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About Us


ECS Publishing Group

ECS Publishing Group is the corporate parent of music publishers E. C. Schirmer, Galaxy, and MorningStar. ECS Publishing Group was formed in 2014, when Mark and Ginny Lawson of MorningStar Music purchased ECS Publishing Corporation and moved operations from Boston to St. Louis. Publications span all genres of classical and sacred music, with a specialty in choral music.

E. C. Schirmer Music Company

E. C. Schirmer Music Company was founded in 1921 in Boston, by Ernest C. Schirmer. Ernest worked for his uncle Gustav Schirmer’s company, G. Schirmer, Inc., for many years, and then headed the Boston Music Company before starting his own business. E. C. Schirmer Music Company got its start in choral music collections such as the Concord Series and works for the Harvard Glee Club, working closely with Thomas Whitney Surette and Archibald T. Davison. Before long, the company ushered into publication the works of composers such as Randall Thompson, Daniel Pinkham, and Conrad Susa. Ernest Schirmer, Jr., took over as president upon his father’s death, and Robert Macwilliams succeeded him. In 1985, Robert Schuneman, an editor of the company, and his wife, Cynthia, purchased E. C. Schirmer Music Company, and before long acquired Galaxy Music Corporation, managing the company until its sale in 2014. Since their initial purchase in the 1980s, it has retained its choral focus while branching out into chamber music alongside many other genres, publishing such composers as David Conte, Frank Ferko, Robert Kyr, Libby Larsen, and Gwyneth Walker. Its BMI affiliate is Ione Press.

Galaxy Music Corporation

Galaxy Music Corporation was founded in 1930 in New York by Marshall Kernochan, a cultivated New Yorker who had a great love of classical music. Kernochan quickly surrounded himself with experienced editors, and the company took off with choral and vocal music, moving into other genres along the way. Among its first composers were Katherine K. Davis, John Work, and Douglas Moore. As the firm expanded its catalog to take a more educational focus, there were also new agreements with overseas publishers, such as Stainer & Bell of London, which gave access to the music of composers like Vaughan Williams, Delius, and Jacob. By mid-century, Galaxy composers included Ivan Galamian, George Rochberg, Alice Parker, and Donald Waxman, as well as composer and Galaxy editor Robert Ward, who would go on to write the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, The Crucible. John Kernochan, Marshall’s son, ran the company from his father’s death in 1955 until 1989, when he retired from his day job as a professor and authority on intellectual property at Columbia University Law School. At that time, he sold to E. C. Schirmer Music Company, an enterprise with similar scope and history, and the acquisition came under the name of ECS Publishing. Galaxy’s BMI affiliate is Highgate Press.

MorningStar Music Publishers

MorningStar Music Publishers was founded in 1986 in St. Louis by Rodney Schrank and Ruth Lewis, both experienced in sacred music publishing from their time at Concordia Publishing House. From the beginning, MorningStar has functioned as a non-denominational publishing house offering music for churches whose worship focuses mainly within the liturgical tradition. The first publication list included composers such as Paul Manz, Charles Callahan, Hal Hopson, and K. Lee Scott. Later, composers such as Michael Burkhardt, Robert Hobby, David Cherwien, and John Ferguson were added to create an extensive catalog of music that has been well received over the years. The composer list has grown significantly, and new composers are added each year. In 1997, Rod Schrank sold the company to Mark and Ginny Lawson. MorningStar’s ASCAP affiliate is Birnamwood Publications.

Aureole Editions

Aureole Editions was started in 1982 by composer Gerald Near as a publisher for primarily Episcopal and Catholic church music. Near is the primary author in the catalog, and serves as editor for composers such as Alec Wyton, Richard Proulx, Donald Pearson, and John Bertalot. Aureole became an imprint of MorningStar Music Publishers in 2017.

Arsis Audio

Arsis Audio began in 1995 under Robert Schuneman as the in-house record label for E. C. Schirmer Music Company and Galaxy Music Corporation. Several of its first recordings were collaborations between the American Repertory Singers and E. C. Schirmer. The label has produced recordings of organ, choral, vocal, opera, and instrumental music, and focuses on recordings of new works from the E. C. Schirmer and Galaxy catalogs.

Canticle Distributing

Canticle Distributing serves as the in-house distributing company for ECS Publishing Group, selling sheet music, recordings, books, and choir folders. It was incorporated in 2006 after many requests for MorningStar Music to distribute for other small publishers. Canticle maintains a large network of music dealers throughout the United States and the world, including a European dealer sales agreement with Hal Leonard MGB. Canticle also holds self-publishing agreements with several composers such as Randol Bass and Kareem Roustom, providing rights management and print-on-demand services.

List of Publishers distributed by Canticle: