News & Views Thursday, September 29, 2016

Category: Composers

“O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana 31 August, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Over the last several years, we have seen a surge in the popularity and performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana by community choirs, collegiate ensembles and even local high schools. With multiple accompaniment options (orchestra, wind ensemble, or the very nicely done 2-pianos and percussion edition) and reasonable vocal challenges for teen voices, programming and performing this work can be an exciting accomplishment for a good high school choir!

Not ready to tackle the entire major work? The spectacular opening movement, “O Fortuna,” is now available in an individual performing edition for SATB and one piano. It would be a fabulous concert opener or closer, and a great example of 20th century choral music.

For more recommendations for large works for your high school choir, visit our website or contact us – and remember to shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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.


The Stephen Foster Collection 19 August, 2016

Stephen_FosterKnown as “the father of American music,” Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864) was an American songwriter primarily known for his parlor and minstrel music. Foster wrote over 200 songs; among his best-known are “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “Old Folks at Home,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” and “Beautiful Dreamer.” Many of his compositions remain popular more than 150 years after he wrote them. His compositions are thought to be autobiographical. He has been identified as “the most famous songwriter of the nineteenth century,” and may be the most recognizable American composer around the world.

New this fall:

The Stephen Foster Collection arr. Mark Hayes
This exquisite book offers stunning piano/vocal arrangements of ten favorites from the Foster library. Mark Hayes adds his touch to this quintessential repertoire for recitals, concerts, and contests.

For more recommendations for solo voice, please contact us! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Composer Profile: Jim Papoulis 18 July, 2016

by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Jim PapoulisNew York City-based Jim Papoulis composes, orchestrates, and conducts music for dance, film, ensembles, and choirs. His compositions are known for exploring new modes of musical communication by honoring and connecting classical and traditional forms with non-Western sounds. Jim’s distinct and ever-evolving approach unites classical with contemporary sounds, world rhythms, R&B, and voices, while combining live instruments with current composing and recording technology.

Many of Jim’s compositions have received prestigious awards and global recognition. “Can You Hear” and “Give Us Hope,” for example, are performed around the world every year. Jim donates his royalties as the songs’ composer to The Foundation for Small Voices, which uses music, literature and art to enrich and empower the lives of children.

The music of Jim Papoulis is available through Stanton’s from Boosey & Hawkes. For more information about Jim and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: Give Us Hope, How Many Christmases, Kusimama, We Can Plant a Forest

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.


Composer Profile: Dan Davison 18 May, 2016

by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

7773126As a long-time junior high school choir director, Dan Davison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his compositions. Navigating the complexities of the adolescent voice is no easy matter, and Dan’s music can always be trusted to be pedagogically sound (for the teacher!) and musically intriguing (for the young singers!).

In addition to conducting four ensembles at Ballou Junior High in Puyallup, Washington, Dan manages numerous teaching and mentoring responsibilities, and, most notably, sings professionally with Male Ensemble Northwest. Dan is also experienced as a church choir director, and has directed choirs at Western Washington University and Pacific Lutheran University.

Mr. Davison has been received numerous awards for his role in music education, including the 1996 State Of Washington Christa McAuliffe Educator Of The Year, The Educator Citizen Of The Year for 2010 for Communities In Schools In Puyallup, Washington, and also the “Outstanding Choral Director Award” for 2010 from the Washington chapter of The American Choral Director’s Association.

The music of Dan Davison is available through Stanton’s from a number of publishers, most notably Walton Music. For more information about Dan and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: Regina Coeli, Follow the Drinking Gourd, Elijah, El Grillo, Wonderful Peace, Yellow Bird

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.


