An Interview with Mark Knickelbein, Editor of Music/Worship at Concordia Publishing House.
Brenna: You’ve been a Member Publisher with OneLicense.net since 2004. What titles have our users enjoyed over the years?
Mark: Concordia Publishing House is proud to be serving the musical needs of congregations for nearly 150 years, providing rich choral, organ, piano, and handbell music. Our catalog includes music by prominent composers John A. Behnke, Mark Bender, James Biery, Jeffrey Blersch, Benjamin M. Culli, David deSilva, John Eggert, Sandra Eithun, Richard Heschke, Kevin Hildebrand, Jeffrey Honoré, Scott Hyslop, J. Wayne Kerr, Kenneth T. Kosche, John Leavitt, David Maxwell, Kevin McChesney, Cathy Moklebust, Hart Morris, David Music, Carl F. Schalk, Timothy Shaw, David von Kampen, Jacob B. Weber and many, many more.
Many license holders look to CPH for the fine hymnody of Jaroslav J. Vajda, writer of hymns such as “Go, My Children, with My Blessing” and “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt,” as well as hymnwriter Stephen P. Starke, writer of “We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God,” a beautiful versification of the Te Deum.
Some of our most popular titles over the years include the following:
- Messe de Minuit pour Noël (The Midnight Mass) by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (cph.org/p-4715-messe-de-minuit-pour-nol.aspx)
- Joy to the Heart by K. Lee Scott (cph.org/p-5571-joy-to-the-heart.aspx)
- Requiem by John Leavitt (cph.org/p-5873-requiem.aspx)
- Crown Him with Many Crowns by John A. Behnke (cph.org/p-22528-crown-him-with-many-crowns.aspx)
- I Want Jesus to Walk with Me by David von Kampen (cph.org/p-22553-i-want-jesus-to-walk-with-me.aspx)
- Orgelbüchlein by J. S. Bach (cph.org/p-4545-orgelbchlein.aspx)
Brenna: What new collections and/or featured composers will our license holders be searching for this winter?
Mark: We have really focused this year’s new releases on the Reformation, with the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation coming in 2017. Our new Reformation Suite for Brass Quartet and Organ by Benjamin M. Culli (cph.org/p-30558-reformation-suite-for-brass-quartet-and-organ.aspx) is an incredible celebratory work. A new concertato on “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” by Jeffrey Blersch (cph.org/p-30532-a-mighty-fortress-is-our-god.aspx) has already been a best seller and been described by customers as outstanding and enduring.
Brenna: Looking forward to the upcoming liturgical year, are there any must-have titles to have on our worklists?
Mark: Definitely. Choirs will love Kevin Hildebrand’s new arrangement of “Now Thank We All Our God” (cph.org/p-30518-now-thank-we-all-our-god.aspx). “Shepherds, Come A-Running” by Henry V. Gerike (cph.org/p-30491-shepherds-come-a-running.aspx) is proving to be one of our best-selling Christmas titles. For Lent, “There Is a Green Hill Far Away” by Jeffrey Blersch (cph.org/p-30479-there-is-a-green-hill-far-away.aspx) is beautiful. John Behnke’s “This Is the Day” (cph.org/p-30477-this-is-the-day.aspx) is a memorable pick for Easter. “Peter’s Sermon” by Andrew Bruhn (cph.org/p-30480-peters-sermon.aspx) is fantastic for Pentecost.
Organists have a wealth of new material from twenty-four of our best composers in our new Reformation organ set (cph.org/p-30571-a-reformation-set-organ-preludes-on-sixteenth-century-hymns.aspx). This music is for the entire church year (not just Reformation!) but is based on Reformation-era tunes. Our flagship Hymn Prelude Library series (cph.org/lsbpreludes) continues to provide material for the entire church year in every volume. Kevin Hildebrand’s new collection “Salvation unto Us: Twelve Easy Organ Preludes for Reformation” (cph.org/p-30461-salvation-unto-us-twelve-easy-organ-preludes-for-reformation.aspx) has been one of our most popular this year.
Handbell choirs will want to check out Hart Morris’s “The King of Glory Comes” (cph.org/p-30049-the-king-of-glory-comes.aspx) this Advent and Lauran Delancy’s “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” (cph.org/p-30050-from-heaven-above-to-earth-i-come.aspx) this Christmas. For Lent and Easter, Sandra Eithun’s setting of “The Lamb” (cph.org/p-29987-the-lamb.aspx) is a perfect choice.
Brenna: What can our users look forward to from you in the coming months?
Mark: Our Hymn Prelude Library is our most anticipated organ series of all time. We are expecting to release volume ten this December. The series should be complete with all twelve volumes by December 2017. Altogether, every tune in Lutheran Service Book is treated in the series.
We are especially excited about one long-term project—Lutheran Service Builder, the premier software for putting together worship folders. As we look to the future, we are getting it ready for the Web with many fantastic updates.
Brenna: What denominations or groups look to you for music? Are there ecumenical options for interfaith communities?
Mark: Our music is appreciated by Christians of all denominations. As the denominational publisher for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, of course many of their constituents rely on us for all of their liturgical needs, and other Lutheran churches as well, but our music, especially organ and handbell, is useful for all Christians.
Some of our historical works also find their way into the educational market. “Lord, My God, Assist Me Now” by Il Padre G. B. Martini (cph.org/p-4697-lord-my-god-assist-me-now-domine-ad-adjuvandum-me-festina.aspx) is a piece that regularly ends up used for many state contests.
For more than 140 years, Concordia Publishing House has been serving individuals, families, and congregations in their proclamation and learning of the Gospel. They are based in St. Louis, Missouri. You can find out more about this OneLicense.net Member Publisher at http://www.cph.org.
Photo copyright: Unsplash. This image is available for download at www.pexels.com.