Dr. Larry Nickel

 

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Dr. Larry Nickel is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and an active choral clinician, adjudicator, teacher, singer and conductor. He started singing in a choir when he was 3 years old, started writing music when he was 14 - on an accordion! - and directed his high school chamber choir when he was 17 (thanks to a benevolent teacher).

Requiem for Peace, his doctoral thesis, is an extensive work for chorus, soloists, and symphony orchestra in 13 languages, which has been performed widely; Greece, Germany, Sweden, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Chicago, Carnegie Hall, etc.

Larry was the cofounder and composer in residence for the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir, which recorded 13 CDs - including 100 of his works. All of that choral music is available from this webpage.

Larry owns Cypress Choral Music and loves to promote the music of over 120 Canadian composers.  Larry and his wife, Edna, live in Vancouver - close to the sea wall and only minutes away from their children and grandchildren. For more biographical information please click here.

A Cappella Christmas Cantata    by Larry Nickel 


SATB    a cappella    $15.00    CP 1455
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 27:40

35 minutes in duration with 15 movements. Movements can be purchased separately. This music is written for fine choirs and yet it is very approachable with intuitive voice leading and sweet-spot vocal registers. Click the listen button (above) to see all 15 movements and listen to premiere recordings.


A la claire fontaine    arr. Larry Nickel 


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1321
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:40

This song may have appeared as early as 1604, when the first French settlement was established in Quebec. A clear fountaine, a rose, and heart-break. Children sing this folk-song and adults relate to the deeper meanings. Nickel gives the pentatonic melody evocative harmonization. This arrangement was premiered at the United Nations in Geneva. Please give a listen!


All the Diamonds  by Bruce Cockburn,  arr. Larry Nickel  


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1273
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:45
TBB      with piano    $2.35    CP 1286
(see the score while you listen to Chor Leoni)  duration - 2:45

SSA      with piano    $2.35    CP 1348 

Bruce Cockburn is one of Canada’s most beloved folk musicians. Rolling Stone magazine once called him Bob Dylan of the north. Larry Nickel has loved this song since the 1970‘s.


All the Little Rivers    by Larry Nickel 


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1195
(see the score while you listen) duration: 4:15
SSA      with piano    $2.35    CP 1200
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:15

SAB      with piano    $2.35    CP 1397  click here to see the a cappella score

Upbeat, fun and approachable - spinning off the names of rivers in Canada: White, Moose, Red, Bear, Yukon, Old Man, Fraser, etc.  Water is our most precious commodity in many ways. Please give it a listen!


And the Poppies Grow    by Donna Forward-Houriet, arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1325 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:05

Imagine a line of soldiers marching from the distance and passing by. This march would be perfect for Remembrance Day programs or any event concerning themes of war and peace. Donna wrote it for her high school choir. Community choirs will love it too.



Be Still and Consider    by  Larry Nickel


SATB   with piano and instrument   $2.50    CP 1429
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 6:10
SSAA   with piano and instrument   $2.50    CP 1379
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 6:35

SATB   a cappella version   $2.50    CP 1394 -  click here to see the a cappella score

Be still and consider the wonder of God.  Listen to this marvelous rendition by the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir.


Canadian Pacific    by Ray Griff, arr. Larry Nickel


SATB   with piano   $2.35    CP 1280
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:15

This is a barn burner! Ride the tracks across the continent from Halifax to Vancouver - to meet your true love.


Caught in the Rhythm    by Larry Nickel


SATB   with piano   $2.35    CP 1329
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:05

There is a time for every purpose under heaven. The famous words of King Solomon are set to an infectious melody and rhythm. Two melodies combine to form a canon. There is also a piano feature! This is eminently suitable for high school, community and church choirs!


Come My Way    by Larry Nickel


SATB   with piano   $2.35    CP 1566
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:35

Commissioned for the honour choir at Choral Canada’s big event - Podium - Larry chose the wonderful poem by George Herbert. This composition is full of hope and joy - and calypso rhythms enhance the text.


Creation Calls    by Brian Doerksen,  arr. Larry Nickel


SATB    with piano   $2.35    CP 1352
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:55
SATB a cappella   $2.35    CP 1367
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:55

Upbeat, fun and approachable - spinning off the names of rivers in Canada: White, Moose, Red, Bear, Yukon, Old Man, Fraser, etc.  Water is our most precious commodity in many ways. Please give it a listen!


