Bethel College is thrilled to present the next installment of its prestigious 2023-24 Organ Recital Series. The upcoming recital, scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, at 7 p.m., will showcase the talents of the esteemed organ instructor Donna Hetrick, alongside the accomplished trumpeter Dr. Alan Wenger from the University of Central Missouri. The event will take place in the Administration Building chapel and is free and open to the public.
Dr. Alan Wenger, a seasoned professor of trumpet at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg since 2003, brings a wealth of musical expertise to the performance. His academic background includes degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Boston University, and the University of North Texas. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Wenger was honored with the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Outstanding Alumnus Award in Music from UNL in 2014.
Wenger’s diverse performance career spans various genres. Notably, he served as the principal solo cornet in the internationally acclaimed Fountain City Brass Band in Kansas City for six years. His collaborations extend to performances with the Kansas City Symphony, tours as a chamber musician with the Empire Brass and Bluebonnet Brass, and appearances with jazz and commercial greats such as the Four Tops, Mannheim Steamroller, and the Temptations.
With a keen interest in contemporary music, Dr. Wenger has been featured at prestigious events like the College Music Society National Convention, Electronic Music Midwest, and as a soloist in the premiere performance of Randall Snyder’s Six Tableaux for Trumpet and Orchestra with Orchestra Omaha.
Joining Dr. Wenger on stage is Donna Hetrick, the director of music and the arts at Rolling Hills Church in Overland Park, Kan. Her role encompasses organist, Chancel Choir director, bell choir director, and leader of the praise band. Hetrick is also a dedicated educator, teaching organ and piano in Kansas City.
Having served as the director of music and organist at Grace Presbyterian Church in Wichita before her tenure in Kansas City, Hetrick has been teaching organ at Bethel College since 2013. As the administrator of the Organ Recital Series, she plays a pivotal role in bringing exceptional musical experiences to the Bethel community.
Donna Hetrick’s musical contributions extend beyond the academic realm, with performances on the Dobson pipe organ in Bethel’s chapel and Kauffman Museum’s historic Teschemacher cabinet organ. She has accompanied various community groups, including the Wichita Chamber Chorale, Wichita Choral Society, Newton Chorale, Central Kansas Master Chorale, and Bethel College Masterworks.
In addition to her local engagements, Hetrick has been an instructor for two Wichita American Guild of Organists (AGO) Pipe Organ Encounters and a presenter for the Wichita AGO Jubilee and Society of Women Engineers. Her educational journey includes a B.A. in music from Bethel College, where she studied under Dr. Shirley Sprunger King and Dr. Karen Bauman Schlabaugh. She furthered her studies at the University of Kansas, earning her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in church music and organ under the guidance of Dr. James Higdon and Dr. Michael Bauer.