LINDSBORG – The 52-voice auditioned Bethany College Choir, Dr. Mark Lucas, Director, will join together with the Bethany Handbell Ensemble, Professor Hentus Van Rooyen, Director, and the Bethany Chamber Ensemble to present a special concert at Bethany Lutheran Church in Lindsborg, Kansas at 7:30 p.m. on April 4.  The performance is free and open to the public.

The three ensembles recently returned from a 5-day tour with performances in Ulysses, Norton, Colorado Springs, Aurora,  and Longmont, Colorado. The performance on April 4 will be the home version of the concerts they presented on their tour.

Highlights of the program include the Handbell Ensemble playing Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” and the choir singing selections from Faure’s “Requiem” as well as Ralph Manuel’s “Alleluia,” “Praise to the Lord” arr. by F. Melius Christiansen.  The Bethany Chamber Ensemble will present French secular songs, including two of Debussy’s “Trois Chansons.”

“The Bethany College Choir has really hit its stride and is performing at a very high level.” said Lucas.  “We are looking forward to performing at Bethany Lutheran Church.  It should provide for an intimate setting for our ensembles.”

The Bethany College Choir, celebrates its 84th anniversary this academic year. Since its founding by Hagbard Brase in 1935, the choir has performed over 700 concerts across the United States and Europe, including a recent tour to Germany and Sweden where they were honored to sing as part of services at Martin Luther’s church in Wittenburg, Germany and the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where J.S. Bach spent most of his career. The choir is an integral part of the Messiah Festival of the Arts held each spring during Holy Week. This year marks the 138th consecutive year in which the Bethany Choir and Bethany Oratorio Society Chorus and Orchestra have presented Handel’s Messiah on Easter. Since 1929 the same ensembles have presented Bach’s Passion According to St. Matthew each Good Friday. More information on the festival may be found at www.messiahfestival.com. 

The Bethany College Handbell Ensemble is a small group open to all students. The purpose of this ensemble is to learn and perfect ringing techniques, to improve ensemble playing, to explore repertoire, and to perform for appropriate audiences. The knowledge gained from this class will help to prepare students to serve as handbell directors and ringers in their community.