Craig Courtney, Music Editor
A native of Indiana, Craig Courtney began playing the piano at the age of three and the cello at the age of eleven. He received a Bachelors and a Masters degree in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati, studying piano under Raymond Dudley and chamber music under Walter Levin of the LaSalle Quartet. During that time, he was a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Honorary Music Society.
Following a three-year stay in Milan, Italy, where Mr. Courtney studied the piano with Illonka Deckers, performed for the Associazione Musicale "Gustav Mahler", and worked extensively as a vocal coach, he was invited to join the music faculty of the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, serving as piano teacher and accompanist for the woodwind and brass department.
It was during this six-year period, while serving in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, that Mr. Courtney began directing a church choir and composing sacred choral music, due to the unavailability of English language music. In 1985, his compositions came to the attention of John Ness Beck, through the publication of his octavo, Thy Will Be Done, initiating a close working relationship between the two men which continued until Mr. Beck's death in 1987. In making plans for the ongoing of Beckenhorst Press, Mr. Beck appointed Craig Courtney to assume his responsibilities as staff composer and editor.
At this point in time, Mr. Courtney's published works include more than two hundred choral octavos, nine vocal collections, a piano solo collection and six extended works for choir and orchestra. Compositionally, Mr. Courtney combines his training and background as a pianist, a cellist, a vocal coach, an accompanist and a choral director to create words that bear his unique style. He has been a frequent recipient of ASCAP achievement awards and his composition, Peace I Give to You, was awarded 1st place in the 2003 John Ness Beck Foundation competition.
In demand throughout the country as a choral clinician and featured composer, Craig Courtney resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Dan Forrest, Music Editor
Dr. Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as having “an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music….that is truly magical” (NY Concert Review), with works hailed as “magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture” (Classical Voice), and “superb writing…full of spine-tingling moments” (Salt Lake Tribune). Dan’s music spans a wide spectrum of genres and difficulty, ranging from extended major works for chorus and orchestra and significant concert choral repertoire to more accessible works for church and community choirs, as well as instrumental works ranging from wind ensemble pieces to solo instrumental sonatas.
Dr. Forrest's work has become well established in the choral repertoire in the U.S. and around the world, and has received numerous awards and distinctions including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, the ACDA Raymond Brock Award, the ALCM Raabe Prize, and many others. His choral works have been recorded by professional choirs including Seraphic Fire and VOCES8, have been featured on the BBC Proms series and numerous national US radio and TV broadcasts, and are regularly performed in Carnegie Hall choral festivals and other prominent international venues. His major works Requiem for the Living (2013) and Jubilate Deo (2016) have quickly become standard choral/orchestral repertoire for ensembles around the world, and his LUX: The Dawn From On High (2018) is now gathering similar critical acclaim. His most recent major work, the breath of life, was premiered by the Bel Canto Company just before the COVID pandemic.
Dan is highly active in the music publishing industry, currently publishing his concert choral music through his own company, The Music of Dan Forrest (distributed by Beckenhorst Press), and his church choral anthems with Beckenhorst Press. He also maintains a sizable presence in the Hinshaw Music catalog, and has published with a dozen other publishers. Dr. Forrest spends significant time mentoring and supporting other composers through his position as chair of the national ACDA Composition Initiatives Committee (2020-2024), his ongoing oversight and teaching with the annual John Ness Beck Foundation Choral Composer's Workshop and Scholarships, and his intensive editing work at Beckenhorst. He adjudicates regional and national composition contests, and keeps a full schedule of commissions, workshops, recordings, and residencies with universities, churches, community and professional ensembles, collaborating as accompanist, presenting his music, and teaching composition and music theory. Dan also serves as Artist-in-Residence at his home church, Mitchell Road Presbyterian (PCA) in Greenville, SC.
Dan holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in piano performance, and is a Fellow of Melodious Accord. His academic background includes several years as a professor and department head (music theory and composition) in higher education. Dan professes lifelong gratitude to his parents' investment in his musical training, as well as the teachers that shaped his musicality: James Barnes (doctoral advisor), Alice Parker (multiple fellowships with Melodious Accord), Joan Pinkston and the late Dwight Gustafson (college composition teachers), Frances McLaren and the late Joanne Snyder (childhood piano and music teachers).
More information about Dan and his work can be found at danforrest.com.
Deborah Govenor, Organ Editor
Deborah Govenor (b. 1954) is an Ohio native and a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she received a Bachelor of Music Education degree as a piano major, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary, where she received a Master of Theological Studies degree, and is a certified Associate in Ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She served as organist in several Columbus, Ohio area Lutheran churches, as well as directing adult, junior, high school and bell choirs. Debby serves as organ editor for Beckenhorst Press. She is also a composer of sacred choral music with over 60 anthems in print, is a private piano teacher, and is organist, choir director and handbell choir director at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Ellsworth, Maine.
Debby lives in Bar Harbor, Maine, with her husband, Paul Bartels, a retired German and English teacher and singer, along with their family of four dogs and four cats. Her other musical interests include the Celtic harp, hammered and mountain dulcimers, bowed psaltery and she recently began studying the cello. Three of her Celtic harp and recorder duet books have been published by Afghan Press. She and her husband enjoy traveling, and are avid football fans.
Bill Griffin, Handbell Editor
William H. Griffin received degrees from The Ohio State University and has had additional training at the Westminster Choir College and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.
