News & Views Thursday, September 18, 2014

September Chill 17 September, 2014

pj pantswinter scarfIt’s September, and the evenings are getting chilly as we get closer to fall.  We have music themed clothing here at Stanton’s: flannel pajama bottoms, fuzzy slippers, gloves, caps, scarves, ties and socks.  Stay comfortable indoors and outdoors with  apparel from Stanton’s!  Check out our website at and click on “gifts’, then “apparel”, email us at, or call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Warm Up! 16 September, 2014

Warm Up! (20 Purpose Driven Etudes) by Gary Walth is a perfect set of warm-ups for the choral ensemble that’s designed to enhance and stimulate the growth of each member’s vocal and choral ability. Thinking of the warm-up as a “mini voice lesson,” you can reinforce concepts with consistent encouragement, criticism, problem-solving and praise. This practical volume will help the conductor provide purposeful leadership and develop artistry in each individual through exercises for breath support, open tone, flexibility, vowel uniformity, balance, intonation and much more. Each exercise includes a notated keyboard accompaniment with multiple modulations and professional recordings of a rhythm section and singers performing each drill on the enclosed CD.

For more valuable choral warm-up resources, click here to visit our website, or contact us!

Love Came Down at Christmas 15 September, 2014

Presenting a cantata with your church choir is a wonderful way to prepare your congregation to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. Stanton’s Sacred Choral Music staff highly recommends these cantatas for the Christmas season:

Darkness Into Light by Mary McDonald
Just as Mary and Joseph moved from darkness into light, so do all when accepting the One True Light. This new 40-minute adult Christmas musical from Mary McDonald features fresh settings of carols along with beautiful new songs, and celebrates the Light of Christ. An optional candlelight moment is included along with inspired narration and lighting suggestions to heighten the darkness into light theme.

Love Came Down at Christmas by Joel Raney
Love is the central theme of Christmas. The incarnation story tells us that God so loved the world that he came to earth as a Baby, and that love is creatively illustrated in this compelling Christmas work by Joel Raney. The versatile format of this 30 minute cantata allows it to be performed in its entirety in a single worship setting, or it may be presented around the four traditional themes of hope, peace, joy, and love throughout the Advent season. A rich tapestry of original and familiar melodies, diverse musical styles, accessible choral settings, and engaging accompaniment options combine to ensure a rich and meaningful Christmas worship experience for your congregation.

Christmas Suite by Mark Hayes
Three exquisite carol arrangements from the inimitable Mark Hayes are linked with brief spoken narratives to create Christmas Suite. Perfect for a Christmas Eve service or anytime during the Christmas season when a full work isn’t desired. Accompany with piano and/or organ, Chamber Orchestra or the sparkling InstruTrax Accompaniment CD. Contains “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella”, “Midnight Noel” and “O Holy Night.” Create an elegant, yet easily-prepared Christmas celebration with Christmas Suite.

Treasury of Carols by Joseph Martin
This remarkable new resource is an essential compilation of beloved carols by a trio of our best-selling arrangers. Fully orchestrated and filled with variety, you will discover music for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Soaring festival arrangements mingle with equally impressive restrained offerings to provide a well-balanced volume of seasonal songs for concert or sanctuary usage. Beautifully orchestrated, this assemblage is sure to be a permanent part of your holiday music planning.

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, click here to view our complete Sacred Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Combo Concerts: Men 12 September, 2014

men and boys choirsThe concert schedule for 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!)


Combo Concerts: Men

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

One of the most common complaints we hear from choral directors is “I just don’t have enough boys!”  Well, we say feature the boys you do have-if you build it, they will come!  Even though it can be difficult from a logistical standpoint, combining the male members of your choirs from all levels into one group and can have big dividends.  The younger boys will look up to your high school men, and your older men will be gratified that you trust them enough to be examples for your younger students.  Below, we suggest a few pieces that would be great for boys of all levels to perform together. While these are all in men’s voicings, many have high Tenor or Tenor I parts that can be sung by your youngest guys, even those with unchanged voices.

