Peter R Hallock

Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem (1958)


This setting of Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem (1958) was Hallock’s first—and the first large-scale Easter anthem for a choir of mixed voices, brass septet, percussion, and organ. Whereas later works by Hallock are bound together through form, this work is linked through motivic unity. The opening chorale “Ye choirs of new Jerusalem” provides thematic material later at “where Jesus goes before”. The brass exclamation at “bursts his chains” appears in the brass interludes between “while we his soldiers praise our King”. The snaking, descending chromatic line at “serpent’s head” provides material for the finale. The piece seems to cadence at “keep us evermore”, but we are deceived as an unusual fugue in the key of D begins. (Note that there is no fugue in any other work by Hallock.) Voice by voice, the fugue builds; trumpets join, followed by full brass and organ pedal. Voices and instruments begin a slow, chromatic descent until arriving at D-flat for the finale marked Grandioso—indeed!

This work was recorded by the Byrd Ensemble in 2013.

Downloads of the choral score (no cue notes), full score, and instrumental parts are available for purchase. There is no separate organ score. If you would like to underwrite the preparation of the organ score, please contact us.


Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,
Your sweetest notes employ,
The Paschal victory to hymn
In strains of holy joy:

For Judah’s lion bursts his chains,
Crushing the serpent’s head,
And cries aloud through death’s domain
To wake the imprisoned dead.

Devouring depths of hell their prey
At his command restore;
His ransomed hosts pursue their way
Where Jesus goes before.

Triumphant in his glory now,
To him all power is given;
To him in one communion bow
All saints in earth and heaven.

While we, his soldiers, praise our King,
His mercy we implore
Within his palace bright to bring
And keep us evermore. Alleluia!

Performance History

Easter 1958, premiere.
Anthem: Ye Choir of New Jerusalem

May 17, 1959
On program for University of Washington Singers

May 20, 1959
The University Singers under the direction of Gerald Kechley will perform “Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem”; Easter Anthem for Choir, Brass, Organ and Percussion, by Peter Hallock on Wednesday evening, 8:30, Meany Hall on the University of Washington Campus.

June 2013
Recorded by The Byrd Ensemble on the disc Draw on, sweet night. 

Score Information

Published: 2013
Completion Date: April 6, 1958 (Easter 1958)
© Peter R. Hallock Institute
Composer: Peter R. Hallock
Engraver: Jason A. Anderson
Liturgical Season: Easter, Festival
Publisher: Peter R. Hallock Institute
Manuscript Location: University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Recording information: Peter Hallock: Draw On Sweet Night, Track 1

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