Down in the River    traditional arr. Larry Nickel


SATB    with piano   $2.25    CP 1483
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:50

Made famous by the movie “Brother, Where Art Thou?”, this meaningful piece sings itself.  Listen to the mass choir sing it.


Four Strong Winds  by Ian Tyson, arr. Larry Nickel 


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1160
(see the score while you listen) duration - 4:20
TTBB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1161
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:20

SSAA    with piano    $2.35    CP 1162

SAB      with piano    $2.35    CP 1194

watch this fine performance - click here

Full orchestration - conductor’s score - full set of parts, multiple string copies - $100

This is Ian Tyson’s beloved Canadian folksong, about life in southern Alberta - love and loss.  Men and women take turns carrying the melody while the piano emulates the guitar.  Nickel’s arrangement has been presented by honour choirs at PODIUM and ACDA conventions. Perfect music for high school and community choirs!  There is also a symphonic setting available.


Here’s to Song   by Allister MacGillivray, arr. Diane Loomer and Larry Nickel


SSAA   with piano    $2.35    CP 1148
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:40

Allister is one of Canada’s great song writers. This setting for women would make a wonderful closer to any concert.  “Before we head our separate ways, I'd like in truthfulness to say, “You've made this day a special day, with songs and kindness splendid”


Hockey Song by “Stompin’” Tom Connors - arr. Larry Nickel 


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1237 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:00

SSA    with piano    $2.35    CP 1243

TTBB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1262

Regularly featured on TV - at the Winter Olympics and during NHL games - this song is a barn burner!  At the premiere of this choral arrangement people starting clapping before the song was even over! - then they jumped to their feet.  This is a fun way to close a concert!


I Cannot Dance   by Larry Nickel


SSAATBB    a cappella    $2.50    CP 1340
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:50

A stunning piece with flamenco rhythms for an accomplished choir; it was premiered by the Salt Lake Vocal Artists at the National ACDA convention in 2015. The text was written by Mechthild of Magdeburg in the 13th century.

This piece was selected by Dr. Julia Davids to be part of the Canadian Chamber Choir Series.


I Can See Clearly Now   by Johnny Nash, arr. Larry Nickel


SSAATBB    a cappella    $2.35    CP 1567
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:45

Bring down the house with this soul filled version of a classic song. Listen to this stirring performance.


I Dreamed of Rain  by Jan Garrett - arr. Larry Nickel


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1182 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:20

SAB     with piano    $2.35    CP 1192

SSA     with piano    $2.35    CP 1193

TTBB   with piano    $2.35    CP 1211

“It had been a particularly hot dry year in 2002, and wild fires were raging across much of the western US. The political scene felt equally troubling and out-of-control to me. It was as if the whole world was on fire. In the midst of all this unrest, I began to have dreams of rain.” Jan Garrett.

visit jangarrett.com


Choral composer, Larry Nickel, was captured by the beautiful simplicity of Jan’s song and set it for choir with approachable rich harmonies.



In a Grain of Sand    by Larry Nickel


SATB    a cappella    $2.35    CP 1093
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:15

A composition in a "gentle bossa nova" style and set to a poem by William Blake from "Auguries of Innocence", this piece challenges the singers with close harmonies and active rhythms.


In Christ Alone   arr. Larry Nickel  
      duration - 3:05


SATB     a cappella       $2.25    CP 1221

Keith Getty and Stuart Townend wrote this amazing hymn - which is regularly sung in churches around the world. Larry Nickel wrote this poignant SATB a cappella arrangement.


Island Bound   by David  Baker    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.50    CP 1146
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:30

A person residing on the east coast longs to return to his west coast home and he is ready to say “I’m sorry”. In a folk/country style, Dave Baker’s song is perfect for high school and community choirs.


Jump Down, Spin Around    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB    a cappella       $2.35    CP 1094 
(video - see the score)  duration - 1:50

This is a fun and funny Jamaican folk-song arranged for high school choir with suggestions by the composer on how to spice up the performance with simple (but effective) choreography. Contains four short solos such as “I gotta pig that’s nice and greasy - all you ladies shake it easy!”


