News & Views Friday, September 19, 2014

The Snowman 28 September, 2012

The Snowman” is a children’s book without words by English author Raymond Briggs, published in 1978. An animated film was produced in 1982 with words and music by Howard Blake. The film has won awards in the U.S. and Britain. When it was aired for the for the first time on  December 26, 1982 in Britain, it was an instant hit, especially the song “Walking in the Air.”  It has been an annual hit ever since.

Through Hal Leonard, an easy piano book including the illustrations, story and the music is available.  Maybe you would like to play the music for your youngsters, or one of your older children would like to play for younger siblings or friends.  A general music teacher in an elementary school could use this for younger grade level children.  Get your copy of this delightful story soon!

For more information about this book or other holiday music, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or view our website.

The Hunger Games Piano Solos 27 September, 2012

The first book of  The Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, was released on film in March of 2012. It is the first film since “Avatar” to stay in first place at the North American box office for four weeks in a row. The score is haunting and beautiful.   Ten of the selections from the soundtrack,   written by James Newton Howard,  have been arranged for intermediate to advanced  piano solo. If you love the music, this is a must-have book of sheet music. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC if you have any questions regarding this item or anything else of interest to you.  You may also email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website at www.stantons.com

Stanton’s Staff Selections: New Young Band Christmas 26 September, 2012

Now that school is underway and your rehearsals are hitting a rhythm, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas and winter concert programming.  If you’re looking for something new, our band staff is pleased to share our favorite new arrangements for young band.  For more festive holiday options, check out the Christmas & Holiday category on our concert band webpage, or Christmas & Winter categories on our Listening Library.  If you’ve missed our previous blogs highlighting some of the year’s new concert band music, check out our features on Must-Hear Young Band and Haunting New Titles for Concert Band, and keep your eyes on the CB News tab on our concert band page as we’ll be running regular features on a whole variety of new music for concert band!

The Appalachian Folk Carol, Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head, was collected by folk musicologist John Jacob Niles (composer of I Wonder As I Wander), in the early Twentieth Century.  Scott Watson’s hauntingly beautiful arrangement of the tune explores the Nativity with peaceful reverence and mysterious wonder.  His writing includes expressive tempo changes, lush scoring for full band, transparent episodes for woodwinds, and delicate percussion writing, offering bands ample opportunity for performing with musical beauty and eloquence.

Robert W. Smith has woven several holiday favorites into Colors of Christmas, a jubilant, fanfare-style overture perfect for opening the beginners’ portion of your holiday concert!  Even with the limited range of the first six notes, interesting percussion (mallets, chimes, & ‘toys’) and mature-sounding writing ensure that this work will impress!  This is a great addition to your beginning band library that can be used for years to come!

Dynamic and jubilant, From the Realms of Glory! is ideal to ring in the holiday season as an opening fanfare or celebratory closer to your holiday concert!  Intertwining three well-known carols (Angels from the Realms of Glory, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing), Patrick Roszell has crafted an uplifting arrangement that is a worthwhile addition to your Christmas music library!

Hark! (A Holiday Celebration) is a pleasant, mature-sounding opener full of color and style changes perfect for your second year players.  Using themes from O Come All Ye Faithful, Angels We Have Heard on High, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and even a delightful hint of The Twelve Days of Christmas, William Owens has created a work that is festive and interesting, but not an outright medley.

A nice, fun alternative to standard Christmas fare, Old-Fashioned Sleigh Ride contains many teaching concepts (light vs. legato articulation, 8th note subdivision, steady tempo), in addition to amping up the programmatic fun factor with wood blocks, sleigh bells, whip cracks, and a horse whinny!  A perfect introduction to program pieces, your students will enjoy the gimmicks while your audience will enjoy its warmth and cheer.

A gorgeous addition to your Christmas program, A Peaceful Christmas is a beautiful, lush arrangement featuring your mallet players (cued in other parts). Part ballad, part lullaby, James Swearingen’s lovely setting is perfect for developing ensemble blend and phrasing, in addition to giving your students experience in the accompanists’ role.

Opening with a one-beat canon in the flute and clarinet, this arrangement of the traditional Irish Wexford Carol retains much of its ethnic flavor thanks to an Irish drum, and appropriate stylistic ornamentation. Reminiscent of the setting with Allison Kraus on Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs of Joy & Peace album, this arrangement also highlights a brass choir section, and will add an alternative lyrical touch to your holiday concert.

