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Concert Choir returns to spring tour after the pandemic break

The Bethel College Concert Choir embarks on its first spring break tour since 2019, singing at venues in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri, March 3-9, with an on-campus concert Sunday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Mem Hall.

Rather than a “house concert” at the end of the tour, the February 26th concert is a farewell for the March 3rd start of the tour. (Please note this is different from some previously printed calendars).

Salute and all other concerts are free and open to the public, with voluntary offerings taken in some locations.

The first stop will be at Emporia (Kan.) High School on March 3, followed by a concert at 7:00 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Mo. (11 E. 40th St.).

The choir will travel to Des Moines the next morning, March 4, where they will hold a clinic with composer Eric Barnum at Drake University. Barnum wrote two of the songs on this year’s tour schedule.

They will sing a concert at 7:00 pm in Iowa City at First United Methodist Church (214 E. Jefferson St.).

The choir will join the 10:30 a.m. worship service at FUMC on March 5 before traveling to Parnell, Iowa for a 7:00 p.m. concert at West Union Mennonite Church (3253 350th St.).

They will sing an informal concert at 11:30 on March 6 at the Field Museum in Chicago and a concert at 7:00 pm at TBD.

On March 7, the choir will give another performance in the Chicago area at the Resurrection Lutheran Church (3309 N. Seminary Ave., Chicago).

They will have an afternoon and evening, including attending the To Kill a Mockingbird show, in St. Louis on March 8, before returning to North Newton, with a possible concert en route yet to be determined.

The 42-voice choir is directed by Henry S. Waters, DMA, in his first year as an associate professor of music and director of choral music at Bethel.

The tour schedule includes selections from the full choir and three smaller, a capella ensembles including members of the Concert Choir: Chamber Singers (four voices, 15 voices), Open Road (tenor/bass, 10 voices), and Woven (soprano / alto, 8 voices).

Touring choir members are: Phillip Balzer, Freeman, SD; Emily Brandt, Newton; Peter Buller, Inman, Kan.; Miguel Molina Chavez, Newton; Sophia Chinandamo, Lawrence, Kan.; Shayla Dao, Salina, Kan.; Isabela Diaz, Oklahoma City; Angelika Donaldson, Highland, Illinois; Tristan England, Pretty Prairie, Kan.; Caleb Garber, Newton; Trae Gehring, The Beautiful Prairie; Schyler Entz, Newton; Josie Epp, Marion, SD; Eddie Gaeddert, Goessel, Kan.; Rachel Geyer, Oxford, Iowa; Sophie Girtz, Valley Center, Kan.; Andrew Graber, Divide, Colo.; Angelo Hernandez, free man; Kendall Hiebert, Goessel; Hayden Honomichl, Great Bend, Kan.; Daniel Kaufman, Moundridge, Kan.; Halle Krehbiel, Hesston, Kan.; Claira Janssen, Beatrice, Neb.; Stephany Mayer, Goessel; Edel Miller, Gossel; April Powls, Garnett, Kan.; Bethany Regehr, Whitewater, Kan.; Eli Regier, Newton; Benjamin Rudeen, Osage City, Kan.; Seth Rudeen, Osage City; Elizabeth Schmucker, Goessel; Jacob Schrag, Gossel; Julianna Schrag, Gossel; Timothy Schrag, Gossel; Chris Strecker, Gossel; Isaac Tice, Buhler, Kan; Corbin Unruh, Moundridge; Gabriel Villegas, Wichita; Zachariah Watson, Independence, Missouri; Allison Weaver, Hesston; Bryce Wilson, Sterling, Kan.; and Dylan Yoder, Wichita.

The repertoire of the tour is based on the theme “Can We Sing the Darkness to Light?” and features secular and sacred music with composers and arrangers that include Eric Barnum, Shawn Kirchner, Susan LaBarr, Dolly Parton, Jake Runestad, The Wailin Jennys and Eric Whitacre, among others.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks #14 on Washington Monthly’s list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #24 on US News & World Report’s list of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest,” both for 2022 -23. Bethel is the only college or university in Kansas to be named the University’s Center for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT). For more information, visit www.bethelks.edu

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