Open Road began in the 2000–2001 academic year as a group of college men who came together twice a week to sing. Since that time, the group has established an active concert schedule that serves both Bethel College and the surrounding community. All members of Open Road are active singers in the Bethel College Concert Choir and their music is often featured during the annual Concert Choir tour.
In addition to local church concerts, Open Road performs at a variety of Bethel College events, has been featured with the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus in 2009 and 2011 and at the Mennonite National Convention in Charlotte, NC in 2005 and San Jose, CA in 2007. They complete each concert year with a home performance at Bethel College in Memorial Hall. In addition, they have also been featured at the annual convention of the Kansas Music Educators.
The name, Open Road, comes from the original ensemble members and they relate this story:
We were singing at a church service on a Sunday morning when a homeless man came into the service. He was receiving aid from the church. We listened to the man’s story and discovered that he had no name; he went by the alias of
Open Road. Because we were moved by his testimony and his evident joy of life, despite his suffering and disappointment, we decided to honor him by assuming his name, Open Road. That story and his image have stayed with us ever since that experience.
Open Road is appreciative of their supportive audiences and they strive for excellence through their dedication to singing the best in men’s chorus literature and through their commitment to each other. Through these goals, they hope to keep alive their love of music that is found in male a cappella singing.