Chuck Oates

07 April 2007

Norman, OK, USA

A Little Easter Music Please, Maestro

During holiday seasons we often give ourselves permission to do things the way they were done long ago.  In consonance with that spirit, let me commend to you an Easter anthem composed by William Billings, an American of the Revolutionary era (1770s), whose day job was tanning leather(!).

"The Lord is ris'n indeed" from the album Early American Choral Music, Vol. 1   displays Billings' flashes of Bach-like sound.  It's sung by Paul Hillier's group, His Majestie's Clerkes ("Singers") who, despite their name are very decidedly American.  The song will cost you a crisp one dollar bill on iTunes.  Search iTunes for "William Billings The Lord is".

In the 1960s, the high school Chapel Choir at the First ("National') Baptist Church of Amarillo performed this anthem at the 8:30 a.m. services on Easter Sundays with yours truly singing second tenor.  I still remember the tenor part, but alas my voice has since migrated from tenor to baritone to barely-tone.

If you like what you hear, the whole album will set you back only $5.99 at iTunes

Tell them Chuck sent you.

Happy Easter!


More information on William Billings is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Billings .