Fall 2015 – The B’s Have It! – Program Notes

Big, Bold, Beautiful Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Berger, Bernstein, Britten, Beebe, Burkhardt & Buxtehude!! Composers beginning with B!


2 – Born in San Francisco, CA (1920-2012), this jazz pianist and composer is best remembered for the classic Take Five which is in 5/4 time. He wrote many sacred works as well including The Light in the Wilderness based on the Book of Matthew.

4 – Born in Racine, Wisconsin in 1934, this American composer/arranger has more than 100 anthems to his credit. Several of his early works were written for and/or dedicated to the Detroit Lutheran Singers. He was Professor of Music at Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH for 28 years until his death in 2011.

6 – This German composer was born in Bonn in 1770. He began losing his hearing at age 26, yet still composed many of his most loved works such as Moonlight Sonata and his 9th Symphony after he became completely deaf.

7 – Born to a Jewish family in 1909 Germany, this composer’s birth name was Arthur Schlossberg. He moved to Paris in 1933 and later to Brazil during the war. There, he was assistant conductor of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro and served on the faculty at the Brazilian Conservatory. Several of his compositions have become standards in sacred choral repertoire.

8 – This Ohio born composer (1930-1987) was dedicated to the promotion of traditional sacred music. With dozens of compositions well loved by church choirs today, he founded a sacred music press that is the print home of many modern church composers including Dan Forrest, Mark Hayes, Craig Courtney and Hank Beebe.



1 – This composer (1918-1990) was the first American born and trained conductor of the New York Philharmonic. His composition work included musicals, ballet, opera, film scores and even sacred music. From West Side Story to Chichester Psalms, this is one of the American Masters.

2 – An English composer (1913-1976) best known for his operatic compositions including Peter Grimes and The Turn of the Screw. His most famous work, War Requiem, was completed in 1962. Many church musicians were first introduced to his work through his Missa Brevis and Ceremony of Carols.

3 – Born in Eisenach, Germany (1685), this church musician served as organist and choir master at the Lutheran churches in Liepzig most of his career. He wrote hundreds of compositions to follow the church lectionary cycle including masses, motets, cantatas and oratorios. His works were largely ignored until a composition revival in the 1800s. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

5 – This American composer (b. 1926) with more than 500 published works got his start writing Off Broadway musical productions. His work also included writing musical productions to promote new vehicles for the big 3 automakers. A life-long Episcopalian, his sacred works are energetic and joyful and hence found in thousands of church choir libraries.

6 – Born to a Lutheran family in Hamburg, Germany (b. 1833) this composer and pianist is best known for his 1856 work A German Requiem.

8 – A Renaissance composer (b. 1539?) who produced sacred music for the Anglican Church. With more than 470 compositions, he is considered one of the Great Masters of European Renaissance Music.