News & Views Thursday, December 18, 2014

Live from The Midwest Clinic – Day 1 18 December, 2014

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Ryan Nowlin & Stanton’s band guru Kent White

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Ryan Nowlin & Stanton’s band guru Kent White

20141217_095909by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

Sweet Home Chicago

Greetings from the exhibit hall at the 2014 Midwest Clinic! After a full day of set up on Tuesday (check out our time lapse video here), I am excited to share Stanton’s Midwest debut.

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Ryan Nowlin & Stanton’s band guru Kent White

While exhibit hall traffic was light on our first day, things began to pick up after 1:00 pm as more band and orchestra directors, students and parents began to arrive. As always, it is fun to see some of our Ohio and Kentucky friends and educators at national (and international) conferences. Band directors from Westerville, New Bremen, Lexington (OH), and Louisville, KY were among some of the familiar faces on the first day, along with Ohio State, Capital, and Baldwin Wallace having booths here as well. In addition, we were thrilled to be visited by composer and Columbus native Roger Cichy, educator and 2014 Capital Reading Clinic guest Paula Crider, and Ohio native and staff arranger for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Ryan Nowlin. Stay tuned for a Q&A post with First Lieutenant Nowlin in the near future!

Of course, professional conferences are about making new friends and bringing sheet music to the masses, but they are also great opportunities to speak with our publisher representatives (and sometimes CEOs!) face-to-face about new music, textbooks, and other products, talk about specific ways to improve service, and catch some music industry scoop.

The day was capped off with excellent food. The Stanton’s staff is happy to recommend RBC Steakhouse, and Café Bionda where I had fantastic southern Italian cuisine (and gelato!).

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for our Day 2 recap tomorrow!

About the Author
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is excited to introduce his son to some favorite Christmas specials this year including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. Vintage!


Dreamin’ of a White Christmas 17 December, 2014

00313165Stanton’s stocks “White Christmas” movie vocal selections for the season! Of course the classic song “White Christmas” came from this movie, but can you name one or two other songs from this movie that are also well known? How about “Sisters” or “Blue Skies”? The song “White Christmas” was the biggest hit in the history of 20th century pop music. The recording sold more than any other song for the next fifty years. We still hear and sing “White Christmas” all season. If you aren’t familiar with the movie, rent the DVD, sit back with this book of sheet music for the songs, and sing along! For more information about this music, or other Christmas music, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, write us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Tubby the Tuba 16 December, 2014

74-0525477179If you are still looking for a great Christmas gift for your young child or a friend’s young child, Tubby the Tuba is just a phone call away!  Tubby the Tuba plays “oompah” with the orchestra, but wants to play the pretty melody. The classic, endearing tale of how that happens for Tubby is told in this storybook with accompanying CD.  Over the last sixty years, over 13 million copies of Tubby the Tuba have been sold.  Enjoy this classic with your child or grandchild. For more information about this book or other story books, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.


Elementary Musicals for Spring 15 December, 2014

Ready to start planning your elementary spring musical? This year, Stanton’s has something for everyone! Check out these new musicals that will motivate and excite both you and your students!

We Honor the Brave by Dave & Jean Perry
Suggested for Grades K-8
Performance time: approx. 20 minutes
Perfect for any patriotic event, We Honor the Brave is a reproducible musical celebration honoring the men and women who have risked or given their lives to protect our country and those who are currently serving in all branches of the military. Set at a Veterans’ Day parade, five speaking characters, comprised of two older and three younger Americans, tell the story. The additional cast members can be used in a number of ways in each scene – as spectators or parade members. Even the audience is a part of the parade-going crowd while your singers perform original and familiar patriotic songs, including a rap! It’s a wonderful program that works easily for all young singers through middle school. Included are simple staging, prop, performance, and costume suggestions, as well as full performance and accompaniment tracks, reproducible singer pages, and a poster and program for your use to market the show. A Veteran’s Interview is also included for your students to use to learn about local veterans. The seven original and familiar songs include Land of the Free, Yankee Doodle, The Open Sea, On Land On Sea and in the Air, Flying, Veterans’ Day Rap and a reprise of Land of the Free.

