News & Views Saturday, July 22, 2017

NEW for String Orchestra! 30 November, 2015

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

As you explore new music for your string orchestra, we trust that you will consider Stanton’s recommendations. You will find them on our mailed promotions, blog, e-blasts, and Stanton’s website: http://www.stantons.com.

Our staff reads through all the new music each year and picks the select few that we feel are educationally valid, provide interesting parts for everyone and will make good concert and festival repertoire. The larger publishers provide many options from which to choose and we always find good literature from among their offerings. The smaller publishers have fewer titles to present, but there are often some real gems among them which we like to point out to teachers who may have missed them in the plethora of publishers’ promotions.

Here are this year’s Stanton’s String Orchestra favorites from some smaller publishers in Grade Level order:

Criancas da Canoa (Canoe Children) – arr. Steven Frackenpohl
9013 – Grade 2 – Kendor Cadet Series – $48.00
Three lively Brazilian children’s songs with shared melodies.

Edge of Silence – Clarence Barber
50250094 – Grade 2 – Ludwig/Masters – $45.00
Slow tumble and flow will increase the maturity of any group.

Elephant’s Trumpet – Clarence Barber
50250097 – Grade 2 – Ludwig/Masters – $48.00
Cool String Bass section feature with “trumpeting” glissandi.

Escape – Kevin Sluder
GMMOR141 – Grade 2 – Grand Mesa Music – $50.00
Developing an intense theme with imitation and overlayments.

Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen – arr. David Bobrowitz
GMMOR134 – Grade 2 – Grand Mesa Music – $40.00
Emotional, unique setting of a tune said to have brought Lincoln to tears.

Theme with Academic Variations – arr. Jeffrey S. Bishop
3035321 – Grade 2 – Wingert-Jones – $45.00
Demonstrate the precision needed to perform a piece as perfectly as possible.

Down at the Farm – arr. James K. Taylor
GMMOR139 – Grade 3 – Grand Mesa Music – $50.00
Rakes of Mallow and Red Wing with fun, unexpected, imaginative surprises.

Pony Express – Brian Holmes
3035401 – Grade 3 – Wingert-Jones – $50.00
6/8 time and shifting harmonies capture the thrill of the Pony Express.

Brahms Hungarian Dance #1 – Brahms/arr. Frank Rodgers
SO334 – Grade 3-4 – MSB Publishing – $48.00
Slightly simplified, chromatic, G minor Hungarian Dance.

Perpetuoso – Brian Holmes
3035411 – Grade 3.5 – Wingert-Jones – $50.00
Perpetual motion piece with modern harmonies and groovy syncopation.

Diem Jubilate – Elliot Del Borgo
SO335 – Grade 5 – MSB Publishing – $65.00
A modern, challenging processional or impressive concert opener.

About the Author:
Dan C. has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions. A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


Favorite Mormon Hymns 27 November, 2015

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recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

This collection, “Favorite Mormon Hymns” contains twelve early advanced level contemporary piano arrangements of favorite Mormon hymns from the time of the Mormon pioneers to the present day. The arranger is David Glen Hatch, who has performed and taught all over the world. Two medleys are included in this collection of piano sheet music; “Praise to the Man” with “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer,” and “Ye Elders of Israel” with “Called to Serve.” These  lovely arrangements are suitable for Sunday services or for recitals.

If you would like to know more about this collection, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website, http://www.stantons.com. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:

Barb M. has worked in the Keyboard Department at Stanton’s since 1981. An active folk musician in the Columbus area, Barb also works with ensembles at her church and plays in the Columbus State Concert Band. In her spare time, Barb loves working with animals and computer games.


Chanukah! 25 November, 2015

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recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

Chanukah is just about two weeks away! Are you ready?

For beginning piano players, we have a book of seven Chanukah songs at a level two, “Festive Chanukah Songs.” Your youngster could play a different song each night! We also have a book of Chanukah songs, “The Complete Chanukah Songbook.” This collection of sheet music includes nearly one hundred songs for the season, from Jewish folk songs to more modern compositions by some of today’s songwriters. Certain questions concerning Chanukah are answered, too: Why do we eat latkes? Where did the dreidl come from? This book is one that may take up residence in the piano bench, ready to hand for the season.

