As the school year winds to a close at Bethel College, that means it’s time for concerts by the two small a cappella ensembles.

The men’s a cappella group at Bethel College, Open Road, will give their traditional end-of-year concert this weekend at 7 p.m. May 14 in Memorial Hall, and is free and open to the public. The women’s a cappella group, Woven, will give its concert at 7 p.m .May 15 in Memorial Hall (this year following, rather than preceding, the Open Road concert on May 14). The concert is free and open to the public.

As the lone senior in Woven this year, Mareike Bergen of Moundridgehas seen the faces change, but year in and year out, the one constant has been the strong bonds formed between group members.

According to Bergen, the most rewarding part of being in Woven has been the interactions that occur within the group.

“The thing I enjoy most about Woven is the people in it,” she says.

She also loves the impact their music has on audiences.

She continues, “I love looking into the crowds at performances, and seeing people being really touched by our music.”

Over the time that Bergen has been involved in Woven, the strong friendships forged are what she will miss most, she says.

She adds, “Another aspect of the group that I will miss are the moments when we are struggling with a song and then it finally clicks.”

The women of Woven love to have fun together, and they also work hard at their craft.

“We have the common goal of creating beautiful music for all to hear,” Bergen says.

As one of two seniors in Open Road, Chase Stucky of Moundridge  has een part of the group throughout his four years at Bethel. He said he values the relationships built within the group. 

“There is definitely a special kind of bond that gets formed between group members that is hard to reproduce outside it,” he said.

Open Road has been practicing twice a week, often late into the night since group members’ busy schedules leave few other options, for the final concert.

All sing in the Bethel College Concert Choir and most play with one or more Bethel instrumental groups, in addition to class work, student government, sports and other responsibilities.

“My favorite part of Open Road has been the rehearsals we have twice a week," Stucky said. "It’s a phenomenal time where you can make beautiful music with some great guys. We laugh, joke and enjoy each other’s company.”

Open Road’s May 14 program will include a mix of sacred and secular numbers, such as “View that Holy City,” arranged by Keith Lancaster; “Danny Boy,” arranged by Jameson Marvin; “We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace,” arranged by Ronald Burrichter; “Seeing Nellie Home,” arranged by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker; “Deep River,” arranged by H. T. Burleigh; “MLK,” arranged by Bob Chilcott; “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli; and “Mennonite Game” by Bethel graduate Andy Shelly of Lenexa.

Woven’s May 15 program will include a mix of sacred and secular music.

Members of Open Road include Members are Matt Graber, Freeman, South Dakota, Chase Stucky, Moundridge, Tyler Shima, Topeka, Austin Regier, Newton, Randall Schmidt, Lawrence, Nick Preheim, Peabody, Alec Loganbill, Hesston, Nate Kroeker, Augusta, and Dominick Geddert, Fresno, California. Members of Woven include Mareike Bergen, Moundridge, DrewAnne Gatlin, Broadus, Montana, Stephanie Brown, Newton, Kylee Schunn, Whitewater, Emily Knight, Moundridge, Michelle Schrag, Moundridge, Rebecca Schrag, Newton, Kaci Wilson, Sterling, and Polly Carlson, Hurley, South Dakota.