News & Views Sunday, January 21, 2018

Category: Concert Band

Ken’s 10: New Marches for Band 17 January, 2018

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

With adjudication season just around the corner, January is the perfect time to preview and select marches.  With that in mind I’m excited to share my favorites for this school year, but first a confession – I don’t have 10 new marches for this list.  My choices for the very best new arrangements consist of the new titles that I scored a 9 or 10 out of 10.  The problem – I only have 7 new marches that scored a 9 or 10 combined.  I thought about filling the last 3 spots by dipping in to my 8’s (after all, you can’t have a list of 10 comprised of only 7 – how ‘bout those math skills!), but I have 14 of those.  With no good way to narrow that group to 3, I decided to round out the list with 3 of my very favorite marches from last year.    There are a lot of composers, styles, and difficulties, including some originals, so there is something for everyone and they’re all good!  I hope you find something you and your kids enjoy, and hopefully the adjudicators will too!

American Legion
Charles Parker/arr. Andrew Glover – Grade 2
Here’s a classic American march that is perfect for any type of performance! Limited ranges and technical demands make it ideal for middle school and smaller, less experienced high school bands, while cut-time and standard march style and rhythms make it perfect for the classroom. The first half features solid interplay between melody and countermelody instruments, the trio features a solid melody in the middle voices ornamented by upper woodwinds, and a powerful, “shout” finish gives the whole band a chance to shine.  A surefire audience pleaser!

The American Red Cross March
Louis Panella/arr. David Butler – Grade 3
A stellar example of the American march tradition, this work by Louis Panella was composed to honor the fine humanitarian work of the Red Cross during World War I.  It has that classic fight song type sound, and the 8th note and dotted rhythms in cut-time make it perfect for advancing bands.

The Boom-Boom Galop
Randall D. Standridge – Grade 2.5
A humorous circus-style galop with a Germanic sound, this invigorating march takes adrenaline to a whole new level! Contrasting sections punctuated by the humorous “boom-boom” exclamations of the bass drum make for a fun-to-play, seat-of-your-pants experience that is a blast!  Careful with that tempo!

Generosity
Matthew N. Putnam – Grade 2
Very accessible.  In 2/4 with easy note values, basic 8th note rhythms, and keys of Bb & Eb, Generosity is an original march in standard form written with developing players in mind. It is reminiscent of the marches of Bennett and King with tuneful melodies, interesting harmonies, and a classic sound.  A few chromatic twists are thrown in to make it more exciting, and mixed articulations add maturity. Mathew Putnam has written a perfect vehicle to teach march style and form to developing players.

Honor Guard March
Claude T. Smith – Grade 3.5
Traditional in all the best ways!  Previously unpublished, Honor Guard March was composed by Claude T. Smith in 1959 while he was teaching in Cozad, NE. Premiered in 1961and written in traditional form, this march contains a contemporary flair and sound that is unique to Smith’s distinctive style, and features an unusual meter shift from 6/8 to cut-time at the trio.  A wonderful addition to your school band library!

Marzo Zingaro
Randall D. Standridge – Grade 1.5
Another work of unique style, Marzo Zingaro seeks to portray the image of a lone wanderer, happily marching across the Italian countryside.  It succeeds. The first strain portrays a more daring mood, while the trio and finale portray a happier style while dynamic contrasts and articulation set the style.  Translated as March of the Gypsy, what more needs to be said?

Power
Harold Bennett/arr. Larry Clark – Grade 2
One of Harold Bennett’s lesser-known marches, Power is in 6/8 and standard march form.  Great for teaching basic 6/8 rhythms, this classic from the original Bennett Band Book is one of his few marches that contains a “break strain.”  Bennett marches are always a sure bet, and Power allows you to add a solid 6/8 march to your library.

Rounding Out the 10 – 3 Favorites from 2016-17
Frederick’s Black Devils
Paul Murtha – Grade 4
During World War II, Winston Churchill initiated the formation of Special Force Commando Units that would prove so effective as to change the course of the war. The First Special Service Force, led by their intrepid Colonel, Robert T. Frederick, was perhaps the most famous of these units. Due to their ferocious nature and blackened faces for night raids, the Germans gave them the nickname The Black Devils. In 2015 they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow. Frederick’s Black Devils is a stirring concert march with hints of British flair that pays tribute to this legendary unit.

Mad Dash (Galop)
Timothy Loest – Grade 2
Mad Dash is an exciting, original galop or circus march for young bands.  Traditionally circus marches incorporated as many musical acrobatics as the acts themselves, and true to form this is a great vehicle for developing technique, articulation, and style while following standard form.  Accidentals and dynamic contrasts abound, it includes a key change on the trio (Bb to Eb) and a full-blown shout to the end.  The tempo marking throws down the (cautionary) challenge:  “As fast as possible, but not any faster!” (144+ bpm)

Normal
Harold Bennett/arr. Larry Clark – Grade 2
Every developing band should have at least a couple of Bennett marches in their library.  Perfectly written and designed for developing bands, they feature all the hallmarks of standard march form and style.  Normal is unique in that it is one of only a few Bennett marches to include a break strain – great for preparing students for Sousa and other march masters.  It also addresses cut-time, basic 16th note patterns, features lovely melodies and countermelodies, some chromatic accidentals, and the break strain provides bold contrast to the soft, lyrical trio section.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (Are 4 hockey podcasts too many?), and all things Pittsburgh.  He spends his free time being Dad to 2 young children and playing saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band.

Community Band Spotlight: New & Unique Marches 11 January, 2018

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

This post is part of a series highlighting music for community bands.

Marches are a staple of community band repertoire, whether standard concert marches, galops, or star-spangled patriotic warhorses.  While we always keep an ear out for great new arrangements of tried-and-true staples and lesser-known marches by masters like King, Sousa, etc, we like to pay attention to interesting, outside-the-box compositions as well.  The three new titles below are of this sort, intended to add unique, quirky variety to your programming including a Civil War era tune, one from a Sousa opera (yes, he composed more than marches), and a tribute to “man’s best friend.”

Fireman’s Quickstep
arr. Michael Brown
Hal Leonard 1st Brigade Band
Grade 3.5                     $60.00
Although titled as a “quickstep” march, this appealing number from the Civil War era features a moderate tempo and distinctively spirited military style. Scored with plenty of variety in textures and dynamics, this is a wonderfully unique introduction to our musical heritage and critical period in our nation’s history.

The Loyal Legion
John Phillip Sousa
arr. Loras John Schissel
LudwigMasters Heritage of the Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $60.00
A great and very playable march by John Philip Sousa, The Loyal Legion was originally an entry march for his opera, The Queen of Hearts. Now available in a superb edition by Sousa scholar Loras John Schissel and exclusively endorsed by John Philip Sousa IV.

Service Dogs
J.c. Sherman
LudwigMasters Concert Band
Grade 3.5                     $50.00
A refreshing and spirited new march from a young composer, Service Dogs honors the service of man’s best friend. The work is a wonderful tool for teaching both compound meter and march style with first-rate melodies.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the Pittsburgh Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.  He spends his free time being Dad to 2 young children and playing saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band.