Call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website, http://www.stantons.com to learn more. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:

Barb M. has worked in the Keyboard Department at Stanton’s since 1981. An active folk musician in the Columbus area, Barb also works with ensembles at her church and plays in the Columbus State Concert Band. In her spare time, Barb loves working with animals and computer games.


Were you there? The 2015 New Band Music Reading Clinic Recap 24 November, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

John Mackey

This past Friday and Saturday marked our 14th Annual New Band Music Reading Clinic held in conjunction with the Wind Band Invitational at Capital University. In addition to students from 33 different schools participating in the honors bands under Dr. Jeffrey Gershman and Dr. Ryan Shaw, the 2 day event also featured performances by the Capital University Wind Symphony, Capital University Symphonic Winds, Grove City High School Symphonic Band under the direction of Jason Graham (one of the top 5 programs in Ohio!), guest composer John Mackey, and over 40 of the best new pieces for concert band read over 2 reading sessions!

If you’ve never attended one of our reading clinics before (and why not?!), we feature the best new pieces for band as selected by our staff. Our goal is to help every band director find the best new music to program ranging from very beginning band to advanced high school (grades 0.5-4.5) and encompassing concert, programmatic, and lyrical works; marches; pop titles; Christmas arrangements; and some of the new OMEA contest selections.

If you missed this year, hopefully you can join us next fall. In the meantime you can preview the reading session titles and view videos of the sessions via our Virtual Workshop (these will be posted soon!). Also, keep an eye on our Events page for our other upcoming clinics and reading sessions. Next up are our annual January Church Choral Reading Session (Jan. 9) and Sacred Organ Reading Clinic (Jan. 16). We hope to see you soon and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is thankful for his family (especially his son), his job in the music industry, and his long-standing gig with Swing’s the Thing Big Band (10 years!). You should check out their album Walk On Out the Door available on iTunes and Amazon – it makes a great Christmas gift! Oh, and pie! Yep, he is definitely thankful for pie.


NEW Disney Brass Quintets 23 November, 2015

Trumpets02262006Hey there, Working Brass Quintets – and High School Band Directors!

If you have a Brass Quintet that plays gigs, especially for kid’s concerts, we have come across an exciting new series of Disney music expertly scored for Brass Quintet by the inimitable Jack Gale, who has arranged so many great lighter titles as well as sacred, classical, and Christmas music for Brass Quintet.

Band Directors – These would also work well for better student groups who may get asked to play for PTA meetings, or at your elementary schools and gigs of that nature.

All of the arrangements are at the Grade 3 or 4 level and span Disney movies from 1945’s “Song of the South” to 2013’s “Frozen” and are 2, 3, or 4 minutes in length. These are fully arranged by Mr. Gale, who is a top-notch expert in the field – they’re not just melody with “oom-pahs” underneath.

Choose from:
AOS235 – Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (from Song of the South) – Grade 4 – $20.00
AOS237 – A Spoonful of Sugar (from Mary Poppins) – Grade 3 – $20.00
ABP035 – A Whole New World (from Aladdin) – Grade 3 – $20.00
AOS884 – Let It Go (from Frozen) – Grade 4 – $20.00
AOS883 – Love is an Open Door (from Frozen) – Grade 4 – $20.00

Contact Stanton’s Instrumental Department for more ideas for your brass quintet!


Meet the Stanton’s Team – Jennifer F. 20 November, 2015

We’ve written before on the Stanton’s blog about our knowledgeable staff. Now, we’d like to give you a chance to get to know our staff on a more personal level. Over the next several months, we will be having members of the Stanton’s team take our “30 Questions in 60 Seconds” questionnaire. We hope you will get to know the “real” us, and learn how we might better be of service to you!

jennifer fryJennifer is a graduate of Otterbein College with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has worked at Stanton’s for over 14 years specializing in Sacred Choral, Classical Vocal and Handbell music. Jennifer is a soprano section leader in the Chancel Choir at First Community Church in Columbus Ohio, and is also the founder, Artistic Director and bass bell ringer for Handbells Columbus.

