HESSTON, KAN. – An array of world-class musical talent, genres and sounds will headline the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts’ (HBPA) 35th season in 2016–17.
The contemporary jazz dance ensemble Big Muddy Dance Company will open the season Nov. 11 in Krehbiel Auditorium in Bethel Colleges’ Luyken Fine Arts Center.
Founded in 2010, St. Louis-based Big Muddy Dance Company seeks to build a love of dance by providing fun, experimental and highly entertaining performances. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch named the group, which consists of 11 full-time dancers, “Best Local Dance Company” in 2013 (Readers’ Choice) and 2014 (Critics’ Choice).
HBPA will celebrate the holidays with Cantus, acclaimed by Fanfare as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States,” Dec. 3 at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus. One of only two male choruses in the country, Cantus returns to HBPA for the first time since 2003.
The highly-acclaimed Ladysmith Black Mambazo will showcase the sounds of South Africa Feb. 7 in Bethel College’s Memorial Hall. Introduced to the world through Paul Simon’s classic Graceland album in 1986, South Africa’s favorite male a cappella chorus has sold more than six million records. Mambazo won its fourth Grammy® for Best World Music Album in 2013, and earned its 16th nomination in 2015.
Described as the “hottest guitar trio in Canada,” Montréal Guitare Trio will perform March 7 in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus. Glenn Levesque, Marc Morin and Sebastien Dufour are known to charm the ears of listeners with their sense of rejuvenation and humor.
Rounding out the season will be classical music’s most dynamic new chamber group, Sybarite5, April 20 at Hesston Mennonite Church. A Sarasota Herald Tribune review said the group’s “rock star status is well deserved. Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all out passionate attack transfixes the audience…” With a repertoire ranging from Mozart to Radiohead, Sybarite5 is the first string quintet to win the Concert Artists Build International Competition.
HBPA season tickets range in price from $75 to $85 for adults. Single tickets can also be purchased for individual performances. Discounts are available for students and senior citizens.
The Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series 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, Excel Industries and Hustler Turf Equipment (Hesston), the Hesston and North Newton Community Foundations, Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Kansas Creative Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and an award from the NEA. Area businesses and patrons provide additional funding for the HBPA series.