New Hymn Collections for Piano 25 September, 2012

On Stanton’s Sacred Piano Reading Session back in August, our clinician, Lloyd Larson, inspired us with selections from both of these lovely, new collections of hymn arrangements:

Hymns You Love
For the sixth and final book in the “Hymns We Love” series, we decided to turn the tables and let our audience pick the music. So here’s the result: twelve selections from your favorite team of arrangers (Pepper Choplin, Mark Hayes, Lloyd Larson, Mary McDonald, Ruth Schram, Larry Shackley), all on the list of “top hymns” drawn from our online survey. Each piece is preceded by program notes from the arranger and words from church pianists who took part in the selection process.

Old Hymns Made New
Carol Tornquist’s signature writing style, including fresh harmonic and rhythmic treatment to timeless hymns, if fully evidenced in this creative collection for pianists. These hymn arrangements are sure to provide a new appreciation to these familiar melodies by persons young and old.

For more great recommendations, contact Stanton’s friendly and knowledgeable keyboard department!

Aaron Jay Kernis – American Masterpieces: Choral Music 24 September, 2012

The National Endowment for the ArtsAmerican 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)
A native of Philadelphia, Aaron Jay Kernis (born 1960) is one of today’s most-performed living composers. His music is noted for its exuberant eclecticism, expressive lyricism, and engaging wit. He was one of the youngest composers ever to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music (for his String Quartet No. 2).

From his very first works in the early 1980s he has unapologetically mixed every genre – from pop and jazz to classical, from medieval Church music to Jewish cantillation – into his works, with a primary objective of communicating with everyday people.

Kernis decided at the age of 13 to become a composer, after learning violin and then teaching himself piano. He studied at Manhattan School of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Yale University. Among his instructors in composition were John Adams, Charles Wuorinen, Jacob Druckman, and Morton Subotnick. He currently serves as New Music Advisor to the Minnesota Orchestra and teaches composition at Yale University. Liveliness and vivid color are qualities constantly remarked about his earlier works, which seemed imbued with the sheer joy of music-making. Newer works have often been more somber. His inspirations have ranged from salsa dancing to the Persian Gulf War.

A number of choral works have attracted favorable notice. Ecstatic Meditations sets words of the medieval mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg. Stein Times Seven was his 1980 choral tribute to poet Gertrude Stein. His most ambitious choral work to date is Garden of Light, commissioned by the Disney Company for the third millennium celebrations. More recently, Two Meditations, written for the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, is a setting of two psalms that speak to the acceptance of death and the loving presence of God.

Selected Works:
Dorma, Ador
Music Is a Gift
Stein Times Seven
Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord
Two Meditations

For more distinguished choral repertoire suggestions, please contact us.

New for Elementary Choirs for Fall 21 September, 2012

Welcome your elementary choir back to school with one of these great choral octavos, as featured on Stanton’s Elementary General Music Clinic with Greg Gilpin:

Busy, Busy Bumblebee by Greg Gilpin
From the imaginative pen of Greg Gilpin comes this entertaining exercise in diction, dynamics, and alliteration. Featuring a unique 6/8 feel that emphasizes the rhythm of the text and a piano accompaniment that emulates the sound of a bumblebee “darting and diving all around,” this creative programming gem is sure to have your singers buzzing for more.

The Crocodile by Ruth Morris Gray
Sing this wildly whimsical Lewis Carroll text three times, combining the two sensible melodies on the final repeat. A playful piano accompaniment provides solid support and sounds like the snapping jaws of the croc!

Everything is Beautiful arr. Greg Gilpin
This two-time GRAMMY winner from Ray Stevens from the early ’70s is a perfect message for today’s generation as well. Its gospel-feel style includes a descant sung by soloist or  small group, creating an anthem of love and peace with the message of understanding and acceptance.

Mr. Trombone Man by Cristi Cary Miller
Your choir will have a blast with this ragtime style original that features a unique showcase for a trombone! Whether you perform live or with the ShowTrax CD, this easily learned song will add fun and pizzazz to your concert while sharing the important message about the power of music in our lives.

Shake, Rattle and Roll arr. Sally K. Albrecht
This 12-bar blues from 1954 gets an easy-to-assemble “partner-song” treatment complete with staging suggestions! So, “get out from that kitchen,” and start singing!

Shake the Papaya Down arr. Greg Gilpin
Kids will love performing with shakers in hand during this island-flavored Calypso song, arranged especially for developing 2-part singers. A terrific way to shake things up and bring the house down!

For more exciting elementary choral resources, please contact us!

