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Bethel represented at KMEA by musicians, prizewinning composer

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College was once again well-represented at the annual meeting of the Kansas Music Educators Association in Wichita, including in a performance of a recent graduate’s prizewinning choral composition.

Friday, Feb. 24, the Wichita State University A Cappella and Concert Chorale sang “I Peter 3:15” by 2011 Bethel graduate Nathaniel Yoder, during their performance slot that began at 3:50 p.m. in the Mary Jane Teall Theater in Century II.

Yoder learned in mid-December that the composition he had entered (while still a student) in the “Ensemble” category of KMEA’s annual competition for young composers had won first place. He originally wrote the piece for the 25th anniversary of Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, in 2010.

So while Feb. 24 was not the world premiere of the piece, it was the first time it will be performed by a group of this size and caliber.

Two Bethel instrumental groups also performed at KMEA.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, the Bethel College Wind Ensemble made its first appearance at KMEA. Under the direction of Timothy Shade, Bethel assistant professor of music and director of instrumental music, the ensemble played at 2:40 p.m. in the Century II Concert Hall.

The four numbers were all by contemporary composers: “Firefly” by Ryan George (b. 1978); the second movement, “Terpsichore,” from Images of Song and Dance by Anthony Iannaccone (b. 1943); the first movement, “Montis Dei,” from Lauda by Steve Danyew (b. 1983); and “Rio’s Convergence” by Justin Freer (b. 1980).

The Bethel College Wind Ensemble has 65 members on woodwinds, brass and percussion.

Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I played Friday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. in Hyatt Regency Ballrooms F-H, with James Pisano, associate professor of music and director of jazz studies, directing.

The program included “Day in Day Out” by Johnny Mercer (arr. Sammy Nestico), “Some Skunk Funk” by Randy Brecker (arr. Vince Mendoza), “The Pretty Road” by Maria Schneider, and “Bodysnatchers,” a Radiohead tune arranged by Fred Sturm.

Bethel graduate Aaron Linscheid (2007), who recently completed two master’s degrees (in trumpet performance and in jazz studies) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, joined Jazz I on flugelhorn and trumpet for its two middle numbers.

Members of Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I are: Paul Voran and Daniel Barrera on alto saxophone; Joel Boettger and Jordan Ortman on tenor sax; Carl Lehmann on bari sax; Alex Boldt, Evan Koch, Kyle Doesken, Taylor Stucky and Andrew Zehr on trumpet; Rebecca Trumble, Quinn Bowers, Tim Shade and Eric Goering (bass) on trombone; Landon Bartel on bass; Megan Siebert on guitar; Ian Gingrich-Gaylord on piano; Nathaniel Yoder on drums; and Renee Reimer on vocals.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 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

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