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Bethel, Goessel and McPherson winds to give joint concert

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by Erin Bradley

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – This school year, the adjective for the Bethel College Wind Ensemble concerts  is “collaborative.”

The centerpiece of the group’s first public performance, in September, was Aesop’s Fables by Scott Watson, in which the ensemble was joined by Bethel College theater, forensics and education students.

Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m., the Goessel High School Wind Ensemble and the McPherson Brass Ensemble will join the Bethel College Wind Ensemble in Krehbiel Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be taken.

The concert came about when Timothy Shade, assistant professor of music and director of the Bethel College Wind Ensemble, approached Robert Tierney, Goessel High School’s music director, about doing a joint concert.

“It was an idea that I put in Rob’s head a couple years ago, when he got the directorship at Goessel,” Shade said. “I said, ‘We should do a joint concert soon – get the students [at Goessel] aware of what’s going on here at Bethel.’ And it’s a good experience for the high school kids.”

The McPherson Brass Ensemble was then added at Tierney’s request.

“It’s [the McPherson Brass’s] premiere concert with Jerry Toews as conductor,” Shade said. “Jerry was the former band director at Goessel for, I think, 20 years and really brought that program to what it is. He is still in touch with Rob and is a huge supporter of what we do here at Bethel.”

Tierney had mentioned to Shade that the McPherson Brass was looking for a concert venue. He suggested adding them to the Bethel-Goessel concert and Shade agreed.

The Goessel High School Wind Ensemble will begin the Oct. 18 concert, followed by the McPherson Brass. After a short intermission, the Bethel College Wind Ensemble will play their portion of the concert. The final number will be a joint Bethel-Goessel piece.

Goessel will play "Cumberland Cross" by Carl Strommen, with Bethel student Emily Schmidt conducting, and "Highwater Mark: The Third Day" by Michael Sweeney.

The McPherson numbers are the "'El Capitan' March" by John Philip Sousa, "Stardust" by Hoagy Carmichael (arr. Iveson) and "Malagueña" by Ernesto Lecuona (arr. Kauffman).

“We are playing a varied program, primarily made up of newer music,” Shade said. “The biggest piece on that program is a 10-minute adagio, An American Elegy, by Frank Ticheli, written after the Columbine High School [massacre in Colorado in 1999]. That’s a pretty emotionally driven piece.

“I had chosen that one for the Nov. 4 concert,” Shade continued, “but we’re going to play it in this one to ‘stack up’ a repertoire from the children’s concert in September. We’re playing two of the pieces from then ['Mangulina' by Paul Basler and 'Slava!' by Leonard Bernstein] in this concert, too.”

The Bethel College Wind Ensemble will also play another Ticheli composition, “Wild Nights.” The piece played with the Goessel High School Wind Ensemble is “Undertow” by John Mackey.

The two groups won’t have played together before the concert, Shade said.

“We will do something like a sound check that Thursday evening before the concert,” Shade said, “just plug in and go.” However, he will have worked twice with the Goessel High School group ahead of time.

“I did a concert like this with Newton High School two years ago, where I go out and rehearse the piece so they understand what they’re doing,” Shade said, “and it worked really well that way.”

For “Undertow,” the two groups will sit intermixed, by section instead of by ensemble. This way, Shade said, he hopes to give the students “the feel of a large wind ensemble.”

Goessel High School Wind Ensemble personnel are: flutes, Mikayla Kacey Lare, Gracie Michele Sullivan, Chelsea Stika and Georgia Thiesen; clarinets, Erin Brubaker, David Hesse, Alicen Meysing and Kylee Unruh; bass clarinet, Reece Hiebert; alto saxophones, Aleena Cook and Benjamin Wiens; tenor saxophone, Makayla King; baritone saxophone, Mark Schmidt; trumpets, Sarah Booth, Grant Flaming and Sophie Scheffe; French horn, Anna Wiens; trombones, Darren Hammond, Bjoern Schuemann, Leighton Wagner and Zachary Wiens; euphonium, Nathan Czarnowsky; tuba, Jacob Herrel; and percussion, Heath Goertzen, Luke Unruh and Aaron Woelk.

McPherson Brass Ensemble personnel are: trumpets, Richard Guse, Sam Claassen, Darren Hendricks and John Duerksen; French horns, Winona Godfrey, Doris Coppock, Christi Hopkins and Laurel Kenney; trombones, Fred Bohnenblust, Jerry Voth, Al Renner and Kelly Long; euphonium, Ty Kaufman; and tuba, Greg Nickel.

Bethel College Wind Ensemble personnel are: piccolo, Georgia Thiesen; flutes, Keari Bennett, Erin Engle, Mikayla Epp, Olivia Gehring, Emily Harder, Emily Schmidt, Rachel Tamerius, Amy Wedel and Julie Wedel; oboes, Megan Leary and Karina Ortman; clarinets, Joel Boettger, Bryce Hostetler, Valerie Claassen, Audra Miller, Natasha Orpin and Melinda Schroeder; bass clarinets, Samantha Jarvis and Michelle Unruh; bassoons, Abigail Bechtel, Jessie Pohl and Elizabeth Schrag; soprano saxophone, Paul Voran; alto saxophones, Michelle Kaufman, Carl Lehmann, Emily Simpson and Paul Voran; tenor saxophones, Daniel Barrera and Andrew Unruh; baritone saxophone, Abram Rodenberg; French horns, Brendan Bergen, Julia Miller, Tim Regier and Genevieve Rucker; trumpets, Arlin Buller, Kyle Doesken, Andrew Ewy, Evan Koch and Braden Unruh; trombones, Sarah Cunningham, Andrew Thiesen, Rebecca Trumble and Aaron Tschetter; euphoniums, Sarah Evans and Asher Segard; tubas, Nate Crain, Shianne DeFreese, Brenan Erb, Jordan Eseley-Kohlman and Mark Lyles; and percussion, Riley King, Mika Patron, Renee Reimer, Micah Smith, Leah Towle and Andrew Voth.

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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