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2012 Anthem Competition Winner

Jonathan Blumhofer is the winner of the 2012 Anthem Competition of the First Baptist Church of Worcester, Massachusetts garnering a $2,000 prize. His anthem “Make a Joyful Noise” with text from Psalm 98: 4-9 is scored for SATB choir, brass quartet and organ. This anthem will be presented in worship on Sunday, May 6 by the Chancel Choir with Worcester Polytechnic Institute brass, William Ness, conducting.

Judges for the 2012 Anthem Competition are Emma Lou Diemer, Professor of Music Emeritus at University of California, Santa Barbara. She majored in composition at the Yale Music School (BM, 1949; MM, 1950) and at the Eastman School of Music (Ph.D, 1960). She studied in Brussels, Belgium on a Fulbright Scholarship and spent two summers of composition study at the Berkshire Music Center. John Behnke, Professor of Music, Concordia University, Mequon, Wisconsin. A 1974 graduate of Concordia-River Forest, IL. he received his M. Mus. in Church Music and Organ from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. in 1978. His D. Mus. was awarded to him in 1984 by Northwestern University where he was elected into the Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, a National Honorary Music Society. From August 1978 to July 1979 Dr. Behnke studied at the Westphalian Church Music Institute in Herford, W. Germany. Z. Randall Stroope, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, Okalahoma State University, Stillwater. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Stroope completed his masters in voice performance at the University of Colorado (Boulder), and a doctorate in conducting at Arizona State University. He also did post graduate individual conducting study with Margaret Hillis, Chorus Master of the Chicago Symphony. As a recipient of the Australian-American Fulbright, he has also done work in western Australia.


Jonathan Blumhofer was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1979 and began studying the violin at the age of three, later taking up the piano and the viola. He graduated from Wheaton College (IL) in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in music performance, and received his Master’s degree in music composition in 2006 from the Boston Conservatory. In May 2010, he was awarded his doctorate from Boston University, where his principal composition teachers were Samuel Headrick, Richard Cornell, and Joshua Fineberg. He has also studied composition with Ladislav Kubik, Jan Swafford, Dalit Warshaw, Allain Gaussin, Andre Bon, and Edwin T. Childs. In the summers of 2005 and 2006, Dr. Blumhofer studied composition in Europe, first at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, later at the Czech American Summer Music Institute in Prague.

Dr. Blumhofer’s compositions and arrangements have received numerous awards, and have been performed and recorded in Europe and the United States by ensembles such as the Longfellow Chorus, the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, the Xanthos Ensemble, the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lincoln Trio, and the Camerata Chicago.

As a scholar, Dr. Blumhofer’s research interests include American music (particularly the music of Leonard Bernstein and John Adams), 20th century music history, modern European history, and the music of Bartok, Ligeti, and Beethoven. Also, Dr. Blumhofer has a deep and abiding interest in Protestant hymnody. Since 2000, he has been a prolific arranger of hymn tunes for both instrumental and vocal ensembles. In 2009, he wrote the first comprehensive history of music at Park Street Church, which served as the foreword for its Bicentennial Hymnal celebrating one of Boston’s most historic congregations. Four of his hymn tunes were also selected for inclusion in the hymnal. The following year, he received an honorable mention from the Boston University School of Theology’s hymn writing competition honoring the legacy of Carl P. Daw.

Currently, Dr. Blumhofer lectures in music at Clark University and teaches online at the University of Phoenix. He has also taught at the Boston Conservatory, Boston University, and Gordon College.

A member of ASCAP and Pi Kappa Lambda, Dr. Blumhofer is active as a music critic in the Boston area for The Arts Fuse ( Additionally, he is an avid fan of Chicago Cubs baseball, food, travel, and history. He resides with his wife, Rebecca, in Worcester, MA.