Dr. Larry Nickel (b. 1952) is the owner and chief editor of Cypress Choral Music. An Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a prolific writer, Larry had 60 pieces with 12 publishers in 2003. His music has been performed around the world; in every province in Canada and every state in the USA. Recent locations include Taipei, Singapore, Jakarta, Corfu, Kiev, Bayreuth, Örebro, Kyoto, Glasgow and Magdeburg.
Nickel has a big heart for high school, church, and community groups – specializing in approachable/intuitive voice leading and rich harmonies. His style has been describe as “ecclesiastical and jazz inclinations combined”. He enjoys working with song-writers to create attractive choral arrangements. For example, his arrangement of Four Strong Winds by Ian Tyson – has been performed by hundreds of choirs.
Requiem for Peace is Larry’s doctoral thesis; a call for forgiveness and reconciliation in 13 languages – a “monumental work” for chorus, soloists and orchestra. As of 2021 is has had 27 performances (including Sweden, Germany, Greece, Ukraine and at Carnegie Hall).
Nickel has composed for a wide spectrum of genres; electronic and computer music, string quartet, woodwind and brass quintet, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and choral ensembles, including both secular and ecclesiastical music. Primarily, he has written hundreds of compositions for choirs. Check out his West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir collection here.
Larry and his wife, Edna, live in Vancouver – close to Stanley Park and only minutes away from their 3 children and 7 grandchildren. For more detailed biographical information please click here.
A CAPPELLA CHRISTMAS CANTATA
SATB – a cappella $15.00 CP 1455 – duration: 30 minutes
35 minutes in with 15 movements. Movements can be purchased separately. This music is written for accomplished choirs and yet it is very approachable with intuitive voice leading and sweet-spot vocal registers. This cantata features unusual aspects of the Christmas story.
SA with piano – CP 1894 – duration 2:05
Soft and jazzy with intuitive voice leading, this unusual composition is suited for both children and women – treble voices at any age. We’ve all enjoyed an afternoon nap – especially after lunch.
A la claire fontaine
SATB with piano – CP 1321 – duration: 3:40 (folk song)
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 I Have to Bring Today
SATB with piano – CP 1759 – 4:05
This composition was commissioned by a choir for their beloved choir director (Donna Brown) – who had served them faithfully for 20 years. A committee chose the poem and Dr. Nickel tried to be sure that there was a good marriage between the music and the text. A special group within the choir prepared the premiere and then presented it to Donna when she wasn’t expecting it – at the end of a May concert.
All the Diamonds
SATB with piano – CP 1273 – 2:45
TBB with piano – CP 1286
SSA with piano – 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
SATB with piano – CP 1195 – 4:15
SSA with piano – CP 1200
SAB with piano – 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!
bass and guitar parts available – free upon request
And the Poppies Grow
SATB with piano – CP 1325 – 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.
April, May and June
by Larry Nickel; poetry by Sara Teasdale
April Song – SATB with piano – CP 2051
May Night – SATB with piano – CP 2052
Dusk in June – SATB with piano – CP 2053
APRIL, MAY AND JUNE – (complete trilogy) – Cp 1843
Seasons change – from Spring into Summer. Nickel captures the joy and nuance of the text; by the inimitable poet.
As for Me and My House
SATB with piano – CP 1690 – 4:00
Gospel – in the style of Andrea Crouch and the Disciples! From the book of Joshua.
SATB with piano – CP 1327 – duration 4:00
TTBB with piano – CP 1738 – duration 4:00
With over half a million hits on Youtube, this arrangement has touched many hearts.
As one listener put it, “This rendition of the Ave Maria makes my soul soar to heights I have never felt before.”
Bach Sinfonia Eleven
SATB a cappella – CP 1706 – 3:00
Bach was such a genius that even the keyboard exercises he wrote for his students are mini masterpieces. Larry has adapted one of his favourite 3-part sinfonias for 4-part voices. Enjoy the contrapuntal phrases!
