by Erin Bradley
NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Wind Ensemble’s final concert of the fall semester will be its “big” one.
The performance, which caps an afternoon and evening of music at Bethel College, takes place at 7 p.m., Nov. 4, in Krehbiel Auditorium. It is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support music education and performance at Bethel.
Earlier in the day, the Bethel College Men’s Ensemble and Women’s Chorus will present their fall concerts, at 2 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel and at 4 p.m. in the Bethel College Mennonite Church sanctuary, respectively.
The Wind Ensemble has been adding to its repertoire all fall. On Nov. 4, the group will play a concert filled with pieces from the children’s concert in September and the collaborative concert with Goessel High School band and the McPherson Brass earlier this month.
“This is the Wind Ensemble’s big concert this semester,” said Timothy Shade, director. “The other two [were] collaborative events, so I wanted us to culminate with a fairly large concert. We are playing a varied array of old and new.”
The Nov. 4 concert will include “Mangulina” by Paul Basler, “An American Elegy” and “Wild Nights” by Frank Ticheli, “Slava!” by Leonard Bernstein, “Undertow” by John Mackey and Symphony No. 6 by Vincent Persichetti.
“It will be about 60 minutes of music for the ensemble, which is sort of a big push for them,” Shade said. “They have never played a concert that long without the assistance of community members or pros, like we did at the Masterworks concert last year.”
Shade, who says he tends to lean towards newer compositions, wants this concert to honor both “old” (classics) and more modern music.
“I tend to love the new stuff and that’s what I program a lot,” he said. “But the addition of ‘Slava!’ and the Persichetti symphony gives it a nice sort of difference. Listeners’ ears are going to get different timbres – a lot of bright sounds from the newer music, with lots of different colors.”
One of the newer pieces that really speaks to him, Shade said, is Ticheli’s “American Elegy.” This memorial piece, written after the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado in 1999, has been something Shade has wanted to direct for a long time. In light of more recent events, he said, it felt like it was a good time to put this piece into the Wind Ensemble’s repertoire.
“Memorial pieces are important for me because I can instantly attach an emotional response,” Shade said. “That’s what we are trying to achieve. I think sometimes music for music’s sake, as much as I love it because I am a musician, doesn’t ring true as much with the audience.
“With what happened in Colorado this summer [when movie-goers were shot in Aurora, Colo.],” Shade added, “it made sense to me to do this piece now. When I told the students about that, they were totally on board, still sort of dealing with grief also in the past year [from the death of a student in summer 2011]. It has some overtones of that and [also a way to] move on.
“[Ticheli] even says in the score that it’s about expression of joy and getting over this terrible tragedy and moving forward into life. So it’s a wonderful piece in regards to that. It’s a good memorial but at the same time builds a lot of hope.
“I always like to do slow music,” Shade added. “The students know slow music is some of my favorite stuff. I am very cautious and think a lot about what the slow piece is going to be. It made sense to do this one in this Wind Ensemble concert.”
The concert will also showcase two student conductors: Andrew Voth, senior from Topeka, on “Mangulina” and Joel Boettger, senior from Hesston, on “Slava!”
“It gives them a nice opportunity to work with the Wind Ensemble and show some of the stuff they have been learning with conducting,” Shade said.
Bethel College Wind Ensemble personnel are: piccolo, Georgia Thiesen; flutes, Keari Bennett, sophomore from Sharon, Erin Engle, junior from Salem, Ore., Makayla Epp, freshman from Marion. S.D., Olivia Gehring, freshman from Manhattan, Emily Harder, junior from Newton, Emily Schmidt, Rachel Tamerius, junior from Wichita, Amy Wedel, freshman from Peabody, and Julie Wedel, junior from Peabody; oboes, Megan Leary, junior from North Newton, and Karina Ortman, sophomore from Marion, S.D.; clarinets, Boettger, Bryce Hostetler, freshman from Dodge City, Valerie Klaassen, Audra Miller, senior from Hesston, Natasha Orpin, senior from Canton, and Melinda Schroeder; bass clarinets, Samantha Jarvis, freshmen from Newton, and Michelle Unruh, sophomore from Goessel; bassoon, Abigail Bechtel, freshman from Henderson, Neb., Jessie Pohl, sophomore from Moundridge, and Elizabeth Schrag, freshman from Newton; soprano saxophone, Paul Voran, senior from Newton; alto saxophones, Michelle Kaufman, junior from Moundridge, Carl Lehmann, junior from Marion, S.D., Emily Simpson, sophomore from Gobles Mich., and Voran; tenor saxophones, Daniel Barrera, junior from Newton, and Andrew Unruh, senior from Valley Center; baritone saxophone, Abram Rodenberg, senior from Halstead; French horns, Brendan Bergen, sophomore from Moundridge, Julia Miller, senior from Hesston, Tim Regier, freshman from Newton, and Genevieve Rucker, senior from Lawrence; trumpets, Arlin Buller, Kyle Doesken, senior from Derby, Andrew Ewy, freshman from Parlier, Calif., Evan Koch, junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., and Braden Unruh, freshman from Goessel; trombones, Sarah Cunningham, sophomore from Oskaloosa, Andrew Thiesen, Rebecca Trumble, junior from Newton, and Aaron Tschetter, junior from Freeman, S.D.; euphoniums, Sarah Evans, junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., and Asher Segard; tubas, Nate Crain, Shianne DeFreese, freshman from Goessel, Brenan Erb, freshman from Henderson, Neb., Jordan Esely-Kohlman, senior from Seneca, and Mark Lyles; percussion, Riley King, junior from Lawrence, Mika Patron, freshman from North Newton, Renee Reimer, senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., Micah Smith, junior from Topeka, Leah Towle, freshman from Lawrence, and Voth.
Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the 2012-13 Forbes.com analysis of premier colleges and universities in the United States and ranks in the top five “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2012-13. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.