News & Views Sunday, December 21, 2014

The International Book of Christmas Carols 29 October, 2010

The International Book of Christmas Carols was compiled  by choral conductors  Walter Ehret  and George Evans.  It is a truly international collection of Christmas carols.  There are 164 carols from the USA, England,  France,  Germany,  Scandinavia,  Italy and  Spain.  There are Slavic and Latin carols as well.  Each carol is in its original language and includes the English translation.  Guitar chords are included with the piano accompaniments.  If you collect Christmas carols or if you are constantly looking for new  Christmas songs, this is the book for you.  It will keep you happily busy for years!  Stanton’s Sheet Music sells copies of this great collection every Christmas season.

Rock Ukulele 28 October, 2010

At Stanton’s Sheet Music we have noticed increased interest in the ukulele, especially among young people.  Ukulele playing has been used more in commercials lately too–Travelocity has had such an ad.

In response to the increased interest in the ukulele, Hal Leonard Publishing has been releasing some new books, especially for the rockers among us.  “AC/DC for Ukulele” and “Black Sabbath for Ukulele”   include full lyrics for the songs included in each book, chord boxes, and riffs in ukulele tablature.  ”The Beatles For Ukulele“  has the melody line, words, and the chord boxes included.

The AC/DC book has 22 songs, including “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “Back in Black”. Â  The Black Sabbath book has 18 songs, including “Paranoid” and “Heaven and Hell”. Â Â The Beatles book has 20 songs including “Michelle”, “Yellow Submarine”, and “Penny Lane.”

If you like the ukulele, but can’t stand  “Down by the Old Mill Stream”,  latch onto one of these rock books!

Casting Crowns-Peace on Earth 27 October, 2010

The Grammy and Dove-award winning group Casting Crowns has released its 2008 album, Peace on Earth, in print.  On November 4, 2009, this album was declared “gold” by the RIAA. It had sold over 500,000 copies. This collection contains all 10 songs from the recording  in piano/vocal/guitar format.

 Traditional favorites include “Joy to the World”;  new songs include “Christmas Offering” and “While You Were Sleeping”.  The last piece in the book is an advanced violin solo with lovely piano accompaniment for “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.  If you are looking for new Christmas songs, this book is worth a close look.  If you play the violin, or have a friend who does, this book merits an even closer look.

Christian Guitar Songs 26 October, 2010

This collection of 10 contemporary worship songs includes a CD with both demo tracks and play-along tracks for all 10 songs. Songs are written both in standard notation and tablature, and include chords and words for each title.

These favorite worship songs include “Strong Tower” and “In Christ Alone“. Written  by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend in  2002,  ”In Christ Alone”  has a haunting melody and words that tell about Jesus’  life, death, resurrection,  and what His finished work means to us as Christians. Christian Guitar Songs is a great addition to the church musician’s library whether you play in a praise band or just for fun.  See what else we have at Stanton’s Sheet Music for contemporary worship at stantons.com!

Holiday Programming for Young String Orchestras 25 October, 2010

Here are Stanton’s Sheet Music’s top Holiday choices of the best sounding, most educationally valid and most highly programmable selections from Hal Leonard’s latest string orchestra promotion:

ONE WINTER NIGHT (All Is Calm, All Is Bright)
Grade 2, Arr. John Moss
A gentle setting based on melodic sections of Silent Night that could easily become the highlight of a holiday program.

LITTLE SAINT NICK
Grade 2, Beach Boys/arr. Larry Moore
Something different for a holiday concert with that “surfer” sounding, Beach Boys harmonized melody that everyone gets to share.

CHRISTMAS LULLABY
Grade 2, Arr. Andrew Dabczynski
An older arrangement, recorded for the first time in a promotion, this gently lilting 15th century carol is a nice change of pace.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, DARLING
Grade 2, Frank Pooler and Richard Carpenter/arr. Larry Moore
The Carpenters had a hit with this lovely Christmas ballad in the 1970s and now you can too at your holiday concert!