Bill is a “retired” teacher who taught choral music for thirty-one years and established successful handbell programs in two Columbus (Ohio) high schools. He has directed handbell programs at OSU, several Methodist Churches in the Columbus area, and was an adjunct staff member at the Lutheran Theological Seminary. His handbell choirs were internationally recognized through recordings and performances in the U.S., Korea, Japan and Canada. He was also the Director of the Symphonic Handbells of Columbus, a community handbell ensemble he founded in 1991.
A past national president of The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, Bill worked with that organization from 1991 to 2003 as its Music Editor. He is currently the Handbell Music Editor for Beckenhorst Press. In addition to serving as AGEHR Interim Executive Director from July, 2001 through June, 2002 and Events Director, Bill has been active in the Handbell Industry Council serving in three elected offices. On the international level, he was Chairman of the International Handbell Committee for eight years.
Jason W. Krug, Handbell Editor
Jason W. Krug (b. 1978) is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana. He holds a degree in music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Jason is a full-time freelance composer, arranger, clinician, and teacher. Since his first publication in 2006, he's had over 400 compositions and arrangements accepted for handbells, piano, strings, organ, and choir. His works have been featured at numerous festivals and workshops in the United States and beyond. He is also the owner and editor for Grassy Meadow Music, which publishes sheet music for handbells, piano, and strings.
In his spare time, Jason enjoys writing. He has spent several years working on a young adult fantasy series, The Sadonian Chronicles, and recently released his first non-fiction book, The General Theory of Creativity. He frequently participates in the National Novel Writing Month event in November.
Jason continues to live in Indianapolis with his wife Ellen and his sons Daniel and Malcolm. You can find him on the web at jasonwkrug.com.
Composers (listed alphabetically):
Peter Anglea (b. 1988) is a graduate of Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. He received a B.Mus. in Church Music (Piano Principal) in 2009 and a M.Mus. in Church Music (Composition Principal) in 2011. While at BJU, he studied under Dwight Gustafson, Dan Forrest, Joan Pinkston, Mark Parker, Warren Cook, Fred Coleman, among others. An emerging young composer, Peter’s works have been featured at Piccolo Spoleto, ACDA Southern Division, as well as numerous collegiate concerts and recitals. He has published works with Hinshaw Music, Beckenhorst Press, and The Lorenz Corporation. He is a member of the Rivertree Singers and serves as the choir director at Community Baptist Church of Greer, SC. When he’s not working his day job as a web developer, Peter enjoys spending time composing and playing the piano and trumpet. Peter and his wife, Rebekah, reside in Greenville, SC.
Brenda E. Austin (handbells)
Brenda E. Austin serves as the Artistic Director for the Detroit Handbell Ensemble. Additionally, she has served First United Methodist Church in Eaton Rapids, MI, as Director of Worship and Music since 2003. Each year the church hosts an annual handbell festival where Brenda has served as conductor and clinician. She is active in the community directing Children’s musical theatre and handbell choirs. Brenda graduated with degrees in Vocal Performance from Western Michigan University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She has studied with Craig Arnold, Steve Zegree and Eph Ehly. Brenda received many accolades for her conducting, including semi-finalist in the ACDA National Undergraduate Conducting Competition and finalist as a Graduate student. Brenda’s handbell composition career began 2014. Once begun, it has quickly become a deep passion for her. She continues as a freelance handbell composer, arranger and clinician. She loves working with choirs as a private clinician, or leading festivals and workshops. Her high-energy and musicianship keep ringers engaged and motivated as they build solid skills in the art of handbells. For more information about Brenda, please visit her website at www.brendaeaustin.com
Susan Bentall Boersma
Susan was born and educated in Michigan and began her study of music with her parents, both of whom were performing artists. Her piano/organ/voice studies continued while attending Hope College. She has served as accompanist for college choirs and touring groups as well as for various solo artists and community choirs. She has led workshops on Music and Worship and has held positions as Pianist, Choral Director and Director of Music Ministries at churches in Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont and Ohio. Susan is a published lyricist and writes primarily with Craig Courtney for Beckenhorst Press. She also collaborates with David Lantz III, Lloyd Larson and Mark Hayes on both sacred and school repertoire. Susan lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband, Dr. James A. Boersma.
Karen Lakey Buckwalter (handbells)
Karen Buckwalter, a distinguished organist, pianist, and composer served as a full time Minister of Music for 37 years in Hanover, PA.
Ms. Buckwalter is a 1974 graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ where she received her Bachelor of Music Education degree. She is also a 1977 graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she studied organ with John Weaver and earned the prestigious Artists Diploma in Organ Performance. In 2005, she returned to the classroom to study theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA and was commissioned (2007) as an ELCA Associate in Ministry. In 2012, Ms. Buckwalter recorded a piano CD entitled, “How Sweet the Sound” which served as a fundraiser for the church/organ renovation. Now, in “retirement,” she assists local churches in central Florida, continues her work as a conductor and composer, and plays a 38 string lever harp.
Internationally known in the field of handbell composition, Mrs. Buckwalter has over 70 bell/choral compositions in print. She has earned enthusiastic praise for her creative compositions that have raised the musicality in handbell music as a genre. Sought after as a handbell conductor/clinician for workshops and festivals throughout the US, in 2013, she was festival conductor for the West Midlands Festival in Hereford, UK. Her works have been recorded in the United States, Estonia and Japan and they are frequently selected at area and national handbell conferences throughout the country.
