Welcome to our Spotlight series, a place for our Member Publishers to connect with our License Holders, share new works, and offer updates on their catalogs. Interested in reading more from our Spotlight series? Visit this link

K: We are thrilled to have you as a Member Publisher on our service! What areas of ministry can be supported by your music?

J: My music is for all seasons of the church year and for organists, choirs, handbell choirs, or all these groups combined.   

A note for our License Holders: JAB (John Behnke) Publishing participates in ONE LICENSE Podcast / Streaming and Practice-Track Licenses. Remember that instrumental titles cannot be reprinted. 

K: What new collections or favorite pieces should our License Holders be looking forward to this Fall and Winter?

J: For handbells I would suggest:

The Bells Must Ring! (JAB051) 3-5 oct. of handbells, Level 3-, (JAB052) 2-3 oct. Level 1+, and (JAB053) full score for conductor. A prize-winning piece! This piece won the Area 3 of Handbell Musicians of America Adult Festival Composition Contest and will be played in their 2022 festival.  

The First Noel (JAB042) is for 3-5 octaves of handbells, Level 2, with no bell changes. This piece allows you to place music stands anywhere and your ringers, with a bell in each hand, can play from those spots.  

Gaudete (JAB039) is for 3-6 octaves of handbells, Level 4, and employs the famous chant melody and the hymn, Joy to the World. The word “Gaudete” means Rejoice, so joy is what this arrangement is about.  

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (JAB031) for 3-5 octaves of handbells and optional string orchestra, Level 3, will quickly become a favorite with your audience. The familiar Fum, Fum, Fum is also used in this wonderful arrangement. (JAB032) is the full score with orchestral parts. 

There are also three new organ collections: 

Have Yourself an Easy Advent/Christmas! (JAB038) which features five easy preludes.

Have Yourself an Easy Lent and Easter (JAB046) includes five more easy preludes.

Five Hymn Preludes for Worship (JAB050) contains five preludes for general times. 

All of these preludes are tuneful and accessible with notes that fit well for the hands because they were written by a well-known organist. 

Titles included in these collections are covered for Podcast / Streaming use. Remember that you should report the specific title you used from the collection individually, not the collection as a whole.

And compositions for choir: 

Now Praise the Lord, a new hymn concertato for congregation, choir descant, organ, optional brass, and optional handbell choir. (JAB048) is the full score with reproducible parts.   

Each Stone, Each Beam is an arrangement of a new hymn for church dedications and anniversaries. (JAB055) is a small arrangement for SATB, congregation, and keyboard. (JAB056) is a larger arrangement for SATB, congregation, keyboard, optional brass, and optional handbell choir. These are offered as reproducible scores. One score contains a full score of all the parts together. 

Reprints of these titles are not covered by your ONE LICENSE permissions but are available through the JAB (John Behnke) Publishing website

K: It sounds like there are a lot of wonderful new titles that will be of interest to our License Holders – thank you for sharing all of those! What denominations or groups look to you for music? 

J: I’m a Lutheran, but I think my music is sung and played by church musicians of all denominations. My aim is to get people to listen to music, whether it is the organ, the choir, or bell choir. After all the hard work that a church musician puts in practicing, I want people to listen to it and their worship to be uplifted.     

K: What can our License Holders look forward to from you in the year to come? 

J: I’ve been writing church music for over 40 years and I hope that people will see creativity, quality, and consistency in my work. If you liked one of my pieces, I hope you will find the same quality in another one.     

K: Anything else you would like to share with us?

J: I have been a church musician for over 50 years and there is no higher calling than to make music in the house of the Lord. I thank all the people who have played or sung one of my pieces in the past. And I hope you will take a look at this new, “little” publisher, JAB John Behnke Publishing, for new music in the future. Curious? Here’s the link.  

While JAB (John Behnke) Publishing might be a “little” publisher, they offer a number of titles that promise to enrich your worship experience. Many JAB titles have a variety of optional parts that provide endless possibilities no matter the size of your groups or the abilities of your musicians. Additionally, many of JAB’s titles are based on familiar hymn tunes and some even provide an optional congregational part for use at your discretion. 

John Behnke – Biography

I’ve been in the music publishing business for many years. I was the Music Editor for AGEHR (American Guild of English Handbell Ringers) for 16 years from 2003-2019. Over those years, we built the AGEHR catalog of handbell music to over 600 published pieces. 

Since my retirement from AGEHR in 2019, I continue to compose and arrange music for organ, handbells, and choir; and for fun I started my own publishing label, JAB (John Behnke) Publishing. Today, two years later, there are approximately 50 JAB published pieces. My music is available in paper or digital format from JW Pepper and Jeffers Handbell Supply, and in digital format from Sheet Music Plus. I’ve been amazed at how well the music has been received, getting a number of Editor’s Choice designations with JW Pepper. You can always find out more at www.johnbehnke.com.

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