NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – This Sunday is fall concert day for both the Bethel College Men’s Ensemble and the Bethel College Women’s Chorus.
The men sing Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel and the women will perform at 4 p.m. at Bethel College Mennonite Church. William Eash, professor of music, directs both groups. The concerts are free and open to the public.
Both groups are open enrollment, meaning there are no auditions. Both provide an open place for those who enjoy singing to spend time doing it with a group.
The Men’s Ensemble has been working hard and members feel they have a talented group of men.
“We have a good group of guys here,” said Timothy Taylor, sophomore from Pittsburg, Texas. “I think people will be impressed.”
This is Taylor’s first year singing with the ensemble.
“I was in my high school choir and was told I wasn’t bad, so I figured it was time to flex the golden pipes again,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better professor to [lead the group]. Everybody in there has a good sense of humor, so rehearsal is always fun.”
The men’s ensemble will perform mostly traditional church music in their Nov. 2 concert. Taylor says the group enjoys the songs so much the audience will easily be able to tell that during their performance.
In their upcoming concert, the Women’s Chorus will perform many pieces that deal with empowering women and a few more secular pieces. The program includes “Radiant Sister,” “Heaven Unfolding” and “When I think of you,” among other numbers.
“Women’s Chorus is a fun, stress-free time to make music with some beautiful women,” said Alli Rudeen, junior from Osage City.
“I never sang until [I came to] Bethel, so the Women’s Chorus was my first [choral] experience,” Rudeen said. “The choir will always have a special place in my heart.”
“[My favorite piece is] probably ‘Balm in Gilead,’” Rudeen said. “We sang it last year, too. It has a fun alto line and the harmonies mix so beautifully toward the end.”
The Women’s Chorus was selected to perform at the 2013 Kansas Music Educators Association annual meeting in Wichita last February. The enrollment-based group’s personnel has changed significantly since then but some members, like Rudeen, have been with the chorus for their whole time at Bethel.
“It’s a much different group than last year,” Rudeen said, “so it has been a wonderful experience getting to know some girls I would normally not have a chance to talk to. People always bring their A-game to concerts. I’m excited.”
Members of the Bethel College Men’s Ensemble are: Danny Barrera, senior from Newton, Brendan Bergen, junior from Moundridge, Ben Carlson, freshman from Hurley, S.D., Jon Elliott, freshman from Valley Center, Westin Gesell, freshman from Winnipeg, Manitoba, James Goerzen, senior from Goessel, Matthew Graber, freshman from Freeman, S.D., Josh Janzen, freshman from Aurora, Neb., Nik Krahn, senior from Mountain Lake, Minn., Luke Loganbill, junior from Moundridge, Kyle Riesen, sophomore from Beatrice, Neb., Dalton Smith, senior from Moundridge, Timothy Taylor, sophomore from Pittsburg, Texas, Joe Thompson, freshman from Haysville, Drew Trollope, freshman from Kingman, Adam Voth, junior from Wichita, and Peter Voth, sophomore from Goessel.
Members of the Bethel College Women’s Chorus are: Abigail Bechtel, sophomore from Henderson, Neb., Mareike Bergen, freshman from Moundridge, Erin Bradley, senior from Newton, Xi Cheng, freshman from Topeka, Abigail Christensen, freshman from Gardner, Makayla Epp, sophomore from Marion, S.D., Sarah Evans, senior from Colorado Springs, Colo., Olivia Gehring, sophomore from Manhattan, Tara Harms-Becker, junior from Halstead, April Harpe, senior from Memphis, Tenn., Hailey Heide, freshman from Wichita, Mikayla Hiebert, sophomore from Peabody, Samantha Jarvis, sophomore from Newton, Shelby Johnson, sophomore from Derby, Jennifer Kaufman, sophomore from Moundridge, Sarah Lugo, freshman from Wichita, Claire McStravick, sophomore from Dallas, Texas, Megan Meyer, freshman from Valley Center, Mika Patron, sophomore from North Newton, Katrina Regehr, freshman from Whitewater, Allison Rudeen, junior from Osage City, Caroline Schrag, freshman from Marion, S.D., Elizabeth Schrag, sophomore from Newton, Helen Simmons, freshman from Manhattan, Georgia Thiesen, freshman from Goessel, Lila Tibbets, sophomore from Newton, Jaime Tschetter, sophomore from Freeman, S.D., Madelyn Weaver, junior from Hesston, Amy Wedel, sophomore from Peabody, Julie Wedel, senior from Peabody, and Shelby Wilson, junior from Sedgwick.