Willie E. Character
Willie Character (b. 1939, Rome, GA). Ohio State University, B.S Music Education, Ohio State University, Masters in Music Education, University of Georgia. Other Colleges: U.S. Naval School of Music, Emory University, Georgia State University, Shorter College (Rome, Ga), Valdosta State University. While attending Ohio State University, one of his major instructors was the late John Beck. Related areas in the music profession; Composer, arranger, songwriter, teacher, instructor of voice, piano, and guitar, historian/researcher, former conductor of the 4th Armored Division chorus in Goeppingen, Germany, writing/producing commercial and political jingles, conducting workshops songwriters, music engraving, and seminars on music in the Bible and author of four unpublished books. Hobbies/Special interests: Photography, cemetery enumeration, Afro/American History, Native American Indian history, caring for the elderly and handicapped, and working with children.
Patricia Sanders Cota (handbells)
Patti Cota (b.1954) began her music career at age 3, copying her older sister's piano lessons by ear. She and her twin sister performed music together from childhood through college years in church and school choirs and bands. A graduate of Bethany Bible College, Santa Cruz, CA, she received her Masters Degree in Music Education from California State University, Fresno, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Since 1980 she has taught school and church music, homeschooled her son, and accompanied (piano) professionally. She currently resides in Fresno with her husband and son, and enjoys gardening, walking, watching sports, sewing and reading.
Patti Drennan earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree at Oklahoma State University and a Masters of Music Education degree at the University of Oklahoma. She taught Choral Music for twenty-eight years in Norman Public Schools, the first twenty years at West Mid-High School, where she was voted "Teacher of the Year", and eight years at Norman High School. In 2004 she was awarded the coveted "Director of Distinction Award" given yearly by the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association.
An active composer and arranger, Patti has over 250 choral octavos published with Beckenhorst Press and other major publishers. She has served as a clinician for school and church workshops in 19 states and several times in Canada, She has been guest director at numerous Composer Weekends and has had a composition from Sing for the Cure performed at Carnegie Hall. She has been an adjudicator for choral contests in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas.
Retired from teaching in 2004, Patti serves as Director of Music and Worship Arts at First Baptist Church, Norman, and frequently serves as festival choir clinician, workshop presenter. She is married and has two grown children. She recorded a vocal CD with her daughter that accompanies her new vocal solo book. Her website, www.pattidrennan.com, may be accessed for more information and music excerpts of her compositions.
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Marianne Forman has been arranging and composing since childhood. She holds a B.S. in Music Education with concentrations in piano and choral music. Because of her extensive background in church music, in both large and small congregations, Marianne is passionate about creating music that is both beautiful and functional. She is a three-time attendee of the John Ness Bess Foundation Composers’ Workshop, studying composition under Dan Forrest, Craig Courtney, and Howard Helvey. In 2021, she was invited to a summer mentoring session with Dan Forrest, sponsored by the John Ness Beck Foundation. In 2020, Marianne was awarded an honorable mention in the King’s Singers New Music Prize for her SSAA setting of James Weldon Johnson’s “The Gift to Sing.” Both her sacred and concert choral pieces have been performed around the world and are appreciated for their compelling melodies and accessible settings.
As an active church musician, Marianne regularly arranges and composes pieces for congregation, choir, and instrumentalists. She also teaches private piano lessons from her home in sunny San Diego, where she resides with her husband and four children.
Marques L. A. Garrett
A Virginia native, Marques L. A. Garrett is an Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Glenn Korff School of Music. His responsibilities include conducting the auditioned Chamber Singers and non-auditioned University Chorale (soprano-alto) as well as teaching graduate choral literature. Before earning his PhD in Music Education (Choral Conducting) at Florida State University, he was the Director of Choral Activities at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he holds an MM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA from Hampton University.
An active conductor, Dr. Garrett serves as a guest conductor or clinician with school, church, community, and festival/honor choirs throughout the country. In addition to his conducting classes at UNL, he leads conducting workshops at other universities and conferences. His formal conducting studies were with Dr. André J. Thomas, Dr. Carole J. Ott, Dr. Carl G. Harris, Jr., and Mr. Royzell Dillard.
A versatile voice that performs both as a baritone and countertenor, Dr. Garrett has sung with several community, church, and university groups as both a chorister and soloist. He was the baritone soloist for the Germantown Concert Chorus’s performance of Haydn’s Missa in Augustiis. His premiere as a countertenor in Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo served as the work’s European premiere in Limerick, Ireland. Additionally, he performed the role of Lil Lud in Bernstein’s White House Cantata with the Tallahassee Community Chorus. Currently, he sings with First-Plymouth Congregational Church (NE) and Festival Singers of Florida.
Dr. Garrett is an avid composer of choral and solo-vocal music whose compositions have been performed to acclaim by high school all-state, collegiate, and professional choirs including Seraphic Fire and the Oakwood University Aeolians. GIA Publications, Walton Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Hinshaw Music, G. Schirmer, Beckenhorst Press, and Carus-Verlag have published several of his compositions. As a researcher, his most advantageous topic is the non-idiomatic choral music of black composers. His lectures at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and at other local and national venues afford him the opportunity to showcase this underrepresented area of music. Dr. Garrett holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association; American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; National Collegiate Choral Organization; and Pi Kappa Lambda. With the National Association of Negro Musicians, he currently serves as the national scholarship chair.
