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Last minute Easter anthem - SATB - quickly obtainable

I have accepted a last minute interim position and need an Easter anthem that can be learned quickly by a small choir.  The church is Episcopal and the choir, rarely , if ever, sings contemporary music so something more classical, but easy enough to learn quickly, would be ideal.  I might or might not have trumpet ( I'm hoping), but will have a cellist and possibly a student violinist.  I would love to have some instrumentation. 
If anyone can help me out with suggestions, much appreciated.  Public domain also preferable since I need to download a pdf by choir practice Wednesday evening the 2nd.
Thank you,
on April 1, 2014 7:04pm

Nothing in particular comes to mind right now, but it might be worth having a look at the CPDL "Music for Easter" page. Good luck!

on April 1, 2014 10:47pm
Charles V. Stanford wrote some great last minute Easter music!  Check out...
O Sons and Daughters, Let us Sing (esp.)
When Mary thro’ the garden Went
Why seek ye the Living?
Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem
on April 1, 2014 11:24pm
Talk them into taking a St James Music Press license - it will instantly give you a good variety of music downloadable at any time, searchable by season, voicing, instrumentation etc.  A great resource!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on April 2, 2014 2:57am
Dear Catherine,
You might find my short and easy introit "Crux Fidelis" useful - there's a PDF here:
and you can hear a recording at
As you can hear, it's definitely in the classical tradition, and quite simple to sing.
It's only 1 minute long, no accidentals or strange rhythms, and for SATB choir with no divisi. The vocal lines are very easy to sing and quick to learn - the tenor and bass parts have one slightly tricky jump each, the soprano and alto parts are easy. You could have the violin doubling the top part and the cello doubling the bottom part - probably best to leave the trumpet out though :(
The PDF above is watermarked, but I'm happy for you to use the watermarked one for rehearsal, or if you can email me today I can send you a licensed PDF for the choir (cost is £10 or $17).
Chris Hutchings
on April 2, 2014 5:37am
Philip Stopford's "Christ the Lord is Risen Again"
Applauded by an audience of 1
on April 2, 2014 6:20am
Have you looked at Small Choirs International yet? If you go on their website to the free music page, you can do a "CTRL + F" and type in Easter. There are a lot of pieces to choose from so I'm fairly certain you'll be able to find something that works for you. Good luck!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on April 2, 2014 7:39am
There are some nice Easter pieces by Charles Wood, although probably not with the instrumentation you are looking for:
This Joyful Eastertide - This one is also in the '82 hymnal, but in a lower key.
O for a lay! - This is a pretty well-known hymn tune, although some of the rhythms were less familiar to me.
Here's one by Edward Bairstow:
One I considered scheduling for my choir this year is a little-known piece by Samuel Colerdige-Taylor:
The Lord is my strength - it seemed pretty accessible to me.
Good luck!
Matthew Norwood
Director of Music
St Michael and All Angels' Episcopal Church
Denver, CO
on April 2, 2014 8:31am
William Billings' "Easter Anthem/The Lord is Risen Indeed"
You might have your cellist and/or violinist double the bass and soprano parts, or play before, between, and after passages of the anthem based on the musical material.
Good luck!
Applauded by an audience of 2
on April 2, 2014 8:51am
The most beautiful, appropriate, easily obtainable, and singable Easter anthem is, in my opinion, Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus. You won't need trumpets. 
on April 3, 2014 6:06am
If you're still looking, my Hymn-Anthem "Because You Live, O Christ" might be just the ticket: it's SATB but verses can be sung in unison or unison sections & requires only organ, but violin & cello can easily be added. Contact me privately for materials!
Robert A.M. Ross
Chair, Music Dept., Community College of Philadelphia <Robert Ross 11>
on April 4, 2014 7:01am
David Halls' "Easter Anthem" is a nice piece ... easy to deal with and published by Paraclete Press.  They can overnight it to you.  Also if you have some brass, "Christ the Lord has Triumphed Over Death" by Raymond Weidner.  Also Paraclete.
on April 4, 2014 11:46am
Dear Fellow Choral Conductors,
Just want to say thanks to everyone for great responses.  I have decided on Phillip Stopford's Christ the Lord is Risen Again and Chris Hutchings Crux Fidelis and already have music to both via overnight and paypal! 
All of these suggestions are great and will use them in the future.
Catherine Nesbit
Applauded by an audience of 3
on April 5, 2014 7:35am
And there is always John Stainer's "God So Loved the World", published separately as well as in the oratorio, The Crucifixtion.
on April 6, 2014 4:09pm
Gordon Young - Alleluia
                     - A Joyful Alleluia
Good luck!!
on April 7, 2014 4:58pm
Gordon Young's Jubilate Deo is nice, has repetition, and works for a developing group.  It's a capella.
on April 7, 2014 9:26pm
if you can get your hands on Volume 2 of the Augsburg Easy Choral  book (yellow cover) there is a great 2 part mixed anthem "God is The Lord of All" with optional trumpet that would suit your group. It is an arrangement of Handel's "let the bright Seraphim". I am doing it with my small Episcopal church choir and it is working out well. Highly recommended! Good luck!
on April 8, 2014 3:42am
Catherine, by now you have probably found a suitable piece.  For future readers of this thread, may I suggest my setting of "Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing."  It was written to be effective but not hard.  It sets the tune "Gelobt Sei Gott" in three varied verses, comes in SAB and SATB versions, and uses organ or brass (or a combination, e.g. 2 trumpets).  Details at this page.  All the best,
Christopher J. Hoh
on April 9, 2014 4:57am
Whatever you might have found for Easter, by all means check out St. James Music Press.  You pay annually (cheap!) for permission to produce everything in their catalog.  The publisher is Anglican and the repertoire, while having nice variety, reflects that.  The quality is very high, and includes many, many choices for a small choir. Nice search tools by text and liturgical year, and many pieces have good audio review samples. If I needed an Easter anthem we could still learn I know I'd find it here.
Highly recommended for your situation! (I have no financial interest in SJMP - but the editor writes very funny novels about directing music in an Episcopal church.  I think their motto is "we're cheap, but snooty!"  No, really!)
Dan Wagner
on April 9, 2014 8:34am
Kirby Shaw here..
... you might try my Sing Hosanna. It's ez and has stood the test of time. You can find a full recording at or Youtube. If it's out-of-print I can send you a PDF quickly.
on April 9, 2014 7:07pm
I have an Easter Processional with organ, brass quintet, and snare drum (optional). The voice parts are pretty easy, since, typically, the choir has used up most of its umph during the previous six days of Holy Week. Let me know where to send a pdf. My email is note-able(a)
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