News & Views Sunday, November 29, 2015

Category: Concert Band

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

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

John Mackey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stanton’s Difference: Bring Your Students! 28 October, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

It’s been a while since we’ve added to this series of posts, but we were recently reminded of one more way that Stanton’s is special. Besides making it a road trip to work with our knowledgeable staff, you can also bring your students!

studentsRecently the band director from Versailles High School made the trip to Stanton’s via school bus (comfy!) and brought about 20 of her band students along. While she was previewing OMEA required concert band titles, her students were busy choosing their own solo and ensemble selections from our vast selection. What a great use of time, and a unique experience for the students! Besides finding their solo or ensemble piece with some guidance from their teacher, they were also free to check out a whole host of method and etude books, pop play-alongs, and holiday collections that were on-hand, as well. Honestly, one of the most satisfying feelings I get from state professional (MEA) conferences is seeing the high school all-state musicians excitedly finding repertoire that they want, books they have been recommended, and music just to play with their friends. It’s the ultimate treasure hunt!

Truly budding musicians...

Coffee = Truly budding musicians

While a number of directors visit us on Saturdays or professional days throughout the school year, and some make a summer pilgrimage from nearby states, it is not unusual for us to see a school bus full of students pull into our parking lot about once or twice a year (don’t worry, we only cower briefly). After a quick “lay-of-the-land” tour, we are happy to turn them loose to shop, and they are welcome to take advantage of our first-hand instrumental knowledge, as well. We often hear from educators who have moved on to other states that they do not have a music supplier like Stanton’s even within driving distance, and many do not let customers freely browse all of their titles. Besides having directors take advantage of stopping by the store, what can be better than bringing aspiring musicians (and tomorrow’s teachers!) to musical Candy Land!?

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and 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.

STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT: Let the Bells Ring! 12 October, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Words we’ve used in previewing countless yearly arrangements of the Ukrainian Bell Carol (including medleys) resulting in our secret wish for a temporary moratorium on its use.

Words that describe our excitement and enthusiasm upon hearing Robert Buckley’s Let the Bells Ring! (based on the Ukrainian Bell Carol) that made it a guaranteed Stanton’s Staff Selection at first listen. It is proof that no matter how overused a piece of music is, the right amount of musical originality can perk the ears up with excitement and rekindle joy in the original.

A wonderful mix of original ideas combined with the traditional work, Let the Bells Ring is a rhapsodic fantasy that includes tips of the hat to the Canadian Brass (use of a shortened phrase), Tran-Siberian Orchestra (explosive energy), and Mannheim Steamroller (Latin/pop style), all wrapped up in an orchestration that features EVERY section of the ensemble. With woodwind flourishes and bombastic full brass statements, Buckley makes great use of playing both family and sectional timbres off each other. Melodic statements, technical passages, and countermotion fly from section to section throughout the band, horns and low brass included! Bell tone punctuations in the winds and a mix of even, triplet, and multi-beat rhythms and syncopation add plenty of excitement and variety. You truly need horses in every section and sufficient rehearsal time to pull this one together! Compositionally it is perfect – recognizable and true to the original yet with enough variation of style and concept to make it interesting. Let the Bells Ring! is perfect as an attention-getting concert opener (you may need to play through another full piece before your concert to be sufficiently warmed-up) or climactic closer (be sure there’s enough gas left in the tank!), advanced bands will have a blast performing it. It may well be the last version of Ukrainian Bell Carol you ever need to add to your library, and one that we cannot recommend more!

Stanton’s Also Recommends –
by Robert Buckley: Codebreaker, Fantasy on the Huron Carol, Iditarod, Smoke and Mirrors
New for Christmas: And All the Bells on Earth Shall Ring, And Heaven and Nature Ring!, A Festive Holiday Greeting, Oh, What Fun

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and 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.

Back to School: Fall 2015 Band Update 31 August, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Now that school is back in session and marching band season has begun to hit a groove, I’d like to catch you up on band related news, features, and upcoming events for 2015-16. While everyone takes a bit of a break in June & July (yes, we take some vacation, too!), we are hard at work previewing all the new concert band titles, updating our website & Listening Library, picking promotions, and brainstorming ways to make your work a little easier. Here’s a rundown of new features and things to look forward to this school year:

What’s New
– If you haven’t already, you can check out all the NEW concert band titles on Head over to the concert band page and click on New for 2015-16!, and you can browse the new titles by difficulty or publisher.
– We have announced our Stanton’s Staff Selections for the new school year. Of the 550+ new band titles we previewed, these are the 80-90 best as chosen by our band staff. Preview them by clicking on Stanton’s Staff Selections on the concert band page, then choose 2015-2016 Young Band or 2015-2016 High School Band or visit our Current Promotions page.
– Watch your mailbox for our 2015-2016 Concert Band promotions featuring this year’s Staff Selections. The Young Band promotion was mailed this month; our High School promotion will arrive in mid-October.
– The 2016 OMEA Required Music Lists were released in late June and are available for preview on our concert band page.
– Middle School band directors in need of a quality repertoire guide should check out the recently released Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Band volume.
– If you have a jazz band, be sure to read my post from last week What (Music) Should I Do with My Jazz Band?

