Lawrence Children’s Choir will take the stage at Hesston

Mennonite Church for a 3 p.m. concert June 6. The concert is the final

event in the 2009-10 season.

Lawrence Children’s Choir will take the stage at Hesston
Mennonite Church for a 3 p.m. concert June 6. The concert is the final
event in the 2009-10 season.

After 19 years of touring to places such as New York, Los Angeles,
Germany and Lithuania, the world-renowned Lawrence Children’s Choir is
set to embark on its most remarkable location yet — their home state.
“It thrills me,” said LCC artistic director Janeal Krehbiel, who hails
from Newton. “I think we often forget about the importance of this
beautiful state, with (its) prairies and hills, its unique and
picturesque places. I’m happy to put our hard-earned tour money into
the Kansas economy, and especially excited to share our repertoire
with our fellow Kansans who appreciate the arts, while spreading the
joy of music-making.”

Other concerts in LCC’s Kansas tour include events at the state
capitol’s rotunda, the Hoover Opera House in Junction City, Victoria’s
St. Fidelis Catholic Church (“the Cathedral of the Plains) and
Beloit’s St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

“We planned our tour around some of the beautiful and historic places
of Kansas, so our students would learn about their state’s rich
heritage – from cowboy singers and Home on the Range, to the immigrant
songs of our ancestors who made Kansas the ‘breadbasket of the world,’
and the quiet beauty of the Flint Hills — there’s much to appreciate
about our state,” said Executive Director Jane Roesner Graves, a
sixth-generation Kansan originally from Salina.

“It’s a way to give back to Kansas  both through music and tourism
dollars,” Krehbiel said. “As we kick off our 20th anniversary season
and celebrate Kansas’ 150th anniversary, we thought it would be a
wonderful way to thank our home state for supporting us through the
years. We’ve received international recognition as being one of the
top children’s choirs in the United States, so we’re invited to
perform at many festivals and events. With this economy, however, we
wanted our tour dollars to stay in Kansas, and, of course, the tour
will be an exciting learning opportunity for our singers.”

The program features American masterpieces, folk songs,
African-American spirituals and arrangements by Kansans. The Newton
Community Children’s Choir will join LCC to perform a new arrangement
of  “Over the Rainbow” by Paul Epp. Epp grew up in Lawrence, is an
alumnus of LCC and is a composer serving as adjunct faculty at
Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn. The Newton choir also
will join LCC in the singing of “Here’s To Song” by MacGillivray/arr.

“This is a real honor for the Newton Community Children’s Choir to be
collaborating with the LCC in this way,” said Brenda Bartel, NCCC
director. “The exposure to a large, experienced and renowned choir
will, no doubt, inspire and encourage the singers of NCCC. Singing
under the directorship of Janeal Krehbiel will also be an exceptional,
educational and delightful experience.”

Tickets for the Hesston concert range from $12 to $15 with discounts
available for students and senior citizens. For more information or to
purchase tickets, call (620) 327-8158 (Hesston College) or 284-5205
(Bethel College), e-mail or purchase online at

The Lawrence Children’s Choir is a not-for-profit organization that
offers children vocal music education through its five choirs: the
Tour Choir, for students in fifth through ninth grades; Choristers,
for students in third through sixth grades; Cadenza, for students in
first through third grades; Capo, for children in preschool through
kindergarten and an accompanying caregiver; and a Senior Choir for
residents at a local retirement home. The combined choirs include 200
students from 20 schools in 10 communities of northeast Kansas.
This program is presented, in part, by the Kansas Arts Commission, a
state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal
agency, which believes a great nation deserves great art, and is
supported by Mid-America Arts Alliance with underwriting by the
National Endowment for the Arts, the Kansas Arts Commission and
foundations, corporations and individuals in Arkansas, Kansas,
Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series started in 1982 as Hesston
Performing Arts with funding and planning provided by Hesston College
and the Hesston community. In 1998, HPA planners launched a
partnership with Bethel College, and the series name changed to
Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts. Hesston College and Bethel College
host five performances by world-renowned or regionally acclaimed
artists each year.