With the school year in full gear, all of the musical ensembles here on campus are presenting their first concerts of the year. This is a really exciting time for all of the ensembles because it’s the first time we get to show off our new members as well as feature upperclassmen that are stepping up to the plate and leading both sections and the ensembles themselves.
The Wind Ensemble, in which I play the oboe, kicked off the concert season with their first concert “From the Stage to the Screen,” which featured both classic wind ensemble repetoire, like Molly on the Shore by Percy Grainger, and famous movie music, like the music John Williams wrote for Harry Potter and Star Wars. It was a fun concert and it even featured the Concert Choir, Bethel’s mixed choir which anyone and everyone can audition for, singing Morten Laurdison’s O Magnum Mysterium. This concert was a lot of fun and the audience was one of the biggest I’ve seen in my short tenure here at Bethel.
Of course the beginning of the year can be the easiest and the most stressful time of the year. You start every class by going over syllabuses, the easiest thing ever. But when you start your first tests and quizzes you realize that school has really begun.
Luckily, classes don’t stress me out too much (the hardest part for me is reading a chapter every night out of textbooks.) It gets a little tricky when you throw a sport into the mix.
Don’t get me wrong I love basketball and being a part of the team. I’m so glad I decided to play once I got to college. It keeps me in shape, you always know you will always have friends because a team is the best place to start meeting people, you never have to sit alone at lunch, I get to keep doing what I love and have fun. But when it comes to the time part, it takes up a lot of time.
The thunder and lightning gave voice to the night, the little lame child cried aloud in her freight. Hush, little baby, a story I’ll tell of a love that has vanquished the powers of hell. Alleluia, the Great Storm is over, left up your wings and fly.
The rich melody swept over me as a hundred voices raised together in union sang these words. One of the richest musical experiences is singing with a group this size, united with a common goal—to praise and sing the theology that shapes us. This past Wednesday was the fall hymn sing chapel. A favorite of many on campus, it was wonderful to sing with this group of students, faculty, and staff.
Wow! It seems like we have been back at school forever and it’s only been a month. Most classes have had their first exams and musical concerts are just over the horizon. The freshmen have started to look a lot less like lost puppies. My modmates and I finally finished decorating our lounge and it looks spectacular.
We have four double rooms and one single room with a shared lounge. It’s a lot cozier than my hall last year, but it’s with people that I love and who I’m ok with running into early in the morning. We also love the mods around us. Some mods tend to emit unwanted things like loud noises and undesirable smells, but we’re pretty happy with our neighbors.
There are few classes that are required of every student at Bethel College, and only one that is required for every student, every semester that they attend Bethel. Convocation occurs at 11 am on Mondays and Fridays. There are 28 scheduled convocations, of which a student must attend 16.Convocation topics vary widely. Favorites of students include the study abroad convocations, during which students who have spent a summer or semester abroad report on their experiences; talent show convocations featuring singing, dancing, or instrumental music; and the Messiah Sing convocation, when students get together and sing Handel’s Messiah at the Bethel College Mennonite Church.
This semester, two very interesting convos occurred back-to-back. Last Friday was the study abroad convocation. This past year, almost a dozen students studied in almost as many countries – Germany, Turkey, Israel, Ecuador, Spain, Australia, Guatemala, Greece, and India among them. The students spoke for about five minutes apiece on their experiences, sharing photographs, stories, and a unilateral exhortation to study abroad.
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