Great Canadians | Canadian Composers Tribute

Canadian Composers

 

 

Great Canadians | Canadian Composers Tribute

 

Great Canadians Larry Nickel (born March 12, 1952) is a Canadian composer, conductor, music publisher and singer who devotes much of his focus to choral music. He is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and 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 and arranged hundreds of compositions for choirs. Nickel also works as a choral clinician, occasional university professor, music minister, guest conductor and music festival adjudicator. Nickel sang professionally with the Vancouver Chamber Choir for six years, directed the Jubilate Vocal Ensemble for five years, and is currently singing with the Vancouver Cantata Singers. In 2010 Nickel became the owner and co-editor (with Diane Loomer) of Cypress Choral Music Publishing.[3] Nickel's music is published by Oxford University Press, G. Schirmer, Shawnee Press, Pavane Publishing, Morton Music, Cypress Choral Music, Classica and Canadian International Music. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - CBC Radio - has featured his music many times.

Born to parents who became missionaries when he was eleven years old, Nickel studied music in Kodaikanal India under the International Baccalaureate Program. He was given a chance to direct his high school chamber choir when he was 17. Upon returning to Canada, he formed a coffeehouse band with friends called the "Sound of Light", which performed regularly in the Vancouver area for four years, made two LP recordings, and worked in recording studios as back-up singers for Dolores Claman ("Hockey Night in Canada" composer). He studied at Columbia Bible College, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Lethbridge. His Master of Music degree was completed at the University of Western Washington in 1983.

Nickel worked as a high school performing arts teacher for 25 years at the Mennonite Educational Institute. During that time he directed over 50 stage productions. In 1993 he won the International Association for Jazz Education award for "outstanding service to jazz education". His senior choir was selected two years in a row, 2001 and 2002, by Varsity Vocals' international search for the Best of High School Choirs.

Born to parents who became missionaries when he was eleven years old, Nickel studied music in Kodaikanal India under the International Baccalaureate Program. He was given a chance to direct his high school chamber choir when he was 17. Upon returning to Canada, he formed a coffeehouse band with friends called the "Sound of Light", which performed regularly in the Vancouver area for four years, made two LP recordings, and worked in recording studios as back-up singers for Dolores Claman ("Hockey Night in Canada" composer). He studied at Columbia Bible College, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Lethbridge. His Master of Music degree was completed at the University of Western Washington in 1983.

In 1989, Nickel almost died of viral encephalitis. Following a long convalescence, he says, "During that time of healing I committed myself to writing music that speaks to the deep questions of our existence." Christian convictions permeate much of his writing.

Nickel and director Tony Funk founded the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir in 1990. The choir recorded thirteen CDs, including over one hundred of Nickel's compositions, with proceeds from CD sales donated to Communitas Supportive Care Services, a charitable organization that works with mentally challenged people.

In 2003, Nickel began a Doctorate (DMA) in Composition, which he obtained in 2007. He studied with Stephen Chatman, Dorothy Chang and Keith Hamel. His thesis involved writing a Requiem in twelve languages. "Requiem for Peace" was premiered at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in December 2005 under the direction Bruce Pullan. In 2010 Bruce Pullan presented "Requiem for Peace" at the Orpheum theatre with the VSO and the Vancouver Bach Choir. In 2011 Nickel reset "Requiem for Peace" for chamber size forces and this version was premiered by the Vancouver Chamber Choir that November. Since then, Requiem for Peace has had many performances; Orebro, Vasteras, Toronto, Halifax, Guelph, Magdeburg, Speinshart, Regensburg, Nordlingen, Bayreuth, Chicago, Goshen and in New York at Carnegie Hall.

Nickel has received commissions from groups such as the Vancouver Cantata Singers, Pro Coro Canada, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Vancouver Bach Choir, Elektra, Choir Leoni, Welsh Men's Choir, Salt Lake Vocal Artists, the Orebro Chamber Choir, Winnipeg Children's Choir, Pacific Mennonite Children's Choir, PODIUM honor choir, Halifax Camerata, Erato Ensemble, Canadian Tenors, Linden Singers, Faith and Life Men's Chorus, etc. His work has also been performed by Pinchas Zukerman, Ben Heppner, the NACO Woodwind Quintet, the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Larry and his wife, Edna, live in Vancouver, close to their children and grandchildren.