brooklyn's hereBrooklyn’s Here - arr. Mac Huff  TB 00123858

Music from Disney’s Broadway smash hit “Newsies” is the perfect vehicle for making your men feel good about singing.  The character’s in the show are boys in the same age range as your guys, and the historical context gives many teaching opportunities.  The catchy melody of “Brooklyn’s Here” is in an easy 2 part arrangement, great for groups of all sizes.  When the tenor part does run low, it almost always double in the bass part, or can be easily taken up the octave for your youngest singers.  The “all for one and one for all” attitude creates a great bonding experience.

baba yetu smallBaba YetuChristopher Tin/arr. Derek Machan TTBB 42801

For a large group of guys, you can’t go wrong with Baba Yetu.  This Swahili adaptation of “The Lord’s Prayer” from the video game Civilization IV  has an inspiring African feel and haunting melody that will hook your men on the first page.  Plenty of solo opportunities mean that you can feature a great soloist or various groups of men.  Consider adding ethnic percussion to create a powerful experience your student’s won’t soon forget.

manly men smallManly Men (Men’s Chorus Extravaganza)Kurt Knecht TTBB a cap. 08501442

Sometimes it’s OK to laugh at ourselves just a little.  Poking fun at the men’s chorus tradition and the stereotypes associated with male singers (egotistical tenors vs. super baritone vibrato!) this number is sure to get a giggle (or even a guffaw!)  out of your audiences.  Consider this if you combine men from several high school and/or adult community choirs.

vagabond smallThe VagabondMark Patterson  TTB or TBB  BL821

Mark Patterson’s original solo arrangement of this tune (found in the solo collection “Heroes and Vagabonds”) has been a popular choice for years.  This new arrangement for 3 part men captures the feeling of the original solo with a nod to the Robert Louis Stevenson poem of the same name.  The opening solo could easily be moved up the octave, giving an opportunity to showcase your young unchanged voices in their best range.

i am that man smallI Am That ManMark Hayes TTBB 31330

Sometimes music education is about life lessons.  I Am That Man is an inspiring piece based on President Barack Obama’s first inaugural address.  Perfect for multi-grade level and multi-generational ensembles, this specifically addresses male students, asking them to be leaders in their community “not by might or power, but with gentleness of heart, with courage and compassion.”  This thought-provoking discussion starter will send a great message to your students and your audience.


There you have it folks…5 great pieces for men’s choir, and not a pirate, sailor, knight or lost girlfriend in sight!  For more recommendations for men’s groups or combination concerts, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at

New Church Anthems for Fall 2014 11 September, 2014

autumn-churchAs church choirs start up for the fall and Christmas season, Stanton’s Sacred Choral Music staff has carefully chosen these pieces to be appropriate for a variety of worship styles and services throughout the coming months:

O Come and Lift Your Voices arr. Mark Hayes
The classic ASH GROVE tune is given a delightful new text and arrangement in this anthem perfect for Thanksgiving or any time. The artistry of Mark Hayes is on full display with his artful accompaniment coupled with creative and satisfying, surprising harmonies. Refreshing!

There Is Room for the Stranger by Lee Dengler
Warm and inviting, this Christmas communion anthem is filled with hope. The words and music are perfectly matched. Add the optional flute obbligato for a nice touch. “So come, feast, be not afraid…come taste and see where peace is made.”

I’d Rather Have Jesus by Mary McDonald
Starting with a contemplative opening and building to a powerful climax, this dynamic anthem will enhance any worship or concert experience. Your congregation and choir will be inspired by this affirmation of faith!

Wonderful Grace of Jesus arr. Larry Shackley
This spirited arrangement of the well-known hymn offers a rollicking celebration of the abundance of God s grace. Featuring options for two or four hands at the piano, this adaptation from the keyboard collection “Festive Hymns for Four Hands” (70/1773L) is a great choice for worship throughout the year.

Hymn of Fellowship arr. John Ness Beck
Three trumpets herald each verse of John Ness Beck’s powerful setting of “In Christ There Is No East or West” for choir and congregation, lifting each a half-step higher before reaching the final Alleluia Amen. Majestic and festive, yet accessible for most choirs.

Come Sing a New Song by Lloyd Larson
There is unbridled joy in this anthem from Susan Dengler and Lloyd Larson. Rhythmic and driving, it has a fun gospel touch that will have the congregation’s toes tapping. The contrasting dynamics add an element of fun leading to an ending flourish.

