Marilyn Biery and James Biery have been creating new music and texts for over 25 years. Beginning with the publication of Jim's setting of the Prayer of St. Francis by GIA in 1989, their output encompasses  a wealth of sacred choral music, organ works, hymns, brass and instrumental arrangements and more. Explore the website to learn more.

January 2014 News

Marilyn and Jim participated in a cross-cultural arts project sponsored by the Detroit School of the Arts. The "Animated Shakespeare Project" brought together a team of composers and performers to create 2 minute sound tracks that will be used for short animated films to be created by students at the school. Shakespeare's "Macbeth" provided the overall theme for the project. Marilyn and Jim composed pieces specifically for this project, and collaborated with students at DSA to create the recordings in October 2013. Marilyn's piece is "Sound and Fury" LISTEN; Jim's piece is "Double Double" LISTEN.

During the fall of 2013, Marilyn and Jim presented a concert of their music at Holy Angels Church in South Meriden, CT, sponsored by the Hartford Chapter of NPM, and a duet concert at All Saints Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, sponsored by the Oklahoma City Chapter of the AGO.  Jim presented a solo recital (with one duet with Marilyn) at Third Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan, as part of their Rietberg Concert Series. 

Marilyn's Newest Publications

O God of All Life (GIA Publications, Inc. G-8485, 2014)
SATB
Choir, Organ, optional Children's Choir
An arrangement of the hymntune LYONS with Marilyn's new text based on Psalm 104.
Click here to visit publisher's webpage.

Gathered Into One: Organ Settings of Contemporary Tunes (Augsburg-Fortress ISBN: 9781451486063, 2014) VIEW
A collection of organ settings of hymns from the twentieth century, which may be used as introductions or codas to the singing of the hymn, or as separate preludes or postludes. Contents: As the Grains of Wheat, Baptized and Set Free, Be Not Afraid: Meditation, Lord, Let My Heart Be Good Soil: Hymn Introduction, Lord, Let My Heart Be Good Soil: Prelude, Now We Remain: Homage to Calvin Hampton, On Eagle's Wings, We Are Called: Harmonization and Coda (or Introduction), We Walk by Faith, You Are Mine
Click here to visit publisher's webpage.

Jim's Newest Choral Publications

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (MorningStar Music Publishers MSM-50-8385, 2015) VIEW  LISTEN
SATB Choir, Organ, and Oboe (Violin, Flute, or Clarinet)
An evocative setting of the beloved Horatius Bonar hymn text, commissioned and first performed by the Music Ministry of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Omaha, Nebraska. The voice of Jesus is represented first in music, by the sound of the oboe, then in words, by the men of the choir. After each of Jesus' three invitations, the entire choir sings in response. The piece ends with the voice of Jesus echoing in our hearts.
Click here to visit publisher's webpage.

Holy and Beloved (Augburg Fortress 978-1-4514-9249-1, 2014)  LISTEN
SATB Choir and Organ
This anthem was commissioned and composed for the choir at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI) in 2012. The impetus for the composition of this piece came from choir members Judy Masserang and Kevin O'Brien (and his wife, Anne). They were also responsible for the choice of the beautiful text from Colossians 3:12-17, in which Paul describes the qualities of Christian life. The music begins and ends with the choir singing a chorale-like unaccompanied setting of the words "You are God's chosen ones, holy and beloved." The qualities with which we "clothe" ourselves are echoed back and forth between the men and the women's voices, coming together as they sing of "perfect harmony." After another hymnlike passage singing of the peace of Christ, the music takes on greater richness as the choir sings of the word of God inspiring them to offer hymns and psalms. The piece concludes with a repeat of the opening chorale.
Click here to visit publisher's webpage.

I Am Always With You (GIA Publications, Inc. G-8468, 2014) VIEW  LISTEN
Text by Marilyn Biery; Unison Choir and Descant, Organ, One or Two Treble Instruments
A lovely song of blessing inspired by the Great Commission ("Lo, I am with you always," Mt. 28:20) appropriate for a variety of occasions, including weddings and funerals. May be sung as a choral anthem or as a congregational hymn.
Click here to visit publisher's webpage.

