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Music in Worship: Thoughts from Composer Mark Bender

Having served on the committee that created Lutheran Service Book and being a church music director, Mark Bender has a complex understanding of how music functions in the Divine Service. Mark also has published more than a dozen compositions with CPH Music. Hear from Mark himself about how he chooses music for worship and what tools he recommends to his fellow music directors.

Meet CPH Composer Jacob B. Weber

Composer Jacob B. Weber began his musical journey as a piano student in first grade. He later studied church music and organ at Bethany Lutheran College and completed the master of church music degree at Concordia University Wisconsin. He was the kantor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and School in Dearborn, Michigan, where he planned worship, played organ, led ensembles, and taught music at the K–8 school. Now, Jacob is the associate editor of music/worship at Concordia Publishing House. Jacob has published more than thirty works with CPH Music, including four new pieces this year. Get to know him by reading our interview with him below.

Interview with Jeffrey Honoré

Composer Jeffrey Honoré is releasing a new handbell piece with CPH in 2018: “Meditation on ‘Crown Him with Many Crowns.’” We sat down with Jeffrey to learn more about the piece, his background, and how he got into the composing world.

Composing the Festival Settings of Luther’s Divine Service

Last week, we interviewed composers Jonathan Kohrs and Jacob Weber and asked about their work on the new Festival Settings of Luther's Divine Service. Professor Kohrs teaches music courses at Concordia University Chicago, and Weber serves as Kantor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and School in Dearborn, MI.

Writing the Lyrics for the Echoes of the Hammer Musical

Our guest author for today is Lisa M. Clark, Senior Editor for Curriculum Resources at CPH. Although you may know her best as a hymn writer and the author of the Messengers novels, one of her latest projects has been working on CPH Education’s new musical, Echoes of the Hammer. In today’s post, Lisa shares more about her creative process as the lyricist for the musical.

Interview with Timothy Shaw

Every artist knows that the details matter, and composer Timothy Shaw’s detail-oriented nature is probably one of the things that has made his music career so successful! Taking pleasure from things many other people may not notice, like a perfectly engraved musical score or a key change in one of his compositions, Timothy has composed more than a dozen pieces for CPH. Read our interview with Timothy and visit his author page on CPH.org to learn more about all of his compositions with us.

Interview with Jeffrey Blersch

Not many CPH composers got their first organist jobs at eight years old, but Jeffrey Blersch was one of them. A little bit taller and older now, Jeff has published more than one hundred compositions and arrangements exclusively with CPH Music.

Last week, he gave a live online performance of three new compositions and talked to us about his music background. Read highlights from our conversation below, and head to our YouTube channel to watch a recording of the event.

Interview with John Behnke

Every music piece has a story behind it, and composer John Behnke has a ton of stories.

With plenty of humor and clear passion for what he does, Dr. Behnke told us about the ups and downs in his time as a composer. As a seasoned church musician, teacher, and composer, he shared some of his expert knowledge on writing music that can easily be used by a wide range of churches.

Read highlights from our conversation below, and watch the full interview on our YouTube channel.

Interview with Kevin Hildebrand and Matthew Machemer

“We’ve got the best jobs in the Missouri Synod.”

Kevin Hildebrand and his co-worker Matthew Machemer are kantors at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

But beyond that, they are talented organists, passionate composers, joyful teachers, and careful shapers of how future pastors view music ministry in the parish. Kevin and Matt recently sat down with us to talk about how they got started in music and to tell us the stories behind their new pieces for Lent.