LINDSBORG, KAN., October 25, 2011—The Bethany College Brass Ensemble, directed by Dr. Jared Chase, and Handbell Ensemble, directed by Dr. Melody Steed, performed at Bethany Lutheran Church on October 17 to celebrate the founding of Bethany College on October 16, 1881. The performance will be repeated on November 11 during Bethany College chapel services in Burnett Center at 10:30 a.m.
Several pieces were played by both the ensembles before they joined to play an arrangement of the hymn tune Thaxted titled O God Beyond All Praising. The same music is found in Gustav Holst’s “Jupiter” from The Planets. Church members in attendance were moved by the performance, including one who said she was “moved to tears.”
“The groups have a great combined sound!” Chase said. “I remember giving bronze and brass concerts with the Cincinnati Brass Quintet, so combining the brass ensemble and handbells seemed like a natural fit.”
Chase, Doctor of Musical Arts, is an assistant professor of music, chair of the music department, and director of bands at Bethany. Chase earned his doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. He recently served as music director of the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble, First Presbyterian Church of Fort Thomas, Ky., and adjunct professor of trumpet at Sinclair Community College.
Steed, Doctor of Musical Arts, is an associate professor of music and sacred music advisor at Bethany. She said “It was an honor to be invited to play for this event and to get to play with the brass ensemble. We will be looking for more opportunities to combine these groups in the future.”
Steed has earned degrees in music education and organ performance from the University of Northern Iowa, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and University of Southern California. She has won numerous awards, including the 1993 Virgil Fox Award in Organ Performance at USC, the 1996 Outstanding Doctoral Graduate at USC, and the 1991 and 1983 chapter competition winner of the American Guild of Organists.
Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu/.