Happy Birthday, Erik Satie! 25 April, 2016

BA10849_00_1_co_thnrecommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

Probably the most famous pieces written by Erik Satie are the “Gymnopedies” and the “Gnossiennes.” He wrote much more than just those works, however. Barenreiter is releasing other works during this 150th year after Satie’s birth. These works include “Avant-dernieres pensees” (“Penultimate Thoughts”), “Les fils des etoiles” (“Preludes”), and “Embryons deseches” (Dessicated Embryos”). The latter is a set of three pieces about sea creatures, believe it or not! They have no meter, so you can have fun figuring out how best to play these pieces. “Penultimate Thoughts” is likewise without meter.

Celebrate Satie’s birthday by learning one of his works that is new to you! For more information about this music, contact 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.

 


Read ‘Em, John! 02 March, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

An excellent option for treble choruses in middle school and high school, Read ‘Em, John! by Caldwell & Ivory is also a great advocacy piece for cross-curricular literacy awareness in conjunction with Read Across America – read more below!

leon-492560Read ‘Em, John! by Paul Caldwell & Sean Ivory
A song from the South Carolina Sea Islands with a hidden meaning comes from the tradition of the ring shouts with call and response vocals, polyrhythms, and a driving accompaniment in the classic Caldwell & Ivory style. An excellent showcase for treble choruses!

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.


Happy Birthday Alice Parker! 16 December, 2015

Alice Parker

by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

It’s hard to believe,  but Alice Parker turns 90 years young today! This elder stateswoman of choral music was born in 1925. She studied music at Smith College and received her master’s degree from the Juilliard School where she studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw. Her collaboration with Shaw continued for the duration of his career, and her catalog of folk songs, spirituals and holiday music (both alone and with Shaw) are staples of the choral literature. She is the recipient of 6 honorary doctorates and the Smith College Medal.

At the age of 90, Ms. Parker is still an active teacher, clinician, conductor and composer! Her non-profit organization Melodious Accord is sponsoring a project called Alice Is 90. They are asking for choral conductors to video record their groups singing her works anytime between December 2015 and December 2016 and upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook with #Aliceis90. Looking for a way to participate? Give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1; and we’d be happy to send you a 21 Day Trial or suggest something appropriate for your group.

Speaking of being an active composer, Stanton’s is happy to recommend these two new men’s chorals from Alice Parker, both in TTBB voicings:

hard times come againHard Times Come Again No More by S. Foster/arr. Parker (00144509)….$2.25

One of the sweetest of Stephen Foster’s songs, balancing nostalgia with heartfelt lament. Seems made for male chorus, with the kind of piano or guitar accompaniment that would’ve been found in 19th century homes. Very accessible vocal writing with a simple accompaniment, making this a fantastic option for every men’s chorus.

cindy.jpgCindy arr. Alice Parker (SBMP1215)………………………..$1.95

“I wish I was an apple a hangin’ from a tree, and ev’ry time that Cindy passed she’d take a bite of me.” Guys will delight in singing this clever arrangement of the American folksong. The versatility that the elegant writing affords makes this piece appropriate for choirs of all sizes.

 

 

About the Authors:

Rachel Steele has been at Stanton’s since 2013. She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from The Ohio State University. Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington OH), Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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.


Happy Birthday, George Gershwin! 28 September, 2015

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recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

The collection “Gershwin at the Keyboard” contains eighteen hit songs arranged by George Gershwin. His songs and piano pieces have been mainstays of the American music scene since they were written. This collection contains his first national hit, “Swanee,” and seventeen more arrangements of Broadway tunes. The pieces are written on an advanced level. Other Gershwin piano compositions you might enjoy include his “Three Preludes” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” Happy Birthday, George Gershwin (September 26, 1898)!

For more information about this music or other Gershwin works, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website. 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.