Beauty All Around Us
SATB – with piano CP 1821 – 3:15
Enjoy listening to the Cypress Studio Singers give a touching rendition to this anthem. The text is draw from the famous hymn – “For the Beauty of the Earth”. With these warm harmonies and intuitive voice leading your choir will sound great.
Be Still and Consider
SATB with piano and instrument – CP 1429 – 6:10
SSAA with piano and instrument – CP 1379 – 6:35
SATB a cappella version – CP 1394 – 5:45
Be still and consider the wonder of God. Listen to this marvellous rendition by the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir.
Bring Lolita Home
SATB with piano – CP 1636 – 3:40
The orca (killer whale) named Lolita was taken from British Columbian waters and ended up at an amusement park in Florida. This anthem is a timely reminder of our relationship to nature; an easy sing with solid harmonies and a poignant message.
SATB with piano – CP 1280 – 4:15
TTBB with piano – CP 1616
This is a barn burner! Ride the tracks across the continent from Halifax to Vancouver – to meet your true love.
Cat's in the Cradle
SATB with piano – CP 1788 – 4:00
This classic ballad will touch the hearts of singers and listeners.
The Cat and the Snake - from Crimson (the cantata)
SATB with piano and optional cello – – CP 1625 – 3:08
The Vietnamese allegory is subtitled Enemies and Allies. Ideal for Remembrance or Memorial Day – this sparkling piece is suitable any time of year. Listen to the entire cantata – Crimson – here.
Caught in the Rhythm
SATB with piano – CP 1329 – 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!
Chico the Good Samaritan
SSA with piano – CP 1586 – 3:05
Bossa Nova rhythms permeate this fun piece for young voices. The classic story about taking care of the downtrodden is illustrated with flair. Choirs have performed this with choreography and costumes! The two main melodies come together as a canon at the end.
Come My Way
SATB with piano – CP 1566 – 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.
Come Unto Me
SATB with piano – LN 1975 – 3:35
Larry wrote this anthem in 1973. Little did his imagine that the song would still be sung many years later. In Matthew 11 – Christ invites us to rest from the stresses of life. Listen to the recording by the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir.
Come Unto Me has also been set for a cappella choir and also in shape notes. (available upon request)
SATB with piano – CP 1352 – 3:55
SATB a cappella – CP 1367 – 3:55
Brian Doerksen is well known for his joyful and meaningful worship songs including “Come, Now is the Time to Worship” and “Refiners Fire”. “Creation Calls” us to be believers.
Creator alme siderum (Creator of the Stars)
CREATOR ALME SIDERUM – complete trilogy – SATB a cappella $6.00 CP 1694 – 12:35
1) Creator alme siderum (mvnt 1) – SATB a cappella – CP 1733 – 5:00
2) Constellatio (mvnt 2) – SATB a cappella – CP 1735 – 4:15
3) Gloria in excelsis (mvnt 3) – SATB a cappella – CP 1736 – 3:20
CRIMSON - THE CANTATA
SATB with piano, cello and soloists $16.00 CP 1620 – 40:00
Peter Togni, CBC radio host for 20 years wrote “This is truly a great work … a masterpiece which deserves to be heard”. Read the full review here. This music is ideal for Remembrance and Memorial Day services. The Battle of Passendale occurred one century ago. Trench warfare was a nightmare of epic proportions. Nickel’s music considers what was gained and what was lost – with compassion, gratitude, cynicism, anger, despair and hope. Ten movements tell the story: each piece is also available separately upon request.
SATB with piano CP 1760 – 4:00
Listen to the famous tenor, Ben Heppner deliver this famous folk song with the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir. Nickel created a lyrical piano accompaniment with Celtic flourishes.
SATB a cappella – CP 1713 – 3:30
Nickel says, “I remember hearing this piece in the movie ‘Rain Man’ and thinking – wow, I’d like to have a crack at that one. It just so happened that my concert choir was learning about the chromatic scale so this piece turned out to be educational and great fun.”
