News & Views Tuesday, October 24, 2017

SPOOOOOOOKY Choral Music for Halloween Friday, September 15, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialists

Are you looking for the perfect spooky selection to round out your choir’s Halloween program? We’ve had a great time compiling some of our favorites here for choirs of all ages, and we hope that you like these as much as we do!

Mister Zombie's Jazz ClubMister Zombie’s Jazz Club arr. Ruth Elaine Schram
This novelty piece for 3-part mixed voices offers a fun opportunity to introduce jazz, swing, and the concept of scat singing to developing singers. There are some challenging chromatics to tune, and this would be a great piece to utilize to introduce partner dancing to your middle school showchoir students. Not only is this piece an excellent teaching tool, but also its message is one of cooperation and acceptance, making it even more useful for those younger students. While the string bass part is optional, it makes the performance even more “cool.”

Zombie Jamboree

Zombie Jamboree arr. Kirby Shaw
This fun novelty number, now available for men’s voices, has been recorded by the Kingston Trio and Rockapella, and offers a great way to shake up your program for both pop and show groups.

Cauldron DanceCauldron Dance by Verdi/arr. Ryan Kelly
This third act chorus from Verdi’s Macbeth (based on Shakespeare’s play by the same name) portrays witches dancing and a diabolical spell being prepared. This new edition includes suggested tempo and dynamic markings, an accessible piano reduction, a translation/pronunciation guide, and editorial notes. Additionally, for those of you looking to take your women’s group to large group contest here in Ohio, this piece is on the Class B SSA required list.

Gaur AkelarreGaur Akelarre by Josu Elberdin
Spanish composer Josu Elberdin aims to write pieces that tell a story, and this is no exception. “Gaur Akelarre” tells the story of a coven of witches and warlocks preparing for the night, using energetic rhythms and interesting melodic leaps and harmonic passages. The piece begins in 5/8 time, and the use of both the non-traditional meter and dotted rhythms create a sense of instability in the listener, who cannot predict where the piece will go. The tongue-twisting text, liberal use of chromaticism, and use of dissonance and unexpected harmonic progressions makes this piece a showstopper.

Purple People EaterPurple People Eater arr. Greg Gilpin
Don’t be scared! This purple people eater only wants to play in a rock-and-roll band. Have some fun performing this crazy 1958 chart-topper, complete with optional kazoos and hilarious solo opportunities using funny voice effects. This would also provide a great opportunity to have kids create a bit of choreography for your group. It’s a terrific feature for guys and is now available in a new 3-part mixed voicing!

Monster Mash

Monster Mash arr. Greg Gilpin
Triadic harmonies and several spoken solos are perfect for younger groups in this fun novelty song. If you are looking for something easily put together (we think this would be excellent for your 6th grade choir!), this is the piece for you. Compare dance moves with Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Dracula, and maybe add a few of your own! If you are really feeling funky, you can ask another staff member (or your principal!) to do the reading for this fun piece.

ThrillerThriller arr. Mark Brymer
One of Michael Jackson’s signature pieces, “Thriller” was released as a single in 1984, reaching #4 on the Billboard chart. Using sound effects, horror film motifs, and music video as a promotional tool, the choreography on the song has been replicated the world over, cementing Jackson’s appeal as a global pop culture icon. Your kids would love being in charge of learning and teaching this choreography, and audiences always love this fun 80’s throwback.

JabberwockyJabberwocky by Sam Pottle
This text from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” has been creatively set, capturing the true essence of this well-known poem. The innovative use of a variety of small percussion instruments enhances the fun and drama! Complete with notes from the composer and a pronunciation guide, this work offers a creative programming adventure!

Double TroubleDouble Trouble arr. Teena Chinn
From the award-winning film “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” comes this delightful John Williams choral work that uses the famous Shakespeare “Double, double, toil and trouble” text from Macbeth. Utilize the accompaniment track or the optional instrumental parts to capture the sounds of the original soundtrack!

For more information about these pieces and many others, feel free to browse our website (stantons.com), email us (choral@stantons.com), or call us (1.800.42.MUSIC, ext.1). We are happy to help with all of your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


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