Clinicians: Alex Guebert and John Behnke
BronzeFest Director: Lauran Delancy
YouthFest Director: Nick Hanson
Worship Seminar Team: Lauran Delancy, Gwen Gepford, Beth Ann Edwards
Directors Seminar: Alex Guebert and John Behnke
John Behnke – Clinician and Directors Seminar
Dr. John Behnke is the former director of the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble, retired Music Editor for AGEHR Music – Handbell Musicians of America, and retired Organist and Choir Director at Historic Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee, WI. Dr. John Behnke is Emeritus Professor of Music at Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin, where he taught organ, graduate handbell courses, and directed The Alleluia Ringers, Concordia’s touring handbell choir, for 29 years from 1986 until August of 2015.
Dr. Behnke is a frequent organ recitalist, handbell clinician, and festival director. He enjoys composing and arranging, with nearly 400 handbell, choral, and organ compositions in print with seventeen different publishers in the United States, Germany, and Taiwan.
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, where he passed the “A” Exam in Organ with the grade of “1-Excellent”.
Alex Guebert – Clinician and Directors Seminar
Alex Guebert is a composer, arranger, percussionist, music director and music teacher from Orange, California. He directs five handbell groups in the area; among those are two advanced-level groups: Cathedral Bells of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Orange, and L.A. Bronze. His compositions and arrangements have been published and performed nationwide and overseas. Alex’s compositional style is a result of his background as a percussionist, his love of film score, and his desire to broaden the horizons of handbell repertoire.
Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in percussion from Concordia University Irvine, and an M.M. in Music Composition from Cal State Long Beach. Alex has studied conducting with Dr. Bill Payn, Dr. Herbert Geisler (Concordia University Irvine), and Ramona Miller. He teaches music classes and leads band programs at schools in Orange County, and has taught classes at handbell seminars throughout the country. Married in 2014, Alex spends his free time adventuring with his wife Heather, bicycling around Southern California.
Lauran Delancy – BronzeFest Director and Massed Director
Lauran Delancy began ringing in high school and immediately fell in love with handbells. She has been a soloist since 1998 and has been directing since 1999 at community, church, and collegiate levels. She loves working with handbells and answering questions as a clinician.
Lauran is a published composer and most enjoys writing for handbells. She attended Concordia University Wisconsin where she had the opportunity to ring as a member of the Alleluia Ringers under the direction of Dr. John Behnke for 6 years. She holds a BA in Parish Music, a BA in Humanities, and a Master of Church Music degree with an emphasis in Handbells. She served Area 8 of the Handbell Musicians of America as Education Chair from 2011-2014.
Lauran and her husband Patrick have four future ringers: Cora (2008), George (2009), Nathan (2011), and Isla (2013).
Nick Hanson – YouthFest Director
Nick Hanson, YouthFest Conductor and Clinician, is in his eleventh year as the director of handbell ensembles at the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, and his ninth year as the handbell director at Bush Hill Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Virginia. At Potomac, Nick’s duties include teaching instrumental music curriculum to 5th through 12th grade students who participate in any of the school’s four handbell ensembles and he teaches private handbell lessons. His directing duties at Bush Hill currently involve a teen/adult ensemble.
Nick is a published handbell composer, has served as faculty, clinician, and conductor at handbell events nationally (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia), and internationally (Hong Kong and Taiwan), and is a ringing member and assistant to the director of the Virginia Bronze Handbell Ensemble. In 2015, Nick was privileged to be chosen as the first-ever Associate Conductor for the Distinctly Bronze (an advanced performance event in Portland, OR, under the leadership of Dr. William A. Payn), and was the conductor for the Distinctly Teen event in Dallas, TX.
Nick holds a BA degree from Concordia University, Irvine, CA, as a major in music with concentration in handbells.