Softly and Tenderly arr. Joel Raney
This time-honored hymn portrays the gentle, invitation of Christ’s call to “Come home.” Like the story of the prodigal’s return (Luke 15:11-32), Christ stands at the door waiting and watching for the weary. Joel Raney’s elegant presentation lends passion and depth while staying true to the original 19th-century hymn by Will Thompson.

And Can It Be by Dan Forrest
A thoughtful new setting of the well-known text for SATB choir and piano. A quiet contemplative opening builds gradually to a confident stating of the truth of the gospel, ending with a pensive reiteration of the question and the assurance of the amazing love.

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, click here to view our complete Sacred Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Play Hymns, arranged by Melody Bober and Robert Vandall 10 September, 2014

play hymnsPlay Hymns” is a series of traditional favorites from elementary level, (Book 1), through late intermediate, (Book 5), published by Alfred Music.  Most of the hymns are common to many different denominations.  For those of us who grew  up in church, our first experience in group singing was probably in Sunday School and Church, so some people will have early memories of these hymns.  Each level of these  books includes the words for a verse to each hymn. Books 1 and 2 include a duet part for a teacher or parent to play along with the student.  For those who simply love to play hymns at home, or for those who like to play sometimes in Sunday School or Church, this is a fun series of books to play from!  For more about this series or other piano music you may be interested in, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Composer Profile: Randall Standridge 09 September, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

Randall StandridgeRandall Standridge has quickly become one of our favorite band composers first getting our attention with Afterburn and Adrenaline Engines. His bold, contemporary sound and modern compositional influences combined with driving rhythmic punch result in music that is fun to play, and popular with students and band directors. While his high school level Steel is also in this mold, Standridge’s music is far from one-note. His gorgeous melancholy setting of the Scottish ballad The Rowan Tree is a favorite for lyrical ensemble performance and nuance, while Gadget (exploring the wonder and innovation of mid 20th century technology) and Zooveniers (multiple movements depicting specific zoo animals) add a fun programmatic twist to developing band music.

His creative contemporary writing and consistency resulted in our selecting 6 (that’s right, 6!) of his new titles for promotion: Angelic Celebrations, Christmas at the Circus, Darklands March, IronHeart, Ruckus, and The Witching Hour, and both Angelic Celebrations and The Witching Hour are on the 2015 Ohio High School Class C concert band list.

Mr. Standridge received both his Bachelor’s of Music Education and Master’s in Music Composition degrees from Arkansas State University and was Director of Bands at Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, Arkansas from 2001-2013. In 2013 he left his band post to pursue a career as a full-time composer and marching band editor for Grand Mesa Music Publishers. His works are published by Grand Mesa, Alfred, FJH, Wingert-Jones, Band Works Publications, Twin Towers Publications, and Northeastern, and he is a contributing composer to Alfred’s Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development series. In addition to his career as a composer, Mr. Standridge is active as a clinician, and in demand as a marching band arranger, drill designer, and colorguard designer.

For more information about Randall Standridge and his music, visit his website and our Featured Composer category on Stanton’s Listening Library.

Stanton’s Recommends: Adrenaline Engines, Angelic Celebrations, Christmas at the Circus, The Rowan Tree, The Witching Hour

About the Author:
Ken has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He enjoys comic books, playing with his young son, and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band. You should check out their album Walk On Out the Door available on iTunes and Amazon.

Piano Lesson Books 08 September, 2014

music for little mozartsTeachers and parents have begun to buy music and lesson books for their children.  At Stanton’s, we have lesson books for nearly everything  alphabetically from accordion to zither. (Really!)  In the piano department, we have a wide selection of piano method books from Aaron to Thompson.  Some of the newer methods come from the Alfred music publisher, (the Premier series), FJH publishing, (Helen Marlais’ “Succeeding at the Piano” seriesalfred premier piano course), and Alfred’s “Music for Little Mozarts” series, which is written for four-year-old beginners on piano.  We have the classic favorites such as Schaum‘s Pre-A lesson book series, and Thompson’s  ” Teaching Little Fingers to Play”, followed by the “First Grade” book and on up.  You can get familiar with the piano methods we offer by checking our website.  You may also contact us at, or call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Stanton’s E-Tools: Wishlists 05 September, 2014

wishlistThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is.  That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier,  faster and more enjoyable.  In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

Overheard often at Stanton’s-

  • “I did this piece in high school.  I loved it!!!   It  made my whole year in band/choir/orchestra. I’d love to do it with my kids, but they’re just not ready yet.  Sigh.  Maybe in a few years.”
  • “There’s so many great new pieces out this year.  I can’t do them all this fall, but maybe this spring.”
  • “This would be perfect for a theme concert about ___________.  I’ll have to keep it in mind for the future.”
  • “I listened to all those pieces on all those CD’s from the publishers, but now I can’t remember what I liked!”