Kettle Valley Railway   by David  Baker    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1229
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:25

Another great west coast Canadian folk-song by David Baker! The story describes how David’s child-hood memories turned him into a railway buff.


Land of Maquinna  by David  Baker    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.50    CP 1153 
  (view the score and listen here)  duration - 4:00

SAB and TTBB versions available upon request

Chief Maquinna served his people in the Pacific Northwest. He was an effective leader in dealing with the first European settlers.  Dave’s music and lyrics capture a distant time and place - a legend “carved upon the sand”.


Life and Joy  by John Lee    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB a cappella or with piano    $2.35    CP 1439 
  (view the score and listen here)  duration - 2:50

“I come that they might have life and have it more abundantly” - the mission statement by Christ. John Lee wrote this update gospel style three part round.


Little Brown Church    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB a cappella    $2.35    CP 1395 
  (view the score and listen here)  duration - 3:35

Do you remember when Tennessee Ernie Ford received so much radio play with this song.  Larry has always loved this piece.  Listen to the Jubilate Vocal Ensemble in concert - this song really works and audiences will love it!


Lord, Help Us Live in Peace - by J.D. Martin, arr. Larry Nickel


SATB    a cappella       $2.25    CP 1230 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:25
TTBB    a cappella       $2.25    CP 1393 

This lovely user-friendly hymn goes straight to the heart.  This anthem was sung by 5,000 participants at the International Choral Federation of Music in Torino 2012. It is sung at Christmas Concerts, Graduation Ceremonies, Church services; an appropriate and moving addition to any choral concert.


Malala, Pakistani Girl - by Larry Nickel


SSA  with piano    $2.35    CP 1308 
  (view the score and listen here)  duration - 4:00

SSA  with piano    $2.35    CP 1385 - (french rendition)

SAB  with piano    $2.35    CP 1334

SAB  with piano    $2.35    CP 1366 - (french rendition)

Malala Yousafzai nearly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 because of her brave and defiant stand for the rights of women to get an education. (she was shot in the head by the Taliban and became internationally famous through her convalescence) The chorus of this song is in Pashto - Malala’s mother-tongue. This composition is daring and jubilant - in an eastern modality. Give it a listen!

note: a percentage of retail sales from this music will be donated to the Malala Fund.


May There Always Be Sunshine    arranged/composed - Larry Nickel


SATB   with piano   $2.35    CP 1547
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:10

This heartbreakingly beautiful little tune was “written” by a 4 year old Russian boy named Maya. Larry added his trademark harmonies and some new music to match the mood and endearing message.  This piece would make a poignant closer to any concert.


Miles to Go Before I Sleep    by Larry Nickel


SATB   with piano   $2.35    CP 1452
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:25

Listen to the exquisite rendering of the classic Robert Frost poem - as sung by the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir.


Mon Pays (ce n’est pas un pays) - by Gilles Vigneault,  arr. Larry Nickel


SATB  with piano    $2.35    CP 1313 
  (view the score and listen here)  duration - 4:35

The song, with its lyrics about winds, cold, snow, and ice, of the solitude of wide open spaces and of the ideal of brotherhood, has become a kind of anthem in Quebec, with many people seeing it as expressing the free spirit of the province.


Mornin’ Train - arr. Larry Nickel


TTBB  a cappella    $2.25    CP 1444 
  (view the score and listen here)  duration - 2:45

This is a very moving song with full rich harmonies.  The basses are featured! My three younger brothers and I sang this at Mom’s funeral.


Mother Whale Lullaby    by Paul Winter, arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano and whale sound    $2.35    CP 1538     
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:00

This choral composition is derived from an instrumental composition by Paul Winter (seven time Grammy Award winner). The singing of a mother whale provides the motif.  Someone working an audio system plays the whale singing at timed intervals. This very unique song will dazzle your audience. Hearing is believing - give a listen.


Never Just a Dream   by  Mark Fenster, arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1390
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:20

Don’t you just love a great melody with meaningful lyrics to match? The Jubilate Vocal Ensemble premiered this choral arrangement in 2015 and it touched many hearts in the audience. Here is a poignant message of comfort and hope. Please give a listen.