  1. What department do you work in at Stanton’s? – Choral Department
  2. What do you consider your specialties here? – Sacred Choral, Handbell and Classical Vocal.
  3. How long have you been working at Stanton’s? – I started my 16th year the beginning of August.
  4. What is your favorite task at Stanton’s? – Anything that has to do with organization and/or pulling a choral trial of “high brow” music.
  5. What is your hometown? – Columbus
  6. Where did you go to college? – Otterbein College
  7. What is your major instrument? – Voice
  8. Where or with whom do you currently perform/teach? – I sing in the Chancel Choir and Chamber Singer’s at First Community Church. I’m also the artistic director and bass bell ringer for Handbells Columbus.
  9. What do you like to do in your spare time? – Go to the gym, compete in field trials/earthdog/barn hunt and coursing with my Standard Longhaired Dachshunds, and meeting friends for happy hour at Black Creek Bistro.
  10. What days are you available at Stanton’s? – Monday-Thursday and Saturday
  11. What is the last song/piece you listened to? – A recording of Luciano Pavarotti singing “Ah mes amis.” Sheer heaven!!!
  12. What is the last song/piece you played/sang? – Church choir ended in June. I can’t remember that far back.
  13. If you had a chance to perform with three musicians, living or dead, who would it be? – Robert Shaw, Luciano Pavarotti and Elton John.
  14. What is your most memorable musical moment? – Singing the Mozart Missa Longa with the Salzburg Cathedral orchestra and chorus when the First Community Church Chancel Choir and friends went to Europe 2 summers ago. Beyond words!!!
  15. If you could be instantly proficient on an additional instrument, what would you choose? – It would either be bassoon or tuba.
  16. What is the most unusual performance you have ever been a part of? – Playing the handbell piece “Pick A Winner” at a handbell festival. There were 4 of us and we wore sunglasses and had frog and lobster hats on.
  17.  What musical sound or noise do you love? – Low C of a 32’ bombarde/C2 of a Malmark Handbell/any note, below the bass clef, sung by a bass/lowest note played on a bassoon and/or tuba (are you seeing a trend here??)
  18. What musical sound or noise do you hate? – Beginning clarinets and/or nails on a chalkboard.
  19. If you had your choice watching a great concert tonight or performing in a great concert tonight which would you choose and why? – Depends on the concert. If it is the Verdi Requiem, then I would choose performing.
  20. If heaven exists, when you arrive at the Pearly Gates, what heavenly ensemble would you like to be assigned to? – I would love to be in the choir that is conducted by Robert Shaw which sings the Verdi Requiem over and over!! (Is that specific enough??)
  21. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – Principal bassoonist in a European orchestra.
  22. What profession would you not like to do? – Port-a-Potty Cleaner Outer. STINKY!!!
  23. On a scale of 1-10, how funny do you think you are? – You tell me!!
  24. Who was your first crush (if not a celebrity, some explanation)? – Elton John
  25. Is there anything you wish would come back into fashion? – Maybe, but I’m going to keep that a secret!
  26. Do you love or hate roller coasters? – LOVE!!!! Needs to be the front seat with my hands up. (Holding on is for sissies!!)
  27. If you were a super hero, what powers would you have? – Flying
  28. How many pairs of shoes do you own? – Not a clue. If I had to guess, I would say 6.
  29. Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? – Win the lottery when it hits a billion gazillion dollars.
  30. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? – It would either be lamb or shellfish.

STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT: World Music for Choir 18 November, 2015

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 Stanton’s Spotlight feature, we will put a special focus on one piece or concept that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your group.

arianby Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

Programming music from around the world has so many benefits for your ensemble – new rhythmic concepts, unfamiliar languages and dialects to explore, and a picture of the people and traditions in cultures across the globe. Here are a few of my favorite new publications, for choirs of all voicings and difficulty levels:

FOR HIGH SCHOOL CHOIRS
Carnavalito arr. Will Lopes
This Bolivian folksong is alive with rhythm and movement! Body and vocal percussion give this a cappella setting intensity and drive – a wonderful showcase for mixed choruses in school and community!