Goal! by John Jacobson & John Higgins
Suggested for Grades 1-5
Performance time: approx. 25 minutes
Did you know that over 13 million Americans play soccer? The game that Brazilian “football” legend Pele called “The Beautiful Game” is the setting for this amazingly entertaining musical that not only celebrates the beauty and glory of the sport, but also the value of good sportsmanship, setting goals, being a part of a team and more. Goal is a musical that every cast member will love to perform, whether sports is their “thing” or not. In this musical, nobody is cut from the team, and with musical styles from Latin to Rap and Pop to Broadway, we celebrate setting goals and working as a team to accomplish amazing things together! This ALL-SCHOOL 25-minute musical features five original songs and script with over 30 speaking parts. Songs include: Goal, Awesome, Kick It, El Juego Bonito (The Beautiful Game), It’s Not If You Win.

Freddie the Frog and the Jungle Jazz by Sharon Burch & Rosana Eckert
Suggested for Grades 2-5
Performance time: approx. 25 minutes
Freddie the Frog, Eli the Elephant, Babs Baboon and Micki Macaw join trumpet-playing elephants, trombone-sliding tigers, clarinet-playing monkeys and a flock of seagulls as they scat sing, swing and perform collective improvisation in this swingin’ introduction to jazz. The 25-minute musical for 2nd-5th grade students includes five original songs and dialog with 26 speaking parts, along with unique “beginner band student” adaptations giving students a chance to squawk, buzz and growl on stage as they argue about who’s the best. Sharing their combined talent, the animal friends discover embracing each other’s differences creates the ultimate jungle jam. Songs include Jungle Jazz, We’re the Best, Jungle Jam, I’m So Sorry My Friend, Let’s Celebrate.

Making the Band by Roger Emerson & John Jacobson
Suggested for Grades 4-8
Performance time: approx 25 minutes
“Move that car! We’re ready to begin. A garage is a place to make music in. With keyboard, drums, guitar and bass; add a singer and we’re all in place!” Explore the instruments of a rock band and start your own garage band. This unique musical revue features fresh new arrangements for unison voices with optional harmony that are accessible and appropriate for upper elementary and middle school singers. Use the program dialog for performance options; connect to the standards with teaching objectives for each song; and extend learning with online video interviews featuring John Jacobson and the studio musicians who recorded the songs in musical revue. “Here we go; the band is complete. We got the singer and we got the beat! Let’s twist and shout and harmonize, too. We’re ready to play a tune for you.” Songs include: We Got the Beat, Twist and Shout, Stand By Me, Your Song, Livin’ on a Prayer, Making the Band.

Pirates 2: The Hidden Treasure by “Captain” John Jacobson & “Jolly” Roger Emerson
Suggested for Grades 4-8
Performance time: approx. 35 minutes
ARRRR! Our favorite rascally pirates are back at work, seeking adventure and treasure on the high seas! But a mighty storm rolls in and the pirates find themselves shipwrecked on a deserted island, or is it? Will the King of the High “C’s” have a plan to save the day? Through the course of their musical adventures, they discover that real treasure is something they have plenty of … friendship and family. Designed for performers in upper elementary and middle school, this 35-minute musical features six original songs, with connecting script and over 20 speaking parts. The Teacher Edition is filled with quality performance material including piano/vocal song arrangements and choreography, script and helpful production guide. For added value, the ready-to-use student books include songs and script, and will enhance the musical experience for your young aspiring actors/singers! Songs include: A Pirate I Will Be, The Storm, The King’s Plan, Talent to Burn, Who Cares, We’ve Got Friends!

Need more ideas or suggestions? Call or email Stanton’s Sheet Music and ask to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members!


Combo Concerts: Band or Orchestra and Choir 12 December, 2014

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

The concert schedule foband and choirr lots of schools is the same year-in and year-out.  Consider shaking things up this year with a “combo” concert!  Combine your groups across levels (imagine how big your band will be with students grades 5-12!) or across genres (your 6th grade choir would love to sing a piece or a medley with your high school jazz band!).

Whether it is a holiday performance, patriotic salute, or end of the year celebration, there is no more powerful statement to your community than a performance that features both your instrumental and vocal performing ensembles.  Show your parents, administrators, and school board members how many lives you and your colleagues touch, and give your students an experience that they will remember for years to come.

Dry Your Tears, Afrika – Music by John Williams, choral adaptation by Audrey Snyder, band and strings arrangements by Paul Lavenderdry your tears afrika

This arrangement from the moving 1997 movie Amistad features poetry by Bernard Dadie in the Mende language, and music by arguably the greatest film composer of all time, John Williams.  Since the choral is available in a variety of versions, this can be done with children’s choir, middle school choir, high school choir or any combination.  In addition, the available String Pak means that your orchestra and/or band could play.  Present this with sensitive program notes, appropriate readings or even excerpts of the film – your students will gain a new perspective on the history involved in this amazing music.

