For their first performance of the school year, Timothy Shade and the Bethel College Wind Ensemble joined Bethel elementary education, theater and forensics students to perform Aesop’s Fables, a 1999 composition with narration by Scott Watson that incorporates four of the ancient moralist’s fables: The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf!’, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Dog and the Bone and The Wolf and His Shadow.
The concert, which took place Sept. 23, was done in conjunction with the Bethel College Women’s Association as well and was an interactive event aimed at children age 3 through Grade 4.
Theater and forensics students read and acted out the fables; the Wind Ensemble played music to evoke them; and teacher education students and BCWA led children, parents and grandparents in special activities to go with each fable.
The Wind Ensemble’s next performance was Oct. 16. Also on the program were the Goessel High School Wind Ensemble, directed by Rob Tierney, and the McPherson Brass Ensemble, a community group that Jerry Toews ’66, founded and directs.
The final piece on the program was John Mackey’s
Undertow, done by the Bethel and Goessel Wind Ensembles. Shade had the players sit intermixed by section rather than in their separate groups,
to give them the feel of a large wind ensemble, he said.
On Oct. 23, Shade led the Bethel College Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria, with a mass choir comprising the Bethel College Men’s Ensemble and Women’s Chorus and the three Buhler High School choirs (all directed by Greg Bontrager ’88), along with four soloists from the Bethel College Concert Choir.
Gloria was the final piece of the evening. In the first half of the concert, Bontrager’s choirs, the Men’s Ensemble, the Women’s Chorus and the Concert Choir each sang several numbers.
Finally, the jazz concert Nov. 8 followed what has become a Bethel tradition in recent years, with performances by both Bethel College Jazz Ensemble I and the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble. The latter is an auditioned honors group, with players from Andover, Hesston, McPherson, Newton and Wichita East high schools. James Pisano directs both.