The Bethany College Choirs and Bethany College Handbell Ensemble will set out on their 2016 Spring Concert Tour on March 31 with performances throughout North Central Kansas and Central and Eastern Nebraska.

Stops on this year’s tour include:  Minneapolis High School, Concordia High School, Republic County High School, York, Nebraska High School, and other schools where the ensembles will meet to and sing and play handbells with students.

Full concerts will be given in Concordia, Kansas on March 31 at 7 p.m. at the Concordia Lutheran Church; in Omaha, Nebraska with the Grace University Choir on April 1 at 7 p.m. at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church; and in Lincoln, Nebraska on April 3 at 3 p.m. at the Eastridge Presbyterian Church.

Selections performed by the ensembles range from music by Johannes Brahms and Dr. Walter Pelz to vocal jazz and a special handbell rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

In addition to performing, the ensembles will be participating in a service project at Eastridge Presbyterian Church in Lincoln as part of the ongoing Servant Leadership aspect of the mission of the college.

The Bethany College Choir and Chamber Choir are directed by Dr. Mark Lucas.  The Bethany College Handbell Ensemble is directed by Dr. Melody Steed.

The Bethany College Choir, under the direction of Dr. Lucas, celebrates its 81st anniversary this academic year. Since its founding by Hagbard Brase in 1935, the choir has performed over 500 concerts in 29 states and four European countries. Its sixth European tour took place in 2008 and plans have been made to tour Scandinavia and Germany the summer of 2017. The choir is also an integral part of the internationally-known Messiah Festival of the Arts held each spring during Holy Week.

The Bethany College Handbell Ensemble, directed by Dr. Steed, 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.