***For more advanced orchestral/choral groups, consider the John Williams Signature Edition of this piece for orchestra, SATB Choir and Children’s Choir.

SATB (08741425) – $1.95               SAB  (08741426) – $1.95               2 Part (08741427) – $1.95

Concert Band (04001735) – $70.00               String Pak (04626104) – $40.00

***John Williams Signature Edition, including orchestral & choral parts (04490084) – $375.00

Carols From the British Isles – arr. Douglas Wagner

carols from the british islesI love this carol medley specifically because it uses carols that are not overdone, but still common enough that your audience will recognize the tunes.  Included are “Suogan,” “I Saw Three Ships,” “Good People All, This Christmastime,” and “The Seven Joys of Mary.”  Since the band arrangement and choral arrangement(s) can be done as stand alone pieces, take some time to analyze where you may want to eliminate the melody in the instrumental (so as to feature the choir), or eliminate the chorals for a section to feature your instrumentalists.  The variety of voicings available for the choirs make this piece very do-able for most middle school or high school groups.  The Grade 3 band arrangement should be a cinch for your high school students, and could be playable by a strong middle school group as well.   Students will need the ability to play and sing in 6/8 time, while rhythms and ranges are moderate.

SATB (41762) – $1.85               SAB (41763) – $1.85               SSA (41764) – $1.85

Concert Band (39540) – $65.00

Armed Forces: Pride of America – arr. Larry Clark and Greg Gilpin

armed forces pride of america4th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day – we get calls each year for service medleys that can be performed at all of these occasions.  Our instrumental staff is a fan of this arrangement; it has some great quotations of Sousa marches in between the songs for each branch of the service.  Though written primarily for concert band,  there are reproducible string parts that come with the concert band arrangement.  At just under 7 minutes, it can be a bit of chop buster but this is the ONLY arrangement that features the songs of all 5 service branches. It also encourages audience participation by including a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem.  A solid piece for all organizations to have in their music libraries.

SATB (CM8973) – $2.75     SAB (CM8974) – $2.75     2 Part (CM8975) – $2.75     TTBB (CM8976) – $2.75

Concert Band w/ reproducible String Parts (CPS61) – $90.00

If you feel your group is ready for a traditional classical experience, try Schubert’s “Mass in G” or Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”  Both are about 20-30 minutes in length, although doing just the “Gloria in Excelsis” movement of the “Gloria” is an option.  One of the representatives in our choral department will be happy to help you if you’d like more information on pursuing either of these large works.

For more recommendations, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com  Previous posts in this series : Men’s Combo Concerts; Women’s Combo Concerts; High School Choir w/ Children’s Choir

Rachel Steele has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013.  She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University.  Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH,) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!


Have Yourself a Merry, Folky Christmas! 11 December, 2014

96466leon-00001209-fMost of us are used to piano and organ music for Christmas, but did you know there is Christmas sheet music for folk instruments? From accordion to ukulele, we have collections of Christmas songbooks and instrumental solo books.  Most predominantly feature carols, but two collections have both carols and some Celtic Christmas tunes:  “A Celtic Tinwhistle Christmas” and “A Scottish Christmas for Hammered Dulcimer“.  “Christmas Favorites for Harmonica” includes some carols and at least twelve pop Christmas songs. “Christmas Songs“, for the recorder, includes mostly pop songs.  Whether you are looking for Christmas music for guitar, harp, fiddle mandolin, or another folk instrument, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC to see what we have for you.  You can also email us at keyboard@stantons.com or browse our website at http://www.stantons.com.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Sacred Clinic in ONE MONTH 10 December, 2014

With Christmas around the corner it seems strange to think that it’s almost time to purchase music for Lent and Easter! Plan to attend Stanton’s Sacred Choral Clinic on Saturday, January 10th 2015, and you’ll be fully prepared for the next “holiday season.”

We will be featuring the best new choral publications for Lent, Easter and beyond, as chosen by Stanton’s sacred choral staff. We are excited to announce that this January’s clinic will be held at Livingston United Methodist Church, just a few blocks from our store in downtown Columbus.

Attending this clinic is a fantastic way for you to choose new church anthems for your choir by hearing the music read live. This January’s clinicians will be Stanton’s own Judy Henry and president emeritus Jim Strouse. Please feel free to contact Stanton’s at 1-800-42-MUSIC and speak with a choral staff member for the details of the event. We look forward to seeing you at 8:30 on January 10th for registration, coffee and doughnuts followed by a wonderful morning of singing.