Down in the River
SATB a cappella – CP 1483 – 2:50
Made famous by the movie “Brother, Where Art Thou?”, this meaningful piece sings itself. Listen to a mass youth choir sing it.
SATB with piano – CP 1996 – duration 4:35
TBB with piano – CP 2004
SSA available upon request
Everyone can relate to this compelling story. Perhaps we haven’t been stranded at sea with a broken mast but when we suffer through the storms of life hope on the horizon can bring deep relief.
I yearned to feel the ocean’s roll,
I was always the seafaring kind.
But too many storms have taken their toll,
and all that remains on my mind –
Is dry land, dry land –
It’s been seven fortnights since we raised the sail.
All hands, dry land –
We’ve slipped from the grip of a force seven gale to dry land.
Dulce et Decorum - from Requiem for Peace
SATB with piano – CP 1781 – 4:10
TTBB with piano – CP 1785 – 4:10
Wilfred Owen’s poem was born in the muddy trenches. This movement from Requiem for Peace has been performed at Remembrance Day/Memorial Day concerts. It works well together Long Black Arm.
EASTER ORATORIO - NO MORE FEAR OF DYING
This one hour work in 18 movements traces the sojourn of Christ from the time He entered Jerusalem, riding on a donkey (Hosanna!), clearing the temple, the garden of Gethsemane, through the trial and crucifixion, until the triumphant Resurrection. It has been presented many times – especially during the 1990’s. Nickel recently bought back the copyrights from another publisher so that his company, Cypress, can improve and handle the scores. While the full score is being rewritten for a new premiere in 2021, several movements are available individually now. click here to see all 18 titles
No More Fear of Dying– (theme song) – click here to look and listen
SATB with piano – CP 1532 – duration 3:20
The signature composition from the Cantata by the same name – ideal for the Lent and Easter calendar. Actually, since the resurrection is central to Christianity, this song resonates any time of year!
We Want to Know Christ– click here to look and listen
SATB with piano – CP 1672 – duration 3:20
We Want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection!
Hosanna – click here to look and listen
SATB with piano – CP 1761 – duration 2:45
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, people of Jerusalem
Come to the Upper Room– click here to look and listen
SATB with piano – CP 1671 – duration 3:20
Come to the upper room – be seated at His table.
Behold the Lamb– click here to look and listen
SATB with piano – CP 1670 – duration 3:20
The trial of Christ was so unfair and brutal – absolutely heart-breaking.
We All Like Sheep Have Gone Astray– click here to look and listen
SATB with piano – CP 1673 – duration 3:20
“each of us has turned to his own way and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
TBB with piano, optional violin – CP 1641 – 3:10
The Rankin family added many great songs to the roster of Canadian folk music. This one is for hard working men!
Four Strong Winds
SATB with piano – CP 1160 – 4:20
TTBB with piano – CP 1161
SSAA with piano – CP 1162
SAB with piano – CP 1194
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: full orchestration – conductor’s score – full set of parts, multiple string copies – $100
SATB with piano – CP 1160 – 3:15
SSAA with piano – available upon request
Upbeat, jazzy and great fun! The brilliant poem by Fred Coswell describes the circle of life in a way that everyone can relate to.
Good Christian People Rejoice
SATB a cappella – – CP 1720 – 2:35
Up tempo, syncopated and exciting; Nickel has adapted the famous Christmas carol to be more inclusive.
Listen to this inspiring recording by the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir.
SATB with piano – CP 1998 – duration 4:05
SSA with piano – CP 1973
TBB available upon request
Robbie invented the perfect word for a glorious day on the water. His melodies soar like seagulls in the salty breeze.
Find the gullwind in the harbour,
trace the tideline on the water, read the signs.
Catch the fish with lure and line,
bamboo pole and golden twine.
See the starfish shine.
