Music at Bethel

Bethel is a very, very musical campus. Many students are involved in at least one of the musical groups on campus or, in the case of the music majors, at least 4 groups. There’s the Concert Choir, the premiere mixed choir on campus that tours every year and goes to Europe every 4 years during interterm. For those who don’t want to audition or don’t make it in, there’s the Women’s Chorus and Men’s Ensemble. These two groups have grown substantially in the past few years. There’s even a gospel choir that was started this semester.

Instrumental groups are also quite numerous. Two jazz groups, Jazz Ensembles I and II, regularly hold concerts including at Fall Fest and during the holiday Gala celebration. Jazz Combo, made up of a few members of Jazz I, also performs regularly whether it be on campus or at venues in town.

The classical instrumental groups, Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, both had concerts in the past 3 days. The orchestra is a developing group still, but the Wind Ensemble is widely regarded as far better than one would expect from a small Mennonite college in the middle of Kansas. I’m a member of both.

Wind Ensemble and ¬†Jazz Ensemble I have both been chosen to perform at the Kansas Music Educators’ Association conference in February. This is a high honor, considering that the only two other college wind ensembles performing are KU and WSU.

You don’t have to be a music major to play in any of these, and you don’t have to be a music major to get a scholarship to play or sing. This is ideal, since I love playing oboe but didn’t really want to be a music major or even minor in music. Lots of other people are in the same situation. The scholarship money doesn’t hurt, either.