The Cajon 20 September, 2012

The word “cajon” (ka-HONE) comes from the Spanish work for “box”-caja. (KA-ha)   It is used in Spanish and Latin music.  The cajon is becoming more popular in the U.S.A.  The variety of different sounds that can be produced with this drum that you sit on explains the interest and growing popularity of it.  “First Lessons Cajon” tells about the drum and how to play it.  A CD of the examples is helpful in hearing what sounds the cajon is capable of producing.  If you have a cajon and don’t know what to do with it, this is the book for you!  Please contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at keyboard@stantons.com to ask about this or other drum books.  You may visit our website at www.stantons.com to have a look at what we have or can order for you.

Our Hope Is In Emmanuel 19 September, 2012

Prepare for Christmas with your church choir with some of these outstanding anthems and cantatas!

Communion Carol by Lee Dengler
What a beautiful anthem to share with your congregation during communion before or after Christmas! The poignant text by Adam L. Tice has been set lovingly and expressively by Lee Dengler. The flowing accompaniment and gentle four-part writing are a lovely invitation to “taste the new birth.”

Our Hope Is In Emmanuel by Victor C. Johnson
Victor Johnson brings us an original Advent carol that is full of reflective and melodic phrases that capture the hope, joy, and peace promised by the Savior’s coming. Hints of VENI EMMANUEL and an optional flute obbligato add a little something extra to this skillfully crafted and reverently expectant seasonal selection.

Surely the Time Is Near by Lloyd Larson
A thoughtful setting for SATB choir and keyboard speaking to the anticipation of the Promised One. This Advent anthem is well within the reach of the average church choir.

Angels Singing, Bells Are Ringing arr. Douglas Wagner
Pure Christmas joy abounds in this pleasant folk carol arranged for success. A happy accompaniment punctuated by bells helps spread a seasonal spirit throughout the piece while the inventive vocal writing gives your singers a reason to smile. Join the angels singing with this very special and unique carol arrangement. Handbell/Handchime part included (2 octaves).

Rise Up and See the King arr. Mary McDonald
What a brilliant marriage of two seemingly contrasting tunes in this setting by Mary McDonald! The spiritual, “Rise Up, Shepherds, and Follow” has been combined with Andre Crouch’s “Soon and Very Soon” in such a seamless way that it almost seems these melodies have always resided together. The addition of an optional tenor solo and hand clapping will only further serve to enhance the impact of this anthem.

The World’s Been A-Waitin’ So Long by Larry Shackley
“There will be joy when the Messiah comes. The world’s been a-waitin’ so long.” Larry Shackley has created this joyous, energy-driven Advent anthem for a cappella choirs. It may also be performed with the optional percussion parts, which further enhance the effectiveness of this original spiritual.

Children of Light, Rejoice by Ken Medema
From the creative mind of Ken Medema comes this joyful nativity anthem. Whether your choir performs it with or without the optional part for children’s choir, this anthem is certain to be an exciting addition to your Christmas worship events. Beginning with an upbeat opening section, and moving into a gently flowing melody that focuses on the manger, the piece ends with great joy as voices are lifted up “in songs of gladness.”

O Holy Child of Bethlehem arr. Lloyd Larson
In this beautiful ballad, Lloyd Larson combines the prayerful words from verse four of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” along with “Silent Night” and the contemporary song “Emmanuel, God with Us” to create a worshipful Christmas medley. The instrumental accompaniment enhances its rich nature, with a clarinet solo at the start based on “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.”

A Night for Rejoicing by Lee Dengler
“Christmas night, what a glorious night for rejoicing!” This new cantata tell the age-old story of Jesus’ coming to earth, which culminates in that glorious “night for rejoicing.” This 35-minute work is scored for choir, congregation and optional children’s choir with keyboard accompaniment. There is also an optional chamber orchestra accompaniment available. The 8 choral movements, along with prelude and underscore, are replete with familiar carols as well as newly composed music. They are separated by narration that can be presented by one or two readers. This stirring work, which includes delightfully upbeat tunes as well as slow, deeply worshipful pieces, is sure to be an effective part of your choir’s music ministry.

