Matthew B. Nielsen, Composer/Arranger is now part of HolySheetMusic.com
HolySheetMusic is publishing is wonderful arrangement of “Away in a Manger” for SSA choir with soloists and optional instruments.
Matthew writes: “One of my favorite musical inventions of the 21st century is the “mash-up.” Used mostly in popular music styles, the general idea of the technique is to take two or more songs and combine them, intertwining their musical themes and rhythmic ideas to create new musical ideas. I enjoy using this pop music technique in my works for the concert hall. In this piece, you’ll hear this used mostly in the second verse. While the sopranos sing the melody, the altos sing an altered version of the hymn “The Lord Is My Shepherd” as a counter melody. Meanwhile, the accompaniment borrows from “Joseph Dear, Oh Joseph Mine,” “The Wexford Carol,” and “Mary’s Lullaby.” Combined with the “Coventry Carol” transition between the first and second verses, there are five different songs and carols that will be heard.
While the piano accompaniment illustrates the musical borrowing, the pastoral nature of this setting is best heard when using the instrumental accompaniment. The original arrangement is scored for flute, oboe, guitar, and piano. The parts are included here, with an alternate piano/vocal score for when the instruments are being utilized. Feel free to use any C instrument that works for your choir. The guitar is optional, but I highly recommend it, as it really adds to the overall sound.”
Here’s a little about Matthew:
Matthew B. Nielsen has arranged for choir, concert band, marching band and orchestra. His arrangements have been performed by collegiate choirs and show choirs across the country, as well as at internationally through youth festivals and training broadcasts. Matthew is also an avid performer, playing percussion and singing for church and theatrical productions in the United States, China, Australia, and the Caribbean.
Matthew is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s degree in Media Music. A native Californian, Matthew now resides in Minnesota with his wife and four children.