Bel Canto unites with Hesston High School for “Global Voices” concert

By Gina DeFazio

Hesston College’s Bel Canto performs with Hesston High School Singers. Photo by Jon Voth

By Gina DeFazio

Bel Canto performed alongside the Hesston High School Singers Saturday, Sept. 21 as a part of The International Day of Peace.

The concert, “Global Voices,” shared music from around the world, focusing on the theme of peacemaking. Russell Adrian, music director at Hesston College says watching the two choirs learn to work together is a good example for our society today.

“Featuring a concert on our campus as a special event for peace celebrates the great relationships we have in our community as well as reminds us that we have opportunities to work together every day of the year,” Adrian said.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations. Over the decades, Peace Day has developed a specific focus each year, with the 2019 theme being “Climate Action for Peace,” seeking to address the global climate emergency as a threat to security and stability.

“International Day of Peace provides an opportunity to explore and celebrate the gift of global presence on the Hesston College campus,” said John Murray, dean of global engagement. “It is an opportunity to begin to build cross cultural skills and relationships that are mutually enriching in their diversity, and to extend that gift beyond the campus to the local community.”

Destyni Myers (Severy, KS) said the collaboration seemed easy.

“It took about 30 seconds to start to blend our voices and make a good sound,” says singer, Destyni Myers.

Russell agrees. The last time they did a concert together, the current Hesston High seniors were only freshmen, so it has been fun to see them grow as musicians and as individuals. Russell said that Hesston High School director Darren Enns has done a great job building their music program.

“The first time we practiced together was the afternoon of the concert and it was fun to see how quickly and easily the Hesston College Bel Canto and the Hesston high school singers began working with one another,” says Adrian

“I felt the concert went well and both choirs sang beautifully,” said Myers.

This year Bel Canto Singers is made up of 19 students. Bel Canto is an auditioned ensemble that performs regularly throughout the year at campus events, sings at local churches, and tours annually.

“This year, we will take a trip during spring break out East to Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana,” said Adrian.

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