A Blest Messiah Born by Larry Shackley
The Christmas season opens a portal in time through which words and melodies from many centuries flow into our busy modern lives. In “A Blest Messiah Born,” Larry Shackley skillfully blends some of the most beloved ancient carols into a fresh, captivating retelling of the story of Jesus’ birth. It begins with God’s eternal plan of redemption, then starts the Christmas story with the Annunciation. Along the way, Larry presents delightful new settings of favorite carols such as “The Friendly Beasts;” “What Child is This?;” “Ding Dong! Merrily on High;” and “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice.” “A Blest Messiah Born” contains rich moments of reflection as well as high-spirited rejoicing. It is enhanced by hints of Renaissance rhythms and melodies, and the lyrics of the carols flow together with the poetic narration to portray the events of the nativity story. The entire work lends itself to simple staging, adding characters in each number to build a living manger scene.

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, click here to view our complete Sacred Choral promotion for Fall 2012, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742.

New Piano Duet Collections 18 September, 2012

If you’re look for some fresh options for one piano, four hands, try one of these wonderful collections featured on Stanton’s Sacred Piano Reading Session:

Festive Hymns for Four Hands
arr. Larry Shackley
Here’s a book that will let you use the entire range of your church’s piano by emphasizing festive, celebratory moods, and it’s perfect for preludes, postludes, and special numbers. Elements of classical, folk, Gospel, and even Sousa marches are blended together in these six fresh arrangements, all with the ultimate goal of “making a joyful noise to the Lord.” If you’ve enjoyed Larry Shackley’s four-hand arrangements of sacred classics, you’re sure to love this new collection of favorites from the hymnal.

Great Things He Has Done!
arr. Mark Hayes
What could be better than a book of Mark Hayes piano solos? How about a book of Mark Hayes piano duets? We’re pleased to introduce Mark’s first full-length piano duet collection. Designed for four-hand duos looking for a musical challenge, “Great Things He Has Done!” brings together favorite Gospel songs, spirituals, and American folk hymns. The opener, “Christians, We Have Met to Worship,” has a jaunty, traditional American feel, and it is followed by a sparkling treatment of “To God Be the Glory.” Of course, there’s a serving of jazz too–”This Little Light of Mine” will definitely rock your piano bench. At last, a Mark Hayes book that you can share with a friend!

What Praise Can I Play on Sunday? 17 September, 2012

If you are familiar with the series of books called “What Can I Play on Sunday? “,  here is a new treat for you.  Carol Tornquist, a long-time arranger of sacred piano music, has arranged the first two of what will be a series of six books in  a series called “What Praise Can I Play on Sunday?”  Each book has ten easily prepared piano arrrangements for use in the worship service, or to play at home for your own enjoyment.  Book 1 is for January and February,  Book 2 is for March and April.  Pieces include seasonal pieces as well as praise songs for general use.  The arrangements are full-sounding and are 2-5 pages long per title.  If you have been looking for praise music that is tastefully arranged, have a look at these!  For more information about these books or other sacred piano collections, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or vist our website at www.stantons.com

Must-Hear Young Concert Band 14 September, 2012

Happy Friday!  What better way to end the week than with some great audio cuts!  “Of young band music?” you ask.  Yep – these are 10 of the coolest new pieces for young concert band this year.  We’re promoting them, and they just have to be heard to be believed.  Enjoy!

Fanfare and Fireworks – Brian Balmages     Grade 1-1.5
An explosive concert opener full of brass chimes, and soaring strings, this must-hear work, reminiscent of an Olympic fanfare, is ideal for combining your band and orchestra programs, but is sufficiently cued to be effective with band alone. Unique textures, triumphant statements, and colorful timbral contrasts, especially between the winds and strings, create a dynamic experience that your students will be proud to be part of and that will blow your audience away!

From the Realms of Glory! – arr. Patrick Roszell    Grade 2
Dynamic and jubilant, From the Realms of Glory! is ideal to ring in the holiday season as an opening fanfare or as a celebratory closer to your holiday concert! Intertwining three well-known carols (Angels from the Realms of Glory, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing), Patrick Roszell has crafted an uplifting arrangement that is a worthwhile addition to your Christmas music library!

Gadget – Randall D. Standridge    Grade 2+
A gadget is a small technological object, considered to be more unusually or cleverly designed than normal technology at the time of its invention. Mimicking the electronic nature and blinking lights of a new gadget on display, this brilliant and fun work conveys a sense of wonder and futuristic innovation characteristic of the mid-2oth century. Staccato rhythmic pulses, nice percussion writing, and tone clusters and clashes make this enjoyable work sound more difficult than it is. Sure to be a hit with your students and audience, and features a fantastic cover!