Here’s to Song
SSAA with piano – CP 1148 – 4:40
TBB with piano – CP 1678
SATB with piano – available upon request
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”
His Eye is On the Sparrow
SATB a cappella – CP 1651 – 2:45
SSA with piano – CP 1652 – 3:15
Larry’s lovely approachable setting will warm the hearts of any audience. Written in 1905 by Charles Gabriel, the song became the title of Ethel Waters’ autobiography. Then Lauren Hill performed a stirring rendition in the movie “Sister Act” – remember? Give a listen to these pristine recordings.
SATB with piano – CP 1237 – 3:00
SSA with piano – CP 1243
TTBB with piano – 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!
Home I’ll Be
SATB with piano, violin (or C instr.) – CP 1638 – 4:45
TTBB with piano, violin (or C instr.) – CP 2050
Rita’s love for her homeland gave birth to this lovely anthem. This is an easy sing with rich harmony.
The beguiling violin, oboe or flute part is available at no charge.
How Can I Keep From Singing?
SATB a cappella – CP 1638 – duration 3:15
This amazing classic is given a completely new approach by Larry Nickel – with a surprise joyful calypso section! The vocals sit in sweet spot registers and the intuitive voice leading will make your choir sound wonderful with the rich harmonies.
I Cannot Dance
SSAATBB a cappella – CP 1340 – 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
SSAATBB a cappella – CP 1567 – 2:45
Bring down the house with this soul filled version of a classic song. Listen to this stirring performance.
I Dreamed of Rain
SATB with piano – CP 1182 – 3:20
SAB with piano – CP 1192
SSA with piano – CP 1193
TTBB with piano – 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. 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
SATB a cappella – CP 1093 – 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
SATB a cappella – CP 1221 – 3:05
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.
In the Bleak Mid-Winter
TTBB with piano and soloist – CP 1666 – 4:30
SSAA with piano and soloist – CP 1800 – 4:30
Gustav Holst set the poetry of Christian Rossetti to this timeless melody – a Christmas classic. Dr. Nickel was happy to arrange it for men’s chorus.
SATB with piano – CP 1146 – 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.
It's Alright to Have a Good Time
SATB a cappella – CP 1723 – 3:15
Christ came to bring abundant life and this gospel style composition expresses the joy.
Jimmy Brown Song, (Les trois cloches)
SATB a cappella – CP 1599 (english) – 5:55
SATB a cappella – CP 1587 (french) – 5:55
The church bells rang when Jimmy was born, when he was married and when he died – a lovely trilogy made famous during the great war years by chanteuse Édith Piaf. Listen to Ben Heppner sing Nickel’s arrangement.
Jump Down, Spin Around
SATB a cappella – CP 1094 – 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
SATB with piano – CP 1229 – 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
SATB with piano – CP 1153 – 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
SATB a cappella or with piano – CP 1439 – 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
SATB a cappella – CP 1395 – 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!
Little Lamb, Who Made Thee?
SATB a cappella – CP 1395 – duration 3:50
SATB with piano – CP 1988
The classic poem by William Blake is full of double meanings. The a cappella setting is part of Nickel’s “A Cappella Christmas Cantata”. Either setting is suitable for programming any time of year.
Long Black Arm - from Requiem for Peace
SATB with piano – CP 1782 – 2:30
TTBB with piano – CP 1786 – 2:30
Dynamic, dissonant, angry, loud and yet meaningful. The Wilfred Owen poem come to life – denouncing the weapons of war. This movement from Requiem for Peace has been performed at Remembrance Day/Memorial Day concerts. It works well together Dulce et Decorum.
Lord, Help Us Live in Peace
SATB a cappella – CP 1230 – 2:25
TTBB a cappella – 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.
This piece is also available in shape notes – upon request
Lord's Prayer, The
SATB with piano – LN 2029 – 2:50
TTB with piano – LN 1984 – 2:50
Albert Malotte wrote this famous setting of the famous prayer in the early 1900’s. Nickel’s arrangement has solid voice leading and calls for an accomplished piano player.