Solo and Ensemble Time Is Near! 20 December, 2017

OMEAIt’s almost January, which means Solo & Ensemble season for the Ohio Music Education Association is soon upon us! For our local, Central Ohio customers in OMEA District 15, the event date is Saturday, January 27. Here are some reminders to make sure that this busy day goes smoothly for you and your students:

1) Make sure that your student is playing from an original copy, not a photocopy, of music (even if you have purchased the music, copying it and playing from a photocopy is an infringement of copyright law).

2) Similarly, make sure the judge has an original score (with measures numbered!) from which to read.

3) Make sure that your student is playing from the correct edition of their music. To check the list of approved editions, follow these steps:
– Visit the OMEA Solo and Ensemble page
– Under High School, select “Search HS Required list,” or Junior High, select “Search JH Suggested list”
– Click “search,” choose your area, then select your instrument
– Select the event and class, then click “search”
– Click on the title of the piece (they will be listed alphabetically by title), then “View Approved Editions”

4) Contact us with any questions you may have about OMEA music! We are happy to help you, and can be reached at 1.800.42.MUSIC using any of the following extensions, or via email:
– ext 1: Choral and Classical Vocal (choral@stantons.com)
– ext 2: Instrumental (instrumental@stantons.com)
– ext 3: Piano and Guitar (keyboard@stantons.com)


Ken’s 10: New Pieces for HS Concert Band 14 December, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The first Ken’s 10 post featured my 10 favorite new titles from our 2017 Signature Selections for Young Band.  It only makes sense to follow it up with my 10 favorites from our Signature Selections for High School Band.  Like the first post, these are unranked.  While most of them are programmatic, there is also a previously unpublished Claude T. Smith march and 3 of them draw from varied influences and sources.  They are pieces that will be fun to play, enjoyable for your audience, and provide some nice choices for select adjudication numbers.  I hope you like them, too.

Across the Great Plains
William Owens – Grade 3.5-4
The awe-inspiring legacy of the Pony Express gallops to life in this thrilling musical tale of one of America’s greatest institutions! Conceived from a single rhythmic motif, this adrenaline-fueled, rhythmically packed work yields heroic melodic statements, brilliant runs and a beautifully contrasting 3/4 section.

The Blue Ridge
arr. Robert Sheldon – Grade 4
The Blue Ridge Mountains have a rich history of folk music handed down by the families of the settlers in this region. Who better than Robert Sheldon to weave a tapestry of four of these wonderful songs into a setting for concert band?  Includes the spirited (and syncopated) Jack-a-Roe; the haunting Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies in a subtle call-and-response; the very popular Tom Dooley (watch those meters!); and a lush setting of the beautiful Barbara Allen.

Der Lehrmeister
Robert Sheldon – Grade 3.5
Don’t shy away from this title.  Translated from German as “The Master Teacher” and written in a style reminiscent of Richard Strauss, Der Lehrmeister was commissioned by the Florida Bandmasters Association in memory of Jack Crew, one of the all-time great teachers and musicians in the world band music.  Robert Sheldon has crafted a wonderfully authentic, sophisticated homage to German symphonic and operatic repertoire.

Dos Danzas Latinas
Andre Waignein – Grade 3.5
Want something different?  This dramatic, Latin dance style work is a guaranteed sonic palette cleanser!  Based on a habanera rhythm, the opening features oboe (cued in clarinet) and flute in a reminiscent dialogue. As the music builds, it accelerates into a wild and exciting rumba that drives to a fiery finish.

Fable
Erik Morales – Grade 3
Fable was inspired by ancient collections of children’s stories such as Aesop’s Fables and Grimm’s Fairy Tales.  Broad, memorable themes jump off the page along with an energetic rhythmic pulse that propels the narrative forward. The music maintains a veil of darkness and intrigue that will capture the imagination of the listener from start to finish, and your students will love its awesome, epic soundtrack quality!

Honor Guard March
Claude T. Smith – Grade 3.5
Traditional in all the best ways!  Previously unpublished, Honor Guard March was composed by Claude T. Smith in 1959 while he was teaching in Cozad, NE. Premiered in 1961and written in traditional form, this march contains a contemporary flair and sound that is unique to Smith’s distinctive style, and features an unusual meter shift from 6/8 to cut-time at the trio.  A wonderful addition to your school band library!

The Lost Temple
Jared Barnes – Grade 3
The Lost Temple captures the intrigue of ancient legends, lost treasures, and adventures into the unknown. A quiet, mysterious theme opens the piece (with just a hint of Indiana Jones!), eventually giving way to a rhythmic adventure theme. A sense of calm and wonder emerges as dangers reveal themselves amid flowing musical lines. A triumphant flourish ends the musical journey.  This title is on the 2018 Ohio High School Class A list.

Rise of the Silver City
Rossano Galante – Grade 4.5
There’s a reason why Rossano Galante is among my favorite band composers, and Rise of the Silver City is a great example.  Brass flourishes, lyrical woodwinds, and stately themes lead to a heroic climax in this work full of the orchestral soundtrack qualities that are his hallmarks – if you close your eyes you can see the closing credits.  Sure to be a piece your students are most excited about!

Soaring
Naoya Wada – Grade 3.5
Open your concert program by lifting off with this lofty work that lives up to its title!  Memorable, soaring melodies, upper woodwind obbligati (fingers are flyin’), and traditional A-B-A form set the stage for this exhilarating opener. The flowing middle section unfolds in an uplifting way through two key changes, before ascending back to full flight and soaring through the exuberant ending.

Vanguard
Chris M. Bernotas – Grade 3.5
Vanguard is an exciting and energetic piece that shifts between dynamic brass fanfare gestures, flourishes, and sweeping melodic lines.  All sections have a chance to shine on this attention-getting concert opener that starts big and bold and somehow manages to build to an ecstatic finish.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  He is excited to add Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings’ It’s a Holiday Soul Party to his Christmas rotation this year (on vinyl, of course!).  8 Days (of Hanukkah) and Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects fills your stocking with funky goodness, Silent Night is simply gorgeous, and White Christmas is flat out smokin’!


Ken’s 10: New Pieces for Young Band 14 November, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Ah, the Top 10 list; tired and overdone yet convenient and ubiquitous, packaging anything you can imagine into digestible groups of information providing variety and selection, but not too much.  To share some of my favorite titles, composers, etc. for concert band (and present them in manageable amounts!), I’ve decided to do an occasional series of personal, unranked Top 10 posts (in spite of them being tired and overdone).  Besides, it rhymes with my name!

My first 10 are from our Signature Selections for Young Band for this year (2017-18).  Yes, there are many more titles that I like and ranked highly.  In fact, I support and like all of our choices, but these are my favorite 10 from the bunch.  They include programmatic pieces, a lyrical work, 2 unique marches, and a wonderful reverent work based on Taps, so there is plenty of variety – almost enough for an entire program.  I know your students will enjoy playing them, and I hope you find some new favorites, too.  Enjoy these awesome titles, and look out for the next post featuring Ken’s 10!

Blaze!
Rob Romeyn – Grade 2
Bold, exciting, and aggressive Blaze! begins with an explosion of sound (and horns!), leading to a memorable syncopated theme. Layered part writing make it sound interesting and mature.  A perfect concert opener!

The Boom-Boom Galop
Randall D. Standridge – Grade 2.5
A humorous circus-style galop with a Germanic sound, this invigorating march takes adrenaline to a whole new level! Contrasting sections punctuated by the humorous “boom-boom” exclamations of the bass drum make for a fun-to-play, seat-of-your-pants experience that is a blast!  Careful with that tempo!

