Hesston Bel Canto finds way to host spring tour

Chad Frey
The Kansan

It's time for something new, according to Dr. Russell Adrian, director of choral activities at Hesston College. And for the Bel Canto choir, that something new is taking the traditional spring tour — a tour that was cancelled a year ago due to Pandemic COVID-19. 

Hesston College’s Bel Canto Singers will present “Lift Every Voice” as an outdoor music program at churches across Kansas and the Upper Midwest

Spring is also a good time to be outside — and that is where the choir will perform during its proposed nine-stop tour.  All performances will be held outdoors and concert attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs for socially distanced seating. The concert will be broadcasted over FM radio for those choosing drive-in parking. 

“Spring is a season of renewal,”  Adrian said “Bel Canto has spent an entire school year giving virtual and on-campus concerts. With increasing vaccination rates and easing restrictions, we hope to bring a message of new life, resilience and reflection. These concerts will provide a space for communities to celebrate together safely. We look forward to sharing our music with new audiences.”

In its 37th season the Bel Canto Singers are Hesston College’s top choir.

The choir will perform a program titled “Lift Every Voice” at locations across Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. The concerts will feature choral numbers as well as special music by soloists and small groups.

As the tour starts, the choir will use the Hesston College campus as a "home base" and perform a series of "run-out performances" to regional communities — mostly in Kansas. The choir will, mid-tour,  move home base to Swan Lake Christian Camp in Viborg, South Dakota in order to extend its tour reach to communities in neighboring states — focused on the states choir members come from. 

Up-to-date concert information—including locations—can be found at www.hesston.edu/everyvoice. The itinerary and host churches are:

Friday, April 30, 7 pm – Hesston College Mullet Drive, Hesston, Kan.

Monday, May 3, 7 pm – Dyck Arboretum of the Plains with Marie Engle, Hesston, Kan.

Tuesday, May 4, 7 pm – First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, Kan.

Thursday, May 6, 7 pm – Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church, Harper, Kan.

Friday, May 7, 7 pm – Heartland Community High School, Henderson, Neb.

Sunday, May 9, 4 pm – Salem-Zion Mennonite Church, Freeman S.D.

Monday, May 10, 7 pm – Bethel Mennonite Church, Mountain Lake, Minn.

Thursday, May 13, 7 pm – Banman Residence, 8538 Mette Street, Lenexa, Kan.

Friday, May 14, 7 pm – Tabor Mennonite Church, Goessel, Kan.