Ghost Dancing – Brant Karrick    Grade 2
Don’t miss this one!! Your students will absolutely love playing this intense modern work totally befitting its title. Full of dark sounds, tone clusters, angular melodies, clashing harmonies, and jagged rhythmic interjections this work takes programmatic music to the edge – think Danny Elfman’s quirkiness meets Night on Bald Mountain with a taste of Charles Ives’ polytonality for good measure. Sure to amaze and impress your audience (they may wonder what happened), this creative work will just be too much fun!!

Grand Galop (Circus March) – Johnnie Vinson    Grade 2
This Johnnie Vinson original is brisk right out of the gate! Full of dynamic phrasing, style and tonguing, this one will challenge your band’s tempo and lightness. Can your percussionists keep it going? With limited rhythmic and technical demands, this is a great introduction to the style, and features a melody with a slight fight-song quality.

Harlequin Dance – Erik Morales    Grade 2.5
FJH captures the idiomatic nuances characteristic of styles better than anyone, and Harlequin Dance is no exception! This light, swingin’ program work reminiscent of noir TV themes with a nod to Henry Mancini features brushes on the drums, vibes, an alto sax solo, and excellent jazz harmonies and syncopations – great for teaching jazz style & nuance to your whole ensemble! A walking upright bass, drum set, colorful percussion, and a Burlesque-style shout section with back-beat cymbal crashes put this chart over-the-top!

Hypnotic Fireflies – Brian Balmages    Grade 2.5
You have to hear this to believe it!! Piano, a metal slinky, and other cool effects make this creative work super-effective! Light and colorful, and full of rhythmic motives and punctuations, this work is by turns bold, majestic, soaring, and filled with wonder, and sure to capture your students’ imaginations! Amazing!!

A Mother’s Love – Brad Ciechomski    Grade 2
Written upon the passing of the composer’s mother, this touching, lyrical tear-jerker exudes the simple, boundless loving bond between mother and child.  Mister Rogers used to say that “simple is better” when revising his scripts – of course, he was right. Featuring a beautiful recurring minor third interval often heard by a child calling “mom-my,” this expressive, memorable work is sure to leave an emotional imprint.

Sun Cycles – Brian Balmages    Grade 2.5
Authentic sounding and fun to play, Sun Cycles is based on the Egyptian Sun God, Ra, and features a wealth of Middle Eastern percussion instruments. Its multiple sections are mysterious, raucous, driving, dark, and full of characteristic sound, rhythm, and style. Teaching opportunities abound, however, your students will simply be excited to play such an awesome, authentic work that will leave their parents stunned!

A Yiddish Lullaby (Raisins and Almonds) – Abraham Goldenfaden, arr. Robert Sheldon  Grade 1
Too powerful to pass up! This Jewish lullaby has become so popular that it’s now considered a folk song, and Robert Sheldon’s gorgeous arrangement is part lyrical ballad, part ancient folk song setting. Dynamic and flowing, yet gentle, this arrangement will advance your ensemble’s musicianship, while the Jewish sonic inflections add touching emotional weight. A great beginning band library addition!

Mash-Ups from “Glee!” 13 September, 2012

Ready for the fourth season premiere of “Glee”?  Airing tonight on Fox, we’ll find out what happens to some of our favorite characters now that they’ve graduated from McKinley High!

Over the last three seasons, “Glee” has introduced lots of fresh, new musical ideas – most notably, “mash-ups!”  As defined by Mr. Schuster in season one, “A mash-up is when you take two songs, and mash them together to make an even richer explosion of musical expression.”  The Girls’ Sing-Off (Beyonce’s “Halo” and “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves) and Guys’ Sing-Off (Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” and “Confessions Part II” by Usher) introduced us to the concept.  Here are more mash-ups available for your choir:

Hit Me With Your Best Shot/One Way or Another: a powerhouse mash-up of “One Way or Another” by Blondie and Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” With the on-screen dodge ball game symbolically representing the rivalry between two show choirs, this super arrangement will give all choirs an opportunity to show off their best action moves with two great classic rock songs!

I Will Survive/Survivor: empower the ladies with this perfect mash-up of two classic survivor anthems, Gloria Gaynor’s ’70s hit “I Will Survive” and the 2001 hit by Destiny’s Child “Survivor.” Opening with the Gaynor rubato intro, the arrangement explodes into a disco frenzy that builds to a huge crescendo.

Start Me Up/Livin’ on a Prayer: the girls present a rock ‘n’ roll mash-up of two ‘80s classics, The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” in a fun, energetic setting that is totally irresistible!

