Drawing on a century of rich tradition, the Hesston College Music Department nurtures musical growth, encourages creativity, and provides a solid musical foundation for students pursuing a passion for music. The department provides many opportunities for performance, musical growth, and leadership.
Hesston College is home to two performing choirs, Hesston College Chorale and Bel Canto Singers. Each performs in churches throughout the country, offering students an opportunity to share their faith through music. Chorale performs sacred music from a variety of time periods and styles and takes an extensive tour each spring. Bel Canto Singers is made up of approximately 20 persons chosen by competitive audition. The group performs sacred and secular music at campus events, in the community and on extended weekend tours throughout the U.S. Every other summer, Bel Canto takes an extended, two-week tour.
Auditions for Hesston College choirs are held throughout the year. Students interested specifically in Bel Canto Singers may audition between October 1 and April 15 for the following academic year. This audition may be scheduled in combination with a scholarship audition but requires a separate appointment. Chorale auditions are also held during the opening week of school in August.
The International Chorale is organized every other year for a four-week summer tour of Europe. Besides performing in historic cathedrals, churches and castles, singers stay in local homes, tour sites related to Anabaptist church history and spend time sightseeing.
Chamber Orchestra is an auditioned group of string, woodwind, brass and percussion players. The ensemble performs contemporary and traditional literature as sacred works.
At Hesston you can benefit from private instruction in piano, organ, guitar and voice as well as string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. You will receive personalized instruction in small classes, perform solos, take part in recitals and have the opportunity to conduct our performance groups as first and second-year students. Private voice students are also encouraged to participate in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) convention, a regional competition held annually.
Opportunities are available for participation in musical theater. Recent productions include Little Women, The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee, She Loves Me and Forever Plaid.
The music building at Hesston College has spacious instrumental and choral rehearsal rooms, classrooms, teaching studios and a piano lab. In the spring of 2007, a 650-seat auditorium was completed, providing a new venue for music concerts and recitals. An Andover tracker pipe organ has been installed and was dedicated early in 2008.