Today marks the release of two exciting new choral arrangements of traditional Christmas carols – Patapan and Noël Nouvelet.
Patapan, a traditional French carol was written by Bernard de La Monnoye (1641-1728) and was first published in 1720. Its original title was “Guillô, Pran Ton Tamborin” or “William, Bring Your Little Drum”. The carol centres on the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, as told from the perspective of simple folk playing simple musical instruments like flutes and drums.
Arranged for SSATB choir, a cappella, this unique and captivating mixed choir arrangement successfully combines both traditional and modern choral elements to inspire and challenge choirs. In line with the text, the vocal parts take on an instrumental role (drum and flute) in a series of interludes woven between the four verses, while the underlying Bass ostinato gives a stylish, upbeat rhythmic flavour.
The arrangement also feature a new English adaptation of the original French lyrics.
Patapan will be a great piece for your holiday concerts, providing a real opportunity to show off your choir’s flair and vocal agility!
The words for Noël nouvelet first appeared around the time of Columbus’ 1492 voyage to the Americas. The word “nouvelet” doesn’t exist any more, but it is related to the modern French word “nouvel” meaning “new”. So the title proclaims a new Christmas song in honour of the newborn King.
Arranged for men’s choir (TTBB), this rhythmically buoyant a cappella arrangement captures the exuberance of the Christmas spirit, proclaiming the good news of the birth of the newborn King. An introductory Noël section is skilfully used as interlude and modulatory material, with the contrasting textures and harmonic colours bringing a new flavour to this traditional 15th century seasonal favourite.
It may be sung either entirely in the original French or as a mix of French chorus with English verses.
New Music Series
Today also marks the launch of my new Music of Sandra Milliken series.
Designed to compliment the Choral Vivace series published by Edition Peters and my Sulasol collection, the Music of Sandra Milliken series is published by SMP Press and is available for immediate download at Sheetmusicplus.
The series will come to include choral and vocal arrangements of traditional and contemporary music as well as original instrumental compositions.
2016 Choral Contest conducted by SMP Press
SMP Press is currently conducting a Choral Composition & Arranging Contest, sponsored by Hal Leonard Corporation and Sheet Music Plus.
There are four prize categories:
- Mixed Choir, Public Domain Arrangement
- Men or Women’s Choir, Public Domain Arrangement
- Mixed Choir, Original Composition
- Men or Women’s Choir, Original Composition
The first round of the competition will run from July 13th through August 23rd, 2016. The finalists will be the top five selling pieces in each category based on total sales revenue.
In the second round, finalists will be judged by experienced Hal Leonard choral editors. One winner will be chosen in each of the four categories.
I have entered Patapan and Noël Nouvelet in the relevant Public Domain Arrangement sections. So, obviously, I’d really appreciate your support by checking out my two entries and, hopefully, purchasing some copies for your choir(s).
Keep in Contact
I would love to know what you think about either or both of these two new choral arrangements. And, as always, I am most interested to hear about your performances of any of my compositions or arrangements. Feel free to drop me a line or two, or even a video or sound clip. Your comments and contributions will be greatly appreciated.
Keep on singing!