Don Gillespie (handbells)
Don Gillespie, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the College of Wooster; a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Converse College; and a Master of Music degree in Composition, also from Converse College. Gillespie was Assistant Professor of Piano and Music Theory at Morningside College, and Choral Director in the Spartanburg County Schools from. He has also served as staff accompanist and couch at various US institutions, including Interlochen, Converse College, and South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts; as music director in various US churches; and professional accompanist, soloist, and as ensemblist through the present. He is a composer of choral and instrumental music with commissions for band, solo instrumental and sacred choral music. His works are published by Beckenhorst Press, Columbus, OH, by Seesaw Music, NYC, and by Morning Star Music Publishers, St. Louis, MO. In 1975, He is a member of ASCAP as a composer both as an author and as a publisher working under the name of Lark & Owl Press. Gillespie represented South Carolina as a composer in the Bicentennial Parade of American Music sponsored by Exxon at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He was recently commissioned a work by the Colorado State Teachers Association which won honors in the 1992 MTNA Distinguished Composers Contest. During the summer of 1993, he served on the faculty of Sewanee Summer Music Center as Composer in Residence, ensemble coach, and chair of the Theory Department. He is currently a freelance composer and recitalist.
Elaine Hagenberg’s music “soars with eloquence and ingenuity” (ACDA Choral Journal). Her compositions have been awarded and performed by schools, churches, universities, honor choirs and festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Her music has been featured at the National Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, the Melbourne International Choral Festival in Australia, International Children’s Choir Festival in Canterbury and London, national and regional American Choral Directors Association Conferences, All State festivals, as well as performances in South Africa and Asia. For more information, please visit www.elainehagenberg.com.
Mark Hayes is an award-winning concert pianist, composer, arranger and conductor. His personal catalog, totaling over 750 published works, includes work for solo voice, solo piano, multiple pianos, orchestra, jazz combo, small instrumental ensembles, and choruses of all kinds. He is honored to have his works regularly featured at ACDA, MENC and Chorus America conventions. Mark received a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in Piano Performance from Baylor University in 1975. He has conducted the SWACDA & MCDA Community & Church Honor Choir and served as guest conductor at Carnegie Hall featuring his Te Deum and Magnificat. In 2010 Baylor University Center for Christian Music Studies awarded Mark the Award for Exemplary Leadership in Christian Music. Mark arranged and orchestrated the music for Civil War Voices, which won six awards including “Best Musical” in the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City in July, 2010. He conducted the world premiere of his newest work for chorus, orchestra and narrator, The American Spirit, at Lincoln Center in May 2011.
In addition to his involvement in the sacred and secular choral music fields, Hayes is an accomplished orchestrator and record producer. He is a recurring recipient of the Standard Award from ASCAP. The album, ""I've Just Seen Jesus,"" which Mark arranged, orchestrated and co-produced, received the Dove Award for “Praise and Worship Album of the Year in 1986. In June 2010 Mark released his first CD of original songs titled “All Is Well” through Omnis Bene Media, featuring vocalist, Monique Danielle.
Howard Helvey (b. 1968) resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he is active as a composer, arranger and pianist, and serves as organist & choirmaster of historic Calvary Episcopal Church. Nationally and internationally he is in frequent demand as a composer, conductor, speaker, and member of the Steinbach/Helvey Piano Duo.
Known particularly for his choral music, Mr. Helvey maintains an extremely active writing schedule, and his hundreds of compositions and arrangements are published by numerous publishers. His compositions have been featured on numerous recordings, national television and radio broadcasts, in such eminent concert venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA), the Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the White House, the National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.), and many locations throughout Europe and Asia. His music, which has been acclaimed as "engaging" (Choral Journal), "definitive" (Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians), "magical" (The Hymn) and in response to his occasional inclusion of jazz elements "fun and certain to be of interest" (The Diapason). Mr. Helvey is commissioned frequently by church, university, and professional ensembles, and recent performance highlights have been presented by the Kansas City Chorale, Chicago a cappella, the Turtle Creek Chorale (Dallas), the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola (New York), the Bach Society of Saint Louis, the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, Kammerchor Constant (Cologne), Pro Musica (Copenhagen) and by numerous university/collegiate choirs. As a pianist, Mr. Helvey since 1997 has collaborated with distinguished artist Richard Steinbach in concerts and recordings of four-hand and two-piano literature.
A Missouri native, Mr. Helvey holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Music degree in composition and piano performance from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. Designated an undergraduate Chautauqua Scholar, he pursued additional studies in piano at New York's Chautauqua Institution. Mr. Helvey has studied piano with Raymond Herbert, Jan Houser, Richard Morris and Dolores Gadevsky; and his composition teachers have included John Cheetham, Thomas McKenney, Darrell Handel and Frederick Bianchi. As one passionate about effective congregational hymn-singing, Mr. Helvey received additional training in hymn-accompanying and organ improvisation from Gerre Hancock.
Joey Hoelscher is a multi-talented composer, musician, and editor. He holds degrees in voice performance and in church music composition from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to his graduate studies he traveled for three years as a singer, composer, string bass player, and sound engineer with the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team. His wide range of experiences in this itinerant local church ministry gave him insight into local church music needs and influenced his compositional style. Joey studied composition with Dan Forrest and Joan Pinkston. Joey is the winner of the 2012 Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Commission Competition, a member of ASCAP, and a commissioned composer, with about two dozen sacred choral and instrumental works in the catalogs of several publishers. He remains active in choral music at his church and with Greenville's Rivertree Singers.
