recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist
Choral composer and arranger John Ness Beck was born on November 11, 1930 in Warren, Ohio. After graduating from Warren High School in 1948, he enrolled at The Ohio State University. In 1952 he graduated from Ohio State with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees with a major in English. After working for a year in Student Union activities at the State College of Washington, he spent two years in the U.S. Army. During this time, he became increasingly involved in arranging for various musical groups. After his discharge from military service, he returned to Ohio State and completed Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts degrees in music with composition as his major.
John was a faculty member of The Ohio State University School of Music for seven years, teaching harmony and theory. He left the university to become owner and manager of The University Music House, a retail sheet music store in Columbus. In this capacity, he was able to observe the business side of the music industry, gaining insight into the complexities of music publishing and merchandising. As his compositions found their way into print and popularity, he joined forces in 1972 with John Tatgenhorst in the creation of Beckenhorst Press. His reputation as a composer and his experience as a choral director soon led to an increasing demand for appearances as guest conductor and lecturer at various music clinics and festivals throughout the country. John has left a wonderful legacy of music to be enjoyed by all.
The musical heritage of John Ness Beck is well-known here in the central Ohio area, but those of you in other areas around the country may not be as familiar with his vast catalogue of work. We’re excited to share a new edition of one of his most popular arrangements, perfect for patriotic performances this spring and summer:
Battle Cry of Freedom arr. John Ness Beck
Now available in an updated edition, the classic “Battle Cry of Freedom” is an inspiring, uplifting work for any patriotic occasion. Complete with a signature John Ness Beck ending, this piece offers optional parts for brass and percussion and makes for a thrilling concert closer.
About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.