For more great recommendations for the holidays and beyond, contact Stanton’s orchestra department!

Have some Ellington for Christmas! 22 October, 2010

Finally the fantastic Ellington adaptation and arrangements for Tchaikovsky‘s Nutcracker Suite are available for purchase and performance. This new edition of Tchaikovsky's “Nutcracker Suite,” arranged in 1960 by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, was assembled from the original manuscripts held in the Strayhorn Repository and the Ellington Collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. For purposes of accuracy, the manuscripts were cross-checked carefully with the original Duke Ellington Orchestra recording (Columbia CS 8341). Titles in the suite include, Overture”, “Toot Toot Tootsie Toot (Dance of the Reed-Flutes)”, “Peanut Brittle Brigade (March)”, “Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy)”, the “Entr’acte”, “The Volga Vouty (Russian Trepak)”, “Chinoiserie (Chinese Tea)”, “Dance of the Floreadores (Waltz of the Flowers)”, and “Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Coffee)”.

Not for the faint of heart, this suite is well worth the work needed to pull it off! Rated at a grade 6 difficulty there are plenty of exposed solis and solos as well as extensive woodwind doubling.

If you have the horses, give yourself a holiday treat and tackle this major opus!

Santa Swings! 21 October, 2010

As Phillip Keveren says, “Whether it's Ol' Blue Eyes belting out ‘The Christmas Waltz’ or Nat King Cole crooning over chestnuts, Christmas and jazz just seem to go together.  Wouldn't Charlie Brown's Christmas seem rather stark without Vince Guaraldi's swinging jazz piano?”   All of the selections in Santa Swings are arranged to take full advantage of jazz rhythms and harmonic colors.  When in doubt, swing  the eighth note and embrace the accidental!

Good eats and musical sweets! 20 October, 2010

Mmmm... that's good eatin!

We need to give a shout out to all of the Louisiana  fisherman hurting right now down on the Gulf Coast. There is such a tradition of N’awlins food and music that simply must be preserved.

When I want an authentic taste of Crescent City cooking, I like to whip up a mess of Shrimp Creole. Although the recipe I make is a bit different, the following will do the trick.

Ingredients:
4 Large Fresh Tomatoes, peeled and seeded
3 lbs. shrimp, peeled, raw
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
½ cup oil
¾ cup flour
2 cups of shrimp stock
1 tsp. Thyme
2 bay leaves
1 bunch of green onions, sliced
Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
2 cloves garlic

Preparation:
Make shrimp stock by boiling shrimp peels and head (if you have them) and all vegetable pairings for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve. Make a dark roux with the flour and oil. Add onions and cook until caramelized. Add celery and bell pepper. Add diced tomatoes. Cook together for 5 minutes. Add herbs and shrimp stock. Add garlic and simmer 10 minutes. Add shrimp and green onions. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook 5 to 8 minutes. Serve over rice.

Pair this with a nice Sauvignon Blanc and you’ll have the makings for a great slice of New Orleans cuisine.

Oh yeah… the most important part! THE APPROPRIATE LISTENING! One of NOLA’s favorite sons, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, made a great CD a few years ago called DEAR LOUIS. Payton offers a contemporary yet traditional approach to some of Satchmo’s classic tunes.

Bon Appetit!

The Stanton’s Sheet Music Jazz Guy

Samuel Barber - American Masterpieces: Choral Music 19 October, 2010

The National Endowment for the Arts' American Masterpieces: Choral Music initiative is designed to celebrate our national musical heritage by highlighting significant American choral composers and their works of the past 250 years.  Stanton's Sheet Music is proud to present this series highlighting the composers and their works featured in this groundbreaking project.

(from NEA.gov)
Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was a nephew of Louise Homer, a “golden age” contralto at the Metropolitan Opera, and he inherited a bit of a voice himself. He not only took singing lessons but made a recording of his own setting of Matthew Arnold's poem “Dover Beach.” Vocal and choral music remained lifelong affinities for him.

