My all-time favorite was singing in the cathedrals in Germany and [elsewhere in] Europe when we were on the European choir tour. We sang 'Ave Maria' in one church where the ring lasted for seven seconds.”

Overall the group has had a good time together and is ready for this upcoming concert, which will be the final one for graduating seniors Stephens and Powell. Stephens encourages all to come experience Open Road.

“It’s in a great acoustical space [in Mem Hall],” he says. “If you haven’t heard Open Road, you should come by.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 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

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