NORTH NEWTON – The Bethel College Concert Choir’s annual spring break tour took it to Mennonite churches in New Mexico, Arizona, central and northern California and south-central Kansas.
But you can hear the concert here, as the choir will perform at 7 p.m. March 24 in Bethel’s Memorial Hall. TThe concert is free and open to the public.
The tour repertoire is mostly sacred music, including, among others, several spirituals and traditional American hymns (arrangers include Moses Hogan, Stacey V. Gibbs, James E. Clemens and Norman Luboff), as well as “Stars” (text of a poem by Sara Teasdale) and “Let My Love Be Heard” (text from a poem by Alfred Noyes) with music by contemporary composers Erik Esenvalds and Jake Runestad, respectively.
The first tour stop was in Albuquerque, where the choir sang in the morning worship service for Albuquerque Mennonite Church.
That will be followed by two evening concerts in central and northern California: at First Mennonite Church, Reedley, and at First Mennonite Church of San Francisco.
After a free day in San Francisco, the group traveled to Phoenix for an evening concert at First Mennonite Church.
They also had a free day in Phoenix before returning to Kansas. They will sing the morning worship service at Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church in Harper March 24 before returning to North Newton.
The 54-voice choir is under the direction of William Eash, D.M.A., Bethel College director of choral activities.
Choir members who are touring are Jesse Balzer, Freeman, South Dakota; Sarah Balzer, Inman; Emma Beachy, Kalona, Iowa; Sydney Bollinger, Lawrence; Sarah Booth, Goessel; Connor Born, North Newton; Elijah Brockway, McPherson; Jacob Callison, Mount Hope; Annie Carlson, Freeman, South Dakota; Polly Carlson, Freeman, South Dakota; Carine Claassen, Whitewater; Candy Dao, Salina; Emily Epp, Freeman, South Dakota; Matthew Garber, Newton; Nathan Garber, Newton; Trae Gehring, Newton; Madison Hofer-Holdeman, Wichita; Jerod Kaufman, Moundridge; Emily Knight, Moundridge; Adam Kroeker, Augusta; Nathan Kroeker, Augusta; Noah Larson, Wichita; Alec Loganbill, Hesston; Anna Lubbers, Peabody; Lauren Nehrbass, Parsons; Bethany Powls, Garnett; Nicholas Preheim, Peabody; Addie Regier, Newton; Connick Roe, Kingman; Callie Ross, Overland Park; Madison Roth, Chapman; Randall Schmidt, Lawrence; Michelle Schrag, Moundridge; Rebecca Schrag, Newton; Tara Schwartz, Pretty Prairie; Zachary Shima, Topeka; Garrett Smith, Moundridge; Sarah Smith, Topeka; Bailey Strausz, Moundridge; Luke Unruh, Goessel; Chloe Wall, Goshen, Indianna; Kendrick Weaver, Hesston; Anna Wiens, Goessel; Kaci Wilson, Sterling; Kaho Yanagidaira, Nagano, Japan; and Jayce Yoder, Topeka.