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIRS
Singabahambayo arr. Victor C. Johnson
Fun to sing and surprisingly rehearsal friendly, this South African musical celebration of freedom and hope is sure to have instant appeal. Lending itself to simple stage choreography and with an exciting, driving beat throughout, choirs and audiences alike will find themselves enthralled by this Victor Johnson original.

FOR TREBLE CHOIRS
Doraji arr. Yoojin Muhn
Doraji is one of the most popular Korean folksongs. It is about a wild mountain flower with spiritual essence and this arrangement includes both the gentle beauty of the flower as well as the excitement from those who found it. For treble choirs, this is an excellent multicultural concert selection.

FOR MEN’S CHOIRS
El Chuchumbe arr. Jorge Cozatl
Selected for the new Music of the Americas Multicultural Series from North Dakota State University, this zesty piece hails from Mexico. The encouraging message is that “chuchumbe” will reach you whether things go good or bad. It is similar to saying the rhythm or dance of life will positively infect you no matter what. And what a great dance it is, with hand percussion bringing additional rhythm to the piece. The verses are so playful it is appropriate for performers to alter the words based on the region in which they are singing.

FOR ELEMENTARY CHOIRS
Iro Ye arr. Jill Gallina
This lullaby is from the Republic of Benin, a country in Western Africa. The Mina language of the traditional melody is paired with an original melody in English creating a loving partner-style song with optional flute. A simple choral that creates many multicultural learning opportunities and a lovely performance piece.

You can find more World Music options on our website – or, drop us an email for suggestions personalized to your choir!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Christmas Music for Ukulele 16 November, 2015

00128602Hal Leonard has a Christmas book in their Ukulele Play-Along line called “Christmas Hits, Vol. 34“. The chord fingering is included for each song. This collection of sheet music for Christmas is all secular, perfect for party sing-alongs.

It includes a CD to play along with, if the player so desires.  “Christmas Time is Here” is included, “Silver Bells”, and “White Christmas”,  plus five more songs.  The CD is enhanced so that Mac and PC users can adjust the recording to any tempo without changing the pitch. Strum along for Christmas!  For more information about this collection, or other collections of Christmas music for folk instruments, call 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website, http://www.stantons.com. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


BEHIND THE SCENES: True Stories from Stanton’s 13 November, 2015

compiled by Dan C., Stanton’s resident staff jokester

qcBjqgxc5In the fall when school cranks back up, Stanton’s gets a huge increase in the number of phone calls and emails requesting all kinds of things. And with so many communications there is naturally an increase in requests, questions and comments that make you go, “Really?!?” Such as:

“I’ve got a high school brass trio that wants to go to Solo and Ensemble competition.
We’re in a state with no required list we have to follow.
The students want to play Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. Do you have that for brass trio?” [Really?!?]

“Do you know of any pieces for Alp Horn and Band?” [Really?!?]

“I need a copy of the piano piece Fur Elise by Beethoven – but I need it for harmonica!” [Really?!?]

sax_xmas_decWe’ve mentioned the escalating request in previous blogs. Here’s a recent one:
“I need music for a saxophone quartet” (Okay…)
“To be featured with a concert band” (Ummm…)
“On a Christmas piece!” (Yow!)

Then there are the ones that just make you scratch your head…

“I’m waiting as fast as I can for a Purchase Order number to come from our treasurer.” [How fast can you wait?!?]

“Do you folks carry trumpet muzzles?” [actually, what a great idea!]

Trying to read a teacher’s writing, a customer asked for the Hal Leonard “Interception” book. We knew he meant “Intermediate” and also figured he’s a football fan!

Recent email:
Customer Question – “I have an extensive collection of sheet music. Do you purchase at all?”
Stanton’s Reply – “WE have an extensive collection of sheet music. Do YOU purchase at all?”
After that tongue-in-cheek wisecrack, the employee then went on to explain a bit about how the retail sheet music business works.

