We three kings

SATB and piano (with optional percussion)
Duration: 3.5 minutes | Difficulty: Very Easy – Easy

This highly imaginative, creative arrangement of the popular Christmas carol for SATB, piano and percussion by Michael Higgins, brings the traditional story alive as the Three Kings (and their camels) follow the Star to Bethlehem.

See, I am God

SATB (with divisions) and piano or organ
Duration: 4 minutes | Difficulty: Moderately Difficult – Difficult

Inspired by Brahms’ classic ‘Geistliches Lied’, ‘See, I am God’ by Michael Higgins with a text by Julian of Norwich was commissioned by Sonoro for their ‘Choral Inspirations’ project. Higgins has taken and enhanced the rich harmonic language used by Brahms, as well as playing with fragments of his melodies and has included a double-canon in the structure. The overall feeling is one of calm, comfort and serenity. This accessible new work is scored for SATB and piano or organ.

Ó meu Menino

SATB (with divisions) unaccompanied
Duration: 3 minutes | Difficulty: Easy – Moderately Difficult

Based on a traditional Portuguese carol from Alentejo, ‘Ó meu Menino’ is gentle lullaby sung to the baby Jesus. This a cappella arrangement for SATB by Michael Higgins includes a Portuguese text with a singable English transliteration.

Coventry Carol

SSATTBB unaccompanied
Duration: 3.5 minutes | Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

A dramatic and expressive arrangement by Michael Higgins of the 15th century melody, scored for SSATTBB unaccompanied. Through varying the choral textures throughout, he creates an atmospheric new version of the well-known carol.

Fauré Requiem

S, Bar solo, SATB, string quintet and organ

This new arrangement for string quintet and organ was first performed on Remembrance Sunday in 2007 in the intimate setting of the choir stalls at St John’s Church, Wimbledon. By using a small number of singers, similar to the twenty or so in Fauré’s choir at the Madeleine, added to the chamber music quality of the strings, unique colours and textures are created which breathe new life into an otherwise familiar but continually evolving work.

View me, Lord

SATB unaccompanied
Duration: 2.5 minutes | Difficulty: Easy – Moderately Difficult

With a text by Thomas Campion, View me, Lord is a tender prayer characterized by its sensitive text-setting. Each verse features a change in voicing, rhythm, and harmony, while the ever-changing metre provides a feeling of fluidity. The tension built throughout the work is finally resolved in the last chord, bringing this contemplative anthem to a peaceful close.

“Another piece that could well contribute to the structure of a concert is View me, Lord . . . Higgins’s version is a simple, homophonic account featuring contemporary harmony that won’t frighten the horses. The general effect is one of tenderness and warmth – exactly the words the composer himself uses at the top of the piece.”

Jeremy Jackman, Choir & Organ, February 2020

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

SATB (with divisions) and organ
Duration: 2.5 minutes | Difficulty: Easy

This sparkling arrangement of the traditional English carol presents the familiar melody through a variety of textures, ranging from unison to five parts. Accompanied by organ, the carol concludes with a soaring soprano descant. Light and rhythmic in style, it dances with joy and celebration, perfect for concerts and services.

Three American Songs

SATB (with divisions) and piano
Duration: 8 minutes | Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Higgins’s arrangements of three North-American traditional songs are sophisticated and beautiful, supported by well-crafted piano accompaniments. The first, ‘Bright morning stars’, is illuminated by a shimmering piano part with opportunities for a soloist or small group. Energy and bounce is abundant throughout the second, ‘Little wheel a-turnin’’, where the melody is passed around the voices and coloured with interesting harmonies. The last piece, ‘He’s gone away’, is a parting song between two lovers with flowing melodies and accompaniment, and ends on a note of anticipation.

O salutaris Hostia

SSATB unaccompanied
Duration: 3 minutes | Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

In this sensitive choral arrangement of ‘Nimrod’ from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Michael Higgins sets the Eucharistic hymn ‘O salutaris Hostia’, written by St Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi. The familiar melody passes seamlessly between the voice parts, and Elgar’s lush, rich sound world is perfectly emulated by the choral textures Higgins has fashioned.

Away in a manger

SATB and piano or harp
Duration: 3 minutes | Difficulty: Very Easy – Easy

Higgins’s arrangement of Away in a manger is beautiful and delicate. The first verse is taken by unison upper voices; the second is a cappella, with an optional soloist or small group and sustained ‘ooh’s; and the last verse features fresh, homophonic harmonies. The accompaniment twinkles gently around the voices, contributing towards the magical character of the arrangement.

“I was immediately touched by the exceptionally fine and tender setting of Away in a manger by Michael Higgins. The lilting piano or harp part floats over arpeggio figures with occasional touches of a gently placed seventh and ends with a haunting two-octave unison. […] This beautifully crafted piece would work so well with young singers as well as adult choirs.”

Joy Hill, Choir & Organ, August 2021