Bel Canto Singers travel east on Common Ground spring tour

spring 2024 Bel Canto Singers group photo

Hesston College Bel Canto Singers will travel east for a spring break tour March 8 to 19 with performances in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kansas.

The 19-voice mixed chamber choir, under the direction of Dr. Russell Adrian and accompanied by Ken Rodgers, will present a program titled “Common Ground.” The program is inspired by the composition “On the Common Ground” written by Alice Parker out of concern for the many walls that have appeared to separate society. The concert features a cappella and accompanied works with special music by soloists and small ensembles.

The 2023-24 members of Bel Canto include Meg Beyer, Harrisonburg, Va.; Gabriel Clark, Goshen, Ind.; Alyssa Coonce, Buhler, Kan.; Lily Corkill, Olsburg, Kan.; Hadassa Friesen, Neuland, Paraguay; Joanna Gomez Ramirez, Hesston, Kan.; Joy Jones, Lockhart, Texas; Jamie Krehbiel, Hesston, Kan.; Jakob Lehmann, Ingolstadt, Germany; Caroline Miller, Arlington, Kan.; Charles Miller, Arlington, Kan.; Daniel Miller, Arlington, Kan.; Devin Miller, Hesston, Kan.; Eva Perry, Rocky Ford, Colo.; Sadie Robinson, Hesston, Kan.; Desirae Rodriguez, Whittier, Calif.; Larry Ruffin, Choctaw, Okla.; Rylee Weishaupt, Goshen, Ind.; and Ashleigh Williams, Eaton, Colo.

The tour itinerary includes:

  • Sunday, March 10, 10:30 a.m., Lindale Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Sunday, March 10, 4 p.m., Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Monday, March 11, Lancaster Mennonite School, Lancaster, Pa.
  • Monday, March 11, 7 p.m., Stumptown Mennonite Church, Bird-In-Hand, Pa., with Lancaster Mennonite School Chorale
  • Tuesday, March 12, Shalom Christian Academy, Chambersburg, Pa.
  • Tuesday, March 12, 7 p.m., Zion Mennonite Church, Souderton, Pa.
  • Wednesday, March 13, Dock Mennonite Academy, Lansdale, Pa.
  • Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m., Salem Mennonite Church, Dalton, Ohio, with Central Christian Varsity Singers
  • Thursday, March 14, Central Christian High School, Kidron, Ohio
  • Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m., Silverwood Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind.
  • Friday, March 15, Greencroft Goshen Community Center, Goshen, Ind.
  • Friday, March 15, Bethany Christian School, Goshen, Ind.
  • Sunday, March 17, 9:30 a.m., Roanoke Mennonite Church, Eureka, Ill.
  • Tuesday, March 19, 7 p.m., Hesston Mennonite Church, Hesston, Kan. Audience members may also join via livestream at

In some locations, the concert will be a collaboration with choirs from local Mennonite high schools.

The 2023-24 academic year marks the 40th season for the Bel Canto Singers, Hesston College’s premier choral ensemble. An alumni choir gathered to celebrate this milestone during Homecoming, and Bel Canto alumni are encouraged to perform with the choir on tour in Harrisonburg and Goshen.

Bel Canto Singers allows students from a broad spectrum of majors to make music an important part of their college experience. The group carries out ambitious concert and touring schedules annually. These performance opportunities cultivate leadership skills that serve students well in their next steps of life. Recent juried appearances have included performances for VOCES8, Chanticleer, the King’s Singers, Charles Bruffy and the Rose Ensemble.

Alice Parker was an American composer, arranger and conductor who founded Melodious Accord, a professional choir with whom she released 14 albums. Late in her life, Parker shared meaningful conversations with prominent musicians focused on bringing people together. These conversations can be viewed at her Melodious Accord website. Her work is dedicated to All Those Who Long for Peace and includes the text:

Lord, guide us to that meeting place where we can see each other, Hear each other, care for each other. Where we can sing together, work together, We can play together on the common ground.

Common Ground tour program