His music study began early: at seven he was writing piano pieces, and at 12 he got a paying job as a church organist. Unfortunately, the choirmaster one day demanded young Sam hold a note longer than the score indicated. He refused, and was fired. Two years later he was admitted into the first class of the new Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. That city's great orchestra premiered his overture The School for Scandal when he was 23.

In the 1930s, while studying in Italy, he won the admiration of Arturo Toscanini, who conducted the premieres of two of his orchestral works, including the Adagio for Strings, which Barber had arranged from a movement of his String Quartet No. 1. When this became his most beloved work, he took the novel step of adapting its mourn¬ful but consoling melody into the choral “Agnus Dei,” so that it may be said to have three incarnations. (Reincarnations, not surprisingly, became another of his successful choral works; it consists of three settings of old Gaelic poetry as rewritten by James Stephens).  Prayers of Kierkegaard, settings of four prayers by the Danish theologian Søren Kierkegaard, was completed in 1954 to a commission from the Koussevitzky Music Foundation and is regarded as one of Barber's vocal masterpieces. His lovely 1968 Christmas piece, “Twelfth Night,” set to a text by British poet Laurie Lee, is another choral gem.

Selected Works:
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Let Down the Bars, O Death
A Nun Takes the Veil (Heaven-Haven)
Prayers of Kirkegaard

Reincarnations
A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map
Sure on This Shining Night
Twelfth Night

For more distinguished choral repertoire suggestions, please contact us.

One Month Until… 18 October, 2010

…the Ninth Annual Wind Band Invitational and New Concert Band Music Reading Session to be held November 19th and 20th at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.  This annual event is co-sponsored by Capital University and Stanton’s Sheet Music and is a great way to experience the best new music for concert band at all levels performed by actual students instead of the professionals heard on the publisher promotions.

Highlights of this year’s Reading Session include: guest conductor, Brian Balmages; Directors’ Reading Band – bring your instrument and play; All-Ohio High School Reading Band and Capital University Wind Symphony directed by Jeffrey Shellhammer; Capital University Symphonic Winds directed by William Boggs; Hilliard Davidson High School Wind Ensemble directed by David Handshue; Columbus Junior Winds directed by James Dowdy; and a display by Stanton’s Sheet Music featuring ALL of the titles being read and performed so that you can hear them live, view the pieces you’re interested in, and purchase on-site.

The Reading Session is FREE to directors, with registration taking place on-site both mornings.  If you have other commitments, you’re welcome to attend either day, or parts of both days.

Join us for two days of camaraderie, music-making and the BEST new music for concert band this year!

Resources for Elementary Choirs 15 October, 2010

If you missed our Elementary General Music Clinic this August, you can still check out these new titles recommended by the elementary/classroom music specialists at Stanton's Sheet Music :

Sight-Sing a Song! (Set 2)
Teach your students to sight-sing with confidence! Set 2 of this popular series expands sight-singing skills to the Keys of D and G with a step-by-step approach through six lessons in each key signature that culminate with a special song students will be able to sight-sing! Helpful Teacher Tips focus on the music concepts being presented, provide a suggested teaching sequence to use when presenting each exercise, and give keys to sight-singing success. Two student reproducible pages filled with sight-reading exercises are provided for each lesson. After students have perfected the exercises a cappella on their own, they can reinforce the learning process by performing with the rhythm accompaniment tracks on the enclosed CD. The ENHANCED CD also offers performance/accompaniment audio tracks for the 2 songs included, plus PDFs of all the sight-singing exercises for projection options. For teachers who are new to this series, this material starts at the beginning and assumes no previous sight-singing knowledge. You can start right now!