Make Someone Happy
by Jule Styne and Adolph Green, arr. Larry Nickel
SATB – a cappella – CP 2057 – 3:06
These delightful words pair beautifully with this wonderful melody. This simple message will resonate with singers and listeners alike.
Malala, Pakistani Girl
SSA with piano – CP 1308 – 4:00
SSA with piano – CP 1385 – (french rendition)
SAB with piano – CP 1334
SAB with piano – CP 1366 – (french rendition)
In 2014, Malala Yousafzai was the youngest person to ever win Nobel Peace Prize. She took a 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
SATB with piano – CP 1547 – 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 (Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening)
SATB with piano – CP 1452 – 3:25
TTBB with piano – CP 1729
SSAA with piano – CP 1731
SA with piano (for children) is available upon request
Listen to an exquisite rendering of the classic Robert Frost poem – as sung by the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir. One can hear the snow falling in the dark forest.
Mon Pays (ce n’est pas un pays)
SATB with piano – CP 1313 – 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.
TTBB a cappella – CP 1444 – 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
SATB with piano and whale sound – CP 1538 – 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.
My Canoe Runs on Water
SATB with piano (and guitar) – CP 1709 – 3:40
Talk about environment friendly! – and healthy to boot. Choirs will love this upbeat folk tune by James Gordon. Nickel adds another Canadian classic to fit the theme – “My Paddle’s Keen and Bright”.
TTBB a cappella – CP 1680 – 2:30
Larry sang a version of this song in junior high school – out of an old faded glee-club book. He has tried his best to track down the author with no success and struggled to remember how the song went – but it must have left an impression since he was just starting to shave at the time! Great fun! Watch the women swoon as the guys ham it up in this performance.
My Song of Joy
SATB with piano – CP 1818 – 3:20
May it move through the prairie, soar over mountains and far across the sea.
Night Shall Be Filled With Music
SATB with piano – CP 1983 – 4:15
This is a song of hope to the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – with long lines in sweet spot vocal registers.
And the night shall be filled with music
and the cares that infest the day
shall fold their tents – fold their tents
and silently steal away
No Complaints, Whatsoever
SATB with piano – CP 1201 – 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.
No Greater Love - from the cantata (Crimson)
SATB with piano with optional cello – – CP 1623 – 3:05
This well-known verse is perfect of Remembrance and Memorial Day – but works well in any situation.
Listen to the entire cantata (Crimson) – here.
No More Fear of Dying
by Larry Nickel
SATB with piano – CP 1532 – duration 3:05
SATB a cappella – CP 2040
Jesus has arisen!
Joy and hope are given, those who call upon His name.
He shall be exalted through the endless ages,
name above all other names.
O Canada and the Star Spangled Banner
SATB a cappella – CP 1266 – 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)
Old Lady Rose
SATB with piano – CP 1124 – 4:15
TTBB with piano – CP 1819 – 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.
Only One Life
SATB a cappella – CP 1693 – 4:30
This hymn style anthem was commissioned by Calvary Bible School in Calico Rock, Arkansas. The melodies and intuitive harmonies carry the lyrics which are full of heartfelt convictions.
O Sacrum Convivium
SATB a cappella – LN 2031 – 4:30
The ancient liturgical text has been sung in hundreds of settings. Larry wrote this composition for St. Patrick Regional School. Intuitive voice leading, sweet spot vocal registers and counterpoint make this an approachable challenge for the church or concert stage.
Our Song Shall Rise to Thee
SATB with piano – CP 1315 – 5:05
TTBB with piano – CP 1316
“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.
Outside the Lines
By Gord Light; arr. Larry Nickel
SATB with piano and instr. – CP 2027 – duration 3:15
My love colours outside the lines,
Exploring paths that few could ever find;
And takes me into places where I’ve never been before,
And opens doors to worlds outside the lines.
