An Interview with Martin Seltz, Publisher at Augsburg Fortress
Brenna: You’ve been a Member Publisher with us since 2004. What titles have our users enjoyed over the years?
Martin: Because our history includes the publishing of hymnals and worship resources for nearly two hundred years, we find that some of our most-reported hymns and songs are those that were introduced in several generations of worship books. Examples include “Children of the Heavenly Father” (1925), “Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds” (1958), “Earth and All Stars!” (1978), “Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen” (1995), and “You Are Holy” (2006). On the choral music side, examples of classic Augsburg anthems include “Beautiful Savior” (F. Melius Christiansen), “The Eyes of All Wait upon Thee” (Jean Berger), “Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me” (K. Lee Scott), and “Give Me Jesus” (Larry Fleming). We’re also home to the St. Olaf Choral Series.
B: What new collections and/or featured composers will our license holders be searching for in 2017?
M: By midyear we’ll be thrilled to introduce Peace, Be Still, a third collection of hymns by Susan Palo Cherwien, author of O Blessed Spring and Come, Beloved of the Maker (her two previous collections). We’re also working with the Music That Makes Community group on a collection titled Singing in Community: Paperless Music for Worship.
B: Looking forward to the upcoming year, are there any must-have titles to have on our worklists?
M: Resources for the five hundreth anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation’s beginnings include
- Augsburg Organ Library: Reformation, the latest in this 12-volume set of anthologies
- Piano Reflections on Chorale Tunes by Anne Krentz Organ
- Several anthems on Lutheran chorale tunes by Aaron David Miller, coming in 2017.
Featured new hymn-based anthem titles for Lent and Easter include:
- All Creation Held Its Breath by John Carter and Mary Kay Beall
- Amazing Grace (tune: HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN) by Thomas Keesecker
- For the Beauty of the Earth by Hal Hopson
- I Come with Joy by Zebulon Highben and Brian Wren
B: What other projects would you like our users to know about?
M: We encourage church musicians to explore our Prelude Music Planner (www.preludemusicplanner.org), which offers digital access to thousands of hymn, choral, handbell, piano, and organ titles from Augsburg Fortress as well as other publishers, together with robust search and planning tools to make worship music planning easy.
B: What denominations or groups look to you for music?
M: Well-crafted musical settings of Scripture, religious texts old and new, and great hymns have broad appeal across many denominations, and a number of our titles are suitable for school and interfaith settings as well. As the publishing ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, our roots are in the Lutheran expression of Christianity and its musical heritage.
B: Are there any other divisions, catalogs, or sub companies with your publishing house that our license holders would recognize?
M: As one of three publishing units within 1517 Media (www.1517.media), Augsburg Fortress continues to be the imprint for Augsburg Music and for resources with a primarily Lutheran audience. 1517 Media includes also the academic publishing unit Fortress Press (www.fortresspress.com), as well as Sparkhouse (www.wearesparkhouse.org), which is focused on curricula and other resources for children, youth, and families.
Augsburg Fortress, based in Minneapolis, creates substantive and innovative materials to support the ministries of faith communities in communicating the good news of God’s liberating grace. You can find out more about this ONE LICENSE Member Publisher at www.augsburgfortress.org.