Rumour Has It/Someone Like You: the all-girl Troubletones sing a phenomenal mashup of two Adele hits! Alternating between the aggressive “Rumour Has It” and a more accepting “Someone Like You,” this epic pairing offers solo opportunities and powerful vocal backups. A fantastic SSA feature!

Need MORE music from “Glee?”  Check out all our previous “Glee” blogs, or contact us for recommendations!

New Church Anthems for Fall 12 September, 2012

As 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:

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name arr. Hal Hopson
A noble new setting of the lesser used tune for this regal hymn text. Useful as a choral offering or as an enhanced congregation song, this effective setting will encourage the faithful and offer the choir a chance to lead in worship. With the addition of the easily fielded handbell part, this is an almost instant anthem for use on Christ the King Sunday or any time. Handbell part for 2 octaves included.

Come Christians, Join to Sing arr. Molly Ijames
“Come, Christians, Join to Sing,” new from Molly Ijames, is a majestic anthem with optional brass and percussion that sets a thrilling stage for the opening of any service or concert. The tune begins with the traditional melody in unison, settles with beautiful fulfilling, independent lines during the second stanza, and builds for a heightened climax, entering congregation and a soaring soprano obbligato. From the introduction to the finale, this selection will thrill your listeners and singers.

A Living Sacrifice by Mary McDonald
“A Living Sacrifice” is a powerful musical prayer adapted from Romans 12 that focuses on forgiveness, love, and taking the message of Christ to the world. This wonderful piece is a perfect choice for sermons with a missions or Christian living emphasis.

Rejoice, Sing and Praise by G.F. Handel/ed. John Leavitt
The regal and jubilant strains of Handel’s Coronation Anthem No. 2, first movement, have been adapted with a more general sacred text, making this work an excellent choice for sacred concerts or worship.

What a Friend by Mary McDonald
One of the greatest hymns of all time providing comfort and encouragement to multitudes of people is Joseph Scriven’s text, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Mary McDonald has taken this classic hymn and crafted an original melody along with words from John 15:13, “greater love has no other than Jesus, who has laid down his life for his friends.” Hints of the original tune by Charles Converse are woven in to memorable effect in this stunning new ballad setting.

Tune My Heart to Sing God’s Praise arr. Lloyd Larson
Feel the comfort of the familiar words of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” in this new setting based on HOLY MANNA. A delightful SATB choir and keyboard addition to the Thanksgiving repertoire.

Surely the Lord Is In This Place arr. Herbert Colvin
Whether used as a call to worship, or as a general anthem, this setting of a text from the book of Genesis contains a strong affirmation of God’s abiding presence. Through a flowing accompaniment and solid part writing, Herbert Colvin has created an expressive gem that can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your congregation’s worship.

There’s Something About That Name arr. Lloyd Larson
This time-honored chorus from Bill and Gloria Gaither is set here in a reverent, meditative ballad by Lloyd Larson. The middle section includes an original melody paired with John Newton’s great hymn text “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.” The flowing accompaniment and easy-to-learn vocal lines make this an ideal choice for any worship occasion.

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, click here to view our complete Sacred Choral promotion for Fall 2012, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742.

William Bolcom – American Masterpieces: Choral Music 11 September, 2012

The National Endowment for the ArtsAmerican 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)
Composer and pianist William Bolcom (born 1938) is one of the few musicians since George Gershwin to comfortably straddle the divide between popular and classical music, elevating the former and demystifying the latter.

He was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1938. Exhibiting exceptional early musical talent, at age 11 he began private composition and piano lessons with faculty at the University of Washington, where he later earned his B.A. Further studies followed with Darius Milhaud at Mills College in California and later at the Paris Conservatory. He completed his doctorate in composition at Stanford University in 1964, and returned to the Paris Conservatory where he won the Deuxième Prix in composition in 1965.

Compositions from every period of his life have earned him many commissions and countless honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1988 for 12 New Études for Piano. Bolcom’s work is well represented on recordings – as pianist, in collaboration with his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, and as composer. Bolcom has taught at the University of Michigan since 1973, where he has been a full professor since 1983.

After the Ball, a recording of early 20th-century songs, almost created a new genre in the record industry, and was nominated for a Grammy. Grammys also were proposed for his Fourth Symphony and his Orphée-Serenade for chamber orchestra, but it was his masterpiece Songs of Innocence and of Experience, setting to music the William Blake poems of the same name, that finally won Grammys – four of them. Songs, a work on the scale of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, successfully synthesizes an impressive range of musical styles: reggae, classical, country western, rock, opera, and more. Other notable choral works include “May-Day,” an anthem on a text by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and The Mask, a cycle of five poems by African-American writers.

