News & Views Monday, May 25, 2015

Category: Concert Band

Graduation Music For Band and Orchestra 08 May, 2015

Uh-oh….Did you forget graduation is around the corner?  Order a new copy of your old standby so you’re sure to have all the parts, or try something new this year!  The instrumental department at Stanton’s keeps plenty of copies in stock so give us a call today!

Best-Selling Arrangements for Concert Band:

Academic Processional & Recessionalarr. Robert W. Smith & Ed Huckeby
012-3874-00 – Grade 3 – $72.00
At last, a fresh and welcome new treatment of the ceremonial “must-haves” – Pomp and Circumstance and Sine Nomine – for the Grade 3 level! Skillfully scored for success even with limited instrumentation, they nevertheless sound full and solid, with some inspired creative touches.
crown imperial

Crown Imperial William Walton/W.J. Duthoit  – 48010656 – Grade 4/5 – $120.00
This “old warhorse” will give your upper level bands something to challenge them right up until the end of the school year.


Fanfare and Processional/Fanfare and Recessional
– by Edward Elgar/arr. James D. Ployhar – BD00492 – Grade 3 – $65.00
THE standard for over 40 years! Featuring Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, as well as original fanfares and a recessional by James D. Ployhar, this arrangement is a staple of high school band libraries across the country.

Other options for Concert Band

Pomp and Circumstance Elgar/Stanton (Build-a-Band Series with flexible instrumentation) – 026-4066-00 – Grade 3 – $50.00

Pomp and Circumstance Marches Elgar/Williams (themes from all 4 Elgar marches in the Alfred Challenger Series) – 22252- Grade 2 – $48.00
Pomp and Circumstance/RecessionalElgar/Hill & Elledge (correlates with the Best in Class Band Method Book 2) – GB865 – Grade 2 – $40.00

For Full Orchestra-

Crown ImperialWalton/Stone (graduation warhorse for better orchestras) – GMCL013 – Grade 4-5 – $70.00
Pomp and Circumstance Elgar/Whitney (close to original, but somewhat easier) – 33680 -Grade 3.5 – $58.00

For String Orchestra-

Pomp and Circumstance Elgar/Del Borgo (very playable version from an established arranger) – BSO9703 – Grade 2-3 – $45.00
Pomp and CircumstanceElgar/Frost (nice and easy, but still sounds complete) – SO246C – Grade 2.5 – $45.00


Behind the Scenes – True Stories from the Stanton’s Staff 06 May, 2015

questioning girlquestioning girlLife has a way of supplying incidents that make you want to scratch your head in amused bewilderment!  Here are some true “Stanton’s Stories” that made us ask the proverbial question, “?!?!?”

A customer who directs a community band called to order single parts to dozens of band pieces.  Why?  His second trumpet player had his house broken into and the thief not only took valuable musical instruments and equipment, but also stole his 2nd trumpet folder. – ?!?!?

A professionally dressed woman came in to the store to buy a beginning violin book for her child.  This being her first experience, she asked, in all innocence, “What happens when we’re done with the book – do you buy them back?” – ?!?!?

Apparently some people are so sure that “big brother is watching” that they don’t feel the need to provide any pertinent information we could use to help them.  We got an anonymous email from a customer that simply said, “wrong cd.” -?!?!?

We got a call from a school band director who said, “I’ve been calling everyplace to find this piece that’s not published yet – do you have it?” – !!!?

Whatever happened to “Thou Shalt Not Steal?”  Someone once tried to use a stolen credit card to order some sacred church music. – ?!?!?

A school music teacher ordered some classroom books via email and wrote, “We have a new middle school building, so do not send the music to the old 123 Main Street address.”  However, she didn’t feel the need to tell us the new address. -?!?!?

When a fellow ordered some unusual manuscript paper online, we were concerned since it was a very specialized paper that had to be ordered in from Germany.  It was expensive and could take several weeks to import.  We contacted the customer to relay this information and to confirm that this was the product he was hoping to get. He said, “Oh no, just send any staff paper.  I’m a drummer and want to write down some rhythms!” – ?!?!?


Behind the Scenes: April Fools….Or Is It? 28 April, 2015

by Dan Clark, String Music Specialist

One of the interesting phenomena in the retail sheet music business is the way that requests for music can sometimes go downhill fast as more focused criteria is added.  Here are some actual Stanton’s customer requests that “went south” rather quickly.  (If you’re wondering, sometimes we come up with a solution, sometimes we don’t.  Click the picture to find out what we recommended.)

hip hip christmasI need a children’s Christmas musical. (Great!)
It’s for church so it needs to be sacred. (Fine!)
The students range from 3rd to 12th grade. (Okay…)
It needs to have rap and hip-hop elements. (Yikes!)

 

oboe and viola

I need an instrumental duet. (Great!)
It’s for adults, so it really needs to be advanced. (Fine!)
It’s for church, so it really should be sacred. (Okay…)
It needs to be written for oboe and viola. (Yikes!)

 

flight of the bumblebee fluteI need Flight of the Bumblebee. (Great!)
I need a version for flute. (Fine!)
It’s for a student. (Okay…)
It needs to be real easy. (Yikes!)

 

snare drum

I need a solo for a college audition. (Great!)
I need it for snare drum. (Fine!)
It needs to come with a CD. (Okay…)
So I’ll know how it goes. (Yikes!)

 

violaI need a viola solo. (Great!)
It’s for a good player, so it needs to be advanced. (Fine!)
We want to feature the violist with our group, (Okay…)
Which is a community concert band. (Yikes!)

 

gregorian chantI need a piece for choir.  (Great!)
I’d like some Gregorian chant. (Fine!)
It’s for a student group (Okay…)
of elementary school children. (Yikes!)

 

rainbow connectionI need a song from The Muppet Movie (Great!)
It’s called Rainbow Connection. (Fine!)
I want to play it, not sing it. (Okay…)
Does it come in banjo tablature? (Yikes!)

 

kreislerI need a piece of violin music. (Great!)
It’s written by Fritz Kreisler. (Fine!)
My teacher didn’t tell me the title. (Okay…)
She said it’s the “famous one.” (Yikes!)

 

ruthI need some incidental music for a church play. (Great!)
Something with flexible instrumentation (Fine!)
It needs to fit the time period of the play (Okay…)
Which is the Old Testament story of Ruth (Yikes!)

 

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. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday.  He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


Stanton’s E-Tools – Listening Library 22 April, 2015

listening libraryThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is.  That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier, faster and more enjoyable.  In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

What is the Listening Library?

When you are searching for new music that fits your group, sometimes looking at or even playing through a score is not enough.  Music is meant to be heard, not just seen.  That is why we have recordings of almost 70, 000 titles available in the Listening Library.  The Library files are in an easy-to-use MP3 format and are created from “promotional recordings” produced by the publishers. When possible, Stanton’s uses the full recording, but due to the fact that some tracks were only made available as “publisher promotional copies” some of the tracks may be excerpted.   We are constantly adding to our library, so check back often for updates.

How do I know if Stanton’s has a recording of the piece I’m looking for?

When browsing or searching our website, you will see the “globe with headphones”  icon (pictured above) next to any item that has a recording available.  Clicking on that icon will take you to a recording of that piece.  Having trouble hearing?  Check to make sure that your speakers are turned up and not set to mute, or that your headphones are plugged in.

Can I access the Listening Library from my smart phone or tablet?

Absolutely!  The Stanton’s mobile website is compatible with all tablets and smart phones.  Just touch that “globe with headphones” icon to get started.  If you download our mobile app (more about the app in a future post,) you can even use the tablet or phone’s camera to scan the bar code on a piece of music, and you will be immediately directed to that item’s recording.  It makes shopping for music (or browsing your own music library) a breeze!

For questions about how to use our Listening Library, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit us online or in person!

Originally posted Aug. 1st, 2014


Why FJH Masters Style 27 January, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

In my previous post I featured a number of new titles perfect for teaching style to middle school band. One of those titles, Klezmer Clarinets by Timothy Loest, is published by FJH Music Company. You may have noticed that FJH is always well-represented in our band promotions, and with good reason. Each year their new band promotion is one that we look forward to most. It always features a reasonable number of titles, and the quality is consistent from top to bottom regardless of difficulty. When it comes to style, the arrangements that FJH chooses to publish are as authentic as they come.

We hear (and occasionally program – I won’t tell!) them all the time.   Arrangements that are “Latin” or “swing” when they are really just dressed up with a couple of “shakers” and other percussion “toys” or a ride cymbal “swing” pattern, but wind up sounding “jazzy” or just plain cheesy. If you take advantage of our band promotions, you know these tunes just don’t make the cut. It’s encouraging to note that there are more authentic sounding, quality arrangements from more publishers now (see that previous post!), but none knocks it out of the park as consistently as FJH.

GenresThe reason for this is quite simple: they go all in! Brian Balmages, Timothy Loest, Chris Sharp, and Co. incorporate all of the characteristic elements of a specific style into their arrangements. Percussion instrument choices are appropriate and the parts layered. Rhythmic figures are true to the original style; this includes notation, articulation, and syncopation. Chord changes are structured and voiced appropriately; harmonies are as lush (or open) as necessary; and scale patterns capture the flavor of the style (major, modal, etc). As I mentioned above, this is all regardless of difficulty! Characteristic flavor is not sacrificed just because some rhythms need to be simplified or ranges kept in check for beginning level players. The quality of pieces like Klezmer Clarinets and Rocky Mountain Romp are just as strong as At a Turkish Market and Arabian Dances, so you can feel good about programming stylized arrangements from FJH at any level. Check out our recommendations below – there’s a little something for everyone – and pick up an arrangement or two for your band. You (and your students) will be glad you did!

Stanton’s Recommends:
Beginning Band:
Court of the Noble Trumpeteers; Jingle Bells Samba Bells; Klezmer Clarinets; The Nutcracker (Overture & Trepak); Rocky Mountain Romp; Samba la Bamba
Middle School: At a Turkish Market; Blue Ridge Reel; Christmas at the Circus; Egyptique; Feliz Navidad; Give My Regards to Broadway; Images of Ireland; Irish Jig for Young Feet
High School: Arabian Dances; Fusion; Good King Wence-salsa; It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year; A Showstoppin’ Christmas; We Wish You a Mambo Christmas

*Author’s note: It was difficult separating the abundance of fantastic programmatic pieces from FJH from the stylistic charts, but that’s another post for another time! KT

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is excited to have finally seen Jeff Coffin and the Mu’tet live! He also enjoys comic books, all things Pittsburgh (Let’s Go Pens!), and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band.


Be Brave: Teach Style to Your Middle School Band 23 January, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

GenresTeaching solid fundamentals of playing and basic musicianship are at the core of beginning and middle school band. Obviously there is already plenty to cover within your curriculum, and if your school district’s program is well-organized, there is a certain skill set and level of musicianship your students should reach before moving on to high school band. Throw in programming for a Christmas/winter concert and adjudicated performance/band trip, and your year is already really full. While all of these things are worthwhile, why not step outside the box a little bit and throw in a piece to teach style.

While I know there are reasons both musical and practical not to do this, there are a number of great reasons to do it, as well. First, it will provide some interesting variety to your concert programming. In addition to the usual concert overture/concert piece, lyrical selection, march, and programmatic piece, an authentic Latin or other “world” style, tango, waltz, or show-style piece will add some fun, flair, and may well be the highlight of your performance. Secondly, it will greatly enhance your group’s musicianship. Different styles place different reading and interpretation demands on players, and the more styles a musician encounters, the more versatile they become. As a big band saxophonist that came up through braveschool music programs, I feel like we all learn to play legato really well. This is great for developing tone and for classical playing and study, but limits our scope for interpreting notation. On most gigs, styles change from one tune to the next and most students really only encounter a variety of styles through jazz ensemble. Of course this is limited to those who participate, and if the programming is really solid. It’s never too early to plant seeds of versatility, and your overall program will greatly benefit from the variety of skills and depth of understanding your students gain. Lastly, exposure to a variety of styles will broaden your students’ view of music overall and its place in history.

Below I have featured two of my favorite new pieces to teach style. Keep in mind that if they are cheesy, not authentic, or merely dressed up with percussion toys, they don’t make the cut. As when choosing pieces for jazz band, I recommend selecting a piece that’s about 1 grade level easier than your ensemble typically plays. This will allow your students to easily nail down notes and rhythms so you can focus on interpretation, articulation, and nuance. I have also listed a few more new titles for middle school band that capture their respective styles perfectly. We even think enough of them that they’re all in our middle school band promotion!  If you’re considering teaching style this year, these are all great starting places. Go ahead. Be brave. Your students and audience will thank you.

Camino del Sol by Steve Hodges        Grade 2.5
Camino del Sol is a solid, fun to play Latin selection that will greatly develop your ensemble’s technique, rhythmic interpretation, and cut-time reading. Underpinned by a characteristic, syncopated bass ostinato and Latin percussion, a light melody passes throughout the band complete with full-bar, 8th note pick-ups and hits in all the right places. As always, articulation, note length (space!), and interpreting figures sets the style. The biggest challenges will be learning to hear & feel the figures in 2 (don’t over-count), and keeping the slurred melody from being too legato.

Zombie Tango by James Meredith      Grade 2
Teach beyond notes and rhythms with this fantastic tango. Sure it’s spooky per the title, but more important is its authenticity – bringing any cultural or dance style to life requires appropriate accents, note lengths, and interpretation of figures. More than just dressing it up with percussion instruments, Zombie Tango features characteristic elements in spades (including a bridge)! Aside from being a fun programming change-up, learning to interpret this style from the page will work wonders for reading articulation and rhythmic figures. We couldn’t recommend this piece more!

Stanton’s also recommends: African Alleluia, Klezmer Clarinets, and Three Brazilian Folksongs

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is excited to have finally seen Jeff Coffin and the Mu’tet live! He also enjoys comic books, all things Pittsburgh (Let’s Go Pens!), and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band.


Combo Concerts: Band-O-Rama 14 January, 2015

band o ramarecommended by Ken Tilger and Rachel Steele

The concert schedule for lots of schools is the same year-in and year-out.  Consider shaking things up this year with a “combo” concert!  Combine your groups across levels (imagine how big your band will be with students grades 5-12!) or across genres (your 6th grade choir would love to sing a piece or a medley with your high school jazz band!).

Ending the school year with a “mass” concert of bands in all grade levels is a common enough practice.  It’s great for your beginner students to hear the more advanced groups, and good for your high school bands to remember how exciting that first year of band was.  Of course, once you have all of those kids in the same room, everyone wants to hear them play together.  It’s the same challenge every year:  Pieces that are easy enough for your beginners make your older students roll their eyes; but who wants to spend the time re-writing and editing a grade 4 piece so that your 5th graders can play too?

THERE IS A SOLUTION that doesn’t involve you earning more grey hairs!  Several pieces are available that are specifically designed for this purpose, with all of the work done for you.  Each of the pieces below comes in two or three different versions that are intended to be played together.

bandoramaBand-O-Rama by Sandy Feldstein and Larry Clark

High School Set (PT-YCB06A-00)………………………………………………….$40.00

Elem./Intermediate Set (PT-YCB06B-00)…………………………………….$40.00

Band-O-Rama is a wonderful march designed for combined performance of beginning, intermediate and high school bands. The composition is available in two versions, one for high school band and one with parts for both elementary and intermediate bands.   Your high school students will play their parts (an easy grade 3) without much effort, while elementary students will need to be able to play in the keys of Bb and Eb Concert (limited range) and have mastered the dotted quarter/eighth note rhythm.  This piece is in the standard form of an American march, so it’s a great piece to being teaching about that form and tradition.

shorewood overtureShorewood Overture by Michael Sweeney

All-In-One Set, serves all three levels (04003858)………………………………..$95.00

Rather than the typical massed band number where everyone plays at once, this ingenious overture is written for 3 separate levels of player and allows the players of each level to be featured briefly by themselves, along with sections where everyone plays together. The easiest level includes nothing more difficult than 8th notes (no dotted rhythms) and all clarinet notes under the break, while the intermediate part is perfect for your older middle school students, involving more complex rhythms and an expanded range.  In addition, the “Level 3” parts include cues (also in the Level 3 score) allowing the older students to “jump in” for security if needed.  Includes scores and parts for all levels!

winged victoryWinged Victory by Brian Balmages

Grade 4 Version (B1340)………………………………………………………………..$75.00

Grade 2.5 Version (B1342)……………………………………………………………..$50.00

Grade 1 Version (B1341)…………………………………………………………………$40.00

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more powerful and inspiring work with such variety of styles and musical material. The eternal fight for freedom and the spirit of community form the groundwork for this impressive mix of proud fanfares, undaunting rhythms, and heartfelt lyrical passages.  The most difficult version is a true grade four, providing a challenge for your older musicians, while even the earliest beginners can handle the easiest version.  The intermediate version has simplified variants of the more difficult material in the fanfare sections, allowing them to be a big part of the action.  Beginner band directors should be aware the the elementary students do rest for a large portion of the piece, so working on musicianship and listening skills is a must!

About the authors:

Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He enjoys comic books, playing with his young son, and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band. You should check out their album “Walk On Out the Door” available on iTunes and Amazon.

Rachel 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!

 


Stanton’s Comes To You! 09 January, 2015

stantonlogolarge

Music educators all over the country are gearing up for convention season!  As you attend amazing sessions that leave you inspired and invigorated,  don’t forget to stop by the exhibit hall and order some of those wonderful pieces at the Stanton’s Sheet Music booth.  We are excited to be making our regular appearances at educators’ conferences in New York, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio.  Look up for our signature blue balloon and come by to ask questions, shop, or just say hello and introduce yourself to our knowledgeable staff.  We look forward to seeing you at:    

 

michigan music conferenceThe Michigan Music Conference-January 22nd-24th at Devos Place in Grand Rapids, MichiganStanton’s booth numbers are 51-58; exhibit hours are Friday 8:30-6:00 and Saturday 8:30-1:00.

 

KMEA Professional Development Conference-February 4th-7th at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, KYStanton’s booth numbers are 501–507/600–606; exhibit hours are Thursday and Friday 9-6.

 

omea conference 2015OMEA Professional Development Conference- Feb. 5th–7th, 2014 at the Cleveland Convention Center in Cleveland, OHStanton’s booth numbers are 231, 233, 235, 237, 330, 332, 334, 336, 338 ; exhibit hours are Thurday 1-6,  Friday 9-5 and Saturday 9-12:30

Also look for us this summer at the International Trumpet Guild Conference here in beautiful   Columbus, Ohio.  More details TBA!ITG-logoFor more information about our conference booths or products, please contact us at www.stantons.com!


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 2 19 December, 2014

exhibit hall entranceby Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

Day 2 of the 2014 Midwest Clinic has come and gone, and it was quite an active day. The Stanton’s booth was busy, especially around mid-day with plenty of educators and students loading up on method books, solo and ensemble repertoire, and new concert pieces. One of my favorite aspects of working our booth is meeting directors that we don’t know, passing along our new band music promotions, and explaining our selection process.

Visitors to the Stanton’s booth included our good friend James Swearingen, FJH orchestra composer Lauren Bernofsky, and Hal Leonard arranger Johnnie Vinson. In addition, I had an engaging and enthusiastic conversation with Alfred composers Chris Bernotas and Vince Gassi. Band Education Specialist Kent White attended the session on Scale & Rhythm Chunks by Ohio’s own Richard Canter. It was standing room only with over 500 people attending his session, and we have all but sold out of the copies we had at the booth!

One of the other unique elements of The Midwest Clinic is the number of composers and arrangers on-hand. As mentioned above, I spent quite a bit of time today speaking with Chris Bernotas and Vince Gassi, as well as Randall Standridge, Grand Mesa president Walter Cummings, and FJH composers Travis Weller and Brian Balmages.

cab

The “Barnhouse Party Bus,” on the way to dinner

maggianoAgain our day was capped off witbarney awardh a fantastic meal, this time at Maggiano’s Little Italy courtesy of C.L. Barnhouse. It’s in a great historic building that probably dates to the 20’s. To our surprise Stanton’s along with RBC Music of Texas were honored with the presentation of the “Barney” Award in recognition of our long relationship in selling and promoting Barnhouse titles. A much appreciated and heartfelt presentation was given by James Swearingen. I also got to hear a number of fantastic (and hilarious) stories about Chuck Barnhouse since I was seated between Barnhouse president Andy Clark and Ed Peterson of Omega Recordings, the company that records the Washington Winds.

That’s all for today from The Windy City (or Gotham if you’re a fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy).

About the Author
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is thrilled to have had gelato and fantastic cheesecake for dessert over the past two nights! Seriously, Cheesecake Factory – meh.


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!


Combo Concerts: Band or Orchestra and Choir 12 December, 2014

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

The concert schedule foband and choirr lots of schools is the same year-in and year-out.  Consider shaking things up this year with a “combo” concert!  Combine your groups across levels (imagine how big your band will be with students grades 5-12!) or across genres (your 6th grade choir would love to sing a piece or a medley with your high school jazz band!).

Whether it is a holiday performance, patriotic salute, or end of the year celebration, there is no more powerful statement to your community than a performance that features both your instrumental and vocal performing ensembles.  Show your parents, administrators, and school board members how many lives you and your colleagues touch, and give your students an experience that they will remember for years to come.

Dry Your Tears, Afrika – Music by John Williams, choral adaptation by Audrey Snyder, band and strings arrangements by Paul Lavenderdry your tears afrika

This arrangement from the moving 1997 movie Amistad features poetry by Bernard Dadie in the Mende language, and music by arguably the greatest film composer of all time, John Williams.  Since the choral is available in a variety of versions, this can be done with children’s choir, middle school choir, high school choir or any combination.  In addition, the available String Pak means that your orchestra and/or band could play.  Present this with sensitive program notes, appropriate readings or even excerpts of the film – your students will gain a new perspective on the history involved in this amazing music.

***For more advanced orchestral/choral groups, consider the John Williams Signature Edition of this piece for orchestra, SATB Choir and Children’s Choir.

SATB (08741425) – $1.95               SAB  (08741426) – $1.95               2 Part (08741427) – $1.95

Concert Band (04001735) – $70.00               String Pak (04626104) – $40.00

***John Williams Signature Edition, including orchestral & choral parts (04490084) – $375.00

Carols From the British Isles – arr. Douglas Wagner

carols from the british islesI love this carol medley specifically because it uses carols that are not overdone, but still common enough that your audience will recognize the tunes.  Included are “Suogan,” “I Saw Three Ships,” “Good People All, This Christmastime,” and “The Seven Joys of Mary.”  Since the band arrangement and choral arrangement(s) can be done as stand alone pieces, take some time to analyze where you may want to eliminate the melody in the instrumental (so as to feature the choir), or eliminate the chorals for a section to feature your instrumentalists.  The variety of voicings available for the choirs make this piece very do-able for most middle school or high school groups.  The Grade 3 band arrangement should be a cinch for your high school students, and could be playable by a strong middle school group as well.   Students will need the ability to play and sing in 6/8 time, while rhythms and ranges are moderate.

SATB (41762) – $1.85               SAB (41763) – $1.85               SSA (41764) – $1.85

Concert Band (39540) – $65.00

Armed Forces: Pride of America – arr. Larry Clark and Greg Gilpin

armed forces pride of america4th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day – we get calls each year for service medleys that can be performed at all of these occasions.  Our instrumental staff is a fan of this arrangement; it has some great quotations of Sousa marches in between the songs for each branch of the service.  Though written primarily for concert band,  there are reproducible string parts that come with the concert band arrangement.  At just under 7 minutes, it can be a bit of chop buster but this is the ONLY arrangement that features the songs of all 5 service branches. It also encourages audience participation by including a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem.  A solid piece for all organizations to have in their music libraries.

SATB (CM8973) – $2.75     SAB (CM8974) – $2.75     2 Part (CM8975) – $2.75     TTBB (CM8976) – $2.75

Concert Band w/ reproducible String Parts (CPS61) – $90.00

If you feel your group is ready for a traditional classical experience, try Schubert’s “Mass in G” or Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”  Both are about 20-30 minutes in length, although doing just the “Gloria in Excelsis” movement of the “Gloria” is an option.  One of the representatives in our choral department will be happy to help you if you’d like more information on pursuing either of these large works.

For more recommendations, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com  Previous posts in this series : Men’s Combo Concerts; Women’s Combo Concerts; High School Choir w/ Children’s Choir

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!


Behind the Scenes: It’s That Time of Year… 04 December, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The holidays are already upon us. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner. For the Stanton’s staff it means that convention season is also here! This winter we will be exhibiting (and selling!) music at music educators’ professional conferences in New York (NYSSMA), Michigan (MMC), Ohio (OMEA), Kentucky (KMEA), and, for the first time, The Midwest Clinic. These conferences are a great opportunity to talk shop directly with our expert staff, meet customers face-to-face that we may recognize by name (and voice!), and besides, it gets us out of the store! Ever wonder how our 6-8 booths of music get to your state conference? Check out the slideshow below to see how we pull, pack, and transport thousands of sheet music titles and accessory items, and if we’re exhibiting at your conference be sure to stop by the Stanton’s booth (under the big blue balloon) and say “hello”!

Click to view slideshow.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. All he wants for Christmas is a Pittsburgh Penguins tuque, Guardians of the Galaxy on blu-ray, and some heavy-duty outerwear so he can play in the snow with his son this winter!


Behind the Scenes: Writing Up the Young Band Promotion 24 November, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Way back in August and September (you know – when it was warm) I wrote a couple of Behind the Scenes posts: “Picking Band Promotions” and “What I Listen For”. Both dealt with choosing new band titles to promote. The next step after the titles have been chosen is creating new write-ups for them. Since I am responsible for the write-ups for our young band selections, they are what we’re going to focus on in this post.

calvin376_2I’m sure you’ve encountered publisher write-ups that range from slight insight into thematic and programming aspects of pieces to virtually no real information at all. They vary in quality and detail from publisher to publisher, and generally don’t present much in the way of music teaching elements or skills required to perform a work. As music educators teaching developing players, you know that establishing a solid foundation and helping students achieve success is important. As a former band director and occasional private teacher, I can’t imagine trying to select pieces without much idea about what can be taught or what students need to be able to do to play them. This is why the Stanton’s band staff creates our own write-ups for every piece we promote!

snoopyWith the young band titles, I try to strike a balance between musical skills, teaching opportunities, and programming uses and ideas while throwing in fun little twists that (hopefully) make them worth reading. Musically I tend to focus on rhythmic complexity, style, meter, key changes (if any), form (repeats, multiple endings, D.S., D.C., etc.), and aspects that address ensemble playing and musical growth. From a programming standpoint, I not only try to address the thematic idea behind a piece and any co-curricular applications (i.e. historical events), but how it can be used to create variety within a concert program for the teacher, the audience and the players. These aspects not only contribute to your students’ overall education, but enhance their musicianship as well. We’re always looking for pieces that stand out not just musically, but that are unique and interesting to present. Of course the challenge is to incorporate all these elements in a write-up that is informative, digestible, and short enough to fit in our print promotion (about 3 lines in length).

I hope this post gives you more insight into our process of selecting the best new music, and that it encourages you to spend some time with our promotions. If you haven’t, dig up your recent copy amongst the myriad paperwork, reeds, and publisher promotions on your desk and crack the cover. More than just presenting our “choices” I hope you find our write-ups useful in selecting new music, and helpful in your lesson planning and concert programming.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He has been providing write-ups for Stanton’s young band promotions since 2005. He hopes you find them informative, helpful, and (somewhat) entertaining!


Join Stanton’s at the 2014 Midwest Clinic! 21 November, 2014

Midwest-Clinic-Masthead

 

 

 

Stanton’s Sheet Music is excited to announce that for the first time in our 50+ year history, we will be exhibiting at The Midwest Clinic, December 17-20, 2014!

Join band specialists Kent White and Ken Tilger, “The Jazz Guy” Ben Huntoon, and orchestra specialist Dan Clark, along with technology guru/computer ninja David Ginter and Stanton’s Sheet Music President Eric Strouse at McCormick Place, Booth #1037. Browse and shop hundreds of titles for wind band, orchestra, jazz ensemble, and solo & ensemble, while taking advantage of their combined 100+ years of sheet music expertise. Trivia, useless knowledge, and jokes provided free of charge!

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

The Lowdown
The Midwest Clinic
December 17-20, 2014
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL

Booth #1037

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


Stanton’s LIVE!: 2014 New Band Music Reading Clinic Recap 20 November, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist -

The 13th annual Wind Band Invitational and New Band Music Reading Clinic was held November 14-15 at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. This two-day event featured the reading of 70 of the best new pieces for band with a total of 90 works performed! In addition, 134 students from 59 schools participated in the Honors Wind Ensemble under the direction of Paula Crider and Honors Concert Band directed by Jeffrey Gershman and James Swearingen.

Pickerington HS NorthThe New Music Reading Clinic consisted of 3 reading sessions, 2 by the Directors’ Reading Band; 1 with the Capital University Wind Symphony, covering 61 new band titles from grade 0.5-4.5. Instead of the professional gloss of publisher preview recordings, band directors heard the titles as they were sight-read by live musicians and sight-read some themselves. This is a great way to preview new music in detail, get programming ideas, and network with colleagues after the long marching band season. In addition to the reading sessions, other new titles were presented in a fantastic guest concert performance by the Pickerington High School North Symphonic Winds under the direction of Marc Parulekar.

The Wind Band Invitational featured 4 more concert performances including the Capital University Symphonic Winds, Capital University Wind Symphony, Honors Concert Band, and Honors Wind Ensemble. The honors bands are a wonderful opportunity for some of the best high school players from around Ohio to perform together and work with world-renowned conductors and clinicians, while the university concerts present some of the most challenging repertoire for wind band performed at the highest level.

If you missed this year’s reading clinic, head over to Stanton’s Virtual Workshop – you can view the reading sessions there, and catch footage from the second Directors’ Band session.  You can also check out our previous reading sessions for more great programming ideas, and keep reading our blog for more Stanton’s LIVE events!

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is thankful for his family (especially his 2 year old son), his day gig in the music industry, and that he still gets to play the saxophone.  Oh, and pie!


Stanton’s Spotlight: The Spirit of Thanksgiving 13 November, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

“Lyrical settings by Robert Sheldon are always worth your time”.

thanksgiv-dayThis is how I chose to begin my write-up for this title, and in short, enough said. Sheldon has a propensity for writing full, lush harmonic arrangements that are great vehicles for developing ensemble musicianship – especially for young bands. Look no further than his gorgeous An Australian Sea Ballad for additional proof.

In the case of The Spirit of Thanksgiving, he has not only woven together two very familiar hymn tunes (We Gather TogetherPraise God from Whom All Blessings Flow) in a lovely concert presentation, but given us a wonderful programming option. While haunting Halloween and celebratory Christmas selections are a dime a dozen, finding a work that highlights the uniqueness and gratitude of Thanksgiving is all but impossible. Soft and reflective, yet powerful, this work is a poignant lyrical programming selection that is perfect for fall or Christmas/holiday concerts. The hymn tunes that are the basis for this work make it a wonderful choice for religious schools, as well.

Musically The Spirit of Thanksgiving is much more than your standard hymn setting. Each of the hymns is in a different time signature – the work moves from 3/4 to 4/4, then back, and there is a key change from concert Bb to F. Of course, the opportunities to develop dynamic shading, group phrasing, and ensemble blend and balance are present as well. To top it off, this piece also correlates to Book 2, Level 2 of the Sound Innovations band method.

Do yourself a favor, and give this piece a listen, then pick up a copy. Even if you don’t use it this year, think how pleasantly surprised you’ll be when you “discover” it in your library next year. It’s one that I would pick up on its programming merits alone. It’s also one that I consider a “sleeper” – no, not one to snooze through – rather a great piece that too many directors will overlook because it doesn’t stand out in all the usual ways. Instead, it stands out in all the right ways, and that’s something to be thankful for.

The Spirit of Thanksgiving
arr. Robert Sheldon
Grade 1.5
Catalog # 41910          $48.00
Lyrical settings by Robert Sheldon are always worth your time.  Blending We Gather Together and Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow, he has created a lush, stirring ballad perfect for fall programming, as well as religious schools.  Dynamic shading, group phrasing, and ensemble blend and balance can be addressed, in addition to flowing, lyrical playing; each hymn is in a different time signature (3/4 & 4/4); the piece also contains 1 key change (Bb to F) on the powerful climax to a touching, maestoso ending.  Correlates to Sound Innovations, Book 2, Level 2.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is thankful for his family (especially his 2 year old son), his day gig in the music industry, and that he still gets to play the saxophone.  Oh, and pie!


Pertinent Professional Development 21 October, 2014

by Jen Sper and Ken Tilger, School Music Specialists

IMG_0809Professional development days/sessions can be of great benefit to educators – IF they are relevant and applicable to your subject area! We were honored to be invited to present sessions at the Fine Arts Professional Development Day through the Tri-County Educational Service Center in Wooster, Ohio on October 17. Music teachers from Ashland, Wayne and Holmes counties gathered at the Wayne Center for the Arts for a full day of arts-related professional development sessions – a great opportunity to both learn from outside presenters and network with other nearby music educators!

With numerous new options for band warm-up/technique and beginning band, Ken’s session for band and orchestra directors highlighted books from publishers including Alfred (Sound Innovations; S.I. Ensemble Development), Hal Leonard (Essential Elements Interactive), FJH (Measures of Success; Warm-Ups and Beyond), Kjos (Tradition of Excellence; Technique & Musicianship), and Focus On Music (Scale & Rhythm Chunks). Online resources through the Stanton’s website were explored (Jukebox, Listening Library, mobile app, etc.), as well as sharing the Top 10 New Titles for Band for 2014-2015 using a custom playlist created through the Stanton’s Jukebox.

Jen presented a reading session for the choral directors in attendance, featuring new concert, festival and holiday literature for middle school and high school ensembles. A couple of brave sight-readers even served as accompanists! Many titles included were specially selected as quality options for OMEA Adjudicated Event performances, or are new additions to the required repertoire lists. Also discussed were recent changes to the required lists, and how these changes affect teacher’s programming and budgeting options.

IMG_0812On the way back, IMG_0813a stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn in Ashland was a requirement (we gotta eat, right?). One of Jen’s favorite stops on her way back and forth to college, Ken had never been before – and it’s a lot to take in! Much cheese (and dip, and jelly, and cider, and and and…) was consumed. :)

Are YOU planning programming for an upcoming professional development event? Contact us and let us help! Our knowledgeable and experienced staff are able to present a wide variety of sessions (and would love a field trip out of the store!), and we’re happy to tailor our topics to fit your needs.

About the authors:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He enjoys comic books, playing with his young son, and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band. You should check out their album Walk On Out the Door available on iTunes and Amazon.

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.


Don’t Miss These Christmas Arrangements! 15 October, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist -

While we are promoting 9 excellent new Christmas titles for young band this year, these 2 are unique stand-outs that you just shouldn’t miss! Both offer great opportunities to advance the musicianship of your groups, and are creative and interesting choices that will add variety to your holiday concert program. I’ve included our promotional write-ups as well as some additional commentary about each piece. I hope you find these recommendations helpful, and that you, your students, and your audience enjoy these pieces as much as I do.

Christmas at the Circus
Randall Standridge
Grade 2.5
Fun from start to finish!  Combining themes from Thunder and Blazes and The Man on the Flying Trapeze with snippets of a ton of holiday favorites, this humorous work is fun to listen to and a blast to play.  High-wire musicianship is a must – from layered themes and accidentals to key, style, and meter changes, and 8th note rhythm dished around the band like Christmas presents, no section receives a lump of coal in this piece!  Christmas at the Circus is a great choice for advanced middle school or young high school bands.

O.K., so this one seems blasphemous not just for religious (or circus music) reasons, but also because the setting utilizes plenty of familiar Christmas songs and carols. No worries – it is very creative, puts an original programming spin on the Instant Concert concept, and gives your audience plenty to hang on to. It will be fun to perform, and don’t be fooled by the grade 2.5 difficulty – it requires enough musicianship that it is perfect for young high school bands and will be a hit with community band programs, as well.

Season of Peace
Gene Milford
Grade 1.5
Inspired by Christmas 1914 when British and German troops in the midst of World War I held an unofficial truce that included singing carols and exchanging food and gifts, Season of Peace blends Dona Nobis Pacem with Silent Night for a moment of calm reflective peace.  Besides being a stirring concert selection, the 3/4 meter, dotted quarter-note rhythms, 8th note and triplet runs, and lyricism provide ample opportunity to advance ensemble musicianship.

Two young band arrangements have been inspired by the 100th anniversary of this event, and this stirring setting stands out. Combining the Dona Nobis Pacem (“Grant us peace”) from the Latin Mass with the stillness and beauty of Silent Night is just brilliant, and our write-up says it all, “…for a moment of calm reflective peace.” That is exactly what this work will provide – a poignant moment of calm reflection amidst the celebratory jubilance (and hustle and bustle) of the season. Again, don’t be put off by the “easy” grade level. Musical maturity is always a must on lyrical works, and can be performed to great effect by more advanced ensembles – the challenge here is not technique, but musicianship. Season of Peace is a wonderful choice educationally (musicianship, music history, AND world history), and is perfect for religious school band programs.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He enjoys comic books, playing with his young son, and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band. You should check out their album Walk On Out the Door available on iTunes and Amazon.


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT: The Witching Hour 01 October, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

It’s already October, and I can’t think of a better way to start the month than by shining the Stanton’s Spotlight on The Witching Hour by Randall Standridge for concert band. It’s my favorite, and probably the best, new piece this year!

From the description, “This macabre work entices the listener into that bewitching time of night when dark forces gather to celebrate and do their mischief. Four interconnected themes are announced by haunting chime statements…”  The interconnected themes in different settings and styles combined with the ominous grandfather clock chimes tie the four sections of this work into one cohesive whole with each section representing a quarter hour.

Introduction
The piece opens with an ominous drone in the low winds and the first tolling of the chimes of both warning and mystery – for whom the bell tolls – to great effect.

The Gathering
The first quarter hour features well written and effective auxiliary percussion, chromatic lines and intervals, tremolo effects in some of the woodwinds, and the typical Eastern European sound/dance style a la Transylvania. The synthesized harpsichord adds a ghastly and slightly grating sound that puts this section over the top!

Spells and Incantations
Haunting mallet percussion sets the eerie feeling of the second quarter hour featuring dynamic swells, haunting long tones and disturbing rhythmic interjections in the trumpets (8th notes – 1 beat triplet – 16th notes). This even-odd-even pattern adds to the off-balance feeling of the section.

The Witches’ Dance
Now that the witches have gathered and cast ceremonial spells and incantations, it’s time to cut loose! Heralded by the familiar chime and an ominous timpani roll, this section is an odd meter (5/4 written as 3/4 + 2/4) dance. In the style of an off-beat waltz, we begin with a steady tempo full of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean sonic flavor highlighted by modal 16th note woodwind runs before a gradual accelerando pushes it to the brink of out-of-control ecstasy.

The Witches’ Flight
One last set of chimes leads into a fourth quarter hour of explosive full ensemble playing. This dance-like section is underpinned by driving 8th notes as the witches take to their brooms and our dark celebration drives to the ending!

As always with these heavily programmatic works, there is plenty to teach ranging from mixed meter, to tempo and style changes and transitions, to accidentals that create the proper harmonic effect, to auxiliary percussion instruments and fun, musical effects. These musically exaggerated settings create opportunities that can really enhance both individual and ensemble musicianship in a context that is a blast to play! It is great seasonal programming for this time of year, a fun musical goal for the spring, or a wonderful (and fresh) adjudication alternative. Ohio directors who want a break from the usual band overture, piece with contemporary “edge”, or wind band standards will be glad to know that The Witching Hour is on the Ohio Class B list for 2015!

The Witching Hour is an original compositional masterpiece. It is a study in perfect form and balance. There are sufficient themes to hold on to, yet it is full of great tonalities, effects, and rhythms that fit its theme and bring the piece to life. Every element serves the greater musical narrative. As a result, it has ongoing forward motion and never gets bogged down. It is challenging but not impossible to play, and most importantly, it is a FUN piece of music! All of these elements combine to allow it to hold the performers’ and audience’s attention. In short, it perfectly meets all the criteria mentioned in my recent What I Listen For post, and is why I’m excited to feature it in my first Stanton’s Spotlight post for this school year!

Other haunting new titles we recommend: Ghosts of the Lost Ship by Tyler S. Grant, Haunted Clocks by Brian Balmages, and Zombie Tango by James Meredith

About the Author:
Ken has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He always feels the urge to read Edgar Allan Poe, the original novels featuring traditional Hollywood monsters, and other macabre tales this time of year, yet never does.