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Bel Canto Singers to present “Lift Every Voice” outdoor music program at churches across Kansas and the Upper Midwest

2020-21 Hesston College Bel Canto Singers

Changes due to weather will be announced via the Hesston College Music Facebook page.

After over a year of virtual and on-campus concerts, Hesston College’s Bel Canto Singers are hitting the road to perform a program entitled “Lift Every Voice” at locations across Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. The concerts will feature choral numbers as well as special music by soloists and small groups.

In order to meet the challenges that COVID-19 presents to traditional tour practices — acoustic performances, fellowship meals, and host home stays with congregations — the choir will use the Hesston College campus as a home base and perform a series of run-out performances to regional communities.

Bel Canto Singers will then move home base to Swan Lake Christian Camp in Viborg, S.D., in order to extend its tour reach to communities in neighboring states from which choir members come. All performances will be held outdoors and concert attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs for socially distanced seating. The concert will be broadcasted over FM radio for those choosing drive-in parking.

Up-to-date concert information—including locations—can be found at www.hesston.edu/everyvoice. The itinerary and host churches are:

  • Friday, April 30, 7 p.m. – Hesston College Mullet Drive, Hesston, Kan.
  • Monday, May 3, 7 p.m. – Dyck Arboretum of the Plains with Marie Engle, Hesston, Kan.
  • Tuesday, May 4, 7 p.m. – First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, Kan.
  • Thursday, May 6, 7 p.m. – Harper Community Park, 799 West Main Street, Harper, Kan.
  • Friday, May 7, 7 p.m. – Heartland Community High School, Henderson, Neb.
  • Sunday, May 9, 4 p.m. – Salem-Zion Mennonite Church, Freeman S.D.
  • Monday, May 10, 7 p.m. – Bethel Mennonite Church, Mountain Lake, Minn.
  • Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m. – Banman Residence, 8538 Mette Street, Lenexa, Kan.
  • Friday, May 14, 7 p.m. – Tabor Mennonite Church, Goessel, Kan.

“Spring is a season of renewal,” said Dr. Russell Adrian, director of choral activities at Hesston College. “Bel Canto has spent an entire school year giving virtual and on-campus concerts. With increasing vaccination rates and easing restrictions, we hope to bring a message of new life, resilience and reflection. These concerts will provide a space for communities to celebrate together safely. We look forward to sharing our music with new audiences.”

Directed by Dr. Adrian and accompanied by Kenneth Rodgers, Bel Canto Singers are Hesston College’s top choir. The 2020-21 year marks the group’s 37th season. The mixed ensemble carries out concert and touring schedules annually. Bel Canto offers first- and second-year college musicians a breadth of experiences typically reserved for third- and fourth-year students at other colleges. Recent juried appearances have included performances for The Swingles, Lorelei, VOCES8, Chanticleer, the King’s Singers, Charles Bruffy and the Rose Ensemble.