Congolese
William Owens – Grade 2.5
Embark on a beautiful and mysterious musical journey through the African Congo in this refreshing new work! The lively allegro sections and the haunting andante section explore a wide spectrum of sounds and rhythms.  There is plenty of adventure to be had (and playing style and independence to be learned) in this brilliant work by one of my favorite contemporary composers.

Gently, I Wander
Robert Sheldon – Grade 1
For a moment of quiet musical escape during your next performance you can’t do better than Robert Sheldon’s writing. Simple, elegant lines combine with rich harmonies and counterpoint to provide an uplifting moment of repose.  Gorgeous, lyrical, and beautiful!

Marzo Zingaro
Randall D. Standridge – Grade 1.5
Another work of unique style, Marzo Zingaro seeks to portray the image of a lone wanderer, happily marching across the Italian countryside.  It succeeds. The first strain portrays a more daring mood, while the trio and finale portray a happier style while dynamic contrasts and articulation set the style.  Translated as March of the Gypsy, what more needs to be said?

Moai (Song of Ancient Giants)
Michael Sweeney – Grade 1.5
The giant stone statues of Easter Island (known as “Moai”) have long been a source of mystery and wonder. Using hints of Polynesian drumming, haunting ancient-sounding melodies, and pyramid entrances this accessible work for 2nd year players creates a feeling of exotic majesty.

Resplendence
William Owens – Grade 1.5-2
A wonderful band overture that opens with brilliant woodwind passages, colorful percussion and a strong trumpet statement, Resplendence draws inspiration from the music of the early Greek Orthodox Church.  Largely characterized by its brisk, free-flowing quality, the pleasant melody passes through several sections of the ensemble against resplendent variations in tonal color. The music becomes gradually slower and stronger as the ending approaches, yielding a powerful final chord.  A perfect program opener!

Shadow Warriors
Chris M. Bernotas – Grade 1
The mystery of the ninja comes to life in this dramatic piece for young band. Students can create their own adventurous storyline to enhance the strong rhythms and pentatonic sound.  A fellow band director, Chris knows how to create pieces that musically and conceptually are a perfect fit for beginning band!

Tribute for Band
arr. Michael J. Miller – Grade 1
Tribute for Band is a thoughtful patriotic piece based on the famous civil war bugle call “Taps.”  Hints of several well known patriotic melodies are heard in this respectful, moving work designed to pay homage to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.  It is also fitting as a tribute to fallen first responders.

Voyage of the Dragon Armada
Timothy Loest – Grade 0.5
Another middle school band director, Tim Loest creates pieces that are great for beginners and always a hit, too! This gripping work depicts the epic voyages of China’s great naval Admiral Zheng He who commanded 250 ships and 28,000 men a century before Columbus set sail for the New World. The captivating pentatonic melody is immersed in vivid orchestration and colorful percussion writing.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, and The Tragically Hip have been in heavy rotation lately.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the 5x Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


Community Band Spotlight: Salute The Greatest Generation 08 November, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

This post is part of a series highlighting music for community bands.

As we approach Veterans’ Day, I wanted to highlight some unique new titles that are perfect for community bands.  In lieu of the typical patriotic selections there are several new pieces that are ideal for saluting The Greatest Generation, those who served at home and abroad during World War II.  From President Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor address and the advent of The Voice of America radio, to songs made up by POW’s and a narrated tribute commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, there are several excellent options for your concert, or program them all and devote a entire portion of your concert to honoring these men and women who gave so much.

The Greatest Generation
Robert W. Smith
RWS Symphony Band – Grade 4
RWS Concert Band – Grade 3
Written for the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and gathering of heroes from around the world in December of 2016, this stirring composition pays tribute to America’s “Greatest Generation.” Narrated by World War II and Normandy veteran Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, this is the perfect selection to honor those that have served in the armed forces past and present. The available grade 3 setting is more technically accessible.

Freedom’s Voice
David Shaffer
Barnhouse Concert Band – Grade 3
Freedom’s Voice was commissioned to commemorate “The Voice of America,” which began broadcasting in 1942 to combat Nazi propaganda with truthful news and information. VOA has served the world with a consistent message of truth, hope and inspiration. Opening with a mysterious and haunting melody representing the axis powers during the 2nd world war, the piece quietly builds into a voice of hope with the introduction of fanfare figures woven into a stoic rhythmic melody. The piece builds forcefully utilizing just these 2 simple musical elements into a broad finale representing the glory of freedom and free speech.

In Infamy
Jack Wilds
FJH Young Band – Grade 2.5
Commissioned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, In Infamy is a reaction to the emotional arc of President Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor address. A foreboding opening gives way to an intense call to action. A moving setting of America closes the work on a hopeful note. Perfect for patriotic programs and as a salute to a day that will forever live “in infamy.”

Spirit of ‘44
Bob Cotter
RWS Developing Band – Grade 2.5
Toward the end of WWII, both sides had amassed a great number of POW’s. These people were used as labor to build roads and bridges. To keep morale high, the POW’s made up songs that were sung or whistled. These tunes made the work go faster and were used to communicate messages. The Spirit of ‘44 was written in honor of those valiant men and women. Try whistling the melody. It might raise your spirits, too.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, and The Tragically Hip have been in heavy rotation lately.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the 5x Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


Community Band Spotlight: Visions of Americana 20 October, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

This post is part of a series highlighting music for community bands.

Musical portraits of the American landscape, historical events, and folk song arrangements are always popular, especially with community bands, and this year’s new titles include several that deserve your attention.  Running the gamut from history (Across the Great Plains about the Pony Express and Red River Station, a stop during cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail) to American folk song (The Shady Grove from the Southern Appalachians), literature (A Tom Sawyer Portrait! depicting the adventures of Mark Twain’s infamous protagonists Tom and Huck) to a work that captures the sound of Americana and can double as a patriotic selection (Liberty), there are as many great choices as there are ways to pay tribute to our nation.  Don’t worry, if you’re looking for more overtly patriotic selections they will follow in a future post.  In the meantime, you can find other great programming ideas by browsing the Patriotic and Signature Selections for Community Band categories on our website.

Across the Great Plains
William Owens
FJH Concert Band
Grade 3.5-4                 $65.00
The awe-inspiring legacy of the Pony Express comes alive in this audacious musical tale of one of America’s greatest institutions! Conceived from a single rhythmic motif, this adrenaline-fueled work yields heroic melodic statements, brilliant runs and a beautifully contrasting 3/4 section. This one promises thrills for performer and listener alike, so get ready for a wild ride!

Liberty
Rossano Galante
G. Schirmer
Grade 4                                    $85.00
Comprised of two main themes, Liberty strives to capture the essence of Americana. The first of the two themes is stated by a trumpet duet, then later the full ensemble. The second theme is robust and emotionally dynamic and accompanied by a driving, rhythmic pulse. The arc of the piece returns to the first theme, this time more transparent, and ending on a gentle, quiet note. A rewarding work for winds with plenty of variety and depth.

Red River Station
Jeremy Bell
Barnhouse Concert Band
Grade 3.5                     $84.00
Red River Station is a bright and upbeat work emulating the style popularized by the soundtrack of the great American west. After the Civil War, cattle drives from Texas to Kansas included a stop at Red River Station along the Chisholm Trail, just before leaving Texas. The syncopated rhythms and pentatonic melodies bring to the life the vibrant and beautiful landscape and experience of riding horseback through the southwest.

The Shady Grove
arr. Travis J. Weller
Wingert-Jones Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $70.00
Shady Grove is a folk song that began to be heard in the southern Appalachians around the time of the Civil War. The memorable melody has a distinctively haunting quality that one can’t help but be affected by. Many different lyrics exist for the song (some estimate it could be as many as 250), but the central themes are that of longing, love, and friendship. The use of washboard and spoons at one point brings this catchy bluegrass tune to life, helping us connect to this delightful American folk song.

A Tom Sawyer Portrait
Rebecca Jarvis
Barnhouse Concert Band
Grade 3.5                     $84.00
Mark Twain’s colorful characters come to musical life in A Tom Sawyer Portrait! The journey begins in St. Petersburg, Missouri, with a jaunty musical portrayal of Tom and Huck and a ragtime sequence which depicts the sleepy river town. An Americana-style ballad follows that is tender, lyrical and poignant. This segues into a “no holds barred” blues section representing the mighty Mississippi. The portrait concludes with our heroes’ return, featuring a recap of the opening theme augmented in the brass and accompanied by woodwind runs and exciting percussion.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the 5x Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), the Steelers, and all things Pittsburgh.  He is sad about Tom Petty, but very excited that the new NHL season has begun!


New Festive Favorites for Band 12 October, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The holiday concert season is right around the corner.  Whether you’re in the process of selecting your whole concert or just searching for 1 or 2 new arrangements to complete your program, we have you covered.  These are our favorite new holiday releases for 2017 ranging from beginning band to high school, and featuring several of our favorite composers.  If you have a young group, be sure to check out Snow (Yuki).  This Japanese children’s song features a simple melody that is delightful.  My wife has programmed a choir arrangement of this song, so I was excited to see it arranged for band.  Enjoy!

African Holy Night
arr. Robert W. Smith
RWS Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $75.00
The traditional carol O Holy Night has been re-imagined in a completely different setting. Featuring the percussion section, we are musically transported to the Serengeti and jungles of Africa to explore the well-known melody in both time and texture. A unique and exciting selection for your next holiday concert!

A Festive Fanfare
Brian Balmages
FJH Beginning Band
Grade 1                                    $40.00
This powerful and driving overture is the perfect way to kick off your holiday program! Featuring a mix of original themes and holiday favorites, this work does not sound like a medley; rather, it is a powerful fanfare featuring snippets of holiday favorites that span from lyrical to soaring!

Jingle Jangle All the Way
arr. Ed Huckeby
Barnhouse Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $68.00
Ed Huckeby’s inventive and colorful treatment of the classic Jingle Bells is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit! The fresh rhythmic concepts provide just the right combination of uniqueness and familiarity to give this holiday favorite a brand new twist. The clever changing meter elements provide that extra “special” to bring the tune alive and create fresh sounds. Jingle Jangle All The Way is certain to become a favorite on your annual holiday concert program!

The Joys of Christmas
arr. Rob Romeyn
Barnhouse Rising Band Green
Grade 1.5                     $49.00
A festive and fresh holiday concert opener for beginning band that is sure to be a favorite for both performers and audiences. Good King Wenceslas is used as the basis for the work, crafted in a powerful and effective setting while a very creative and lyrical interlude of Jingle Bells serves as a beautiful musical moment before the piece ends as it began, powerfully festive. Easy to play and easy to put together, this wonderful selection is also appropriate for more advanced groups with limited rehearsal time.

Santa’s Heartfelt Christmas
arr. James Swearingen
Barnhouse Sound Foundations Red
Grade 0.5                     $45.00
This combination of Up On the Housetop and Jolly Old St. Nicholas clearly demonstrates Swearingen’s ability to make a young band sound mature beyond their years. Emotionally uplifting, this beautiful setting touches all the right buttons necessary to leave your audience wanting to experience the joy of the holiday season!

Snow (Yuki)
Robert Buckley
Hal Leonard First Concepts
Grade 1                                    $40.00
Snow is based on the charming Japanese children’s song Yuki. Robert has combined this song with an original festive melody to create a joyful, winter holiday piece. Everyone gets a chance to shine in this beginning band piece – suitable for that first holiday concert!

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the 5x Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), the Steelers, and all things Pittsburgh.  He’s sad about Tom Petty, but very excited that the new NHL season has begun!


Community Band Spotlight: At the Movies 27 September, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

This post is part of a series highlighting music for community bands.

Next up in the Community Band Spotlight are several new movie arrangements that will be guaranteed hits with your audience.  James Horner’s score writing is as unique and instantly identifiable as anyone who has written for Hollywood.  At the Movies with James Horner features music from The Pelican Brief, Troy, and Glory.  We’re sure your ensemble will enjoy playing his music.  We have 2 arrangements that we’re excited to share from Disney’s Moana – a medley of the movie’s most popular songs, Selections from Moana; and a wonderful Matt Conaway arrangement of lead character Moana’s big song, How Far I’ll Go.  Not only was it nominated for Best Original Song, Auli’i Cravalho’s performance on the soundtrack is phenomenal!  Both of these arrangements are sure to be popular with the preschool and elementary set in your audience (and probably some adults, too!).  Rounding out the group is the in-demand Highlights from La La Land.  The music from this movie was such a refreshing hit that we had continuous requests for band and orchestra arrangements at all of the music education conferences last winter, and we couldn’t keep the piano and vocal collections in stock!  By popular demand, Michael Brown has crafted a fine medley from the award-winning soundtrack.  Visit our concert band page for more great new and back-list arrangements, and shop Stanton’s for all your community band sheet music needs.

At the Movies with James Horner
arr. Justin Williams
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $77.00
James Horner’s film scores are fresh, unmistakable, and timelessly melodic. This collection is not so much a medley of tunes as it is a portrait of his styles and moods. Incorporating selections from The Pelican Brief, Troy, and Glory, the piece is a tapestry of the dramatic and emotional cinematic textures only James Horner can provide.

How Far I’ll Go (from Moana)
arr. Matt Conaway
Hal Leonard Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $55.00
From Disney’s animated blockbuster Moana, and nominated for “Best Original Song,” here is the energetic and upbeat single How Far I’ll Go in a solidly scored and well-paced version for the concert stage.

** By Popular Demand!! **
Highlights from La La Land
arr. Michael Brown
Hal Leonard Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $70.00
The critically acclaimed and widely popular movie musical La La Land features fresh-sounding songs and an award-winning soundtrack. Beautifully scored for concert band, this medley includes Another Day of Sun, City of Stars, Mia & Sebastion’s Theme, and Audition (The Fools Who Dream).

Selections from Moana
arr. Jay Bocook
Hal Leonard Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $70.00
Disney’s blockbuster animated film features catchy songs from the composer of Broadway’s Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Here’s an entertaining medley for the concert stage that includes: How Far I’ll Go, We Know the Way, Where You Are, and You’re Welcome.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), the Steelers, and all things Pittsburgh.


Community Band Spotlight: New Favorites 19 September, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

This post is the first in a series highlighting music for community bands.

