NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Jazz lovers will have two chances to hear live music at Bethel College the week of Dec. 2.
The Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble, an auditioned high school honors group based at Bethel, will give a joint concert with Bethel College Jazz Combo I, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center.
Bethel Jazz Ensembles I and II will play Dec. 6 at 8 p.m., also in Krehbiel Auditorium, for the annual Christmas Gala Jazz concert.
Both concerts are free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support jazz study and performance at Bethel.
The Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble program will be “Blues du Jour” by John Fedchock; “Jada,” arranged by Oliver Nelson; “A Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Paparelli, arranged by Sammy Nestico; and “Sidewinder” by Lee Morgan, arranged by Mark Taylor.
Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble personnel are: alto saxophones, Neil Smucker (Newton High School) and Rayshaad Cunningham (Wichita Southeast High School); tenor saxophones, Zane Richter (McPherson High School) and Gus Williams (Hesston High School); baritone saxophone, Jesus Martinez (Newton); trombones, Brendan Whalen (Wichita East High School) and Trevor Turla (Eisenhower High School, Goddard); trumpets, Jacob Carl (Circle High School, Towanda), Caleb Zook (Newton), Connor Born (Newton) and Isaac Penner (Hesston); drums, Vaughn Craddock (Wichita Collegiate High School) and Jonathan Shirley (Wichita Southeast); bass, Deion Burton (Wichita Southeast); and guitar, Ben Peyton (Newton).
Bethel College Jazz Combo I’s set list is “Cedar’s Blues” by Cedar Walton; “A La Mode” by Curtis Fuller; “Self-Portrait in Three Colors” by Charles Mingus; and “Wheel Within a Wheel” by Bobby Watson.
Jazz Combo I personnel are Evan Koch, senior from Colorado Springs, Colo., trumpet; Joel Boettger, senior from Hesston, tenor saxophone; Paul Voran, senior from Newton, alto saxophone; Adam Voth, junior from Goddard, drums; Landon Bartel, bass; and Ian Gingrich-Gaylord, piano.
A reception will follow the Dec. 3 concert.
Joel Linscheid is finishing his first semester directing Bethel College jazz groups as well as the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble. Linscheid has a two-year assignment while James Pisano is on leave for Ph.D. studies.
“I’m very excited to be directing the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble,” Linscheid said. “I was a member of this group when I was in high school, so it’s fun to be involved with it again.
“The group is made up of some of the top young jazz musicians in the area and this gives them an important opportunity to meet and make music with others like them. They are playing at a very high level and I’ve enjoyed the chance to work with them.
“There are a lot of strong soloists in this group, so I’ve made sure there are plenty of opportunities for them to be featured in the concert. I think the community will really enjoy hearing these talented young musicians play.”