The Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra is getting ready for a big date next February.

The road to playing  at the Kansas Music Educators Association annual meeting next year begins this weekend — their first concert of the season 3 p.m. Oct. 8 at in Memorial Hall on the Bethel campus.

The concert is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken during the concert.

Horn player Becca Schrag, junior from Newton, said the concert has a “wonderful repertoire” of songs lined up.

According to Schrag, even though the orchestra may lack the numbers it has had in years past, the musicians have the talent and work ethic to more than make up for it.

“While the orchestra is fairly small this year, we have a lot of hard-working individuals that make it a successful and rewarding experience,” she said. “I would encourage everyone to come out to the concert to support their peers and community members and to enjoy some good music.”

Philharmonia conductor Adam V. Fontana, Bethel director of instrumental music, said this concert is one of the building blocks in the orchestra’s preparation for KMEA.

“This concert is the first step in our progression towards that performance,” he said.

The program will feature three pieces  Fontana calls “three classic works for orchestra.”

Featured Sunday will be “Overture to Der Freischutz” by Carl Maria von Weber, “Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy and Karelia Suite by Jean Sibelius.

He believes the three go well together, adding, “They give three different perspectives on composition.”

Of “Overture to Der Freischutz” by Carl Maria von Weber, Fontana said, “[It] is easily his most famous and most performed work. Weber was a German Romantic composer, and this piece defines that kind of style.”

The second work, “Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy, Fontana described as “lush, beautiful and reminiscent of Monet and other Impressionist artists.”

The final work, Karelia Suite by Jean Sibelius, “gives the perspective of Northern European composition, and it is rooted in the folk tradition,”  Fontana said.


Bethel College Philharmonia personnel are: violin, Dominique Corbeil*, Emma Girton, Wichita, Julian Gonzalez-Salamanaca, Nancy Johnson*, Madeline Nachtigal, Lawrence, Callie Ross, Overland Park, Zach Shima, Topeka, and Jason Wong; viola, Kay Buskirk* and MacKenzi Eisenbraun, Shawnee; cello, Hannah Brown, Kate Cherveny, Topeka, Jordan Schroeder, Newton, Sarah Smith, Topeka, Kate Szambecki, Diana Unruh and Chloe Wall, Goshen, Indiana; bass, Dennis Danders* and Eli Brockway, McPherson; flute, Matt Lind, Newton, and Neil Smucker, North Newton; clarinet, Juliana Drouhard, Hesston, and Kaho Yanagidaira, Newton; bassoon, Liz Lind; trumpet, Connor Born, North Newton, Alec Loganbill, Hesston, and Evan Koch, North Newton; trombone, Nate Kroeker, Augusta, Seth Larson, Wichita, and Andrew Thiesen, Newton; horn, Abby Phillips, Maple Hill, Anna Wiens, Goessel, and Becca Schrag, Newton; percussion, Shawn Bontrager, North Newton, and Charles Lenley, Kansas City, Missouri (*denotes Bethel music faculty member).