While our emphasis is primarily on school band programs and music education, the band staff at Stanton’s places a focus on community bands, as well.  Some of this is thanks to the numerous groups we’re so fortunate to have in Central Ohio and around the state, but it is also the outgrowth of some tailored community band promotions we were doing several years ago.

At the time we were focusing on featuring music specifically useful to community bands, summer outdoor concerts, etc.  This led us to realizing how many new arrangements there are each year that are perfect for these groups, and in some instances, pieces that will almost exclusively appeal to community bands.  Over the past 8 years or so this has resulted in a special Community Band category of over 300 titles (all recent releases) within Stanton’s Signature Selections on our website, and each year as we preview the 500+ new releases for concert band, titles that are uniquely suitable for community groups are highlighted and added.  Of course, we keep an ear out for new marches, patriotic pieces, movie and pop arrangements, and novelty numbers, but we also feature some of the best new concert works for groups that meet all year and have formal concerts in the fall through spring.

We are excited to kick off this series with our favorite new arrangements from this year’s releases!  They are some absolute gems which is why they’re being highlighted first.  Among them are wonderful Alfred Reed arrangements of 2 classics, Victor Young’s original theme to the 1956 motion picture Around the World in 80 Days, and a lush arrangement of jazz standard Autumn Leaves; a fun, original stylistic programming alternative from the pen of Michael Sweeney, Blue Mambo; and an original patriotic work with narration from Robert W. Smith that pays tribute to the men and women who served in so many ways during World War II appropriately titled The Greatest Generation.  This work is available in two difficulty levels.  I really hope you and your audience enjoy these titles as much as we do!

Around the World in 80 Days
Arranged Alfred Reed; edited by R. Mark Rogers
Grade 3                                                    $75.00
Jules Verne’s popular 1873 adventure novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, has inspired countless readers, as well as two motion pictures. The first of these, produced by Michael Todd and released in 1956 featured a score by Victor Young that would earn him his sole Oscar Award (awarded posthumously in 1957) for best motion picture score. This arrangement for concert band by Alfred Reed captures the magical essence of Young’s original score. Reed’s singular talent for band writing would lead to engagements as staff composer for NBC and ABC television from 1948-1953.

Autumn Leaves
Arranged Alfred Reed; edited by R. Mark Rogers
Grade 3                                                    $75.00
The iconic tune Autumn Leaves “Les feuilles mortes” by Hungarian-born composer Joseph Kosma hardly requires an introduction to jazz aficionados. The music was originally set to French lyrics by Jacques Prévert, and later English lyrics by Johnny Mercer. This classic band arrangement by Alfred Reed showcases the rich harmonic language that underlines the melody with thick, sonorous orchestration. This piece can be the perfect change of pace when placed among works with quicker tempi or more rigorous demands on the players.

Blue Mambo
Michael Sweeney
Grade 3                               $65.00
Opening with a lyric section featuring a solo for flugelhorn (or trumpet), this appealing work includes sensuous melodies surrounded by lush and “bluesy” harmonies. The up-tempo “mambo” kicks in with an infectious percussion groove which accompanies the melodies and riffs from the full ensemble. A marvelous and entertaining change of pace.

The Greatest Generation
Robert W. Smith
Symphony Band Edition          Grade 4                        $95.00
Concert Band Edition              Grade 3                        $75.00
Written for the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and gathering of heroes from around the world in December of 2016, this stirring composition pays tribute to America’s “Greatest Generation.” Beginning with a heroic fanfare, the piece transforms into lush and melodic underscore to beautiful and historic text. Originally narrated by World War II and Normandy veteran Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, this is the perfect selection to honor those that have served in the armed forces past and present.

Keep following our blog for future Community Band Spotlight posts highlighting other select new arrangements.  For backlist titles, standard repertoire, and other great programming ideas check out these categories on our concert band page, and choose the difficulty most suitable for your ensemble: Essential RepertoireChristmas & Winter HolidayMarchesPop, Patriotic, & NoveltySolo, Section, & Ensemble Features, and bookmark Stanton’s for your Community Band music needs!

About the Author:
A former band director, Ken taught grade 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in central Ohio, and joined the Stanton’s team in 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), the Steelers, and all things Pittsburgh.


Essential Repertoire for Band 12 September, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

I am excited to share a new category on our concert band page, Essential Repertoire.  Believe it or not, we haven’t had such a listing on our website before simply because we had never created one.  Since undergrad repertoire courses can be hit-or-miss (in some cases nonexistent) and often ignore pieces for beginning & developing band, and school music libraries can be a nightmare to organize when you take over a new gig, we thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance toward standard selections at all grade levels that are good educationally and great programming.  These difficulty based categories feature cornerstone repertoire (including marches!) culled from numerous lists and professional development sessions, cross-referenced with the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and our 100+ years of experience as musicians, band directors, and sheet music specialists.  Highlights include:

Beginning Band – publisher grades 0.5-1
– Perfect for 1st-year players
– Includes: Anasazi (John Edmondson), A Prehistoric Suite (Paul Jennings), A Song for Friends (Larry Daehn), and The Tempest (Robert W. Smith)

Developing Band – publisher grades 1.5-2.5
– 2nd-year players to advanced middle school bands
– Includes: Ancient Voices (Michael Sweeney), Creed (William Himes), Entrance of the Tall Ships (James Swearingen), and The Red Balloon (Anne McGinty)

Concert Band Grade 3 – publisher grades 3-3.5
– freshman or secondary high school concert bands, small high school bands
– Includes: Air for Band (Frank Erickson), Kentucky 1800 (Clare Grundman), Nathan Hale Trilogy (James Curnow), and Overture for Winds (Charles Carter)

Concert Band Grade 4 – publisher grades 4-4.5
– advancing high school concert bands/wind ensembles, college or university bands
– Includes: Chorale and Shaker Dance (John Zdechlik), English Folk Song Suite (Ralph Vaughan Williams), First Suite in Eb/Second Suite in F (Gustav Holst), and Scenes from the Louvre (Norman Dello Joio)

Symphonic Band – publisher grades 5-6
– very advanced high school symphonic bands/wind ensembles, college or university bands
– Includes: A Festival Prelude (Alfred Reed), Incantation and Dance (John Barnes Chance), Of Sailors and Whales (W. Francis McBeth), and Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo (Malcolm Arnold)

Check your library.  If some of these titles are in there, program them; if not, build your library by adding a few each year along with your new music.  I hope you find this helpful, and keep Stanton’s as your go-to resource for music education.

About the Author:
A former band director, Ken taught grade 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in central Ohio, and joined the Stanton’s team in 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, hockey (especially the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


Curious About Copyright? 15 August, 2017

Find practical answers and information geared toward music educators and directors with the new COPYRIGHT HANDBOOK

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Copyright is a challenging but important subject in music education.  Most of us have a very limited understanding of it, and have had no formal training or education provided, yet it applies to every facet of being a music educator.  Literally meaning the right to copy or reproduce, copyright law is designed to protect creators from having their works essentially stolen rather than purchased.  Education has a very special caveat regarding copyright law, fair use, however, this does not mean unlimited use or reproduction.  While this special relationship complicates our understanding, it makes it all the more important to know what is permissible and do what is right.  Likewise, ever-changing digital technology and the internet make copyright that much more complicated and important.