*Resource:
https://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Larry_Nickel

 

Great Canadians Canadiana Choral Music
[E-mail from Larry Nickel, Vancouver, all sorts of links to lovely choral songs]

One piece, close to my heart these days - Immigrant Son. (set for SATB and SSA) Please give it a listen - heart breaking and beautiful.

Our form letter follows: click on a title to hear the recording while while studying the score - (below)

Canada’s 150th!  Most Canadian choirs will be celebrating the big 2017 event in song. American choirs might give us a nod and celebrate with us, eh - and I hear that some singers are immigrating to Canada! Hey, we sing American folksongs all the time! - O Shanandoah, Ol’ Dan Tucker, etc.
Cypress has so much amazing Canadiana to offer - and most pieces have multiple voicings. For example, we recently revived the anthem “This is My Home” (SATB, SAB, TBB, SSA, SA).  Here a solid setting of O Canada.  Can you name “All the Little Rivers of Canada”? Travel across the country from east to west on the Canadian Pacific or rattle through the Rocky’s on the Royal HudsonFish off the coast of B.C. - Where the Coho Flash Silver or in the Atlantic with the Rankin Family hit - Fisherman’s Son . Enjoy the coastline with Mountains, Sea and Sky. How about those Prairie cowboys? - Alberta Cowboy Songs.  Who could forget the timeless Four Strong Winds by Ian Tyson? or the internationally famous Hockey Song by Stompin’ tom Connors?(guaranteed to bring down the house). Gordon Lightfoot’s  Song for a Winter’s Night or Pussy Willows and Cat-tails will surely be audience pleasers. To Young Canadians - the words of Jack Layton. Take your canoe out on the lake to the music of Ian Tamblyn and Matthew Emery.  Haul timber out of the bush while singing these classics - Peter Amberley  Log Driver’s WaltzDonkey Riding.  Swat pesky flies in Ontario while working with a crew. - Black Fly Song. Try Susan Aglukark’s Song of the Land.  Hot off the press; Brian’s Tate’s Emily Carr Suite. Ever sing along with humpback whales? - Mother Whale Lullaby. Enjoy the Rodeo with this knee slapper - “William’s Lake Stampede”. One of my personal favorites - reflecting on Canada’s immigration policy - Immigrant Son.
We’ve recently upgraded our french catalogue. Allan Bevan’s gorgeous Parlez-moi, Stephen Hatfield’s Les Draveurs de la Gatineau and Donald Patriquin’s C’est l’aviron
Diane Loomer’s collection of Canadian Folksongs would be very fitting. Maple Leaf Forever, "Fogarty’s Cove - and our list goes on. Dianes setting of Away From the Roll of the Sea by Allister MacGillivray   has been a best seller for 27 years.  Stuck in the ice? - Frobisher Bay.  Ever curse in a song and get away with it? - try Barrett’s Privateers.
Hey, this only scratches the surface of our terrific options for the big Canuck celebration.

Please click here to see all of our list of new titles for 2016. We have a stunning batch of new pieces for 2017 (ready for release next May)

upwards and onwards!

Larry

Dr. Larry Nickel,  CEO, editor
Diane Loomer, C.M., founder

1702- 1408 Strathmore MewsVancouver, B.C., V6Z 3A9

604-221-1608
my favorite quotes by famous composers:
These are personal favorites. Never apologize for writing sacred music. You are clearly in good company
- Larry Nickel
can you add one more to this list?


 

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And Waiting in the Wings:

Waiting in the wings? Nobody. But I swear I hear constant practising of scales and arpeggios. Actually it's in tune and sounding pretty good!

Great Canadians | Canadian Composers Tribute

Great Canadians