The College Choir represents nearly all disciplines on campus. Founded in February 1935 by Dr. Hagbard Brase to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach, the Bethany Choir has established a distinguished reputation. Since its first tour of the Midwest in 1937, the Choir has performed over 500 concerts in 29 states and five European countries, including its New York debut at Alice Tully Hall under Dr. Elmer Copley. Its sixth European tour took place in 2008. The choir has sung under the batons of John Rutter and Eskil Hemberg, has participated in master classes with Chanticleer and The Real Group, and recently performed in concert with renowned Swedish baritone Håkan Hagegård. During the school year, the choir is heard on campus in Jultide at Bethany, the musical offering that has become the beginning of the Christmas season for devoted audiences each December. The choir is also an integral part of the internationally-known Messiah Festival held each spring during Holy Week. The choir, whose members are selected by audition, sings sacred choral music from all historical periods and styles.
The Chamber Choir, an ensemble of 10-12 voices, performs a wide variety of secular music from traditional works to world music and vocal jazz. It is comprised of the most skilled members of the College Choir, Bethany’s largest auditioned choral ensemble. The Chamber Choir performs several times throughout the year on campus, as well as at off-campus college functions.
The Chapel Choir, an ensemble of 25 voices, seeks to create beauty in the choral art through concert performances and active participation in the worship life of the college community and Lindsborg region. No audition is required for admission. Chapel Choir rehearses three times each week and performs a wide range of sacred and secular choral literature.
Dr. Mark Lucas is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Choral Activities at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas where he is also director of the Bethany Oratorio Society and Co-Chair of the Department of Music. At Bethany, Mark teaches conducting, music education courses, voice lessons and is the conductor of the Bethany College Choir and Bethany College Chamber Ensemble. He is also the Senior Choir Director at Messiah Lutheran Church in Lindsborg.
Prior to his appointment at Bethany College, Mark was a tenured Associate Professor of Choral Music Education and the Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Oklahoma, where he conducted the University Singers, taught choral conducting and courses in choral methods, and supervised student teachers.
Dr. Lucas received a degree in Music Education from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas and an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Oklahoma. He received his Ph.D. in Choral Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. His dissertation, Adolescent Males’ Motivations to Enroll or Not Enroll in Choir, is a study of what factors influence young men in grades 7 and 8 to participate in choir. His more recent work has been published in the Choral Journal and UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education. Mark is currently serving on the advisory committee for the Music Educators Journal.
As a tenor, Mark has sung professionally with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and remains active in teaching studio voice. As a conductor, Mark’s past work ranges from preparing major works, such as Brahms’ Requiem and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, to extensive work with middle and high school choirs. In his teaching he employs an integrated approach to choral methods, using authentic teaching experiences as a major part of course work
Dr. Lucas is a frequent clinician and adjudicator for choral groups of all ages. He is the founder of the Young Men’s Vocal Workshop at the University of Oklahoma, which has featured more than 1000 young men in concert.
Previously, Mark served for four years as Director of Choral Activities at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas and taught vocal music to students in grades 6-12 in Marion, Kansas. Mark enjoys spending time with his wife, Jeanne, and their two boys, Matt and Jake.