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Women’s Chorus to sing ‘songs about love and living’

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – No fooling – the Bethel College Women’s Chorus will give its spring concert Sunday, April 1, at 4 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel.

William Eash, Bethel professor of music and Women’s Chorus director, says this concert will play towards “nurturing songs” and those to whom they apply.

“I think all the songs in this particular set are really quite lovely,” Eash said. “It’s [about] love and living, which I think speaks to the spirit of being a woman. I’ve not ever been a woman, but I’ve lived with [my wife] for an extended period of time. I think [this music] speaks to qualities women have – the ability, generally, to be gracious and kind and nurturing.

“This collection speaks to those characteristics,” Eash added. “Women have the unique capability of speaking strongly, as well, when they wish to, when they perceive the need for it. There are a couple of pieces [in our program] that do that. It’s a wide variety of literature that should engage the female spirit.”

The concert repertoire includes “Morning’s Innocent” by Gwyneth Walker; “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” arranged by Richard Nance; “My Song” by David Childs; “Papageno-Papagena” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, arranged by Doreen Rao; “Heidenroslein” by Franz Schubert; “Canticle of Mary” by Jeffery Ames; “Dirait-on” by Morten Lauridsen; “Get On Board,” arranged by Caldwell and Ivory; “Let Me Fly,” arranged by Robert DeCormier; and “The Lord is My Shepherd” by Javier Busto.

When deciding pieces for the concert, Eash had some criteria he wanted the pieces to meet in order to challenge his choir.

“I pick pieces in three ways,” Eash said. “One is the text – do I like the text? Two, do I like the music that this text is set to? And three, would it be challenging to the women? It’s important in choral music that we challenge both the head and the heart and that’s what I look for.”

Featured in the concert will be guest director Renee Reimer, senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., and accompanists Michelle Unruh, freshman from Goessel, and Jordan Ortman, junior from Marion, S.D.

Choir personnel are: Courtney Barger, sophomore from Newton; Madelyn Baumgartner, junior from Silver Spring, Md.; Natalie Butkus, freshman from Freeman, S.D.; Jordan Claassen, freshman from Hesston; Shianne Defreese, freshman from Goessel; Rebecca Epp, sophomore from North Newton; Emily Fahndrich, freshman from Salem, Ore.; Emily Harder, junior from Newton; April Harpe, sophomore from Memphis, Tenn.; Kaitlin Heller, sophomore from Lawrence; Annika Janzen, senior from Fresno, Calif.; Andrea Klassen, sophomore from Moundridge; Clarie Koehn, sophomore from Cottonwood Falls; Emily Luedtke, freshman from Sedgwick; Allison Molitor, freshman from Kingman; Karina Ortman, freshman from Marion, S.D.; Jessie Pohl, freshman from Moundridge; Kaitlyn Preheim, junior from Peabody; Melinda Regehr, freshman from Whitewater; Katie Regier, sophomore from Whitewater; Allison Rudeen, freshman from Osage City; Ariel Silva, sophomore from Colorado Springs, Colo.; Emily Simpson, freshman from Gobles, Mich.; Nicole Smith, sophomore from Elkhart, Ind.; Miranda Snyder, freshman from Moundridge; Kelly Toll, freshman from Manhattan; Michelle Unruh, freshman from Goessel; Madelyn Weaver, freshman from Hesston; Miranda Weaver, senior from Hesston; Julie Wedel, junior from Peabody; Mycah Westhoff, freshman from Newton; Tiana Williams, freshman from Newton; Jocelyn Wilkinson, junior from San Antonio, Texas; Shelby Wilson, freshman from Halstead; and Allison Yoder, junior from Kalona, Iowa.

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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