Choir Builders for Growing Voices
When do you start teaching proper vocal technique to young voices? RIGHT NOW! Here are 19 fun and original exercises that will get your students’ growing voices on the right track to producing a quality sound. Posture, breathing, flexibility, range of voice and more are all addressed in these wonderful exercises for young voices. Sing along with the demonstration tracks on the enclosed CD for quick learning, or use the accompaniment-only tracks for ear training and assessment options. Get ready to workout to a better sounding choir!

For more suggestions for your beginning singers, contact Stanton’s choral department!

Vocal Repertoire for Intermediate & Advanced Singers - Soprano 14 October, 2010

Are you a college voice student or adult singer looking to expand your musical repertoire.  Here are Stanton's Sheet Music's top recommendations for vocal literature for soprano:

15 American Art Songs
Arias for Soprano
Arias for Soprano Vol. 2
Barber: Collected Songs
Donaudy: 36 Arie di Stile Antico
Faure: 50 Songs
Gateway to German Lieder
Gilbert & Sullivan for Singers
Italian Arias of the Baroque and Classical Eras
Oratorio Anthology
Prima Donna's Album
Romantic American Art Songs
Standard Vocal Literature

See our other posts with suggested repertoire for beginning singers and for mezzo-soprano, and check back soon for recommendations for tenor and bass/baritone.  Remember that Stanton's offers a 10% discount to college music majors, professional musicians and music teachers on most printed music items.  For more information, please contact classicalvocal@stantons.com.

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas… 13 October, 2010

Finished with your fall concerts and ready to start preparing for the holidays.  Here are some of Stanton's favorite new choices for your upcoming winter choral performances:

Open your high school choir's concert with Personent Hodie, arranged by Philip Kern.  With its dynamic and exciting use of percussion accompaniment, this makes for an interesting and effective processional.  The asymmetrical meters offer lots of teaching opportunities, while the vocal parts remain accessible for the choir.  Ken Berg's African Noel is another strong choice for a concert opener.

Ding, Dong! Merrily On High is given a new arrangement by Paul Carey.  Set mostly in 7/8, this setting of the familiar tune is a joyful romp with a fresh twist.  Adding to the musical interest, Carey has chosen to slow the tune in the middle of the piece and allow for long, legato lines, a cappella singing, and programmatic stylings.  The optional harp accompaniment adds even more sparkle!

A strong secular choice for winter performances is Evening in December by Victor Johnson.  This exquisite seasonal ballad features stirring melodies and luscious harmonies, exuding the warmth of this contemplative text about a lonely traveler being invited in from the cold on a wintry December night.  Also try the expressive Snowscape by Douglas E. Wagner.

Darmon Meader works his magic with the familiar carol O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.  This particular carol seems to lend itself to the many metrical alterations and rich harmonic textures we have come to expect from Meader and The New York Voices.  Accompanied by percussion, this is a great seasonal selection for ensembles of any size.

Join forces with your school or community concert band with Bells of Joy, arranged by Larry Clark and Rae Moses, a creative medley featuring “Carol of the Bells,” “Joy to the World,” “We Three Kings” and “What Child Is This?”  With accessible choral and instrumental writing, this is sure to be a hit with both accomplished groups and training ensembles.  Another good medley choice is Andy Beck's French Carol Suite, which features a smaller instrumental ensemble as an accompaniment option.

Middle school ensembles will find success with Audrey Snyder's arrangement of the Spanish carol A la Puerta del Cielo.  This charming setting is very accessible, but with a sophisticated sound.  Also check out On This Joyous Christmas Morning and Mary's Little Boy for younger ensembles.

Treble choirs will excel with Victor Johnson's To Hear the Angels Sing.  Here, a beautiful original melody is paired with the traditional “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” text and expertly combined with the familiar “Gloria” melody for a joyous Christmas celebration.  Other wonderful treble choices are Silent Winter, an evocative concert piece, and Ruth Elaine Schram's arrangement of What Child Is This?, hauntingly beautiful and with a unique Middle Eastern aura.

