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Orchestra concert to feature student conductor, solo piano

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The second concert of the semester by Bethel College Chamber Orchestra will include “a couple of fun performances,” says director Timothy Shade, assistant professor of music.

The performance will take place Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. It is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support music study and performance at Bethel College.

“The group’s very strong this year,” Shade said. “We’re older, so the overall ability level has risen. The things we are approaching and going after in the music are [at] a high level. It’s fun to see that come into focus.”

The concert’s two special numbers are an orchestral piece that senior Rachel Voran, Newton, will conduct, and a piano solo by Karen Bauman Schlabaugh, professor of music.

“[William Eash] has had choir assistants for many years,” Shade pointed out. “This is the first time I’ve been able to do the same thing with the Chamber Orchestra. Rachel will conduct the first piece on the program, so she’ll be sort of a [guest conductor]. ”

Shade said he is trying to have concerts “progress through time with the type of music the orchestra plays.”

“My programming for the year has been to go from early music into new music,” he said. “For the first concert we did Bach, Mozart and Haydn. Now we’re in sort a Romantic period, with Dvořák and Schubert.”

In the first half of the spring semester, the orchestra will be focusing on the score for Aaron Copland’s opera The Tender Land, which the music and theater departments will present March 2-3.

“Then the idea is that the last concert of the year will be mostly contemporary music,” Shade concluded.

The Nov. 17 concert will be set up in “typical format for orchestra,” Shade said – it will start with Voran conducting the “Florentiner March” by Julius Fučik, followed by Schlabaugh’s solo, “Concert Rondo, K. 382” by Mozart, and a trio by Nino Rota with Joel Boettger, senior from Hesston, on clarinet, Anna Cook, senior from Lawrence, on cello, and Jordan Ortman, junior from Marion, S.D., on piano.

The second half of the concert begins with Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, ‘Unfinished.’ Since “the symphony ends sort of slow,” Dvořák’s “Slavonic Dance, Opus 46, No. 5” will end the concert.

The Chamber Orchestra’s last performance of the semester will be accompanying the annual sing-along of the Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah, Dec 2 at 11 a.m. in Bethel College Mennonite Church, which is also open to all.

Chamber Orchestra personnel are: first violins, Rachel Voran, Newton, Leah Clark, Manhattan, Erin Mayhue, North Newton, and Carrie Schulz, Newton; second violins, Elizabeth Akins, Topeka, Mycah Westhoff, Newton, Lupita Gonzalez, Newton, Sarah Harrington and Emma Bradley, Newton; violas, Emma Regier, Newton, Rachel Unruh, Raytown, Mo., Kristopher Dubach, Topeka, and Sharon Long; cellos, Anna Cook, Lawrence, Andrew Voth, Topeka, Erica Buller, Lenexa, Nikki Smith, Elkhart, Ind., Riley King, Lawrence, and William Lewis, Newton; bass, Landon Bartel, Newton, Miriam Weaverdyck, Ann Arbor, Mich., Rachel Evans, Bel Aire, and Sam Morrison, Winfield; flutes, Erin Engle, Salem, Ore., and Julie Wedel, Peabody; clarinets, Joel Boettger, Hesston, and guest performer Jill Gatz, Newton; oboes, Jocelyn Wilkinson, San Antonio, Texas, and Megan Leary, North Newton; bassoons, Kevin Leary, North Newton, and guest performer Zach Hague, Newton; French horns, Genevieve Rucker, Lawrence, and R.J. Clark; trumpets, Evan Koch, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Kyle Doesken, Derby; timpani, Adam Voth, Wichita; and percussion, Naomi Graber, Elkhart, Ind., Mika Patron, North Newton, and Micah Smith, Topeka.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2011-12. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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