Click here to watch video

Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Stanton’s Staff Favorites: Christmas Albums – Take 2 09 December, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

A few years ago, I wrote a post featuring favorite Christmas albums for 3 of our staff including myself. I decided to revisit the subject this year with 3 more staff members. Hopefully you’re getting into the holiday spirit, and you’ll find something new and different to add to your holiday playlist.  Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section – we’re always looking for something new to listen to, and Merry Christmas!

Amy – Bookkeeping & Shipping Specialist
A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas – Ella Fitzgerald
Harry for the Holidays – Harry Connick, Jr.

Judy – Pop & Keyboard Music Specialist
Christmas Themes – Jim Brickman (piano folio collection)
Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship – Chris Tomlin
The Lost Christmas Eve – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Still the Greatest Story Ever Told – Gaither Vocal Band

Rachel – Choral Music Specialist
Barenaked for the Holidays – The Barenaked Ladies
Bright Day Star – The Baltimore Consort
Christmas Caravan – Squirrel Nut Zippers
The Messiah – Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Sir Georg Solti, featuring Kiri Te Kanawa, Keith Lewis, Anne Gjevang, and Gwynne Howell
Sesame Street Christmas Sing-Along – Sesame Street Cast
White Christmas – Bing Crosby

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. All he wants for Christmas is a Pittsburgh Penguins tuque, Guardians of the Galaxy on blu-ray, and some heavy-duty outerwear so he can play in the snow with his son this winter!


Sing Broadway! 08 December, 2014

00000483Hal Leonard publishes an exceptional line of  collections of  Broadway songs called “The Musical Theatre Anthology”  There are five volumes for each voice; soprano, alto/belter, tenor, and bass.  There is a choice of purchasing the book alone or with two accompaniment CDs.  The CDs are the piano accompaniments for the songs in the book.  The songs are in their original keys.  If you, a friend or family member love to sing Broadway songs, you will find a collection you will enjoy in this series.  To find out more about this series, visit our website at http://www.stantons.com, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Christmas Sheet Music 05 December, 2014

00490190Christmas sheet music for piano is always fun to have.  There are plenty of songs for PVG,  (piano, vocal, guitar), that can be played on the piano  or on the guitar.  The songs can be played by both piano and guitar while everybody sings, too.  Some titles are for piano solo on various levels, easy to advanced. Stanton’s has a lot of Christmas sheet music, also books of songs for everything from very easy piano to advanced, accordion to ukulele, and collections of Christmas solos for the band and orchestra instruments. There is a nice selection for  organists as well.  Browse our website to see what suits you best! Whether you play for fun, for friends or family, for church or for parties, you will find something that is just right for you.  Call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or check out our website, http://www.stantons.com.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.


Behind the Scenes: It’s That Time of Year… 04 December, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The holidays are already upon us. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner. For the Stanton’s staff it means that convention season is also here! This winter we will be exhibiting (and selling!) music at music educators’ professional conferences in New York (NYSSMA), Michigan (MMC), Ohio (OMEA), Kentucky (KMEA), and, for the first time, The Midwest Clinic. These conferences are a great opportunity to talk shop directly with our expert staff, meet customers face-to-face that we may recognize by name (and voice!), and besides, it gets us out of the store! Ever wonder how our 6-8 booths of music get to your state conference? Check out the slideshow below to see how we pull, pack, and transport thousands of sheet music titles and accessory items, and if we’re exhibiting at your conference be sure to stop by the Stanton’s booth (under the big blue balloon) and say “hello”!

Click to view slideshow.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. All he wants for Christmas is a Pittsburgh Penguins tuque, Guardians of the Galaxy on blu-ray, and some heavy-duty outerwear so he can play in the snow with his son this winter!