Passendale - from Crimson (the cantata)
SATB with piano and optional cello – – CP 1626 – 4:30
The battle of Passendale is legendary. This composition is from the perspective of a young man in the trenches.
Listen to the entire cantata (Crimson) – here.
People You Love
SATB with piano – CP 1640 – 4:00
“People you love pass on – but they’re not gone.” Eric deals with the subject of death in such a sensitive and meaningful way – this is a tear-jerker, for sure.
Play Me a Rock n Roll Song
SATB with piano – CP 1400 – 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
SSA with piano – CP 1268 – 3:50
SATB with piano – 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.
Remember Thy Creator
SATB a cappella – CP 1717 – 3:35
…in the days of thy youth. Larry and Gordon played in a Christian folk-band (The Sound of Light) back in the 1970’s. This song became an anthem for the group. Why not live life to the fullest while you’re still young?
REQUIEM FOR PEACE
SATB with orchestra and soloists CP 1187 – one hour and ten minutes
Dr. Nickel’s doctoral thesis is a major work for chorus, orchestra and soloists. A powerful call for forgiveness and reconciliation is conveyed in 13 languages. Requiem for Peace has had over 22 performances internationally – including at the World Choral Games in Magdeburg (Germany), Örebro (Sweden), Corfu (Greece) and at Carnegie Hall.
Ordering this music is more complex, please write Larry directly: firstname.lastname@example.org (not sold through music retailers)
SATB a cappella – CP 1644 – 4:10
Shall we gather at the river – the beautiful river? Listen to the serene harmonies of this composition. Nickel combines four famous river hymns in this medley.
SATB with piano – CP 1130 – 2:40
TTBB with piano – CP 1336
SSA with piano – CP 1347
SAB with piano – CP 1516
Listen to the Chor Leoni premiere 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.
Season for Singing, the
SATB with piano – CP 1764 – 3:15
Upbeat and joyful – “Now is the season for singing!”. This composition was commissioned for the Nanaimo Sings Festival.
She Goes Shopping for Gucci
SATB a cappella – CP 1674 – 2:30
Happiness depends on how many belonging we have – right? Check out this bright calypso song.
Shine On, Silver Moon
SATB a cappella – CP 1279 – 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.”
SATB with piano – CP 1199 – 2:50
SSA with piano – CP 1578 – 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.
SONGS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME - the collection
SATB a cappella $20.00 CP 1791
Fifteen a cappella songs in a sturdy ring-bound book from the classic recording; including In Times Like These, Working With Joy, True Evangelical Faith, Blessed Are They and Where He Leads Me. (see the full list here) Each of these songs can be purchased individually but the book saves you nearly half the cost.
The Spaces in Between Us
SATB with piano – CP 1259 – 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
SATB with piano – CP 1309 – 4:15
TTBB with piano – 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
SATB a cappella – CP 1159 – 3:30
SSAA a cappella – CP 1803 – 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
SATB with piano – CP 1078 – 4:20
TTBB with piano – CP 1079
SSA with piano – CP 1317
SAB with piano – 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
SATB with piano – CP 1122 – 3:30
TTBB with piano – – 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
SATB with piano – CP 1133 – 3:05
SSAA with piano – CP 1441
TTBB with piano – 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
Tidings of Great Joy
SATB a cappella – CP 1465 – 2:50
This joyful anthem would work so well with a good acoustic. Music would be bouncing off the walls! (a movement from Nickel’s A Cappella Christmas Cantata)
Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over
SATB with piano – CP 1443 – 3:35
SSA with piano – 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.
Treasure the Moment
SATB with piano – CP 1769 – 4:45
This song was written in memory of Larry’s friend, Ken Weremchuk – a long time choral associate who was actually jogging with his daughter two months before he passed away (brain cancer). Ken knew how to live life to the fullest and make every day count.
