Category Archives: Music for Easter

Let This Day Be Filled With Wonder

by James Biery (GIA Publications, Inc. G-9193, 2017)

for Two-Part Mixed Choir and Organ

Commissioned by Frederic DeHaven for the choir of St. James Church, Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas. The voice parts of this Easter anthem are designed to be as easy to learn as possible, yet effective and exciting. The text is an opening prayer for Easter Sunday by David Gambrell.

Click here to visit JW Pepper’s catalog page with samples and recording.


Festival Divine Service: Lutheran Service Book, Setting Four

setting by James Biery (Concordia Publishing House, 977795, 2017)

for Choir, Congregation, Brass Quartet or Quintet, Organ, and optional Timpani

click here to visit the publisher’s webpage for this edition

This festival setting of Divine Service, Setting Four of Lutheran Service Book was commissioned for the 2016 Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It is perfect for large gatherings and festive worship.

Some features of the five movements include the following:

  • The Gloria in Excelsis has an extended instrumental introduction, choral elaboration, and descant.
  • The Alleluia and Verse includes an instrumental Gospel Procession and music for after the Gospel.
  • The Sanctus includes a soprano descant.
  • The Agnus Dei includes reflective choral harmonies and a descant.
  • The Nunc Dimittis is in unison for the voices with an evocative instrumental accompaniment.

From Doubt to Faith

A Chancel Opera in One Act, Based on John 20:24-29

Music composIMG_0607 croppeded by James Biery, ASCAP

Text written by Marilyn Biery, ASCAP, with Henry Alford’s “We Walk By Faith” and narrated text from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible

The story of Thomas the Twin and his turning from doubt to faith, written for and first performed at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, April 3, 2016

The singer-actors bring to life the emotional and compelling story of Thomas and the disciples, while the choir sings the words of the risen Christ and expresses the listener’s reaction to Thomas’ story. The piece ends with all of the cast – and the audience – singing a powerful statement of faith.

What is needed:

  • Four or Five Solo Singers (a mix of high and medium voices)
  • Narrator (spoken)
  • SATB Chorus
  • Chamber orchestra of Flute, Horn, Strings, Piano, and Percussion (can be successfully played by an ensemble of only 9 players, or the piano reduction may be used)
  • May be performed with or without costumes and lighting; no sets required
  • Performance time is 25 minutes; designed to be performed during a church service
  • The congregation participates in singing the final hymn-like chorus

The music makes modest demands on the singers and can be prepared in a few rehearsals. Likewise, the instrumental parts can be performed by either professional or talented amateur players.

Contact us for more information and a free perusal score: james (at) bierymusic (dot) com

Comments from the premiere performance:


“A very moving telling of a familiar story”

“An amazing score and message”

“One of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had”

“A true gem”



The Paschal Lamb

9781451494099bby James Biery (Augsburg Fortress , 2014)

Click here to visit the Augsburg Fortress website.

Easter Settings for Organ: settings of hymntunes Cardinal, Kingdom, Mfurahini, haleluya, My Neighbor, Nelson, Promise, Raabe, and Santo Domingo

This set of pieces was written at the request of Norma Aamodt-Nelson, who wrote shortly before Holy Week 2014 suggesting that “it would be lovely to have a new collection by you in the works.” After picking myself up from the floor when I heard that the deadline would be just a few weeks away, I realized that this would be the perfect way to release pent-up creativity during the week after Easter. Norma suggested most of the tunes, concentrating on newer tunes that have appeared in recent hymnals such as Evangelical Lutheran Worship and the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God.