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Concert Choir to perform for national choir directors group

The Bethel College Concert Choir is no stranger to statewide choral showcases in the form of the Kansas Music Educators Association annual meeting. This year, the choir has stepped up a notch.

The 60-voice choir, under the direction of William Eash, will perform March 21 in Little Rock, Ark., for the Southwestern Division convention of the American Choral Directors Association.

Bethel’s was one of 18 choirs selected to perform at the convention and one of five traditional college choirs. This year, there will be five college choirs representing a student population ranging from 1,500-3,200 students and one choir representing a campus of 18,000.

“There is one collegiate jazz choir,” Eash said, “and the remainder are high school choirs, community choirs, women’s choirs and men’s choirs.”

ACDA is the umbrella organization for all choir directors across the country. The SWACDA territory includes Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

“ACDA member directors cover all aspects of the choral spectrum, from elementary school, middle school, high school and college to community and church music,” Eash said. “Each year, the organization gathers to hear the most recent research on singing, discover new music, listen to choirs and network with other choral directors. In preparation for these events, any choir director who is a member of ACDA may submit recordings to audition their choir for the performance aspect of the convention.”

The auditions are blind auditions -- selected professionals from within ACDA listen to unlabeled CDs.

“You are required to submit a recording that contains one selection from each of the previous three years of choral singing,” Eash said. “This ensures that there is a record of excellence in the choral program.”

Learn more on Bethel’s website.

Bethel to host gathering at MEDA convention

Bethel alumni and friends are invited to join President Perry White, Dalene White and Director of Alumni Relations Dave Linscheid ’75, North Newton, at a gathering during the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) annual convention Friday, Nov. 8, in Wichita.

The come-and-go reception is scheduled from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Maple Room # 205 on the Century II second-level promenade. Alumni and friends in the geographic area, as well as those attending the convention, are welcome to attend.

Those registered for MEDA’s 60th-anniversary celebration dinner at 6:30 p.m. will be able to hear the Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I. The Nov. 7-10 convention is at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and adjoining facilities. The theme is “Cultivating Solutions: Harvesting Hope.”

Young business alums return to Bethel to speak

During the fall semester, several recent Bethel College business graduates returned to campus to speak to the BUS 114: Introduction to Business class.

During their visit, speakers offered insight into choosing a career, finding and keeping employment, and general advice regarding how to make the most of the college experience.

Speakers included Tyler Schroeder ’10, Newton; Chris Correll ’10, Wichita; John Reimer ’12, Newton; Nakita Menefee ’11, Wichita; and Matt Hein ’09, Newton.

Wind Ensemble Concert to feature Price, Kallstrom

The Bethel College Wind Ensemble will present its second concert of the season at 3 p.m. Nov. 10 in Krehbiel Auditorium (please note the time change).

Canadian/American pianist Michelle Price will perform David Maslanka’s “2nd Piano Concerto.” Michael Kallstrom, distinguished professor of music composition at Western Kentucky University, will give a premiere performance of his work “Arrival.” The concert also includes a reflection on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination and closes with the Finale of Charles Ives’ “2nd Symphony.”

The concert is free, and donations will be accepted.

Philharmonia Orchestra performing Nov. 18

The Bethel College Philharmonia Orchestra will present a program of Dvorak and Sibelius at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 in Memorial Hall.

The program includes Dvorak’s “8th Symphony” and Sibelius’ “Karelia Suite.” The BC Philharmonia consists of Bethel students, Newton community members and Bethel College faculty members. The orchestra was founded a year ago.

The BC Philharmonia Orchestra is conducted by Chris David Westover, a new faculty member and director of instrumental music at Bethel College. He comes to Bethel from the University of Oklahoma, where he conducted the OU Civic Orchestra, OU Opera Theatre and the OU Symphony Orchestra.

Jensen chosen as NAMI member of the year

Bethel College psychology major Laura Jensen, a junior from Everest, was honored at the recent NAMI of Kansas Annual Convention Oct. 19 at Fort Hays State University as NAMI Member of the Year for Kansas.

She was nominated by NAMI Mid-Kansas, which sponsored the development of the Bethel College NAMI chapter. She was selected to receive the honor by the State NAMI Board of Kansas.

NAMI stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and is a support group for family, work associates, friends and acquaintances of those with mental illness. Laura helped to inaugurate the new Bethel College NAMI chapter, for which she has been president last year and this year.

For more information, visit Bethel’s website.

Krahn Contest moves to Bethel College

A long-running essay contest for students has undergone a remake, name change and move to Bethel College.

When the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee ended the John Horsch Mennonite History Essay Contest earlier this year, the editorial board of “Mennonite Life,” Bethel’s annual online historical journal, decided to take responsibility for the competition, with major changes.

The Historical Committee had two main reasons for its decision. One reason is essays have become only one medium that secondary, undergraduate and graduate students use to communicate the results of historical research -- it is now as common to see an exhibit, a documentary or a website.

The second reason was the prize money offered had not kept pace with inflation, making it not worthwhile to submit entries. Participation in the contest had been declining for years.

The Cornelius Krahn Mennonite Multi-Media Contest for High Schoolers, which has launched its first competition, will consider entries only from secondary-school students in the United States or Canada and will award prizes of $200, $150 and $100.

The submission deadline is April 14, 2014. Submissions must be made electronically to Mennonite-life@bethelks.edu.

For more information on submission guidelines, go to mennonitelife.bethelks.edu and click the “Krahn Contest” link at the top.

Readers to perform ‘Federal Theatre Project’

The Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program scheduled for Nov. 17 at Kauffman Museum will feature a readers theater group performing “The Federal Theatre Project: A Grand Experiment.” The program begins at 3:30 p.m. in the museum’s auditorium.

The Federal Theatre Project was one of several arts projects under the WPA (Works Progress Administration), all of which were part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s.

The readers theater piece recounts the life of Hallie Flanagan, director of the Federal Theatre Project, with a focus on the years of the FTP’s existence, 1935-1939. The writing and performance of the theater piece are inspired by FTP plays, and include projected images, music, action scenes and the “voice of the Living Newspaper,” as well as traditional reading.

Readers are: André Balzerite (Wuppertal exchange student); Julia Campfield, freshman from Wray, Colo.; Omer Galle ’59, North Newton; Zona Platt Galle ’58, North Newton; Tara Harms-Becker, a junior from Halstead; Berneil Rupp Mueller ’62, North Newton; Joshua Powell ’11, Newton; and Leah Towle, sophomore from Lawrence. Ted Mueller ’58, North Newton, will provide technical support.

The development of the readers theater program is being coordinated by Berneil Rupp Mueller, with assistance from Zona Platt Galle.

A BC ABC Book kicks off at Fall Fest

The official kickoff of “A BC ABC Book: Bethel College of Kansas in Art and Rhyme” was during Fall Fest weekend, with a launch party that

Friday night at Mojo’s in the student center and most of the books being sold.

“We had a full house at Mojo’s for the launch party on Friday evening, Oct. 4,” said Susan Bartel ’74, North Newton, one of the book planners. “The event was emceed with verve by Raylene Hinz-Penner (’70, Topeka), and the limericks were performed whimsically and seriously by a group of readers, while Rich Toevs (’80) added inventive piano improvisation using as a ‘music’ score the words of and illustrations for the limericks.”

A total of 450 books went on sale at 6 p.m. Oct. 4, and by the same time the next day, 413 had sold. As of Oct. 23, there were 16 left, but 200 more have been re-ordered. Those should be available by mid-to late November. To purchase a book, contact Margo Schrag at Thresher Bookstore -- in writing at 300 E. 27th St., North Newton, KS 67117; by telephone at 316-284-5205 (credit card orders); or by email at bookstore@bethelks.edu. Books are $20 and also can be purchased at Mojo’s at Bethel.

Profits from book sales go to the Bethel College Women’s Association; that group uses the funds for improvements at the college.

“ ‘A BC ABC Book’ has been described by readers/purchasers as ‘a wonderful and varied portrait of Bethel College’ and as ‘a gem of a book,’” said Berneil Rupp Mueller ’62, North Newton, another one of the book planners.

The book would make a great Christmas present or a present for any other celebration, said another book planner, Valerie Klaassen ’78, Whitewater.

Several pieces of the art, which were used as illustrations in the book, were sold. The artwork was displayed at Mojo’s through Oct. 28.

A second book also is available; this book contains other limericks from the BCWA limerick contest. In this compilation, “BC from A to Z,” there are about 180 limericks; the book sells for $10 and is 8 1/2 by 11 inches with a comb binding. It also can be purchased at Thresher Bookstore.

During convocation Oct. 4, Bartel and Mueller, as well as four of the book artists and four writers, discussed the book. The convocation theme that day was “creativity.”

“Susan and I told how the book came into being,” Mueller said. “The eight contributors talked about their individual creations for the book and their own ideas on creativity, and a PowerPoint presentation illustrated the theme with quotations and images.”

Worship and the Arts Symposium Nov. 16

There’s still time to register for the Worship and the Arts Symposium, which will be Nov. 16 at Bethel College.

Keynote speakers are Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University at Atlanta; and John Ferguson, Elliott and Klara Stockdahl Johnson Professor of Organ and Church Music, and cantor to the student congregation at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

Long will speak about “Re-Claiming the Christian Funeral” during the 9:30 a.m. plenary session in the Fine Arts Center, and Long and Ferguson will have a response and conversation time during the 11 a.m. plenary session. Long and Ferguson will take part in other activities that day, as well.

Ann Resnick of Wichita will be the guest artist. She will give an artist presentation from 4-4:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center on “Inconsolable,” which is her exhibit in the arts center gallery. Her recent art explores the transitory nature of life and our connections to others.

As part of the symposium, there also will be concurrent workshops from 2-2:45 p.m. and from 3-3:45 p.m. in the James A. Will Family Academic Center.

The day concludes with an evening worship service in Memorial Hall with the title “A Thousand Ages” that will include reflections by Long, congregational singing and music by Ferguson and other instrumentalists, the Bethel College Concert Choir and a mass choir made up of singers from area churches. The 7 p.m. service is xopen to everyone.

The registration fee is $50, which includes lunch and supper. For more information, call Mary Regier at 316-284-5250. The symposium is made possible by the Reimer-Boese Worship and the Arts Endowment, and Lucille Graber Estate.

For more about the symposium, visit Bethel’s website.