Trust in the Lord
SATB with piano – CP 1726 – 2:35
Take a moment to listen the Cypress Studio Singers. The choir sings long floating lines in sweet spot vocal registers while the piano plays in triple time. This ancient Proverb, these words of wisdom, have been a source of comfort and encouragement for millions of people over thousands of years.
SATB with piano – CP 1642 – 3:00
“Turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four, turn around and you’re a young child going out of the door” Harry Belafonte made this song famous in the 60’s. This choral rendition sings itself and will touch the hearts of any audience.
SATB – piano with violin or 4 hands – CP 1637 – 2:30
This is a bizarre story – 23 camels hauling gear during the Klondike gold rush!!? Bruce adds another one to his list of Canadian folk songs. This is one of the funniest – and fastest! – a real barn burner.
Voices from the Earth - from Crimson (the cantata)
SATB – piano with violin or 4 hands – – CP 1624 – 4:20
From the beaches of Normandy, the shore so far from home; from the trenches of Passendale and the Valley of the Somme; from the meadows of Flanders, and the slopes of Vimy Ridge we hear voices.
Listen to the entire cantata (Crimson) – here.
Water is Wide, the
SATB with piano – CP 1722 – 4:30
This famous folk song has Scottish origins. Listen to the flowing water piano accompaniment in this arrangement. Long vocal lines give choirs the chance to be really expressive with these plaintive lyrics. The West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir give an exquisite rendition in this recording.
We Welcome You - So Long Farewell
SATB with piano – CP 1712 – 2:30 – each part = 5:00
Swing with smiles; what a fun way to open and close a concert! Intuitive voice leading will make this opener/closer a snap to learn and memorize – an ideal way to greet the audience – and then say farewell at the end of the concert. “Hellos” and “good-byes” are delivered in multiple languages. Give a listen – you’ll love it.
WEST COAST MENNONITE CHAMBER CHOIR COLLECTION
Click here to see the long list in alphabetical order:
The West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir was founded in 1989 by Tony Funk (artistic director/conductor) and Larry Nickel (low bass/composer-in-residence) while eating apple pancakes. From 1990 to 2004 the choir recorded 13 CDs, raising over a million dollars for a local charity through CD sales. Receiving rave reviews, the choir was featured on CBC radio and many radio broadcasts throughout the USA and United Kingdom. Nickel wrote 120 pieces for the group, including music for brass quintets and string quartets. Several recordings are still available.
When Christmas Comes
SATB with piano – CP 1150 – 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.
WHEN THINK OF BRIDGES
SATB with piano $11.00 CP 1762 – 25:00
Larry Nickel tells the story of Vancouver’s greatest tragedy in 11 movements based on the poetry of Gary Geddes. The theme of a collapsing bridge is universal – full of metaphors and allegory.
The 2nd Narrows Bridge (above) collapsed in 1958, while under construction. Seventy-nine workers plunged 30 meters (100 ft) into the water. Eighteen men were killed either instantly or shortly thereafter, possibly drowned by their heavy tool belts. A diver searching for bodies drowned later, bringing the total fatalities for the collapse to 19.
Where the Coho Flash Silver
SATB with piano – CP 1442 – 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?
SATB with piano – CP 1121 – 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
SATB with piano – CP 1120 – 2:50
TTBB with piano – CP 1521
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.
Wonder of It All, the
SATB a cappella – CP 1679 – 4:50
Albert Einstein said that there are two ways to look at life; 1) nothing is a miracle 2) everything is a miracle. In a gentle bossa nova style, this song leaves little doubt about Nickel’s view on the matter. Listen to the Cypress Studio Singers gorgeous rendition of the music.
Working With Joy
SATB a cappella – LN 1976 – 3:35
Larry wrote this song while driving tractor in 1978 (helping out his father-in-law in Lethbridge.) The piece builds by adding layer upon layer. Easy to sing and up-tempo great fun! Listen to the excellent sound of the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir.
World of Small
SATB with piano – CP 1117 – 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.