 


Happy Birthday, Igor Stravinsky! (June 17, 1882) 17 June, 2015

61rRolf0TTL._AA160_Perhaps the first works that come to mind when we think of Igor Stravinsky are his ballets, “The Firebird” and “The Rite of Spring”.  The pandemonium that ensued at the premier of “The Rite of Spring”, which was presented at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, is legendary.  The audience greeted the work with catcalls and boos. (And a good bit more.) “The Firebird” has been transcribed for piano by Stravinsky himself. Many people wrote rags, and Stravinsky wrote “Piano Rag-Music” in 1919.  It is included in “Igor Stravinsky“, one of Wise Publication’s “Composer Portraits” series.  “Les Cinq Doigts” is a suite of eight short pieces for easy piano.  This suite is suitable for children, and any of the pieces are good for a piano recital.  This is included in “The Stravinsky Piano Collection“.  Igor Stravinsky’s second son, Soulima, was born in Switzerland on September 23, 1910. Soulima became a performer and composer in his own right.  His works are worth investigation, as well.  See the link for more information.  Any of the works listed can be ordered from Stanton’s Sheet Music. For more information, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

 


Sonata for Piano, by Justin Dello Joio 28 May, 2015

Dello Joio. 00145153 Does the name sound familiar?  Justin Dello Joio is the son of Norman Dello Joio, so he grew up with composing and the piano.  Justin’s most recent print release is the “Sonata for Piano“.  This work is full of energy and intensity, and is dedicated to Vincent Persichetti,  with whom Justin studied at the Julliard School.  There is a recording of Garrick Ohlsson playing it available at Bridge records  (CD9220).  Especially if you like 20th and 21st century music, you need to check this out!  Classical music is not frozen at Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.  Classical music is alive, so it grows and changes.  Don’t forget our past, and do embrace our future.  Dive in and check this out.  For more information about this or other piano music, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.


New! “Little Blues Concerto” 27 April, 2015

00142801Eugenie Rocherolle is a composer, lyricist, pianist, and teacher.  Her works are known internationally.  This new piece for two pianos, four hands, “Little Blues Concerto“, is written for the early intermediate level.  Two copies of the score are included.  This is a welcome addition to the repertoire for two pianos, four hands; it’s contemporary, bluesy, and a challenge without being too hard.  If you have even one student at this level, you and your student should try this out.  For more information about this music or other music for two pianos, four hands, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.


Composer Profile: Caldwell & Ivory 13 April, 2015

by Jen Sper, Choral Music Specialist

The choral works by collaborators Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory are inherently singable and memorable. Often based on musical fragments from various cultures around the world, the rhythmic intensity and creative voice make their music especially captivating for young singers and ensembles – and their experience in working with groups of this age assures their success!

Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory began arranging music together spontaneously in the early 1990s when they were both working with a community-based youth choir in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their musical partnership was further cultivated from 1993-1997 during summers spent together at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey.

Caldwell and Ivory works have become staples in the repertoire of many of the world’s finest ensembles. Their music has been telecast on PBS and A&E and performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Their commissions have been premiered by conductors Judith Willoughby, Anton Armstrong, Pearl Shangkuan, Cheryl Dupont and Barbara Tagg.

Sean directs the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, an affiliate organization of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He is also the choral director at Forest Hills Central High School and an affiliate artist with the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago. He lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Leah and their children, Emma, Samuel and Meredith.

Paul is Artistic Director of the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago. In recognition of his work in this capacity, he and his chorus were awarded the 2006 Chorus America/ASCAP prize for Adventurous Programming. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Chorus America and on the Advisory Board of the New Orleans Children’s Chorus. He was recognized for his contribution to the choral community nationwide at the 2008 National Performing Arts Conference when he was selected as the recipient of Chorus America’s Michael J. Korn Founders Award for Philanthropic Contribution to the Arts.

The music of Caldwell & Ivory is available through Stanton’s from both Earth Songs Music and Hal Leonard Corporation. For more information about Caldwell & Ivory and their music, please visit their website.

Stanton’s Recommends: Msilale Wanawake, Go Where I Send Thee, Hope for Resolution

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.