Thankfully Alfred’s new Copyright Handbook for Music Educators and Directors provides us with a guide geared especially for the classroom and rehearsal hall.  Written by music education industry professionals, it provides a very practical approach to copyright law as it applies to performing musicians and teachers based on experience.  It is well laid out and easy-to-use, reasonably priced, and most importantly, directly applicable!  When you know better, you do better, so grab a copy and familiarize yourself with what you should and should not do – you might discover things that you can do that you never realized!  You might even find yourself helping your school or district to better operate within the law, and more importantly, set a good example for your students.

Copyright Handbook for Music Educators and Directors
Pam Phillips & Andrew Surmani
Alfred Publishing                                                                 $19.99
The Copyright Handbook for Music Educators and Directors provides a concise overview of the key aspects of copyright law that affect music educators and directors in the United States. Designed to provide answers to the most common questions raised by educators and directors, this resource makes it easy to find specific answers and is arranged in a user-friendly question-and-answer format. For ease of use, a thorough Glossary of Terms and an extensive Index are included. Not meant to replace legal counsel, the Copyright Handbook is a starting point for music educators and directors with questions concerning copyright. Topics: How to determine if a work is protected by copyright * The use of print music and lyrics * The use of audio * The use of video * Digital products and the Internet * Performance rights * Composing and arranging.

Also Available:
The Teacher’s Guide to Music, Media, and Copyright Law
Music Copyright Law

About the Author:
A former band director, Ken taught grade 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in central Ohio, and joined the Stanton’s team in 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, hockey (especially the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


Gear Up for the New School Year 03 August, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The school year is almost upon us so I thought we might feature some of the most useful resources for improving and developing your band program.  From overall program development and administration, music teaching, and conducting, to the National Standards, classroom management, and working productively with your booster organization, these titles touch on almost every aspect of being a band director.  Pick up 1 or 2 of these to recharge before the school year starts, or use them as guides to implement small changes over the year.  Either way they are sure to provide new insights, ideas, and resources to make your school year smoother and your program better.

Habits of a Successful Band Director
In Habits of a Successful Band Director, Scott Rush provides a how-to book for young teachers, a supplement for college methods classes, a common-sense approach to everyday problems band directors face, sequential models for instruction that are narrow in scope, and more.  Some of the topics covered in the ten chapters include: classroom organization and management, working with parents and colleagues, the importance of the warm-up, rehearsal strategies, selecting high-quality literature, and student leadership.

Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director
Building on the successful Habits series, Scott Rush and his team have created a practical guide to all aspects of the middle school band program, including, recruiting for beginners, mouthpiece testing and instrumentation, running an effective middle school rehearsal, teaching strategies for middle school, repertoire suggestions, warm-ups for beginner, intermediate, and advanced middle school players  Additional sections address musicianship, classroom management, working with parents and colleagues, assessment, technology, the middle school mind, minor instrument repair, private lessons…even traveling with middle school students.

Developing the Complete Band Program
This book is a unique resource for both novice and experienced band directors, gathering effective teaching tools from the best in the field. Includes more than 40 chapters on: curriculum, then and now of North American wind bands, the anatomy of music making, motivation, program organization and administrative leadership, and much more. A wonderful resource for all music educators! Dr. Jagow’s book is comprehensive and impressive in scope.

National Core Arts Standards in Secondary Music Ensembles
This practical, 96-page resource provides detailed information to ease understanding and implementation of the 2014 National Core Arts Standards in secondary music ensembles. Each artistic process in the standards – creating, performing, responding, and connecting – is explored through examples of day-to-day rehearsal activities and a sample cornerstone assessment that is ready for class use.

 

** NEW **
Boosters to the Rescue!

Veteran band director David Vandewalker has been successfully empowering school parent organizations across the country for years. In Boosters to the Rescue! he offers practical tools to modernize your program into a 21st-century booster organization that can function as a successful small business and significantly support the school music and arts programs. In clear, concise language Vandewalker lays out an action plan that includes how to learn to be articulate in sharing your vision; enlist an army of volunteers; develop project plans; define a composite list of duties, tasks, and responsibilities; communicate; create a business plan model; and more.

** NEW **
Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club

Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club is the companion resource to Boosters to the Rescue!, which provides ready-to-use Word, Excel, and PDF files to help booster clubs set and achieve a long-term vision for their organization. Strategic Plans includes project-planning guides for three diverse sizes of booster clubs: Developing, Growing, and Maximizing. Strategic Plans offers a wealth of ideas, forms, organizational charts, and branding tools in four concise sections: “Ready, Set, and Go!” introduces the strategic planning process and explains how to get down to business. “Rally the Troops” provides practical advice on how to organize, manage, and empower people. “Roll It Out” delves into the details of creating a business plan blueprint and a project-planning guide. And “Rock It Out” includes ways to build effective teams, with dozens of branding and advertising designs ready for you to download, edit, customize, and print.

** NEW **
The Conductor’s Companion: 100 Rehearsal Techniques, Imaginative Ideas, Quotes, and Facts
100 outstanding middle and high school, collegiate and professional band and orchestra conductors passionately and candidly share their most powerful rehearsal techniques and cutting-edge program ideas in this concise and inspirational volume. Also included are fascinating historical facts about famous composers and conductors as well as inspirational quotes ideal for advocating music programs. It’s an excellent university supplemental text and a “go-to” source for directors at all levels.

Classroom Management in the Music Room
Classroom Management in the Music Room: Pin-Drop Quiet Classes and Rehearsals is a resource vital to any productive music classroom. Designed with simplicity in mind – simple to teach, simple to learn, and simple to administer – this book promotes student-centered self-discipline and turns classroom management into creating music.

Don’t Forget These!
Handy Manual Fingering Charts
Complete Instrumental Reference Guide

About the Author:
A former band director, Ken taught grade 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in central Ohio, and joined the Stanton’s team in 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, hockey (especially the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


2018 OMEA Concert Band Required Lists Preview 29 June, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

It’s the end of June and you know what that means – the much-anticipated revisions to the OMEA Concert Band required lists for 2018 have been decided.  I have included a preview of the changes to the high school lists below.  While all of the Standard Repertoire selections continue to remain the same, there have been quite a number of changes to the balance of each list.  You can preview all of the lists, including Junior High/Middle School, here.  It’s never too early to start planning (we field numerous phone calls about the revisions throughout the month of June!) so have at it, and be sure to shop Stanton’s for all of your concert band music needs!  Enjoy the rest of your summer!

OMEA 2018 HS Class AA
Removed:  8 titles
New: 3 titles – Art in the Park, Cathedrals, Reflections on an Old Japanese Folk Song
From Past Lists: 6 titles – Carmina Burana, Finale from Symphony #1, Lord of the Rings Symphony Mvt 1: Gandalf, Lord of the Rings Symphony Mvt 5: Hobbits, No Shadow of Turning, Of Sailors and Whales

OMEA 2018 HS Class A
Removed: 7 titles
New: 2 titles – Industrial Loops, When Hearts Tremble
From Past Lists: 5 titles – Four Dance Episodes, Light Cavalry Overture, A Longford Legend, Valley of the Kings, The Witch and the Saint

OMEA 2018 HS Class B
Removed: 7 titles
New: 4 titles – Einherjar (Warriors of Valhalla), Folksong Festival, From Gold, Red Hills Saga
From Past Lists: 3 titles – For the Fallen, Incantations, Manatee Lyric Overture

OMEA 2018 HS Class C
Removed: 8 titles
New: 6 titles – Fable, Hoverboard (see Montoya Music), The Lost Temple, On Golden Wings, Polar Vortex, Twittering Machine
From Past Lists: 2 titles – Regenesis (Song of the Planet), Silver Jubilee Overture


About the Author:

A former band director, Ken taught grade 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in central Ohio, and joined the Stanton’s team in 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, hockey (especially the Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


Music Major Graduation Gifts – Instrumentalists 08 May, 2017

The world of a musician or collegiate music major is often foreign and strange to those outside of the profession. Parents, family and friends are often at a loss as to what graduation gifts might be most useful to high school graduates who plan to major in music, or college graduates pursuing music as a profession. The members of our knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s have all been in their shoes, and we recommend these gifts (in a variety of price ranges) that WE could have used when we graduated!

For HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES becoming instrumental music majors:

ecs-4469-fThe A to Z of Foreign Musical Terms by Christine Ammer, $10.75
The more advanced a student becomes, the more often they will be using upper level music that is often published overseas. While standard music terms can be found in a traditional music dictionary, some instructions and descriptions will be written in the composers’ native languages. This resource lists the terms most commonly found in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Latin and Portuguese scores.

The Musician’s Practice Planner, $9.99
Students are often a little shocked when they find out that they will be spending much more time in the practice room than they did in high school (most collegiate teachers expect at least 3 hours/day), and staying organized is key. This easy-to-use 8 “x 11” spiral-bound book has two full pages devoted to each lesson. Designed to make lessons more enjoyable and efficient, it is used as an assignment book by teachers and as a practice log by students.

Trying to check items off your instrumental studio list? Stanton’s carries a full line of standard method books, etude books and solo repertoire! Visit http://www.stantons.com or give us a call – we’re sure we can help you find what you need! Oh, and don’t forget – Music Majors get a 10% Discount off most methods, etude books, and solos!!!

51Ek7jNuxpL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Bach, Beethoven and the Boys: Music History As It Ought To Be Taught, $17.95
If It Ain’t Baroque…More Music History As It Ought To Be Taught, $15.95
Accidentals on Purpose: A Musician’s Dictionary, $15.95
Just for fun, we offer a wealth of musical humor writings by David W. Barber. The more educated the reader, the more fun they will have with Barber’s dry wit and knack for putting musicians in their place! Click here to see all of the author’s offerings.

For COLLEGE GRADUATES becoming First Year Band Directors:

Handy Manual Fingering Charts by Clarence Hendrickson, $8.99
You’re not alone – no one remembers all those fingerings for the bassoon they learned in a methods class three years ago! That’s probably why we’ve never met a band or orchestra teacher who didn’t own at least one of these convenient little reference guides. It includes fingering charts for all woodwind, brass and string instruments as well as drum rudiments, a transposition chart and ranges. A must-have!

alfred-286-fInstrument Repair for the Music Teacher by Burton Stanley, $22.95
This concise guide for the band director covers the basics of woodwind and brass maintenance and repair. Topics include: changing pads, springs and key regulation for woodwinds, and caring for piston valves, rotary valves, and basic soldering for brasses. Although Stanton’s recommends maintenance and major repair through your local instrument dealer or selected repair shop, this book addresses basic fixes and can get you (and your student) out of a jam.

The Music Teacher’s First Year by Elizabeth Peterson, $19.95
From a first-year teacher whose instruments were stolen before entering his building, to a teacher who received “hate mail” before her first day, to a teacher whose sensitivity, flexibility and insight gained her the respect of her ensemble in only weeks, this collection of true stories from first-year teachers is a delightful description of their real world. In addition, each chapter includes discussion questions for pre-service and young teachers as they prepare for their teaching future.

Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series, $39.50-$69.95
These books are the go-to resource for quality instrumental literature at all levels. The books are a wealth of information, and the accompanying CD sets have high quality recordings of each featured piece. While a worthwhile investment, they can be out of reach for those on a first-year teacher’s salary. Available titles include Teaching Music Through Performance in Band Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, as well as Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Band, and Beginning Band Vol. 1 and 2. Books and CD sets sold separately.

Help your graduate build their reference library with these other fantastic resources!
National Core Arts Standards by Wendy Barden, $12.95
Habits of a Successful Band Director by Scott Rush, $29.95
Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director by Scott Rush, $29.95
Developing the Complete Band Program by Shelley Jagow, $39.95
Urban Music Education by Kate Fitzpatrick-Harnish, $19.95
Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club by David W. Vandewalker, $44.95
Boosters to the Rescue! Handbook for Educators by David W. Vandewalker, $44.95

Visit our Marching Band and Concert Band pages for complete music resources, programming ideas, and more! Also, be sure to give your graduate Stanton’s phone number: 1-800-42-MUSIC, ext. 2! Our staff is a great resource with music knowledge and teaching experience, and full of ideas!


Join us at The Midwest Clinic! 08 December, 2016

midwest-clinic-mastheadby Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Stanton’s Sheet Music is excited to be exhibiting at The Midwest Clinic for our third consecutive year on December 14-16, 2016!

Join band specialists Kent White, Ken Tilger, and Kris Lehman, “The Jazz Guy” Ben Huntoon, as well as technology guru/computer ninja David Ginter and Stanton’s Sheet Music President Eric Strouse at McCormick Place, Booth #1227. Browse and shop hundreds of titles for wind band, orchestra, jazz ensemble, and solo & ensemble, gift items, and more while taking advantage of their combined 100+ years of sheet music expertise. Trivia and useless knowledge provided free of charge!

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

The Lowdown
The Midwest Clinic
December 14-16, 2016
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL

Booth #1227

Exhibit Hall Hours:
Wednesday, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, hockey, and all things Pittsburgh.  He’s excited to get NHLTV for Christmas so he can watch the Penguins – Let’s Go Pens!


In Pursuit of Adventure: Exciting New Pieces for Band 06 December, 2016

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

In pursuit of adventurous (and quality) programming, I’m thrilled to share these exciting new pieces for concert band.  Of course, they’re favorites of ours, but more importantly, they pass the “smell test” – they musically live up to their title and/or theme.  From fairy tale and mythological fantasy to thrill-seeking excitement (and a little history!) there is plenty of variety to choose from, and they are guaranteed to be awesomely fun to play!  Enjoy!

Pursuit of the Centaur
Robert Sheldon
Alfred Young Symphonic
Grade 2.5         $55.00
The name says it all!  Pursuit of the Centaur is full of mythological excitement and adventure (and 16th note runs, triplet rhythms, and horn rips!!); a film score in search of a movie.  Bold harmonies, accented and marcato rhythms, harmonized melody lines, staggered rhythmic motion, and a full battery of percussion propel the pursuit ever forward.  The key change puts it over the top (if that’s even possible).  Your students will absolutely love this work, and your audience will be enthralled.

Skydive
Chris M. Bernotas
Alfred Young Symphonic
Grade 3                        $58.00
This piece starts with immediate exhilaration and velocity, and is full of energy, with uplifting syncopated rhythms and strong melodic lines that will engage both the students and audience. The legato section is representative of the time when a skydiver enjoys the beauty of the scenery. The energy and thrill come back and drive to the end with non-stop excitement.

