Lorenz Publishing Company’s Female Editor

By Sarah Allison, archives student worker & Public History graduate student

The Tabernacle Series published by Lorenz (MS-301, Box 7)

The Tabernacle Series published by Lorenz (MS-301, Box 7)

The Lorenz Publishing Company has been a Dayton staple since its creation in 1890 by the founder, E.S. Lorenz. The idea for his own publishing company came in 1889 when he had compiled a hymnal for the United Brethren Publishing House located in downtown Dayton.

In the late 1890’s the company created a subscription magazine named The Organist that is still published 118 years later along with two other publications that came in the 1930’s and the 1960’s.

The Lorenz Publishing Company focuses on vocal and instrumental sacred music for church choirs, organists and hand bell choirs.

The story of a man who started the company in 1890 has now followed five generations. This article will focus on Ellen Jane Lorenz who is the third generation of the family’s name for the company.

Ellen Jane Lorenz had always been passionate for music and was a remarkable woman. The Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter Collection (MS-301) was donated by the Women’s Literary Club of Dayton, as she was an important member of their society.

This collection includes musical compositions, lectures and workshop materials on hymnology and hand bell choirs. Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter born in 1907 and attended Wellesley College, graduating with a degree in music, later teaching music and studying musical composition in Paris, France.

In 1932 she joined the family company as a cub editor and later became editor-in-chief of the company in 1940. Ellen Jane Lorenz held this position until 1963 and during her time as EIC she was an expert in hand bells music.

Earning a PhD at 71 in music she wrote her dissertation on camp spirituals. Later she taught at United Trinity Seminary in Dayton course on Sacred Music and summer courses at Seattle Pacific University on Hand bell Ringing and Hymnology.

She wrote under three pseudonyms during her career: Ellen Jane Lorenz, Allen James, and Rosemary Handler. Later involving herself with the Women’s Literacy Club of Dayton she was a creative writer and playwright. She wrote music until her death in 1996.

The Lorenz Publishing Company is still a leader in choral music publication and is located in downtown Dayton.

For more information, see MS-301: Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter Collection. All images used in this post are from MS-301, Box 7, Files 1-3.

This entry was posted in Collections, Local History and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lorenz Publishing Company’s Female Editor

  1. Lynn O'Neill says:

    I am the choir director for Allenside Presbyterian Church in Akron, Oh. Several years ago we sang a selection from the Lorenz Choir Herald which we believe to be from the 1960s. We have not been able to find our copies and I was wondering if you could perhaps shed some light on the composition. I contacted the Lorenz Publishing Co. but they do not maintain a catalog of those works. They were not hopeful of finding the publication. Sacred words were put to Brahms Symphony #1 in C minor, movement 4. I have the music memorized but can not find the words. It began with “To God Be the Glory” and ended with A-men. I wondered if this selection was in your archives.
    Thank you,
    Lynn O’Neill
    Choir director/ organist Allenside Presbyterian Church
    Akron, OH

    • Lisa Rickey says:

      I have checked the published music in our Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter Collection (MS-301) and did not see anything like that you described. I did not see any publications called Lorenz Choir Herald, but I checked the ones that we did have, from the late 1950s to early 1970s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *