Our Staff

President & General Manager    Jeffrey Hamm
Promotions & Sales Manager    Bryan Babcock
Copyright/Licensing Administrator/Executive Secretary  Stephanie Stephens

Music Co-Editor    Craig Courtney
Music Co-Editor    Dan Forrest
Handbell Editor    William H. Griffin
Organ Editor    Deborah Govenor
Co-Editor, Capital University Choral Series    Lynda Hasseler

 

Jeffrey D. Hamm, President/General Manager

Jeff received his undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in music education, in 1975 and a Master of Arts degree in piano pedagogy in 1979 from The Ohio State University. He was first employed by J. Arthur Music, which was a distributor for Beckenhorst Press. When John Ness Beck expressed a desire to distribute his own music, Jeff let it be known that he would like to join the team. In March of 1981 he was hired. Six years later John was diagnosed with terminal cancer. At that time he made plans for Beckenhorst to continue its course and appointed Jeff to take over the administrative responsibilities of the company as President and General Manager. In addition to being President of Beckenhorst, Jeff is a past President of the Handbell Industry Council. Jeff frequently accompanies area church choirs and has served as Musical Director for professional and community theatre productions including Contemporary American Theatre Company (CATCO), Columbus Children’s Theatre and Gallery Players. He is an avid animation fan and loves to travel to Disney World.

Bryan Babcock, Sales and Distribution Manager

Bryan has been with the distribution facet of Beckenhorst Press since 1981. He has degrees in French (l’Université de Dijon), Spanish and music from Otterbein University. Bryan has been maestro of music at Maynard Avenue United Methodist Church in Columbus serving as pianist/organist/choir director for better than thirty years. He also enjoys the position of musical director for area theatre productions from time to time as well as accompanist at large. Bryan enjoys gardening and even keeps a “greenhouse” of plants in the Beckenhorst warehouse. 

Craig Courtney, Music Co-editor

A native of Indiana, Craig Courtney began playing the piano at the age of three and the cello at the age of eleven. He received a Bachelors and a Masters degree in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati, studying piano under Raymond Dudley and chamber music under Walter Levin of the LaSalle Quartet. During that time, he was a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Honorary Music Society.

Following a three-year stay in Milan, Italy, where Mr. Courtney studied the piano with Illonka Deckers, performed for the Associazione Musicale "Gustav Mahler", and worked extensively as a vocal coach, he was invited to join the music faculty of the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, serving as piano teacher and accompanist for the woodwind and brass department.

It was during this six-year period, while serving in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, that Mr. Courtney began directing a church choir and composing sacred choral music, due to the unavailability of English language music. In 1985, his compositions came to the attention of John Ness Beck, through the publication of his octavo, Thy Will Be Done, initiating a close working relationship between the two men which continued until Mr. Beck's death in 1987. In making plans for the ongoing of Beckenhorst Press, Mr. Beck appointed Craig Courtney to assume his responsibilities as staff composer and editor.

At this point in time, Mr. Courtney's published works include more than two hundred choral octavos, nine vocal collections, a piano solo collection and six extended works for choir and orchestra. Compositionally, Mr. Courtney combines his training and background as a pianist, a cellist, a vocal coach, an accompanist and a choral director to create words that bear his unique style. He has been a frequent recipient of ASCAP achievement awards and his composition, Peace I Give to You, was awarded 1st place in the 2003 John Ness Beck Foundation competition.

In demand throughout the country as a choral clinician and featured composer, Craig Courtney now resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Susan.

Dan Forrest, Music Co-editor

Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as having “an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music….that is truly magical” (NY Concert Review), with works hailed as “magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture” (Classical Voice), and  “superb writing…full of spine-tingling moments” (Salt Lake Tribune). Dan’s music spans a wide spectrum of genres and difficulty, ranging from extended major works for chorus and orchestra and significant concert choral repertoire to more accessible works for church and community choirs, as well as instrumental works ranging from wind ensemble pieces to solo instrumental sonatas.

Dr. Forrest’s work has become well established in the choral repertoire in the U.S. and around the world, and has received numerous awards and distinctions including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, the ACDA Raymond Brock Award, the ALCM Raabe Prize, and many others. His choral works have been recorded by professional choirs including Seraphic Fire and VOCES8, have been featured on numerous national US radio and TV broadcasts, and are regularly performed in festivals in Carnegie Hall and other prominent international venues. His major works Requiem for the Living (2013) and Jubilate Deo (2016) have quickly become standard choral/orchestral repertoire for ensembles around the world, and his newest major work LUX: The Dawn From On High (2018) is now gathering similar critical acclaim. 

Dan is highly active in the music publishing industry, currently publishing his concert choral music through his own company, The Music of Dan Forrest (distributed by Beckenhorst Press), and his church choral anthems with Beckenhorst Press. He spends significant time mentoring other composers and editing their work for Beckenhorst as well. Dr. Forrest also maintains a sizable presence in the Hinshaw Music catalog, and has published with a dozen other publishers. He adjudicates regional and national composition contests, and keeps a full schedule of commissions, workshops, recordings, and residencies with universities, churches, community and professional ensembles, collaborating as accompanist, presenting his music, and teaching composition and music theory. Dan oversees (and teaches at) the annual John Ness Beck Foundation Choral Composers’ Workshop, and serves as Artist-in-Residence at his home church, Mitchell Road Presbyterian (PCA) in Greenville, SC. 

Dan holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in piano performance, and is a Fellow of Melodious Accord. His academic background includes several years as a professor and department head (music theory and composition) in higher education. More information about Dan and his work can be found at www.danforrest.com.

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