June 2017

Performance of Commissioned Work at 2017 Worship Conference

"We Praise the Christ for Martyred Saints"
Commissioned for the 2017 WELS National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts
All Saints' Day Worship, June 15, 2017
Tune: EIN NEUES LIED WIR HEBEN AN, Martin Luther / Arr: Mark Knickelbein

June 2017

In Stephen's Shadow

“In Stephen’s Shadow” is an adaptation of my commissioned text with a new tune written by Sarah Lambrecht. That anthem, with Sarah’s beautiful melody, is available for sale at the Worship Conference as well as Sarah’s website and this website.

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June 2017

WELS National Conference on Worship, Music, & the Arts

I was commissioned by WELS Commission on Worship to write a hymn text on the realities, trials, blessings, and effects of Christian martyrdom in our modern world for the WELS Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts June 13-16, 2017, at Carthage College.

The task was to catch the spirit of Luther’s first hymn (1523) written in response to the martyrdom of two young confessors in Brussels: “Ein neues Lied wir heben an. Mark Knickelbein, a music editor at Concordia Publishing House, was commissioned to compose hymn settings of Luther’s tune for congregational singing. The result is “We Praise the Christ for Martyred Saints.” The hymn will be sung for the first time at the conference service reconstructing Luther’s Deutsche Messe, a service with an All Saints Day theme.

In addition to the text commission, I will also be speaking at the conference on hymn writing. 

APRIL 2017

And You Will Sleep published by Earthsongs

“And You Will Sleep” was published by Earthsongs! My talented son, Philip Biedenbender wrote the music, earning the 2016 Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition. Phil and I were so grateful to Dr. Anton Armstrong and the St. Olaf Choir for singing this piece at their 2015 Christmas Fest and their 2016 Choir Tour.

MARCH 2017

More Performances of What Grace Is This!

Martin Luther College Chorale, Mannerchor, and Women’s Choir sang What Grace Is This! at their Lent Vespers 2017 and again at the 2017 Hymn Festival, where composer Professor Grace Hennig herself directs the choirs.

MARCH 2016

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What Grace Is This! published by GIA

What Grace Is This! was published by GIA in January 2017. Grace Hennig wrote music for this text many years ago, and Dr. Larry Visser found it in the Faith Alive hymnal Lift Up Your Hearts and decided to write a choral anthem. 

MAY 2016

The Road from Here

Thanks to Dr. Therees Hibbard and the Manitou Singers of St. Olaf, who sang “The Road from Here” in May 2016. My son, Philip Biedenbender, composed the music for this text as well, and he’s displaying his wonderful piano playing in the video. See the lyrics and further notes on the text here

MAY 2016

Alma Mater singing We Thank You, Dearest Father

So excited that one of the schools that’s using my Christian education hymn “We Thank You, Dearest Father” – with a lovely new tune written by Sarah Lambrecht– is my own alma mater, David’s Star Lutheran School in Jackson, Wisconsin –historically known as Kirchhayn. One of my dearest grade school friends will watch her own son sing this hymn as he graduates from eighth grade. Warms my heart.

MARCH 2016

The Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys Perform What Grace Is This!

The Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys sang Larry's Visser's arrangement of What Grace Is This! at their Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (1:22 mark) and their Lent and Easter Meditations (1:32 mark)  (Be sure to listen for Larry’s clever and beautiful “Away in a Manger” melody lofting over stanza 5!)