All of the above are great reasons to use the Wish List feature on the Stanton’s website.  As musicians, we are always on the lookout for new pieces that will inspire us as well as invigorate and educate our students.  The  Wish List feature allows you to keep track of pieces you like, and organize them any way you want (by concert program, theme/style, performance year, etc).  You can also email your list(s) to friends or colleagues, export it to a Microsoft Excel file for your own records, or  submit it directly to your treasurer as a requisition for a purchase order!

If you have questions about how to use the Stanton’s Wishlist, or  if  you need further information on any of our e-tools, feel free to call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at

Previous posts in this series:  Listening LibraryStanton’s App, Digital Delivery, Virtual Workshop, Jukebox

STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT on Men’s & Women’s Choirs 04 September, 2014

Each year, the knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s chooses select titles to promote to you, our valued customers. We listen to thousands of new issues from scores of publishers and composers to present you with the very best in new music for your ensembles. In our new Stanton’s Spotlight feature, we will put a special focus on one piece that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your group.

Msilale Wanawake

by Paul Caldwell & Sean Ivory

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

Msilale Wanawake-page-001The music of Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory has become standard in the repertoire of many choirs. Often based on musical fragments from cultures around the world, their music has a dynamic quality that is truly unique.

Msilale Wanawake (Women, don’t fall asleep) is a Swahili proverb encouraging women to rid themselves of societal shackles, to walk away from servitude, gender bias and oppression. Caldwell and Ivory also borrow from the traditional “To everything there is a season” text: “A time to sing, time for lullabies, then there’s a season to rise, rise, rise!” What a gloriously strong message to instill in young women! No flowers, stars or boyfriends to be found in this women’s piece!

Ranges are moderate, with SI and SII mostly in the middle to upper part of the staff, and altos primarily between middle C and A. It’s easy to sing with warm, supported tone. The descant can be sung by a solo or small ensemble.

Oh, and let your pianist loose on the accompaniment – it’s well notated for the average accompanist, but will really come to life with some extra attention.

This might be a great piece for your group because it…
•    features a strong and empowering text for young women.
•    has an energetic, rhythmic world music style groove.
•    lends itself to the creative addition of percussion.

A City Called Heaven

arr. Victor C. Johnson

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

City Called Heaven-page-001Victor Johnson knows how to write for developing choirs. End of story.

Ok, there IS more to the story… This creative arrangement is set in an easy jazz waltz style that just feels “cool,” even to the fickle young men’s ensemble. The TTB voicing provides an easy introduction to three-part singing, with plenty of unison singing providing a safe “home base” in between the divisi sections.

Ranges are conducive to the recently changed (or even still changing) voice – Tenor I from C3-G4, Tenor 2 from C3-F4, and Bass from C3-C4 – and whenever the Tenor parts have their lowest notes, they’re in unison with the Basses for support.

The optional solo at the beginning is a nice opportunity to feature an outstanding singer, or create a small soli ensemble – maybe all the senior boys, for example.

This might be a great piece for your group because it…
•    features a cool jazz waltz feel that is appealing to young men.
•    encourages an “adventuresome” ear with intriguing jazz harmonies.
•    is a good introduction to three-part singing for men’s choirs, with plenty of unison singing as well.

For more great suggestions, please contact our Choral Department at 1.800.42.MUSIC or email us at

New for Men’s & Women’s Choirs for Fall 2014 03 September, 2014

As you prepare for your first concert of the school year, Stanton’s Sheet Music suggests that you consider one of these outstanding selections for your women’s or men’s choir:

Ally Bally Bee arr. Douglas E. Wagner
A tender text, a sweet melody, and warm harmonies come together in this gentle lullaby for SSA choirs. The tessitura is well chosen, allowing your girls to sing in the sweet spot of their voices. Fun fact: long before it was considered a Scottish folk song, this beautiful tune originated as the street cry of a candy peddler.