Good King Wenceslas, arranged by Ruth Elaine Schram, is perfect for younger men's groups.  Optional solos and expressive word-painting help the audience experience the cold winds and the conversations between the good king and his loyal page, and the piano accompaniment is supportive to young voices.  For more advanced groups, try the mixed meter setting of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen by Kelly J. Turner.

Looking for some holiday pop suggestions.  Check out our previous blog and our video below, or contact us!

5 Finger Halloween Fun 12 October, 2010

This book of 13 favorites, edited by Tom Gerou, is a mix of Halloween songs from pop music, (Monster Mash), movie music, (Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead, Hedwig’s Theme), and classical music, (Chopin’s Funeral March). Optional duet parts are included for each song. Parents and teachers will find that their youngsters are already aquainted with many of these songs. Let your child or student be a show-off on Halloween–help them learn these songs before the Halloween party!

“Let Nature Sing” 11 October, 2010

Fifth in a series of solo collections for young singers, Let Nature Sing contains a wide variety of songs, from spirituals and folksongs to originally composed works, all by female composers. Selected with the treble voice in mind, songs with narrow ranges of six and seven notes progress to songs that expand the range as the voice develops. The nature of the selections is to challenge the voice, not to tax it, to develop its expressive capabilities, not to over-extend it.

Also available from BriLee Music for developing treble voices is My Heart Sings, and for changing male voices check out Heroes and Vagabonds, Traveling On, and Tales of Land and SeaContact us for more repertoire suggestions for young singers.

The Halloween SongBOOk 08 October, 2010

At last, here is a book of intermediate to advanced songs and piano pieces for Halloween!
Alfred publishing has compiled a book of 27 spooky songs and piano pieces called The Halloween Songbook.
Some are from the movies, like “The Piano Duet” from The Corpse Bride, and “This is Halloween”  from The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Pop, rock, and novelty songs include “Moster Mash” and “Witchy Woman.” From the classical genre 6 pieces have been chosen, including Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” and Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” This is the best book so far for Halloween, make no bones about it. At only $14.99, this is an affordable book to keep in your library for every Halloween. BOO!

New Recorder Resources! 07 October, 2010

If you missed our Elementary General Music Clinic this August, you can still check out these new titles recommended by the elementary/classroom music specialists at Stanton's Sheet Music :

In the B-A-G
Motivate with B-A-G! Keep recorder interest high with this crafty collection of eight reproducible songs that will reinforce the first three notes taught in most recorder methods. Young performers will also be exposed to a variety of musical styles from swing, salsa and reggae to rock and roll, Latin and rap. Put together your own ensemble with the reproducible accompanying parts included for Orff and percussion instruments and piano.

Ready, Set, Play!
Beginning recorder instruction doesn't get better than this. “Ready, Set, Play!” includes everything that you will need to successfully teach introductory recorder classes. Reproducible student music, parent letters, order-form templates, self-assessment rubrics, worksheets, and quizzes accompany classroom-tested lesson suggestions and creatively arranged music. Your students will love the CD accompaniment recordings, and you will love the value of this incredible resource.

For more information on these or other elementary resources, contact Stanton's today!

Elvis-75 06 October, 2010

Elvis Presley would have turned 75 on January 8th, 2010. To recognize this occasion,  a new piano/vocal/guitar collection has been released entitled Elvis 75- Good Rockin’ Tonight. He was known as “the King of Rock and Roll” yet he had humble beginnings. He was born in Mississippi and lived in a two-room house growing up. He failed music in school and was known as a “loner” to his classmates but yet this man originated the “rockabilly” style that so many came to love. Rockabilly is an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm that in the 1950′s became an entirely new music genre which led to “rock and roll.”  Elvis Presley is considered the best-selling solo artist of all time. With accolades like that, one might expect to see Elvis Presley music featured on the hit television show “Glee” in the future. Let’s wait and see….