Give a Gift of Music 03 December, 2014

winter scarfAre you looking for Christmas gifts for musicians?  Stanton’s has something for every age group!  For music teachers who need some small gift for their students, there are music pencils for 40 cents each, refrigerator magnets for $1.50, bookmarks for $1.99, and much more.    For students searching for gifts for their teachers, there are music ties for $13.95, scarves for $14.95 and $17.95, and beautiful Pashmina scarves for $21.95.  For that special someone, we have water globe music boxes for $45.00, or jewelry priced from about $2.00  and up.  Maybe you can find some sheet music or a music book or two that appeal to someone in your life.  If you aren’t sure about what to get, there are gift certificates available in any amount you choose.  Christmas is coming, and we at Stanton’s are stocking up to serve you!  Call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website at http://www.stantons.com.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Great Stocking Stuffers! 02 December, 2014

christmas high schoolAre you looking for stocking stuffers, or smaller gifts to give during the Christmas season?  We offer you a line of Christmas tree ornaments in the shape of  various musical instruments.  The violins, cellos and basses look like the real thing, but in miniature, right down to the purfling.   The brass instruments are well represented. Some of the woodwinds are polished brass, some are wooden.  Prices range from $6.60 to $13.50.  These unique little works of art tempt you to try to play them!   There are refrigerator magnets from the same maker.  Check us out in the gifts category of our website.  You may visit us  at http://www.stantons.com, or contact  us at keyboard@stantons.com, or call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC  for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Behind the Scenes: Picking School Choral Promotions 01 December, 2014

music listening 2By Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

A few months ago, my colleague in the instrumental department, Ken Tilger, wrote a post about how that department picks the items for their promotions.  Not to be outdone, I’d like to take the opportunity to let you know how I and my partner in crime, Jen Sper, pick the items for our school choral promotions.

In late winter or early spring, publishers begin to send us their new releases for fall.  We get stacks of music (with demo CDs) to review from Hal Leonard (including Shawnee, Walton, Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, Pavane, Fred Bock etc.), Alfred (including Lawson-Gould), Lorenz (including Santa Barbara and Heritage), Carl Fischer (including BriLee), Hinshaw, Alliance, and a few other smaller publishers.  If you are thinking “Wow, that is quite a bit of music,” you’d be correct.  In fact, if you assign each piece an average listening/evaluation time of 3.5 minutes, we spend about 2,200 minutes, or 48 hours, or 6 full working  days (no lunch or potty breaks!) listening to more than 800 new releases.  For more data on our listening, scroll to the bottom.

When we listen, we’re not only keeping an ear out for our in-house promotions, but also for selections for our clinics (such as Stanton’s Super Session and Excellence in Choral Literature), OMEA Large Group Select Suggestions, and even music for Christmas, graduation and other special occasions.

music listening 3Round 1

Jen and I sit with the octavo in front of us and listen to every single selection from beginning to end.  We write our impressions on the cover of the octavo, usually just a few choice words or phrases.  After this, a piece goes into either the “no” or the “maybe” pile.  Our “no” pile is quite a bit larger than our “maybe” pile.  We consider it a good release if 25-30% of a publisher’s titles end up in the “maybe” category.

Round 2

Now that we’ve combed through the riff-raff, it’s time to consider the balance of our selections for our in-house promotions.  We sort our “maybe” pile by voicing, and then by genre.    Just like good concert programing, we are looking for a variety of styles – current pop, classic pop, broadway, folk songs, spirituals, world/multi-cultural, holiday music and various foreign languages.

Round 3

Now it’s time to play through selections at the piano.  We grab a genre and play through, looking for things like:

1.  Is it well written/voiced in all parts?

2.  Will students/teachers get something educational out of this?

3.  Is it enjoyable to sing/play/teach?

4.  Is it appropriate for school?

5.  Will it appeal to a wide variety of customers?

6.  If the song is available in multiple voicings, is one better than the other?  Why?

The answers to these questions will usually make our choices pretty clear, and then it’s time to make our lists, spreadsheets, and the actual promotional materials that you receive in your mailbox!

Promotions by the numbers 2014By the Numbers – This table shows the number of pieces that we promoted this year by publisher, and the percentage of their total offerings that we promoted.  You’ll see that even those publishers with the highest percentage of promoted items rarely break the 30% mark.

Other Points of Interest

  • Jen and I only look at promotions for school choral.  We have two other people who work specifically on selections for church choirs, and they have even more selections to listen to than we do!
  • While it might sound like a cushy job to sit and listen to music for 8 hours a day, it can be mentally exhausting after a while.
  • No, we don’t always agree, but you’d be amazed at how often 2 very opinionated people say the EXACT same thing about a particular piece.
  • If there is something that one of us truly believes is worth fighting for, the other one will generally give in.
  • The best part about the process is discovering a new piece that is just amazing!

We believe that devoting quite a bit of time and effort to this process is very important.   The 75 or so selections that make the cut are things that we recommend to you, our valued customers, for the entire school year. If you have questions about this process (or would like some recommendations), please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC, ext. 1.

Rachel Steele has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013.  She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University.  Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH,) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!