Love Never Ends (MorningStar MSM-50-9426, 2014) VIEW LISTEN
SATB Choir, Keyboard, optional violin and trumpet
This anthem, based on texts from Romans and 1 Corinthians, was commissioned by Chris Kent of St. John Lutheran Church, Louisville, Kentucky, on the occasion of the retirement of their pastor.


Jim's Newest Instrumental Publications

Oxford Hymn Settings for Organists (Oxford University Press, 2014 and continuing)
Jim is a contributor to Oxford's new series of hymn settings contains fresh, imaginative pieces, written by a range of experienced organ composers based in the US and the UK, displaying a great variety of styles and approaches. Themed by season, the volumes in the series provide a wealth of new chorale preludes and hymn settings suitable for all church organists. With a host of accessible pieces based on all the major hymn tunes, these volumes are a "must for every church organist's library.
Jim's settings in the opening volumes of the series are:
Volume 1, Advent and Christmas, Cantilena on "Mendelssohn"
Volume 2, Epiphany, Aria on "Greensleeves"
Volume 3, Lent and Passiontide, Erhalt uns Herr
Click here to visit the publisher's webpage for the series.

The Paschal Lamb: Easter Settings for Organ (Augsburg Fortress 9781451494099, 2014)
Creative settings of eight hymn tunes for the season of Lent and Easter, focusing on melodies that are more recent additions to the church's repertoire. There is a variety of textures, moods, and difficulty in this collection. The tunes range from Hispanic to African to hymns by contemporary composers written in the last 30 years. The musical style of each setting is appropriate to the style of the hymn tune.
"This set of pieces was written at the request of Norma Aamodt-Nelson, who wrote shortly before Holy Week 2014 suggesting that "it would be lovely to have a new collection by you in the works." After picking myself up from the floor when I heard that the deadline would be just a few weeks away, I realized that this would be the perfect way to release pent-up creativity during the week after Easter. Norma suggested most of the tunes, concentrating on newer tunes that have appeared in recent hymnals such as Evangelical Lutheran Worship and the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God."
Click here to visit the publisher's webpage.

Journey to the Manger: Hymn Preludes for Advent and Christmas (Concordia 97-7663, 2014) VIEW
This set of eight preludes captures the wonder and joy of the Advent and Christmas seasons, with a vast range of musical expressions used to interpret masterfully each hymn tune. Tunes included: CAS RADOSTI, DIVINUM MYSTERIUM, GO TELL IT, HELMSLEY, MILWAUKEE, SIEH HIER BIN ICH, W ZLOBIE LEZY, WO SOLL ICH FLIEHEN HIN.
Click here to visit the publisher's webpage.

Nowell, Nowell: Six Carol Settings for Organ with Minimal Pedal (MorningStar 10-173, 2013) VIEW LISTEN
The sequel to the book "The Holly and the Ivy," this volume contains delightful new settings of Carol of the Birds, Cherry Tree Carol, I Am So Glad, Masters In this Hall, Sing Lullaby, and Now the Holly Bears a Berry

Journey to the Cross (Concordia 97-7537, 2013) VIEW
New settings of 8 hymns for Lent and Holy Week.
Clicker here to visit the publisher's webpage.

Festive Hymn Settings for Congregational Singing, Set 4: General (MorningStar MSM-20-754, 2014) VIEW
Settings of AZMON, HOLY MANNA, JERUSALEM, and NETTLETON for brass quartet, organ, and optional soprano descant, tuba, and timpani. Also available for on-demand download from MorningStar.

Sinfonia Festiva (GIA Publications G-8378, 2013) LISTEN
Brass quartet, organ, optional tuba and timpani
This exciting piece was commissioned by White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, North Carolina, where Karl Zinsmeister is Director of Music. Near the end, the  tune "Ich halte Treulich still" from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach is quoted.


Jim's Recent Commissions

Jim recently completed a new anthem for First Presbyterian Church of Port Huron, Michigan, where John Pavik is Music Director and Organist. The new piece for choir and organ was premiered at the church's 125th anniversary celebration in May 2014. It is slated for publication by GIA Publications, Inc.

Grosse Pointe Memorial Church Choir members Judy Masserang and Kevin O'Brien commissioned a new anthem, and it received its first performance at Memorial Church on May 19, 2013. The text is a passage from the book of Colossians, and the piece is entitled "Holy and Beloved." Augsburg Fortress has published the anthem. (See above for more information.)