Compatible Quartets for Strings 23 March, 2015

Compatible Quartets for Strings

Recommended by Dan Clark, School Orchestra Specialist

compatible quartets for stringsArranged/composed by Doris Gazda and Larry Clark, here are 21 quartets that can be played by any combination of four string instruments.  Do you have 3 viola students and a bass player who are buddies and want to play something together?  How about two violins and two cellos?  Or the standard quartet of two violins, viola and cello?  These flexible books will take care of any of those combinations and many more.

They are also progressive in nature, so the beginning of the book is about a grade 1.5 level and it ends up at about grade 2.5.  All four quartet parts are in each book, so each player picks a line and sticks with it to the end of the piece.  Each piece can be repeated and parts interchanged to lengthen the the selection and provide a different musical color too.

The Compatible Duets and Compatible Trios have become some of Stanton’s best selling ensemble books for young string players, so be sure to check out these wonderful quartets!

Compatible Quartet for Strings
Violin – BF106 – $14.99
Viola – BF107 – $14.99
Cello – BF108 – $14.99
Bass – BF109 – $14.99

And don’t forget –

compatible trios for stringsCompatible Trios for Strings
Violin – BF83 – $14.99
Viola – BF84 – $14.99
Cello – BF85 – $14.99
Bass – BF86 – $14.99

 

compatible duets for stringsCompatible Duets for Strings
Violin – BF77 – $14.99
Viola – BF78 – $14.99
Cello – BF79 – $14.99
Bass – BF80 – $14.99

 

Dan Clark 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. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


Composer Profile: Ola Gjeilo 18 March, 2015

by Jen Sper, Choral Music Specialist

Ola-Gjeilo-Picture-1“Sweeping,” “floating,” “cinematic” and “lush” are words we often use when listening to new choral works by composer Ola Gjeilo. His musical voice is as fresh and unique as it is comforting and familiar. Often considered in the same compositional vein as Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen, I find Gjeilo’s work to be more conservative in his harmonic language, and his a cappella settings are especially captivating. His use of largely homophonic textures helps make the text easily comprehensible.

Most notable in our choral sphere is his setting of the classic Latin text Ubi Caritas, effective in it’s simplicity; the mixed, women’s and men’s settings have all appeared on adjudicated event lists and choral festivals since their release.

Born in Norway in 1978, Ola Gjeilo (pronounced Yay-lo) moved to the United States in 2001 to begin his composition studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. Ola’s concert works are performed all over the world, and his debut recording as a pianist-composer, the lyrical crossover album Stone Rose, was followed by its 2012 sequel, Piano Improvisations. Many of Ola’s choral works are featured on Phoenix Chorale’s bestselling Northern Lights album, which is devoted entirely to his music for choir. All three albums are available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. A full-time concert music composer, Ola is also very interested in film, and his music often draws inspiration from movies and cinematic music. He currently lives in New York City with his wife Laura.

For more information about Ola Gjeilo and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: Ubi Caritas, Ubi Caritas II: Through Infinite Ages, Sacred Heart (Ubi Caritas III), The Ground, Tundra

About the Author:
Jen has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, and an active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys eating good food, running (to counteract the good food!) and the Muppets.


Mark Your Calendar – Sacred Choral Reading Session! 17 February, 2015

As the Lenten season continues and Easter gets closer and closer, Stanton’s Sheet Music invites you to make sure you’re ready for the next church season with our August Sacred Choral Reading Session!

Stanton’s is pleased to welcome Joel Raney for the first time as our clinician for the August Church Choral Music reading session! Joel started playing the piano sometime between learning to walk and learning to read. His taste for gospel music began in a rural Baptist church in Alabama, an influence that shows strongly in his work to this day. After completing his degree in choral conducting at the University of North Alabama, he went on to sharpen his keyboard skills, earning a masters degree in piano performance at The Juilliard School.

jrpic2Since 1999 he has taken the church music scene by storm, with over 200 titles in print, primarily with Hope Publishing where he serves as Editor. His innovative style and inspired arranger’s instincts put his numerous choral anthems, musicals and cantatas, handbell compositions, piano solos, and instrumental works at the top of sales charts year after year.

