Hallelujah! He Is Risen!

by John Riggio

We don't often write sacred tunes for Music K-8, but some of our customers teach in situations where they can use them, and recently we have been receiving requests, notably for sacred songs with a more contemporary feel. So John has stepped up and written this marvelous piece, "Hallelujah! He Is Risen!" It's just in time for Easter celebrations, but of course, you can use it any time you find it useful for your programming.

John wrote it using inspiration from Teresa Jennings' "Sounds" series tunes from Music K-8. Which means, it works like this: There are four parts, and each part is an easy eight bar phrase. We introduce the parts one at a time until all the parts are in for a period, then we subtract the parts one at a time until only part 1 remains. At the end of the piece, all four parts return for a one word, resounding "Risen!" The tune is actually easy to sing, though part 1 sings for most of the song, so singers with less stamina might opt to sing one of the other parts. Besides being a powerful song, it's an excellent way to teach or reinforce part singing.

This being a sacred piece, there might be words that you feel would be more appropriate for your group. Feel free to make the song fit the needs of your situation.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention the stellar performance of our rhythm section on this tune, and in particular our drummer, Dane Clark, who is featured prominently in the mix. It also has power electric guitars, fast moving synths, and a couple of sampled choirs to add to the sacred vibe. We've included vocal guides for all four parts, which are more easily heard on the track version of the song (track 23).

There are some cool effects leading into the choir break section at bar 17, and there is also a guitar solo from measure 25 to the end of the piece. Although the song is basically an eight bar tune, John has created a fun progression for your students to sing to. Be sure to check out the a cappella web extra of this song. It's exceptional! That, and the extracted rehearsal parts can be found on our web site for free.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.