Anthem 14 – May the glad dawn

Welcome to Anthem 14 in my attempt to write a new choir anthem every week for a year. I’m Kevin Mulryne and I hope you will enjoy listening to my progress throughout 2024. Please do visit the website, follow along on – @realanthem52 or Instagram – @realanthem52 and send me a message to

This time, I continued with another Easter anthem with text from another anonymous Easter prayer:

Words for Anthem 14:

May the glad dawn
Of Easter morn
Bring joy to thee.
May the calm eve
Of Easter leave
A peace divine with thee.
May Easter night
On thine heart write,
O Christ, I live for thee!

These could have been good words for a big, loud anthem but instead what came out was rather subdued. Beginning an anthem is an odd experience. I tend to start at the beginning of the words and work forward, just seeing what crops up, rather than having a definite plan. This may change but it seems to be working at the moment.

The words generally suggest rhythm and even melody and I’m sure my mood also affects what comes out. I still find myself being surprised at the music which appears as I work through words. This time I decided on another unaccompanied piece and the interweaving parts emerged quite naturally. The possibilities for suspensions seemed practically endless and so did those for passing notes. As they say these days, I ‘leaned into’ these opportunities and threw in as many as I could. The result is a contrapuntal fiesta that suits the mood of the words. There is a peaceful feel to the music that I think complements the lyrics.

For contrast, I put in a time signature change from 4/4 to 3/4 which led to a different mood on the elongated and repeated ‘O Christ I live for thee’ line and it ends with a rallentando (slowing down). I do then repeat the opening material which I think has been away just long enough not to make it seem banal but the ending section uses new ideas to create an ABC structure. This is the first time I have used this approach and, for this anthem at least, it seems to work well.

The key signature remains G major throughout but there are hints of minor tonality at times. Overall, I am quietly pleased with this anthem and even converting it to Logic Pro seemed to go smoothly. This may be because I am getting more experienced with the software or it might just be chance. Anyway, see what you think:

Well, what do you think? Let me know on @realanthem52, Instagram @realanthem52, as a comment below or via email

I hope you will join me next week for a new episode (perhaps featuring my second interview) – and a new anthem – only 38 to go – but until then the question remains – will I make it to Anthem 52?

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