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A classic gets revisited in this musical piece by composer and arranger J.R. Mikels. Mikels composed his rendition of the hymn "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" in response to Matthew 28:6-7 and Luke 24:6-7, expanding on the melody throughout the work. It is performed here by Center Stage Brass for Spark+Echo Arts to celebrate Easter.

Luke 24:6-7

Matthew 28:6-7

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today


J.R. Mikels


Curated by: 

Jonathon Roberts


Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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My treatment of ''Christ The Lord Is Risen Today'' was penned while living in Bethel, Connecticut; working as a school bus mechanic helper and staying with a small group that was establishing a Christian mission church in the area. It was first performed publicly for Easter Morning services in 1973 as a ''4 hands'' piano piece in a large gym; always my favorite type of room, acoustically. Later I scored it for Brass or Woodwind Choir.

The two Bible references (both interestingly enough verses 6-7) announce the core of the Christian Faith. Without the resurrection, there is no redemption.

Growing up, this hymn was very enthusiastically sung in our church only once per year and I always looked forward to it — especially the counterpoint in the 'Alleluias'.

When asked to compose an Easter prelude for the mission, setting this melody was an easy choice. No one seems to know who wrote it originally. The ''tune first circulated in 1708 with the Lyra Davidica hymnal, but no composer has ever been acknowledged.'' (Christianity Today Magazine)

The piece was recorded for Spark+Echo Arts in 2021 by Center Stage Brass of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

J.R. Mikels was born In Door County, Wisconsin, and raised on a dairy farm/cherry orchard. He began piano at age 5 and played organ at St. Peter's church. He holds a Music Theory/Education degree from UW Madison with additional studies at Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He has been an itinerant rock musician, school/private instrumental director/teacher, mechanic, farmer, researcher, recording studio owner/producer, arranger/composer, and currently resides ''in the woods'' near Iola, Wisconsin.

J.R. Mikels

About the Artist

J.R. Mikels

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