Hold On! (Keep Your Hand on-a That Plow) arr. Ruth Elaine Schram
An absorbing accompaniment and attractive chord structure support the vocal lines in this dynamic and powerful arrangement of the spiritual. It is a terrific choice for use at your next performance as an opening or closing number.

In Every Soul by Mark Patterson
Like an overgrown garden, each soul has a place of beauty and joy to be discovered. This lovely work for treble voices offers that beauty through the simplicity of inspirational text and expressive music. Ideal for young voices from elementary through middle school.

Ku’u Pua I Paokalani arr. Henry Leck & Martin Ellis
In 1895, Queen Lili’uokalani lived under house arrest in her Iolani Palace for eight months. Not being allowed to communicate with anyone nor to receive visitors, the Queen was able to receive a bouquet of flowers brought to her each day. This song is a treasured favorite from the deep cultural heritage of Hawaii.

Land of Beyond by Rollo Dilworth
Evoking a spirit of adventure and exploration, this well-known poem by Robert Service is vividly set to music in a fresh and contemporary style. Young treble singers will be inspired to perform this festival work and encouraged to never lose sight of their goals!

Night Wind Whispers by Julie Ann Ballard
With a repeating and rhythmic piano accompaniment that reflects the emotional tumult of the poetry, the vocal lines soar and intertwine in an impressive flurry of sound, before suddenly coming to rest. An exciting work for high school women’s voices.

Shady Grove arr. Robert I. Hugh
Now available in an SSA voicing! American folksongs combine to create a fascinating collage of sound and color in this accessible setting. Accompanied by piano and optional conga and mandolin, the vocal lines are layered, sung imitatively, augmented and much more for an excellent pedagogical and sonic treat!

Aya Ngena arr. Ruth Morris Gray
This authentic Zulu folk song is a perfect fit for men’s choirs in three parts! The authentic African rhythmic groove is punctuated by brief solos and joyful handclaps. Add the optional percussion (bells, shaker and drums), and the overall effect will be most impressive!

The Battle of Kings Mountain by Vicki Tucker Courtney
The lyrics of this rhythmically interesting men’s song tell the story of a pivotal battle in the Southern campaign that took place in 1780 on Kings Mountain, near the border of North and South Carolina. Boys’ choirs will sound triumphant when singing the historic text, and the addition of the optional piccolo and snare drum will only add to a memorable performance.

A City Called Heaven arr. Victor C. Johnson
A soulful, reflective, and free-flowing opening leads into an easy jazz-waltz style in this marvelous arrangement. Jazz sonorities abound throughout the piece, and it is suitable for both school and church use.

Lil’ Liza Jane arr. Jimmy Baas & Randy James
This up-tempo folk tune setting is sure to excite singer and audience alike. The accessible arrangement by Baas and James was written to showcase the strength of the developing male voices. The lively piano accompaniment is supportive and sure to add musical interest to any performance. Appropriate for festival and concerts.

Men o’ the Sea arr. Gary E. Parks
Here’s a hearty and masculine feature just for the guys! This traditional whaling tune is an adventure in male bonding as the crew joins their voices to conquer the sea. A robust piano accompaniment mirrors the crashing of tempestuous waves. “Batten down boys, ready for the storm!”

Music’s Echo by Greg Gilpin
This a cappella best-seller is now available for TB voices! Using the optional percussion accompaniment creates a Renaissance sound and a madrigal effect. A simple melody starts of the work, then each part joins in with its own melody. Soon the polyphonic singing becomes gloriously forte, building to a strong ending that includes an optional descant.

For more suggestions, check out our video below, click here to view our complete School Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us!

“Rocky” on Broadway 02 September, 2014

There are two sides to this Rocky.  One side is in love, the other side is the fighter.  Among the eleven titles in this 00126814collection of sheet music from the Broadway show, “Adrian”  and “Happiness” reflect the former, and especially “Ain’t Down Yet” reflects the latter.  The format of the vocal selections is piano accompaniment with vocal line.  The piano part does not double the vocal line.  In this popular retelling of the story,  Rocky Balboa the underdog rises again!  For more about this book of sheet music from “Rocky”, or other Broadway collections you may be interested in, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!