“Just for the Guys” 05 October, 2010

Are you looking for quality repertoire to promote and nurture your emerging men's choir or ensemble.  Check out Just for the Guys, a new TB choral collection of never-before released titles for two-part male voices.  Featuring nine great titles from top-level writers Andre J. Thomas, Ruth Elaine Schram, Victor C. Johnson, Mary Lynn Lightfoot, Becki Slagle Mayo, Greg Gilpin and Brad Printz, this collection provides a remarkably fresh diversity of musical styles and tempi, as well as a well-rounded mix of arrangements and original compositions.  With reproducible choral parts and an accompaniment CD for $44.95, you get nine new pieces for about $5 each for your entire choir, no matter its size!

For more repertoire suggestions for developing men's ensembles, please contact us!

Holiday Musicals for Elementary Singers! 04 October, 2010

If you missed our Elementary General Music Clinic this August, you can still check out these new titles recommended by the elementary/classroom music specialists at Stanton's Sheet Music :

A Bugz Christmas
The bugz are back and ready for the annual Christmas program infestation! The carpenter bees have built the sets, and the silk worms have made the costumes. OH, NO! The termites just chewed up the Christmas tree decorations and ate the lights! (gasp) See how some special little guests light the way to a grand finale of “The Twelve Bugs of Christmas!” Designed for young perormers in Grades K-3 this musical show features 5 original songs in a variety of musical styles, easy rhyming dialog with 45 speaking parts adaptable to casts of varying sizes, and teaching objectives linked to the National Standards for each song. Simple movement, staging and costume tips are also provided to help stage a successful performance! Approximate time is 20 minutes.

North Pole Musical
Auditions are underway for the 400th Anniversary of North Pole Musical, and everyone is in a panic! The dancing Reindeer are “hoofin’ it,” but don’t know what to do with Rudolph and his 4 left hooves. The elves are tired of always getting the short end of the stick, and are singin’ the blues. The snowmen are “chillin’” but worried about the funky hot lights, and the toys are trying to do the entire Nutcracker Suite in 3 minutes! The annual Christmas show keeps getting bigger and bigger each year. But, wait a minute! Is bigger really better? See how Santa finds a way to remind everyone of the true meaning of the season. This sensational 35-minute holiday revue features seven original songs in a variety of musical styles, choreography and helpful production guide, and a script with 26 speaking parts and adaptable cast list for groups of varying sizes, and teaching objectives linked to the National Standards for each song.

Old Man Winter’s Icicle Follies
Every year before Santa’s big day, Old Man Winter presents a Holiday Spectacular at the North Pole called Old Man Winter’s Icicle Follies, complete with song, dance, snow, tinsel, and glitter. The audience is treated to some boogie-woogie by the Reindeer, a slippin’ and slidin’ partner song with the Elves, a fun and showy march by the Snowmen and their kazoos, and an energetic ’60s-infused finale. The most special guest of all, Santa Claus, stops by. This show can be filled with your own choral performance numbers, having Old Man Winter introduce your choir as guests on the show. This format allows you to adjust the length of the show to fit your performance needs.

For more information on these or other elementary resources, contact Stanton's today!

OSU favorite, “Hang on Sloopy!” 01 October, 2010

Hang on Sloopy, a favorite song among Buckeye fans, was written by Wes Farrell and Bert Russell. The McCoys originally performed the song  and it  hit #1 on the charts in October of 1965.  The song is named for Dorothy Sloop, an entertainer in her own right.  Several bands have played this song over the years. It was first played by the OSU marching band on October 9, 1965 during a home game against Illinois. John Tatgenhorst–a band member–arranged the song for the band and convinced the director to play it.  It became such a favorite that it is played before the 4th quarter of every game.

Hang on Sloopy is included in a the “Songs of the 60′s” collection from Hal Leonard,  and is also available for digital download as a single. A recording of the OSU marching band playing Hang on Sloopy  is available from Stanton’s on three different CD’s:  “Buckeye Brass,” “I Wanna Go Back,” and “Pride of the Buckeyes.”