Selected Works:
Alleluia
Chorale on St. Anne’s Hymn
The Mask
May-Day
Songs of Innocence and of Experience

For more distinguished choral repertoire suggestions, please contact us.

Haunting New Titles for Concert Band 10 September, 2012

Halloween is a fun fall holiday, and if you’re programming a Halloween band concert, or just looking for an eerie, spooktacular piece to spice up your fall program, there is a graveyard worth of new spirits perfect to haunt your auditorium – some with ghost stories included!

Ghost Ship – Michael Story – Grade 1
The merchant ship Mary Celeste set sail from New York City in early November of 1872, bound for Genoa, Italy, never reaching its destination.  To this day, no one knows why. This original composition will fill your beginners’ imaginations with some chilling effects, and add a mysterious story to your program.


Ghost Band
– Robert W. Smith – Grade 2
What happens when the lights go out and the ghosts of musicians past come out to play?  Beginning with a dark and mysterious introduction featuring vocal effects, the Ghost Band begins a driving bass line leading to a delightfully haunting melody. They even enjoy a ghoulish waltz before returning to the final statement.  Have your band ‘in character’ – this arrangement includes optional costumes and sound effects.

Ghost Dancing – Brant Karrick – Grade 2
Your students will absolutely love playing this intense modern work!  Full of dark sounds, tone clusters, angular melodies, clashing harmonies, and jagged rhythmic interjections this work takes programmatic music to the edge – think Danny Elfman’s quirkiness meets Night on Bald Mountain with a taste of Charles Ives’ polytonality for good measure. Sure to amaze and impress your audience (they may wonder what happened), this creative work will be too much fun!!

The Old Castle (Pictures at an Exhibition) – Moussorgsky/arr. Robert W. Smith – Grade 2.5
One of the coolest sounding pieces of classical music, your students will love playing this gorgeous, mature-sounding selection. Opening with a trumpet and trombone statement of the stately Promenade, the work moves into a faithful arrangement of the haunting original complete with its eerie colors and textures, incessant ‘heartbeat’ and 3/4 motion.

Band-O-Ween – arr. Patrick Roszell – Grade 3
Despite its light (and cheesy) title, this work incorporates several well-known classical pieces associated with the macabre and creepy: Toccata and Fugue in D minor (J.S. Bach), Night on Bald Mountain (Modeste Moussorgsky), Funeral March of a Marionette (Charles Gounod), and In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg).

La Tregenda (Witches’ Dance from Le Villi) – Puccini/arr. Brian Beck – Grade 3
According to the legend of Le Villi, when a woman dies of a broken heart, the fairies disguised as beautiful women cast a spell over the heart breaker and force him to dance until death.  This dramatic arrangement of the intermezzo from opera master Giocomo Puccini’s Le Villi depicts the evildoings of the ghost maidens deserted by their lovers.

Procession of the Sorcerers – Robert Buckley – Grade 3
Imagine a colorful procession of magical and mythical creatures – wizards and witches; jesters and jugglers; magicians and minstrels; gargoyles and goblins – brightly decorated wagons drawn by unicorns, stilt walkers, and acrobats on unicycles in a stately procession toward Merlin’s enchanted castle! Unique and descriptive, the optional choral parts (or synthesizer) really complete the mysterious character of this work.

Vampires in the Attic – Joseph Eidson – Grade 3
So you want to play in the attic?  Drop the ladder and climb – the slow beginning sets a creepy atmosphere as the dark recesses of the attic are explored. The pace increases and the trumpet section is featured as vampires are chased around the attic, ending with the vampires returning to their hiding spots before slowing to an eerie conclusion.

Although they aren’t new, we also happily suggest two grade 3 movie arrangements featuring the off-beat quirkiness of composer Danny Elfman – Music for a Darkened Theatre featuring themes from Tales from the Crypt, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and Spider-Man, and his sinister score to the Tim Burton classic The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Happy Haunting!

OMEA PIANO LIST FOR 2012 07 September, 2012

Attention, piano teachers and instrumental teachers!   The required  instrumental OMEA list has changed, and so has the list for the piano solo required list.  The literature you need is in stock, or soon will be, here at Stanton’s.  You can look at the current list on our website, and on the OMEA website you can check to see what is required as far as scales, and which parts of various works are to be prepared for the OMEA  solo and ensemble event. Click on the parents/students tab to find your way to the pertinent information.