Joel’s interest in  music of all kinds has led to employment opportunities in everything from classical and jazz performance to pop vocal arranging. He has conducted national tours of Broadway productions, and has been honored for outstanding musical direction of theater in both Chicago and Los Angeles. Since 1988 he has worked as a composer and producer of commercial music in Chicago and has written soundtracks for more than 2000 television and radio commercials, plus numerous scores for short films. For more than a decade, Joel was Artist-in-Residence at the First Presbyterian Church of River Forest, IL, and currently serves as Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church of Oak Park, IL. He makes his home in River Forest with wife Susie and their three sons, Charlie, Sawyer and Jesse.

Your registration includes a packet of over 35 new choral anthems that are hand-picked from the hundreds published each year. We look forward to seeing you on August 9th for a wonderful morning of singing with one of the nation’s most sought after church music experts.

Sacred Choral Reading Session
Saturday 8/8/2015, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Battelle Fine Arts Center, Otterbein University
195 West Park St., Westerville OH 43081
Cost: $20.00 (There is no pre-registration; you may register the day of the clinic beginning at 8:30.)
email our choral department for more details

Sacred Piano Reading Session
also featuring Joel Raney
Saturday 8/8/2014, 2:00 pm-4:30 pm
Stanton’s Sheet Music
330 South 4th St., Columbus OH 43215
Cost: Free!
email our keyboard department for more details

Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Composer Profile: John Rutter – 70th Anniversary 12 January, 2015

by Jen Sper, Choral Music Specialist

E53There’s always a little buzz of excitement in the Choral Department when a new piece by John Rutter comes across our desks. His works feel like old friends, even the first time you hear them – warm and comforting. With his 70th birthday in 2015, both Oxford University Press and Hinshaw Music are re-releasing a number of his most seminal compositions in new Anniversary Editions, with accompanying notes on both the music and performance written by Rutter himself.

Rutter’s work has strong footing in both the school and church choral markets, and an especially strong presence in the Christmas repertoire – his recordings with the Cambridge Singers are as Christmassy as the little drummer boy eating fruitcake!

Much of his secular music is less familiar, but equally well-crafted and memorable. Seeds Grow to Plants sets a lovely and thoughtful text about the cycle of life, and larger works such as When Icicles Hang and The Reluctant Dragon (which includes the charmingly funny Banquet Fugue) are refreshingly creative.

John Rutter was born in London in 1945 and received his first musical education as a chorister at Highgate School. He went on to study music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he wrote his first published compositions and conducted his first recording while still a student. His compositional career has embraced both large and small-scale choral works, orchestral and instrumental pieces, a piano concerto, two children’s operas, music for television, and specialist writing for such groups as the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the King’s Singers. From 1975 to 1979 he was Director of Music at Clare College, whose choir he directed in a number of broadcasts and recordings. After giving up the Clare post to allow more time for composition, he formed the Cambridge Singers as a professional chamber choir primarily dedicated to recording, and he now divides his time between composition and conducting.

For more information about John Rutter and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: For the Beauty of the Earth, Candlelight Carol, Christ Is the Morning Star, Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind, Banquet Fugue, Seeds Grow to Plants

About the Author:
Jen has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, and an active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys eating good food, running (to counteract the good food!) and the Muppets.


Live from The Midwest Clinic – Day 3 22 December, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

canter

Richard Canter discussing Scale & Rhythm Chunks

scale & rhythm

Scale & Rhythm Chunks is a hit!!

