When you think of a choir, most think of a chorus of both men and women. Students on Bethel’s campus might immediately think of concert choir. One smaller group that is growing on campus is the Women’s Chorus, who performed at Kansas Music Educators Association just last February.
Women’s Chorus is an all-female group, or as Amy Wedel, sophomore from Peabody, puts it, “strong independent women who don’t need no men.” And their music selections certainly prove that.
“It’s harder,” Wedel said. “You have to listen so much more because women’s voices are pitchy and we don’t have those strong basses to listen to, and to anchor us. The closest thing we have is alto IIs who really don’t sing all that low in most of our pieces.”
The chorus spent beginning of the semester preparing ten pieces for their concert that took place Sunday at Bethel College Mennonite Church.
“There’s a lot of variety this year in our music,” Wedel said. “We’ve learned a lot of literature that has been very difficult rhythmically. We’re also singing a lot of a cappella pieces, which adds a whole other level of difficulty.”
For some of the a cappella pieces, director William Eash joined the ladies.
“He (was) like percussion for us. I think he sings doo’s the entire time for this 14 page long piece,” Wedel said.
Also joining them was Woven, Bethel’s Women’s a cappella group. Which Georgia Theisen, freshman from Newton, said was an excellent opportunity for the freshman in the group.
“It’s a great experience for the freshmen learning a new conductor or actually learning to sing at all,” Theisen said.
Wedel, a returning member, says one big difference in the group is the size; decreasing from 40 last year to around 25. Theisen attributes this to some of the groups balance issues.
“Having only 25 girls isn’t much of a concern,” Theisen said. “What was an issue for us in the beginning was that 17 of those 25 women were altos while only 8 were sopranos.”
“We do a lot of work with our balance and Bill works a lot of softening the alto sound and encouraging the sopranos to sing out,” Theisen added. “We have some girls that this is their first choral experience. But they sure are rocking it.”