Stanton’s also recommends:
For Young Band:
Capturing the Blue Riband, Stormchasing, Wild West Saga
For High School: The Dragon Prince, Great Wall (The Legend of Qi Jiguang)

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, hockey, and all things Pittsburgh.  He’s excited to get NHLTV for Christmas so he can watch the Penguins – Let’s Go Pens!


Great Resources for Middle School Band Directors 15 November, 2016

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Besides recommending the best new arrangements for band, we also keep our eyes out for helpful resources for band directors.  Lately we have seen an increased (and much needed) focus on materials for beginning and middle school band directors.  I am excited to recommend the following titles to improve your program, make your job easier, and further your students’ musicianship.

Specifically for the band director is Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director designed as a complete guide to music teaching and administrative elements of the middle school band program, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Band that addresses various aspects of the middle school band program, but more importantly provides guidance and analysis of essential repertoire at the middle school level.

For your students’ growth and development are two recent warm-up seriesHabits of a Successful Middle School Musician is a comprehensive warm-up focusing on fundamentals and sight-reading, while Alfred’s Sound Innovations Ensemble Development series has been so popular that beginning and middle school band directors were clamoring for a young edition to be released.  As with its Intermediate and Advanced counterparts, Ensemble Development for Young Concert Band focuses on ensemble playing and development at an appropriate playing level.

I hope you find these titles and series helpful and beneficial to you and your band program.

Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director
Scott Rush, Jeff Scott, and Emily Wilkinson
Building on the successful Habits series, Scott Rush and his team have created a practical guide to all aspects of the middle school band program including recruiting, rehearsing, teaching strategies and more!  A great resource for ideas and inspiration, this is a comprehensive book that will grow as teaching skills grow, and will serve as a constant and essential companion throughout the career of any middle school band director.

Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Band
Compiled and Edited by Richard Miles
This much-needed volume provides critical information on creating an effective wind band program in Grades 6 through 8.  Chapters focus on organization, administration, developing proper instrumentation, recruitment, retention, literature selection, and more!  Included are 100 core works at grades 1 to 3.5 organized by difficulty with a separate section devoted to marches.  Together, these works make up core repertoire for middle school bands.

Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician
Scott Rush, Jeff Scott, Emily Wilkinson, Rich Moon, and Kevin Boyle
Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician is a field-tested, musical collection of more than 300 sequenced exercises for building fundamentals.  Perfect for use by an entire band or solo player for years two, three, and beyond, this series contains carefully sequenced warm-ups, chorales, sight-reading etudes, rhythm vocabulary exercises, and much more.  This series presents everything an aspiring player needs to build fundamental musicianship skills and transfer them directly to the performance of great literature.

*NEW*
Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Young Concert Band
Peter Boonshaft and Chris Bernotas
Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Young Concert Band contains chorales and warm-up exercises for tone, technique, and rhythm designed for beginning band students.  A complete curriculum to help them grow as ensemble musicians, this series complements any band method and supplements any performance music.  It contains 167 exercises at grade 0.5-1.5 grouped by key, including more than 100 chorales by some of today’s most renowned young band composers.

Stanton’s Also Recommends:
Teaching Music Through Performance in Beginning Band, Volume 1
Teaching Music Through Performance in Beginning Band, Volume 2
Warm-ups and Beyond

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, and all things Pittsburgh.  He also plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band, loves fall weather, and is excited that it is hockey season!


Sparkling Lights! Fantastic New Concert Band Christmas Titles 31 October, 2016

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Last month I posted our recommendations of great new Christmas arrangements for young band.  Now that marching season is basically over, I’d like to share our favorite new pieces for high school.  They all happen to be about a grade 3 difficulty, so they should be fairly easy to put together in the short turnaround between marching band and your winter concert.

Start by picking up the energetic and brilliant Sparkling Lights by Matt Conaway.  A perfect, celebratory opener, it has the unique distinction of receiving a Perfect 10 during our listening!  That’s right, all 3 of us gave it a 10.  Rejoice the Season! is a wonderful, traditional selection sure to be well received by any audience.  Lastly, I just had to include Christmas Vacation.  We watch A LOT of Christmas movies in my house, and somehow we always start with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  While the theme is somewhat cheesy and definitely a product of its time, it has the pedigree of songwriting team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and is performed by Mavis Staples (= music education!).  To our knowledge, it hasn’t been arranged for concert band before, and will add some fun to your concert.  Enjoy, and be sure to check out our Christmas & Winter Holiday categories for more seasonal ideas.

Sparkling Lights
Fanfare on O, Christmas Tree
Matt Conaway
Barnhouse Concert Band
Grade 3                        $74.00
Open your next winter concert with this shimmering holiday fanfare.  The melody of O, Christmas Tree is given a dynamic and energetic new treatment that will set the stage for a fantastic concert.  The shifting meters will keep your ensemble on its toes, and the musical result is worth the effort.

Rejoice the Season!
arr. Rob Romeyn
Barnhouse Concert Band
Grade 3                        $74.00
This very clever festive arrangement is the perfect opener or closer for your holiday concert!  Familiar carols are very creatively woven together capturing the true joy of the season. A very expressive and beautiful treatment of Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella provides a wonderful contrast to the festive and energetic beginning and ending of the piece. Rejoice the Season is sure to be holiday favorite with school bands and adult community groups.

Christmas Vacation
arr. Patrick Roszell
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3                        $77.00
Since its release in 1989, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has become an annual modern Christmas classic with an almost cult following generating recollections of the funniest lines from the film. Stimulate those hilarious memories musically with this delightful arrangement of the charismatic theme song.

Stanton’s also recommends: Brazilian Bell Carol, Let the Light of Christmas Shine

Also now available: Selections from The Polar Express with Optional Choir and Strings

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, and all things Pittsburgh (Go, Steelers!).  He also plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band, loves fall weather, and is excited that hockey season has begun!


It Takes Two to Tango 13 October, 2016

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

A little while back I posted about teaching style to your middle school band, and recommended some fantastic titles in Latin, African, and Klezmer styles, and more!  You can add 2 great new tangos to that list – one an original by Robert Sheldon; the other, an excellent Paul Murtha arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s well-known Libertango.  Stylistic charts provide some interesting variety to your concert programming, place different reading and interpretation demands on players enhancing their musicianship, and may well be the highlight of your performance.  These arrangements are fun, different, and enjoyable, and we couldn’t recommend them more.  Enjoy!

Tango Argentina by Robert Sheldon
Interesting to program with plenty to teach, this popular South American dance style allows your developing musicians to work on light playing and staccato articulation.  Low winds have stylistically appropriate bass lines, trumpets and clarinets feature prominently on the melody (complete with off-beat 8th note pick-ups), and changes of tempo provide contrast while range and technique are very manageable.  Throw in some guiro, tambourine, clave, and a typical tango snare drum pattern to keep your percussionists engaged.

Libertango by Astor Piazzolla
Arranged by Paul Murtha
With an original, James Bond sounding introduction and set in a Latin rock style, this popular and recognizable composition by Astor Piazzolla is a great programming contrast.  The melody will get woodwind fingers moving; counterlines, glissandi, and a brief trumpet solo add interest; and the harmonic changes will help your students’ ears to grow.  Libertango is a fun, light number your audience is sure to enjoy.  Definitely consider it for spring concert programming!

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, and all things Pittsburgh (Go, Steelers!).  He also plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band, loves fall weather, and is excited that hockey season has begun!