We’ve reached the third and final exhibition day at the 2014 Midwest Clinic, and I’m glad to say that our booth traffic was brisk – more akin to what we’re used to from the state MEA conferences that we attend! Highlights from Day 3 include Richard Canter (Scale & Rhythm Chunks) returning to our booth and talking over his book with numerous band directors, getting to finally meet our new Hal Leonard representative in person (it’s always nice to put a face with a voice!), and receiving plenty of positive customer feedback about Stanton’s service and website!

full booth

The Stanton’s booth is a hub of activity

After a busy and successful day, the exhibit hall closed at 5:00 pm, and it was time to break down the booth, pack it up, and load out. Since it was ‘old school week’ (packing everything in boxes instead of loading full bins onto our large rolling carts), the entire booth was packed and loaded in about 3 hours. If you’re thinking, “You guys must have been hungry after all that work”, you’d be right. At the recommendation of our good fdinner 1riend and Chicago customer Bob Erickson (Hoffman Estates H.S.), we headed to the south Loop for BBQ ribs and chicken at Miller’s Pub. As you can tell by the picture, it was a feast!

dinner 2

It was a feast!!

Overall, our trip was fantastic! It was great to see some of our regular customers from Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan. Since The Midwest Clinic is an international conference, we met numerous educators and students from around the world, especially Australia and Japan. If you’re teaching band or orchestra, and haven’t attended The Midwest Clinic before, you really should. It is a world class event featuring the highest quality clinics and concerts; a huge exhibit hall featuring all of the instrument manufacturers, sheet music publishers both large and small, and much more (including Stanton’s!). The very large and modern McCormick Place and adjacent Hyatt Regency are beautiful facilities that do a wonderful job hosting this event.

We had a great time, and look forward to seeing YOU there next year!

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He enjoyed encountering several Chicago Blackhawks fans on the return trip to Columbus headed to Saturday’s game vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets. He is glad to report that the CBJ won 3-2 after a 9 round shootout


Live from The Midwest Clinic – Day 1 18 December, 2014

20141217_155226

Ryan Nowlin & Stanton’s band guru Kent White

20141217_155226

Ryan Nowlin & Stanton’s band guru Kent White

20141217_095909by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

Sweet Home Chicago

Greetings from the exhibit hall at the 2014 Midwest Clinic! After a full day of set up on Tuesday (check out our time lapse video here), I am excited to share Stanton’s Midwest debut.

20141217_155226

Ryan Nowlin & Stanton’s band guru Kent White

While exhibit hall traffic was light on our first day, things began to pick up after 1:00 pm as more band and orchestra directors, students and parents began to arrive. As always, it is fun to see some of our Ohio and Kentucky friends and educators at national (and international) conferences. Band directors from Westerville, New Bremen, Lexington (OH), and Louisville, KY were among some of the familiar faces on the first day, along with Ohio State, Capital, and Baldwin Wallace having booths here as well. In addition, we were thrilled to be visited by composer and Columbus native Roger Cichy, educator and 2014 Capital Reading Clinic guest Paula Crider, and Ohio native and staff arranger for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Ryan Nowlin. Stay tuned for a Q&A post with First Lieutenant Nowlin in the near future!

Of course, professional conferences are about making new friends and bringing sheet music to the masses, but they are also great opportunities to speak with our publisher representatives (and sometimes CEOs!) face-to-face about new music, textbooks, and other products, talk about specific ways to improve service, and catch some music industry scoop.

The day was capped off with excellent food. The Stanton’s staff is happy to recommend RBC Steakhouse, and Café Bionda where I had fantastic southern Italian cuisine (and gelato!).

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for our Day 2 recap tomorrow!

About the Author
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is excited to introduce his son to some favorite Christmas specials this year including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. Vintage!


Behind the Scenes: Picking School Choral Promotions 01 December, 2014

music listening 2By Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

A few months ago, my colleague in the instrumental department, Ken Tilger, wrote a post about how that department picks the items for their promotions.  Not to be outdone, I’d like to take the opportunity to let you know how I and my partner in crime, Jen Sper, pick the items for our school choral promotions.