No Complaints, Whatsoever  by J.D. Martin and Jan Garrett, arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.50    CP 1201
(view the score and listen here)  duration - 4:25

Award winning songwriters, Jan Garrett and JD Martin, have written a barn burner gospel number about looking on the bright side of life - amidst the trials we all face. Singers and audiences will be smiling and reflecting on their good fortunes! With solid approachable harmonies, this piece would make a welcome addition to any concert program.


Old Lady Rose   by David  Baker    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.50    CP 1124 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:15

In Stan Rogers’ “Make and Break Harbor” we regret the passing of the cod from eastern oceans. Now in Baker’s Old Lady Rose we bemoan the same phenomenon happening to the salmon on the west coast. Baker’s sea shanty of regret begins and ends with a melancholy farewell. Nickel adds sensuous harmonies.


O Canada and the Star Spangled Banner  arr. Larry Nickel


SATB a cappella    $2.35    CP 1266 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 1:20

Larry’s Chamber Choir opened for the Grizzlies, the Canucks and the Seattle Mariners. He needed approachable and effective a cappella versions for his young voices.

(watch the Youtube video here - opening for the Seattle Mariners)


Our Song Shall Rise to Thee  arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1315

TTBB with piano    $2.35    CP 1316 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 5:05

“Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee!” Holy, Holy, Holy is a beloved hymn and Larry has given it a special touch with a counter melody, full harmonies, intuitive voice leading and a majestic ending.


Play Me a Rock n Roll Song   by Valdy  arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1400 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:40

Imagine being booed off the stage by an audience that wants only Rock and Roll music. This was one of Valdy’s big hits, back in the 1970’s.  The message still rings true today.


Pussy Willows, Cat-tails  by Gordon Lightfoot  arr. Larry Nickel


SSA with piano    $2.35    CP 1268 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:50

SATB with piano  $2.35     CP 1377

This song is a Gordon Lightfoot classic. Some say it’s the most beautiful Canadian folk-song ever written. It would work well at any concert, but especially for a Spring Concert.



Requiem for Peace by Larry Nickel       



SATB with orchestra and soloists    CP 1187 
(click here to learn more) 

Dr. Nickel’s doctoral thesis is a major work for chorus, orchestra and soloists. It is being performed internationally.   A powerful call for forgiveness and reconciliation is conveyed in 12 languages.

Two instrumentations are available, for full orchestra or for chamber orchestra (with 7 instruments).

Because ordering this music is more complex, please write Larry directly:  larrynickel@mac.com

Not sold through other music retailers - please order directly from Cypress.

Royal Hudson by David  Baker    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1130
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:40
TTBB with piano    $2.35    CP 1336
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:40

SSA with piano      $2.35    CP 1347

SAB with piano      $2.35    CP 1516

Listen to the Chor Leoni performance. This song is a real cooker. Get on board and ride along British Columbia's famous coastline. Baker's railroad rhythm captures the excitement of one of BC's landmarks - famous engine #2850 - the Royal Hudson.


Shine On, Silver Moon - by Susan Ellenton - arranged by Larry Nickel


SATB  a cappella  $2.35    CP 1279
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:15

This song is heart-breakingly beautiful. Nickel was so moved when he heard it for the first time and asked Susan Ellenton for permission to to give it an a cappella setting. “When my freedom and my destiny look each other in the face - feels like life lived in grace.”  visit Susan’s website (click here)




Solstice Song - by Jan Garrett - arranged by Larry Nickel


SATB  with piano  $2.35    CP 1199
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:50

With choirs all over the world singing Jan’s “I Dreamed of Rain” we asked her for another winner. There is glorious light and hope during the darkest night of the year. This lovely and approachable choral composition is appropriate for any concert from Fall to Winter.



The Spaces in Between Us by J.D. Martin, Jan Garrett and Lisa Aschmann


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1259
(view the score and listen here)  duration - 4:15

Award winning songwriters, Jan Garrett and JD Martin, have written a very poignant, meaningful song, which will go straight to the heart of singers and those in the audience.  This is a song about relationships.


Springtime in Alberta by Ian Tyson - arranged by Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1309
(view the score and listen here)  duration - 4:15

TTBB with piano    $2.35    CP 1401

You may have heard Tyson’s “Four Strong Winds” - covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Frank Sinatra. Springtime in Alberta is even more heart-breakingly beautiful (in the opinion of Nickel). “I have a special affinity with this song since my lovely wife comes from southern Alberta - where the weather in indeed unpredictable.”  LN


Sticks and Stones    by Larry Nickel


SATB a cappella    $2.35    CP 1159
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:30

Gossip is big problem - right!? Here’s a fun song about the power of the tongue to do good or evil. Snappy rhythms and tight harmonies will teach - but not preach. This song has been used in conjunction with anti-bullying campaigns.


Storm is Passing Over, the    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.50    CP 1078
(see the score while you listen) duration - 4:20
TTBB with piano    $2.50    CP 1079
 

SSA with piano    $2.50    CP 1317 

SAB with piano    $2.50    CP 1396

This tune starts off quietly but quickly builds to an energetic gospel rock. You need a good piano player for this one, especially one who can play in this funky gospel style. Your audience will be dancing in the aisles! (or at least feel like doing so)


This Could Be the Day    by Alan Moberg    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1122 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:30

TTBB with piano    $2.35 - available upon request

This gospel rock tune for SATB swings from the first bar to a lilting rendition of the biblical passage Matthew 25: 34-36 (when I was hungry you fed me  I was thirsty you gave me water) Ideal for liberal church choir, gospel or community choir.


This Land Is What I Am  by David  Baker  arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1133 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:05

SSAA with piano    $2.35    CP 1441

TTBB with piano    $2.35    CP 1337

Another great Canadian Folk Song from this winning combination of BC musicians. Dave Baker brings his down-home charm and Larry Nickel his singable harmony and catchy piano accompaniment, adding this BC folksong to a great Canadian tradition.

watch the Youtube video here


Tomorrow is a Chance to Start over    by Hilary Grist, arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1443 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:35

SSA with piano    $2.35    CP 1504

Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over is a touching and optimistic piece about the beauty of second chances. Elegant harmonies bring the comforting message and transport the listener to a place of hope and redemption.


When Christmas Comes    by Joanna Schwarz/Mavis Todd, arr. Larry Nickel


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1150     
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:50

Joanna’s song has the makings of a Christmas classic. The infectious melody evokes the holiday spirit.  The lilting piano part and rich four part harmonies are approachable for any mixed choir.


Where the Coho Flash Silver    by Lloyd Arntzen,  arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1442 
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:50

This was written for my father, Arnt, in 1971 for his 81st birthday, He was still a commercial fisherman operating a one man troller in the Strait of Georgia, now renamed The Salish Sea. The song describes a fabulous day of fishing out of Port Hardy back in the days when the salmon were still plentiful and as  the song says, literally, “ flashed silver all over the bay.” The song has been recorded at least eight times by various artists in Canada and the US after it was brought to the attention of folk music fans by my daughter, Holly.


Who Knows Where the Seasons Go?    by Larry Nickel


SATB    with piano    $2.35    CP 1121
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 3:35

Based on thoughts from Ecclesiastes, this somber and thoughtful piece is accessible for choirs of intermediate skill and appropriate for sacred or secular settings. It was written to honor a 90 year old woman, Lona Orr, who sang in the same choir for 76 years without hardly missing a rehearsal!


Williams Lake Stampede    by Alan Moberg    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.50    CP 1120
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:50
TTBB with piano    $2.50    CP 1521
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 2:50

Alan Moberg, one of BCs favorite folk song writers, gives us this rollicking musical vision of BCs best known (and wildest) rodeo. Complete with thigh slapping rhythm, catchy melody, and down home lyrics, it regales us with names of many of the Cariboo’s most famous cow towns. The tunes are simple but effective and Nickels harmonies are appropriately twangy and perfectly suited to a visit to part of the last frontier.


World of Small by David  Baker    arr. Larry Nickel


SATB with piano    $2.35    CP 1117
(see the score while you listen)  duration - 4:05

An arrangement of David Baker's "tribute to Emily Carr". With a very tender text, this 'Railroading Man' fashions a striking portrait of B.C.'s best known painter. As usual, Larry Nickel is up to the task of arranging a lovely choir version of this remarkable piece.