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Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts season offers eclectic lineup

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HESSTON, KAN. – The 2013-14 Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts season will again feature five varied and exciting musical performances from around the world at Hesston College and Bethel College venues.

“This year’s HBPA season features something for everyone,” said HBPA director Matt Schloneger. “We’re especially excited to be presenting the Soweto Gospel Choir for the first time since 2006 and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the world’s premiere guitar ensemble, for the first time ever. We’re also happy to be making use of Krehbiel Auditorium in Bethel College’s newly renovated Fine Arts Center for two of our concerts this season.”

The season kicks off with JazzReach featuring Metta Quintet at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21, in Krehbiel Auditorium. JazzReach is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, performance, creation and teaching of jazz music. Metta Quintet – a dynamic, nationally recognized New York-based ensemble of some of today’s brightest emerging jazz artists – is the organization’s resident ensemble that features some of its most esteemed creative artists.

The Wichita Chamber Chorale, the region’s premiere choral ensemble, will present its annual Christmas program at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, at Hesston College. The chorale, now in its 36th season and under the direction of Dr. Mark Bartel of Friends University in Wichita, is a professionally trained adult vocal ensemble that explores a wide repertoire of musical styles.

For its HBPA appearance, the chorale will be joined by the Wichita Brass Quintet and will feature Hesston Mennonite Church’s Andover tracker pipe organ.

Acclaimed Broadway singing actress and Bethel College alumna Rachel de Benedet will perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me on a Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31, in Krehbiel Auditorium. The musical is a one-woman telling of the story of an Englishwoman’s journey to “make it” in America, passing through disillusionment, betrayal and personal victory.

The world-renowned and Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, at Hesston Mennonite Church. The group is made up of four uniquely accomplished musicians who perform concerts with a repertoire ranging from bluegrass to Bach.

The season’s final performance will feature the two-time Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir at 7:30 p.m.,Friday, March 28, in Bethel College’s Memorial Hall. The choir celebrates the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music with a repertoire ranging from the traditional African gospel to Bob Dylan. They have performed on television and for world leaders and entertainers.

The Soweto Gospel Choir performance will also be the kick-off event for the month-long “Spring Into the Arts” festival in Harvey County.

HBPA season tickets are $75 to $85 for adults. Single tickets can also be purchased across price ranges for individual performances. Discounts are available for students and senior citizens.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 620-327-8158 (Hesston College) or 316-284-5205 (Bethel College), email hbpa@hesston.edu or visit the HBPA website at www.hesston.edu/hbpa.

The Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts Series, now in its 32nd year, is a collaborative effort of Hesston College and Bethel College, presenting five performances by world-renowned or regionally acclaimed artists each year. HBPA is funded in part by the cities of Hesston and North Newton, the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, Excel Industries and Hustler Turf Equipment (Hesston), the Hesston Community Foundation and area patrons.

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