In late winter or early spring, publishers begin to send us their new releases for fall.  We get stacks of music (with demo CDs) to review from Hal Leonard (including Shawnee, Walton, Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, Pavane, Fred Bock etc.), Alfred (including Lawson-Gould), Lorenz (including Santa Barbara and Heritage), Carl Fischer (including BriLee), Hinshaw, Alliance, and a few other smaller publishers.  If you are thinking “Wow, that is quite a bit of music,” you’d be correct.  In fact, if you assign each piece an average listening/evaluation time of 3.5 minutes, we spend about 2,200 minutes, or 48 hours, or 6 full working  days (no lunch or potty breaks!) listening to more than 800 new releases.  For more data on our listening, scroll to the bottom.

When we listen, we’re not only keeping an ear out for our in-house promotions, but also for selections for our clinics (such as Stanton’s Super Session and Excellence in Choral Literature), OMEA Large Group Select Suggestions, and even music for Christmas, graduation and other special occasions.

music listening 3Round 1

Jen and I sit with the octavo in front of us and listen to every single selection from beginning to end.  We write our impressions on the cover of the octavo, usually just a few choice words or phrases.  After this, a piece goes into either the “no” or the “maybe” pile.  Our “no” pile is quite a bit larger than our “maybe” pile.  We consider it a good release if 25-30% of a publisher’s titles end up in the “maybe” category.

Round 2

Now that we’ve combed through the riff-raff, it’s time to consider the balance of our selections for our in-house promotions.  We sort our “maybe” pile by voicing, and then by genre.    Just like good concert programing, we are looking for a variety of styles – current pop, classic pop, broadway, folk songs, spirituals, world/multi-cultural, holiday music and various foreign languages.

Round 3

Now it’s time to play through selections at the piano.  We grab a genre and play through, looking for things like:

1.  Is it well written/voiced in all parts?

2.  Will students/teachers get something educational out of this?

3.  Is it enjoyable to sing/play/teach?

4.  Is it appropriate for school?

5.  Will it appeal to a wide variety of customers?

6.  If the song is available in multiple voicings, is one better than the other?  Why?

The answers to these questions will usually make our choices pretty clear, and then it’s time to make our lists, spreadsheets, and the actual promotional materials that you receive in your mailbox!

Promotions by the numbers 2014By the Numbers – This table shows the number of pieces that we promoted this year by publisher, and the percentage of their total offerings that we promoted.  You’ll see that even those publishers with the highest percentage of promoted items rarely break the 30% mark.

Other Points of Interest

  • Jen and I only look at promotions for school choral.  We have two other people who work specifically on selections for church choirs, and they have even more selections to listen to than we do!
  • While it might sound like a cushy job to sit and listen to music for 8 hours a day, it can be mentally exhausting after a while.
  • No, we don’t always agree, but you’d be amazed at how often 2 very opinionated people say the EXACT same thing about a particular piece.
  • If there is something that one of us truly believes is worth fighting for, the other one will generally give in.
  • The best part about the process is discovering a new piece that is just amazing!

We believe that devoting quite a bit of time and effort to this process is very important.   The 75 or so selections that make the cut are things that we recommend to you, our valued customers, for the entire school year. If you have questions about this process (or would like some recommendations), please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC, ext. 1.

Rachel Steele has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013.  She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University.  Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH,) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!


Happy Birthday, Scott Joplin! 28 November, 2014

06-258076Happy birthday to the “King of Ragtime Writers”!   Thus was Scott Joplin christened by John Stark, the publisher who dedicated his working life to promoting ragtime music.  Joplin’s the “Maple Leaf Rag” was the first ragtime sheet music to sell over a million copies.  Joplin also wrote waltzes, marches, intermezzi, tangos, songs, and a delightful opera called “Treemonisha“.  Dover publishes a volume called “Complete Piano Rags” by Scott Joplin.  It includes a biography of Scott Joplin and six exercises from Scott Joplin’s “School of Ragtime”.  If you love Joplin’s rags, this is the book for you!  All the pieces are original, not simplified. For more information about this collection of rags or others, 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!