Please remember to get 2 copies of your music, as the judge will need a copy to make comments on.  We at Stanton’s try to stay current so we can meet your music needs.  Feel free to call 224-4257 in the Columbus area, and 1-800-42-MUSIC long distance to ask about availability, or email us at keyboard@stantons.com so we can answer any questions you may have.

FREE – Holiday Choral Reading Session! 06 September, 2012

Now that you’ve been working with your ensembles for a few weeks and know the strengths of your particular students, you are probably ready to program your Holiday concert. Let Stanton’s help!

*FREE*
Holiday Choral Reading Session
Saturday, October 6, 2012
10:00-11:30 a.m.

We will read titles in all voicings for winter concerts selected from our school choral promotions. Even if you attended our August “School Choral Week,” we still encourage you to join us for this Holiday session, as we will be including many titles that have not been read on any previous Stanton’s sessions.

Because we will be reading music directly from our large inventory and sharing the expertise of the Stanton’s school choral staff, we are able to offer this reading session at no cost to you!

Stanton’s 1000th Blog! 05 September, 2012

You are currently reading Stanton’s 1000th blog post! Can you believe it?! It seems so recently that we launched this blog and published our very first post on September, 22 2008, to highlight some of our favorite new popular piano/vocal collections.

Our most popular post – with over 10,000 hits – features sheet music from “Glee,” and we have a total of 20 posts with more than 1,000 views each. The majority of our readers seem to live in the US, UK, Canada and Austrailia, but we also have healthy followings in the Phillippines, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany and India!

Over the years, the Stanton’s blog has become about so much more than just sheet music. As you browse our archives, you’ll find workshop announcements, local music features, memorials and even recipes! We so enjoy the opportunity to develop relationships with our in-store and phone customers; we hope that our blog can continue to augment our main website as a way to personally connect with our online customers.

Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning, or you’ve newly discovered our corner of the internet: THANK YOU for reading! We would love to hear your feedback if you have any questions, suggestions or ideas to share with us. It is our loyal customers that have made Stanton’s Sheet Music so strong for the past 50 years, and we’re excited to move with you into the next 50!

Click here to watch video

Band Directors – Welcome Back! 04 September, 2012


Now that everyone is back to school (and hopefully has a chance to catch a breath), the band staff at Stanton’s would like to welcome you back, and highlight some new music, events, and web-based tools that we’re excited about!

Junior High and Middle School band directors should have received our young band promotion featuring Stanton’s Staff Selections at grades 0.5 to 2.5.  If your copy isn’t handy, the complete list is available on our concert band webpage.  While you’re there, be sure to check out the Must-Hear Young Band tab – these pieces are too cool not to check out!  High School directors shouldn’t feel left out – our high school promotion featuring Stanton’s Staff Selections at grades 3-5 will be arriving in October (a.k.a. mid-marching season).

For directors who prefer to view ALL the new titles, complete publisher listings, recordings, and score images (where possible), are available by clicking on New Releases by Publisher on our concert band webpage, as well as in the concert band listening library.  More great programming ideas can be found by browsing the themed listening library categories, or by viewing Stanton’s Staff Selections for Beginning, Middle School, or High School band.

All band directors should mark your calendars for the annual Wind Band Invitational and New Music Reading Session at Capital University on November 16-17.  This is a perfect opportunity to hear the best new music performed by a live band, socialize and get new ideas from colleagues, and feature your best students in the honors and reading session bands.  Don’t forget to bring your instrument to participate in the Directors’ Reading Band, as well!

Lastly, be sure to take advantage of Stanton’s e-Tools!  The new Wish List feature at Stantons.com allows you to keep track of titles you like, and submit them as requisitions.  Our Listening Library is as popular as ever, and our Digital Delivery site can get Alfred and Hal Leonard replacement parts to you in a pinch.  Stanton’s blog features articles by our staff, while our new mobile website allows you to preview music and shop while on-the-go.  We’re really excited about our latest enhancement: Stanton’s Virtual Workshops featuring scores, audio, and listings of music featured at ALL Stanton’s sponsored reading sessions, workshops, and clinics!!  Don’t forget, at the heart of all this technology, we’re still old-school – give us a call; we’ll be happy to talk with you!

We hope these highlights give you some things to look forward to, and make your work easier, and wish you a successful school year!

Labor Day 03 September, 2012

Stanton’s Sheet Music is closed today in observance of Labor Day. You can still browse and shop online, or check Stanton’s Digital Delivery if you need something quickly.

Remember to step outside and wave goodbye to summer…and then get back to work tomorrow!