John Frederick Hudson is an American conductor, composer and pianist based in London, UK. Hudson completed his PhD studies in music composition with ‘royal composer’ Professor Paul Mealor at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, with guest tutors Sir James MacMillan and James O’Donnell. Hudson earned a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance before turning to composition for his Master’s degree studying with Dan Forrest. He completed a second Master’s degree in choral conducting, graduating with distinction from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.
Hudson has a diverse portfolio of compositions ranging from choral music to orchestral and opera. He has also written music and performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle in a celebration marking her as the longest reigning monarch and for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Hudson has both performed in the BBC Proms as well as assisted Simon Halsey in performances with Marin Alsop and Donald Runnicles. In addition, he is a conductor and founding supporter of Opera Festival Scotland, in collaboration with the RSNO (Royal Scottish National Orchestra). Hudson also serves on the board of the Same Stream — a professional choral ensemble with Grammy-nominated conductor, James Jordan. Hudson has also collaborated and co-authored several books on choral pedagogy with Jordan. For more information, please visit: www.johnfrederickhudson.com
Patricia Hurlbutt (handbells)
A Minnesota native, Patricia has been creating music since childhood. For many years she composed and published choral music and now also writes for handbells and other instruments. In addition to listings in the catalogs of several publishers, she also self- publishes. Patricia has BA, BS, and MA music degrees from the University of Minnesota and has done further study with Alice Parker. She was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honorary Society. Her compositions received awards from the NY Conductors Club, First United Methodist Church, the Twin Cites Church Musicians Association, and the Minnesota Composers Forum. Patricia has served churches in the Twin Cities area as Director of Music, Handbell and Choir Director, and Organist. Earlier in her career she taught Elementary Classroom Music and has worked with seniors as a Music Therapist.
Molly Ijames was born in Flint, Michigan, and holds a B.S. in Music Education. After college, she taught music for several years before she eventually moved to Greenville, SC to write for a small publishing company. Her compositions became widely recognized and expanded to other publishers, and she often traveled to present her music to church directors and teachers. Her music ministry grew, expanding to local church congregations, community choirs, educational institutions, and national choral conferences. She is now widely recognized for her choral, piano, and instrumental compositions and arrangements in various catalogs, with a spotlight on the artistry within her piano accompaniments. Her choral anthems, piano arrangements, and instrumental collections feature a well-balanced importance between soloist and accompanist. “The pianist,” she says, “is not just a supportive role; it is a trusted charge of proficiency and craft.” Molly is frequently called upon to teach at music conferences, play for congregations, and accompany choral singing, and her keyboard creativity is often the vehicle in which her musicianship is imposed. Her ultimate desire is for spiritual truth and graceful artistry to blend together to lift the human heart and sing in praise to God and to each other. Molly resides in Davison, MI and is an active part of the music ministry within her local church. Her written congregational accompaniments and her personal contact can be found at mollychurchmusic.com.
Linda Lamb (handbells)
Linda Lamb has been involved with handbells since 1992, as director, composer, and sometime ringer. She is the handbell director at Lexington Park Baptist Church, Lexington Park, Maryland, where she directs one adult and one youth choir. She is also a founding member of the Pax River Ringers, a community group in Southern Maryland, and the founder and list owner of the Frustrated Friends of Finale (FFFinale), an internet mailing list for handbell composers and arrangers who use the Finale music program. She graduated from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, with a B. A. in sociology, and from Concordia University in Wisconsin with a Master of Church Music (emphasis in handbells). She and her husband Ken are the proud parents of two grown children and two grandchildren.
David Lantz III
David Lantz III is a full time choral director and teacher of music theory, composition, voice and piano at East Stroudsburg High School, in East Stroudsburg, PA, where he has taught for the past 18 years. He also serves as choir director for the Stroudsburg United Methodist Church in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
A composer and arranger with over 400 choral octavos in print with many major publishers, he has also written music for symphonic band, orchestra, jazz band, chamber ensembles, and piano. He is also an editor and engraver. A working musician, he has sung and played electric and upright bass in various musical groups for the last 34 years. Lantz has a B.S. in Music Education from Susquehanna and M.M. in Composition from West Chester University. He is married to composer and musician Marti Lunn Lantz, and is father of 5 musical children, ages 11 to 24.
For 40 years, Lloyd Larson has been an active composer and arranger for several major publishing companies of church, school, and community choral and instrumental music. His first two choral pieces ever were published by Beckenhorst Press in 1982-1983, when John Ness Beck and John Carter were editing together. His compositions and arrangements now number over 2,000 published works – including choral anthems, numerous extended Christmas, Easter, and non-seasonal works, keyboard collections, vocal solo and duet collections, instrumental solo and ensemble publications, orchestrations, and handbell settings.
Lloyd holds a B.A. in music from Anderson University (IN) and a Master’s degree in church music and composition from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (KY). He has done subsequent graduate work at Southern Baptist Seminary, Ohio State University, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (IL). He is married to his college sweetheart, Marci. They have three married children and seven grandchildren. He makes his home in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.
Janet Linker (organ)
Janet Rupp Linker received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organ performance from capital university and the University of Michigan, respectively. Her organ instruction was under Marjorie Jackson Rasche at Capital, and Marilyn Mason at the U of M. Her first organ position at the age of fifteen was at the Wauseon, Ohio, Evangelical Mennonite Church. She held church positions in Lubbock and Waco, Texas , Sacramento, California and Columbus Ohio. She is now organist at Trinity United Methodist Church in Upper Arlington, Ohio.
