Contributed by Steve Shorney, Vice President – Hope Publishing
Hope is proud to celebrate its 125th anniversary this year! We were founded in 1892 in Chicago, Illinois. The company was formed in an effort to provide songbooks for hymn singing at Methodist evangelical meetings. The founders of the company christened the name Hope Publishing Company from their motto, “all we have is hope” which defined their feelings when starting the fledgling business. The Shorney family has been running Hope Publishing from its beginning and the current owners, John, Scott and Steve Shorney, are the fourth generation of family management.
Hymns and hymnals are still an important part of Hope’s product mix but in the sixties we aggressively branched out into other products to serve the church market. Now a large part of our publishing is committed to choral, handbell, piano, organ and instrumental products. We remain committed to the sacred market.
We like to consider ourselves a boutique publisher that focuses on quality materials of use to the church. We have monthly editorial meetings to review settings and arrangements submitted to us by mail and email. Most manuscripts we receive are engraved by the composers in Finale and submitted as PDFs, while others submit quasi-legible hand written sketches on lined paper. We also use these meetings to discuss titles that we feel appropriate for publication and match those titles to known composers.
We have two major releases of new music each year based on the two most important seasons of the church calendar. Our Christmas release launches each April and our Easter release launches in November.
It is always fulfilling when you create a product line that finds a niche where none existed before. An example of this is Joel Raney’s candle lighting ceremonies. When Joel pitched this idea in an editorial meeting a few years ago we all thought it was interesting but were unsure how it would be received. WE WAIT IN HOPE was our top-selling anthem that year and started a popular series that continues to this day.
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