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Concert to feature settings from Elizabethan age to 1920s theater

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Wind Ensemble will give its first concert of the spring semester March 8 at 3 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

The concert will feature the William Byrd Suite by Gordon Jacob and Kleine Dreigroschenmusik by Kurt Weill.

The concert is free, with a freewill offering taken to support music study and performance at Bethel.

Jacob is considered one of the major 20th-century British contributors to the repertoire of original works for large wind ensembles.

He composed this suite in 1923 to mark the 300-year anniversary of the death of William Byrd, the foremost composer of the Elizabethan age.

The William Byrd Suite is Jacob’s setting of six Byrd pieces he felt to be appropriate to the tonal framework of the British military band, while also portraying the harmonic charm and rhythmic vitality that characterized the English madrigal and keyboard style of Byrd’s time.

Weill was a leading composer for the stage, widely known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht, with whom he developed his most famous work, The Three-Penny Opera (1928).

In 1929, the distinguished conductor Otto Klemperer commissioned Weill to create Kleine Dreigroschenmusik, a suite for wind ensemble based on The Three-Penny Opera.

Kleine Dreigroschenmusik, with its jazz rhythms and use of “popular” instruments (for example, the saxophone), shows the composer’s unique style, probably best epitomized in Weill’s best-known tune, “The Ballad of Mack the Knife.”

Chris David Westover, director of instrumental music at Bethel, directs the Bethel College Wind Ensemble.

Personnel are: flutes, Neil Smucker, Newton, Makayla Epp, Marion, South Dakota, Koki Lane, North Newton, Kenna Graber (piccolo) and Kristin Shaffer; oboes, Jocelyn Wilkinson, Cindy Thompson and Alexandra Shoup, Newton (English horn); clarinets, Benjamin Wiens, Goessel, Jacob Anderson, Newton, Michelle Unruh (alto clarinet), Goessel, and Valerie Klaassen; bass clarinets, Paige Cooper, Hutchinson, Reece Hiebert (contra-alto clarinet), Walton, and Kaitlyn Scribner, Delia; bassoons, Elizabeth Schrag, Newton, and Jessie Pohl, Moundridge; saxophones, Westen Gesell (soprano and alto), Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ryan Fritz (tenor), Salina, Charles Ebeling (baritone), Hutchinson, and Tyler Gauldin; French horns, Timothy Regier, Newton, Brendan Bergen, Moundridge, Abby Phillips, Maple Hill, and Mirella Gauldin; trumpets, Braden Unruh, Goessel, Andrew Ewy, Parlier, California, Arlin Buller, Evan Koch and Conner Born; trombones, Andrew Thiesen, Newton, Issei Tsuji, Chiba, Japan, Benjamin Abel, Paola, Seth Larson, Wichita, and Joshua Janzen, Aurora, Nebraska; euphonium, Billie Selichnow, Wichita; tubas, Ben Carlson, Hurley, South Dakota, Shianne Defreese, Goessel, and Mark Lyles; percussion, Adam Voth, Derby, Riley King, Lawrence, Matthew Graber, Freeman, South Dakota, Leah Towle, Lawrence, and Kimberly Trujillo.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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