Mrs. Linker’ s first teaching position was at texas tech university in Lubbock, Texas. She has taught at the Capital University Conservatory of Music, first in the community music school, then on the faculty for over thirty years. She plays for variousts at the ohio theater on the well-known morton theater organ. She has published eighteen books of organ music, several anthems, and, in collaboration with Jane McFadden, over sixty works for organ and handbells and a piano/organ duet book.
Janet resides in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, Jim, who is the owner of the link stamp company. They are the parents of two grown sons, Jeff and Tim. Their daughter, Jenni, died at the age of twenty-two in 1985. They now have six grandchildren.
Shelton Ridge Love
Shelton Ridge Love grew up in a musical family. His love for music began by watching his mother play the organ at their home church. It was not long before Shelton was actively involved in the church music ministry. Since that time, he has served as pianist, organist, and director of music in several churches in Kansas City, MO and Upstate South Carolina. Shelton earned his undergraduate degree in Organ Performance from Bob Jones University studying with Dr. Ed Dunbar. His composition instructors include Dan Forrest, Joan Pinkston, and Seth Custer. Currently, Shelton serves as organist at First Baptist Church in Greenville, SC and works as a composer, arranger, and piano instructor. He also works as the artistic director and conductor of the Greenville Gay Men’s Chorus.
Trevor Manor (b. 1985) creates music that brings people together through his choral compositions, pianism, conducting, and worship leading. His choral writing is known for being "immediately engaging for both choir and listener...and conveys his consummate skill in writing for voices" (Val Withams, Choral Connections, UK). His anthems are featured in the catalogs of Beckenhorst Press, Choristers Guild, and Hinshaw Publishing. Trevor leads worship and directs the choirs at Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC, where he is passionate about encouraging an atmosphere of intergenerational singing.
Joseph Martin, a native of North Carolina, earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Subsequently he earned a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the University of Texas, Austin. Joseph taught for five years in the Piano Pedagogy Department of the University of Texas. While at Furman University, he was accompanist for choral director and composer Milburn Price and, inspired by his teaching, Martin began to compose. He is a member of the staff of Shawnee Press, Inc. as Director of Sacred Publications, with responsibilities for overseeing the editorial and creative direction of the company and also coordinating the recording and production aspects of future sacred publishing efforts. Joseph lives in Austin, Texas with his children Jonathan and Aubrey and his wife Sue.
Mary McDonald is a multi-talented musician from Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to her work as a composer, arranger, producer, pianist, and organist, she was a sacred choral editor for The Lorenz Corporation for more than twenty years and has served as both organist and pianist for Central Baptist Church in Knoxville. Her music and talents have blessed choirs and congregations across the country for nearly thirty years.
Mary is the composer of more than700 published choral anthems, several Christmas and Easter cantatas, and numerous keyboard collections, and still serves as an editorial consultant for Lorenz. She is also active as a choral clinician, traveling throughout the United States conducting workshops and concertizing. Her unique blend of heart, hands, and humor, combined with a wide range of writing and performing styles, keep her in constant demand. One of Mary's greatest joys has been serving as accompanist for the Tennessee Men's Chorale since 1985. In 2000, Mary served as the first woman President of the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference. She was recent recipient of second-place in the John Ness Beck Foundation composition award and is a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
Mary is a 1978 graduate of Carson-Newman College. She and her husband, Brian, a Knoxville architect, have been married for 33 years and have two children: Bethany K. and C.A. Smith are their daughter and son-in-law, along with grandson, Aidan and granddaughter, Addy; and Chris and Hope McDonald are their son and daughter-in-law. Chris is Minister of Music at FBC, Taylorsville, KY.
Jane McFadden (handbells)
Jane McFadden directs the Soli Deo Handbell Choir at Christ Lutheran Church and is the adjunct professor of handbells at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus. She retired in 2010 from David's United Church of Christ in Canal Winchester, OH, after 20 years as organist. She previously directed the Hallelujah Ringers at David's UCC, and before 1990 she had a multiple choir program of youth and children's handbell and vocal choirs at Christ Lutheran Church.
Jane composes and arranges music, having over one hundred handbell anthems in print, sixty-seven of which are arrangements for handbells and organ or piano with other instruments or voices, written in collaboration with Janet Linker. They also have arranged a book of piano and organ duets, published by Beckenhorst. Jane won the 1999 Area II original handbell composition contest with “Psalm 30” and has written music for the Annual Las Vegas Twelfth Night Handbell Festival.
Jane has a degree in Music Education from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. She has been active in the Handbell Musicians of America for over 35 years, and was selected in 2013 as recipient of the Area V Distinguished Service Award, an honor given every two years. Jane holds certification from that organization (formerly AGEHR) as a massed choir director, and has taught workshops, coaching sessions with individual bell choirs, and has been guest conductor at various festivals, among them the Columbus Spring Ring. Jane has served in the leadership of the Columbus Director's Association, is a member of AGO and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. She lives in Groveport, OH. Her husband, John, died in 2012. She has two married sons and three grandchildren.