Here are a few phone conversations:
Customer: “I found an item I need on your website. The catalog number is HB01”
Stanton’s employee, upon typing the number into the computer and finding that it is a very popular method book for horn by Fred Teuber: “Oh yes – the Teuber book.”
Customer: “No, I think it’s for French Horn!”

Customer with a pronounced southern accent: “I’m looking for Bob and Maria.” (at least that’s what it sounded like!)
Stanton’s employee: “I may not have heard you correctly – Bob and Maria?”
Customer: “No, A-V-E, Ave Maria.”
Stanton’s employee: “Oh, of course! I’m so sorry! Do you want the Bach/Gounod or the Schubert?” JeopardyCustomer: “Heck, I don’t know who writes ’em, I just play ’em!”

Let’s play Jeopardy…
The answer is:
“No sir, I don’t know which arrangement of Amazing Grace you just heard on the bus this morning.”
We’ll let you come up with the question! :)


Christmas Medleys for Piano 11 November, 2015

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recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

Phillip Keveren has arranged nine Christmas medleys for piano on an intermediate level. It has not been easy to find medleys, so this collection, “Christmas Medleys,” is a welcome addition to the Christmas repertoire. These are suitable for church, recital, or for background music at a dinner or hospital lobby. (Some local pianists play in the Riverside Methodist Hospital lobby.) Phillip Keveren is a talented pianist, arranger and composer. His books of piano arrangements are among the most popular that we sell here at Stanton’s.

For more information about this collection of sheet music, or other piano solos for Christmas, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website, http://www.stantons.com. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:

Barb M. has worked in the Keyboard Department at Stanton’s since 1981. An active folk musician in the Columbus area, Barb also works with ensembles at her church and plays in the Columbus State Concert Band. In her spare time, Barb loves working with animals and computer games.

 


Run, Mary, Run 09 November, 2015

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

Run, Mary, Run by Brian Tate
Encouragement, determination and fundamental human rights sing out in this spiritual with the powerful line, “You got a right to the tree of life!” Sung with diverse range of vocal sound in a loose, gospel-like style, adding the optional percussion and solo builds the piece with intensity and drive throughout. Easy harmony and repetitive form make this an excellent choice in teaching culture and style.

This exciting piece has also already been selected for performance at this year’s OMEA Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Southern Rock; 30 Classics 07 November, 2015

00139043This collection, “Southern Rock Greatest Hits“, includes thirty classic Southern rock songs in PVG format. (Written for piano, vocal, and guitar chords.) In this collection are “Black Betty”, (Ram Jam), with new words and new music adaptation by Huddie Ledbetter; ” The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”  by Elvin Bishop,  “Susie-Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and more.  If you love classic Southern rock, this is the collection for you!  Renew your acquaintance with your favorite songs.  For more information about this collection of sheet music or other, similar collections, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our web site, http://www.stantons.com.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.


Meet the Stanton’s Team – Terry M. 06 November, 2015

We’ve written before on the Stanton’s blog about our knowledgeable staff. Now, we’d like to give you a chance to get to know our staff on a more personal level. Over the next several months, we will be having members of the Stanton’s team take our “30 Questions in 60 Seconds” questionnaire. We hope you will get to know the “real” us, and learn how we might better be of service to you!

terry mMeet Terry, the longest-serving full-time member of our Choral Department staff! A life-long Columbus-ite, Terry is a euphonium player turned church chorister.

