Credit for the brilliant idea of the “mash up” of Away in a Manger with Away and in Danger goes to the LA-based choir, Tonality, who premiered the piece on a holiday concert focusing on the plight of refugees, and later released it on their album “Sing About It.” Tonality Board member Kristen Simpson had come across the words, and Alexander Lloyd Blake, Tonality’s founder and conductor, came up with the idea of placing the two versions side-by-side in a single piece, greatly increasing the poignancy of both the new and old texts.
Luc Kleiner, a Tonality singer and composer, was tasked with the SATB a cappella arrangement of the traditional carol melody to hymnwriter Shirley Erena Murray’s words, and I came on board to improvise a piano accompaniment during the premiere for the children’s choir singing the traditional words. When Tonality was preparing for a recorded release of this piece, I wrote down a version of the improvised accompaniment, which ties both “halves” of the piece together.
Hope Publishing, copyright owner of Shirley Erena Murray’s inspired words, is partnering with us to make this piece available to the choral community. A portion of the proceeds are regularly contributed towards the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).