Bene Wesley Hammel


Home: 253-984-0778


What song most reminds you of your school days?  
I'll Be Seeing You
Which reunions have you attended?  

My life since graduation:  
Bene was a child prodigy and began concertizing at the age of 14 when he played recitals for various chapters of the American Guild of Organists throughout the United States.  Upon receiving his degree in theory and composition from the University of Tennessee, he pursued a full-time concert career and performed in New York City at such notable churches as St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Thomas Church, Cathedral of St. John and Divine (his favorite) and at Washington National Cathedral and The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  He was a student of Dr. Carl Scheibe and William Weaver and also studied Bach interpretation under Sam Batt Owens and Dr. Marilyn Mason.  Bene has performed organ concerts and conducted masterclasses in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and Frankfurt, Germany.

Bene Hammel has been hailed by artists and critics as one of the greatest Concert Artists of our day.  A love for sharing his art with his audiences and other organists is the great motivation for Hammel.  Whether performing music of the masters, or utilizing his extraordinary acumen for improvisation, Bene's versatility of style and repertoire always produced thrilling performances and recordings.

Along with his concert career, Bene also served as Guest Organist for various Oratorio Performances, has performed as Guest Artist with numerous Symphony Orchestras, has served as Organist/Choirmaster for several churches, and was appointed Adjunct Professor of Organ at William Jennings Bryan College.  He received an honorary Doctorate of Music.  Bene has also performed concerts and workshops for the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company, Rodgers Instrument Corporation, Galanti Organbuilders and Hammond-Suzuki U.S.A.  He performed the Inaugural Organ Concert at Cincinnati's famous Music Hall, was a recitalist for a National Convention of the Royal College of Organists in Canada, was a keynote speaker during a National Association of Pastoral Musicians National Convention, and performed daily concerts at the Frankfurt Fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

In February of 1985, Bene performed an organ dedicatory concert in the Seattle area where he met Marti.  They fell in love at first sight and were married on his birthday.    Marti, also an accomplished organist, pianist, vocalist, performed with Bene across the United States and Canada for 15 years.  Their Duo Organ concerts have been televised on numerous P.B.S. stations in Minnesota and California.  They were the only husband-wife team who performed concerts simultaneously on two organs! 

In May 1999, while completing a week-long concert tour in Florida, Bene suffered a severe stroke while in his hotel room in Tampa.  He could not walk or talk.  After months and years of hospitalization, therapies, and operations, he is playing organ again at a church where Marti serves as Minister of Music. He is playing only with his left hand now, but is grateful to be doing what God has chosen him to do!  Bene and Marti will be celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary this July.