A composer of diverse influences, Ethan McGrath seeks to write music that will break down barriers between people and have the potential to convey meaning to anyone who hears it. Recent commissions have come from the American Choral Directors Association, the Voce Chamber Choir (London), and the New Consort (NYC). His compositions have been featured in workshops by Rodney Eichenberger and performed by such ensembles as the Choir of Trinity College (Cambridge), the Capitol Hearings (Washington, D.C.), and the Taipei Chamber Singers. He has received awards from the Musica Sacra Institute (Poland), Alfred Music, and the Southeastern Composers League, and his works have been published by Oxford University Press, Schott Music, and Beckenhorst Press, among others. Ethan studied composition with J. Bruce Ashton and Jonathan McNair at Southern Adventist University and UT Chattanooga, respectively, and earned an MMus in conducting at the University of Cambridge, where he studied under Stephen Layton and Timothy Brown, among others. For more information, visit ethanmcgrath.com.
Hart Morris (handbells)
Hart Morris has been Minister of Music at Asbury United Methodist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, since August 1992. He has served in the same capacity for churches in Florida, Texas and Tennessee. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma, and the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, with additional studies in percussion at Oklahoma City University and the University of Houston. He is a member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers and American Choral Directors Association.
He has served as handbell clinician at AGEHR National Seminars and Festivals, and has led numerous AGEHR Conferences and workshops. His published works include both handbell and choral numbers.
He and his wife, Marty, are the parents of two grown children, the grandparents of eight grandchildren, and the caretakers of three quarter horses and Gus the Cat.
Eugene is a second generation minister of music and has served churches in both the Southern Baptist Convention and, more recently, the Presbyterian Church in America. He was awarded a scholarship in trombone performance at Columbus State University, where he studied with Mark McConnell, principal trombonist with the Atlanta Opera Orchestra. After school, Eugene toured with The Life Action Singers as a music director, honing his skills as a choral conductor. Following four years with The Life Action Singers, Eugene took a position as a resident composer at a music production studio in Michigan, composing music for TV and radio. He and his wife were married in the late 90’s and began serving in various local churches in Michigan, Tennessee and North Carolina. Eugene toured with The Centurymen under the direction of Buryl Red in 2004, and in 2005 began studying theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. Earning a Masters Degree in Divinity, he was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Worship and Christian Education at Grace Church in Harrisburg, NC, where he and his wife are raising their eight children.
Tim Osiek grew up with music as a huge part of his life, playing both piano and trumpet. He earned a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree from DePauw University and a Masters of Church Music degree from Webster University. He has served as minister of music at St. John United Church of Christ in Manchester, Missouri for over 20 years, where he plays piano and organ and directs the choir and handbells. In addition to writing choral music he is also passionate about jazz, having collaborated for many years with Cliff Aerie and the Oikos Ensemble on various jazz worship experiences. Together they have released multiple volumes of jazz arrangements of well-known hymn tunes for use in worship.
Kyle Pederson is a Minneapolis-based composer, lyricist, pianist, and educator. He enjoys working at the intersection of the sacred and secular, and his lyrics and music invite the choir and audience to be agents of hope, grace, and compassion in the world. Pederson was awarded the American Prize in Choral Composition in 2019, and the ACDA Genesis Prize in 2020. Pederson has an undergraduate degree from Augustana University, a Masters Degree in Education from University of St. Thomas, and an MFA in Music Composition from Vermont College of Fine Art. His work is commissioned, performed, and recorded by community, school, and professional choirs around the world. Additional information and links to Kyle’s music can be found at kylepederson.com.
Joan J. Pinkston
Joan Pinkston holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Piano Performance from Bob Jones University, where she also played the cello in the University Symphony Orchestra and sang in the University Chorale, both directed by Dr. Dwight D. Gustafson. Following graduation, Joan was asked to stay and teach music theory/composition and piano, a relationship that has continued for 51 years. In retirement, Joan still teaches Choral Composition and Composition, both at BJU and at home.
Joan studied composition at Bob Jones University, the Wisconsin College-Conservatory of Music, the University of Wisconsin, Westminster Choir College, and Singing Brook Farm, Hawley, MA. Her primary instructors have been Dwight Gustafson and Alice Parker. Joan was the final editor for Alice Parker’s book, The Answering Voice, 2013. Since 1970, Joan has written over 100 published choral pieces, over 70 published hymns, and numerous piano solos, vocal solos, brass choir arrangements, orchestra pieces, and string orchestra pieces. Dozens of times she has served as soloist for sacred concerts and as workshop clinician. Joan has had over 40 years experience as conductor, pianist, or cellist recording in sound studios. She has produced three of her own CD’s, written the soundtracks for five films, written most of the music for an elementary music curriculum, edited the hymnal, Hymns of Grace and Glory, and written incidental music for fourteen plays. Joan has taught Choral Composition for 45 years and has had about 25 students that have successfully completed the degree, Master of Church Music in Composition. Many of her students have won awards for their compositions, and many have gone on to become fine composers in their own right.
Jonathan Reid (b. 1991) is a music educator and composer based in Greenville, South Carolina. His love for choral music began when he became a member of his high school choir, and he has been singing in, directing, and composing for choirs ever since.As a passionate music educator, Jonathan has led successful choral programs in the states of Georgia, Texas, and South Carolina. Highlights of his educational career include having over 25 students audition into the Georgia All State Choir, being a part of a committee to revise the Georgia Performance Standards for Music Education, and conducting in the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. Jonathan holds degrees in music education from Bob Jones University and Boston University. As an arranger and composer, Jonathan's piano and choral music is featured in the catalogs of Beckenhorst Press, Choristers Guild, Hinshaw Music, Majesty Music, Soundforth Music, and Walton Music, with forthcoming publications through BriLee Music and Carl Fischer. He is equally at home writing for the sanctuary or the concert hall, and has a budding interest in writing quality, age-appropriate repertoire for pre-college students of choral music.
Jonathan is the winner of the 2011 John Ness Beck Foundation Award, the 2019 Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Christmas Carol Commission Competition, and the 2019 Gregg Smith Choral Composition Competition. More about his work can be found at www.jonathanreidmusic.com.
Penny obtained her degree in piano performance from Moody Bible Institute and American Conservatory of Chicago. She has released nine solo piano CDs of her own compositions and has published several piano books with various publishers (Portraits of Christmas, Portraits of the Cross, Portraits of Christmas II, Portraits of Praise, Images, Images II, Midnight Clear, Near to the Heart of God, Timeless, Morning Has Broken, The Solo Piano Wedding). She has also had close to forty choral pieces published. Penny lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Dave, who is the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. They have two grown children, Barry and Lucy.
David Schwoebel is Minister of Music / Composer in Residence at Derbyshire Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. He is a graduate of McKendree College in Lebanon, IL, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Voice and Organ Performance, and a Master of Church Music with an emphasis in Composition respectively. Prior to beginning his ministry at Derbyshire in January 1997, he had served churches in his hometown of Belleville, IL, Montgomery, AL and Atlanta, GA.
As an ordained minister, David administrates and oversees a comprehensive music ministry of nine choral organizations, five handbell choirs, an Orff ensemble, a 28-piece orchestra and brass ensemble. His energetic, hands-on approach to ministry finds him working each week with people of all ages, encouraging and equipping them to discover and develop their varied musical talents and skills. The MICHELLE hymn tune included in the 1991 Baptist Hymnal is named after David's wife, Michelle. The BRITTANY, ASHLEY and COURTNEY hymn tunes in the Celebrating Grace Hymnal are named after their three daughters. For more information on David's extended music ministry, compositions and arrangements, or the Soli Deo Gloria! CD, please visit www.davidschwoebel.com.
Larry Shackley is a full-time composer and editor from Columbia, SC. From 1995-2007, he taught and directed the music program at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC. Prior to that, he worked for several years at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, creating original music and producing radio programs for the Moody Broadcasting Network. He served as staff keyboardist for ten years at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL. Shackley’s published music includes over 200 choral pieces, six cantatas, and 400 keyboard arrangements, as well as vocal and instrumental collections.
Timothy Shaw was born and raised in idyllic Keene, New Hampshire. He studied theology and music (composition, theory, history, piano) in college and graduate school, and he has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as composer, professor, church musician, and author. As a composer he has received various honors, including the ALCM Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition. He has composed extensively for the church and is published by Augsburg Fortress, Beckenhorst, Choristers Guild, Concordia, Fred Bock, Hope, MorningStar Music, Neil A. Kjos, and Shawnee Press. He also composes on commission, and he has written for David Kim (Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster), Anne Martindale-Williams (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra principal cellist), and Abington Presbyterian Church (Abington, Pennsylvania), among others. As a scholar and clinician he has presented academic papers, workshops, music reading sessions, master classes, and hymn festivals at numerous universities, music societies, conferences, and churches throughout the United States. As a pianist he has recorded several albums, which are available on iTunes and via streaming services. As an author he is a contributor to a number of blogs about music and worship, and he has published an eBook Advent devotional (Behold, He Comes: Advent Reflections). In addition to these professional endeavors, he has volunteered as an ESL instructor, a youth baseball coach, and a board member of a community boys and girls club. He and his wife Lauren are proud parents of two sons.
Mark Shepperd has served as a church musician throughout his professional life, as choral conductor, organist, pianist and composer. Additionally, he is a member of the faculty at K & S Conservatory of Music in Woodbury where he teaches piano and composition. A native of the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Mr. Shepperd earned a music degree at Augsburg University, Minneapolis and has done graduate study at the University of Minnesota. His compositions, both choral and instrumental, are represented in the catalogs of more than a dozen American music publishers. They have been performed by schools, churches and universities throughout the United States and abroad. He is a first place winner of the John Ness Beck Foundation competition and a winner of the VocalEssence and American Composers Forum Welcome Christmas Carol Contest in both 2010 and 2018. Mr. Shepperd resides in the St. Paul suburb of Woodbury, Minnesota with his wife, Mary. They are the parents of three grown children. For more information, please visit www.markshepperd.com.
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Composer, conductor, organist, teacher, and preacher Tom Trenney has been blessed to serve as Minister of Music to First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, since 2009. In 2019, he became Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choirs at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Tom’s choirs have been honored to perform for state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, and they have been award winners in the American Prize for choral ensembles. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, Tom is grateful for the inspiration of his teachers and mentors – especially Anton Armstrong, David Davidson, Craig Hella Johnson, (Mister) Fred Rogers, William Weinert, Anne Wilson and Todd Wilson. His choral compositions are published by Augsburg Fortress, Beckenhorst Press, Choristers Guild, E.C. Schirmer/Galaxy, Morningstar, Musicspoke, Pavane, and G. Schirmer.
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Patricia Thomson (handbells)
Pat Thomson is well known in music circles in Saskatoon. Since 1963 when Pat began song writing, many of her compositions have been used for “special occasions” in the community, in concert, in Music Festivals, in schools and in churches. Her Handbell compositions have been chosen as Canada’s “ masse ring” selections for the 1996, 1998, 200, and 2008 International Handbell Symposiums.
See works by Patricia Thomson