  1. What department do you work in at Stanton’s? – Choral
  2. What do you consider your specialties here? – Filling orders and putting away stock
  3. How long have you been working at Stanton’s? – 33 years
  4. What is your favorite task at Stanton’s? – Lunch
  5. What is your hometown? – Grandview Heights
  6. Where did you go to college? – Kent State University
  7. What is your major instrument? – Euphonium
  8. Where or with whom do you currently perform/teach? – I sing in my church choir.
  9. What do you like to do in your spare time? – Read and DIY home tasks.
  10. What days are you available at Stanton’s? – Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday.
  11. If you could be instantly proficient on an additional instrument, what would you choose? – Guitar
  12. What musical sound or noise do you love? – A cat’s meow.
  13. What musical sound or noise do you hate? – None really.
  14. If you had your choice watching a great concert tonight or performing in a great concert tonight which would you choose and why? – Listen to a great concert.
  15. If heaven exists, when you arrive at the Pearly Gates, what heavenly ensemble would you like to be assigned to? – The choir.
  16. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – Journalism.
  17. What profession would you not like to do? – Medicine.
  18. On a scale of 1-10, how funny do you think you are? – 5
  19. Who was your first crush (if not a celebrity, some explanation)? – Sally in 6th grade
  20. Is there anything you wish would come back into fashion? – No
  21. Do you love or hate roller coasters? – Love
  22. If you were a super hero, what powers would you have? – Invisibility and flying.
  23. How many pairs of shoes do you own? – 7
  24. Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? – Win the lottery.
  25. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? – That would be Hell!

Veterans Day, 2015 04 November, 2015

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recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

Veterans Day is next Wednesday! Do you have music ready for church? If not, and you have a partner to play piano duets with, consider “God Bless America,” which has eight patriotic titles in it. The duets are on an early/late intermediate level, so they could be easily prepared for the service. “America the Beautiful” is included, also “God Bless America” and six more. These would also be fun for playing at a veterans’ function for dinner music, or for a program at a dinner honoring our veterans.

Official Songs of the US Armed Forces” is a collection of piano solos of the five songs of the US armed forces, plus a medley. This solo collection is on a late elementary/early intermediate level.

The last offering for Veterans Day is “The American Songbook.” This collection of patriotic sheet music includes patriotic songs, patriotic Broadway songs written by George M. Cohan, and American folk songs. A sing-along CD is included with this book. We only have a few in stock, so don’t wait to order this!

For more information about these collections of patriotic music, or other similar collections, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website, stantons.com. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:

Barb M. has worked in the Keyboard Department at Stanton’s since 1981. An active folk musician in the Columbus area, Barb also works with ensembles at her church and plays in the Columbus State Concert Band. In her spare time, Barb loves working with animals and computer games.


CASA for Developing Singers 02 November, 2015

by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

acapella-1024x682Between the Pitch Perfect movies, NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” and the phenomenon that is Pentatonix, it seems like a cappella singing is everywhere! This year, both master a cappella arranger Deke Sharon and Ohio teacher Alex Phan bring us an assortment of pop arrangements in the CASA style for younger ensembles. Deke’s SSA arrangements are great for girls in young high school groups or mixed middle school ensembles (the alto part works for girls or changing boys), and Alex’s SSAB setting is perfect for middle school with vocal parts to fit their changing voices.

No vocal percussion? No problem! These arrangements are so well-crafted that adding VP is not necessary. (But, let your kids play around with some VP anyway – who knows, you could find a real talent among your ranks!)

Best Day of My Life arr. Deke Sharon
Practice your beatbox skills with this 2014 pop hit from the indie rock band American Authors. The upbeat folk/pop acoustic with a fun chorus transfers beautifully to “vocals only.”

Cups (When I’m Gone) arr. Deke Sharon
The trailer for the highly anticipated “Pitch Perfect 2” gives us a sneak peek at the music for the new film, including this expanded version of Anna Kendrick’s breakout hit “Cups.” After a sweet, reflective opening verse, it moves into tempo for a more expanded treatment.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun arr. Deke Sharon
Celebrate the awesome ’80s with this Cyndi Lauper hit from 1984 and develop some great a cappella singing skills at the same time!

Happy arr. Deke Sharon
Younger or beginning a cappella groups will love this creative and upbeat song from Pharrell arranged for unaccompanied voices!

Roar arr. Alex Phan
This super-charged anthem of empowerment is arranged especially for pop a cappella groups that are just getting started. With smart voice-leading, quick success is guaranteed.

Royals arr. Deke Sharon
The pop megahit and Grammy-winning song of the year by Lorde will be an accessible and fun introduction to pop a cappella for younger SSA choirs!

Wake Me Up! arr. Deke Sharon
From Swedish DJ and artist Avicii, this 2013 chart hit in a fun and accessible a cappella setting!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.