Shepherd of the Bay Hosts Hymn Festival Sept. 30

Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church is pleased to present a Hymn Festival on Sept. 30 at 7 pm, led by the renowned composer John Behnke. He will bring together the sounds of organ, piano, choir, brass, handbells along with the voices of the audience in an exciting evening of musical inspiration and song.

Dr. Behnke is the organist and choir director at Historic Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee where he plays on an 1878 Schuelke organ. He is also the director of the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble, a community handbell choir. In addition he is the Music Editor for AGEHR Publishing – Handbell Musicians of America.

In 2015, he retired from Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., where he was Professor of Music for 29 years having taught organ, graduate handbell courses, and directed The Alleluia Ringers, Concordia’s touring handbell choir.

Behnke is also a frequent organ recitalist, handbell clinician, and festival director. He is well known composer of church music having more than 400 handbell, choral, and organ compositions in print with 17 different publishers in the United States, Germany, and Taiwan. A complete works listing can be found online at

Behnke has four digital CDs of his organ music; they are titled For All Seasons, Vols. 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each will be available from Dr. Behnke himself after the concert.

The Hymn Festival is offered free to the public and is made possible through a generous donation from the family of Pamela Doss in her memory. A reception will follow the program.

The event takes place at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church, located at 11836 Hwy 42 at the top of the hill in Ellison Bay. For more information, call 920.854.2988 or visit


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