Tyler S. Grant

– If you aren’t already subscribed (why not?), click here to receive periodic emails from us featuring uniquely themed Staff Selections, Composer Spotlights (3 coming this year!), the latest music, method, and textbook releases, and more!
– Check our concert band page often – the Featured Tabs along the bottom will change to highlight the best new pieces for concert band!
– We are excited to add Tyler S. Grant to the Featured Composers and Arrangers on our Listening Library! This young composer is consistently writing some of the best new music for young bands – you really should check him out!
– If you’re curious to know what my favorite new titles are, visit the Ken’s Top 10 – 2015 tab on our concert band page.
– Want to know more about the people you speak with on the phone and that handle your orders? Our Meet the Stanton’s Team series of staff profiles let’s you know who we are, what we specialize in, and what we geek out on!

Upcoming Events
– Our 14th Wind Band Invitational & New Music Reading Clinic – November 20-21, 2015 – Capital University
– Visit our booth at The Midwest Clinic – McCormick Place, Chicago, IL – December 16-18, 2015
– Visit us at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference – Louisville, KY – January 6-9, 2016

That’s all for now! I hope you find these items helpful and fun, and that your school year is off to a smooth start.

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, the Muppets, and all things Pittsburgh. He also 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.

What (Music) Should I Do with My Jazz Band? 26 August, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Do you have a jazz band that you enjoy directing, but just aren’t sure what music you should be teaching and programming? Are you falling back on arrangements of pop & rock tunes because they’re familiar and your kids know some of them? (It’s o.k., we won’t tell!) Whether you’re a new or experienced band director with limited jazz experience because jazz wasn’t a part of your studies or because you don’t play a “jazz instrument,” no worries – we’ve got you covered!

The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire is a wonderful resource by Ted Gioia who has authored over a half-dozen other books on jazz and blues, most notably The History of Jazz. This work is perfectly summed up in the testimonial by Gerald Early (Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, Washington University in St. Louis; Editor of Miles Davis and American Culture), “What a useful and informative book The Jazz Standards is! Explaining the jazz repertory in a way that is accessible for the jazz beginner yet stimulating for the aficionado…”

The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire contains:
– a treasure trove of jazz standards commonly performed by individual artists, small groups, and big bands.
– a tune by tune exploration including songwriting credits and a brief historical and musical synopsis of each title.
– a listing of recommended recorded versions for each tune – a jazz history/aural listening course in and of itself! This is perfect for hipping your students (and yourself!) to a full breadth of jazz artists on all instruments, all jazz styles, and various approaches taken to each specific tune.
– a wonderful approach to learning jazz (and a chunk of American music) history – through the music itself! By taking this approach, you wind up exploring all periods of the music and are introduced to artists beyond the jazz legends commonly encountered, discovering the secondary and tertiary players only familiar to those who have studied the music as musicians, educators, or fans.

Don’t worry if the above listing sounds somewhat academic – the writing is not! In his introduction Mr. Gioia mentions that in comparison to his other books, this one has a much more personal tone thanks to his love of the material and the approach taken. Also, while the content is valuable, each synopsis is short! Begin your exploration of the titles in this book. When you find some you like, search for arrangements of them at Most of them are readily available ranging from transcriptions of the originals to accessible versions for young jazz bands.

We highly recommend pairing this book with the Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz volume as references for a quality performance curriculum, and Jazz Pedagogy for the nuts and bolts of the jazz ensemble. With these resources all band directors can begin to lay the foundation for a successful jazz education component to their band program. Don’t worry, you can still program pop & rock arrangements for fun and to keep your students happy with the knowledge that they are also getting musical nourishment and balance from playing the essential repertoire, too!

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, the Muppets, and all things Pittsburgh. He also 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 E-Tools: Digital Delivery 08 June, 2015

digital deliveryThe 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!

It’s happened to all of us:  You have a rehearsal or a performance coming up in a few days (or a few hours!) and you’ve lost your music;  it’s they day before a competition, and your judges’ copies are no where to be found; you desperately need something new and fresh for your church choir to start on tonight.   In many cases, Stanton’s Digital Delivery can come to your rescue.

Using the Digital Delivery website, you can purchase thousands of titles and print them at home on your home computer within minutes.  In addition, many popular sheets (including pop, broadway, etc.) can be transposed to the key of your choosing, so you’ll always be able to have piece in a comfortable range for you.  Lead lines can also be transposed for instruments such as trumpet, clarinet, saxophone and French horn.  All you have to do is download the FREE Scorch Viewer software and you are off and running.

You access our Digital Delivery site directly by clicking here, where you can browse options for bands, orchestradigital delivery printers, choirs, and solos for many different instruments.  You can also use the regular Stanton’s website, where titles available for Digital Delivery have a printer icon next to their descriptions.  Clicking on that icon will take you directly to that item’s page on the Digital Delivery website, where you can purchase and print.

For questions about how to use the Stanton’s Digital Delivery Site, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit us online or in person!

Previous posts in this series:  Listening LibraryStanton’s App

The Stanton’s Difference: 21 Day Trial 01 June, 2015

At Stanton’s, we know you have many choices when it comes to purchasing sheet music.  Over the next few weeks, we want to take the opportunity to highlight just a few of the many reasons why Stanton’s is the best place to buy music for your school, church, private studio or personal use!

Stanton’s is one of the largest sheet music retailers in the country, with tens of thousands of titles in stock.  We understand that many of our customers can’t make it to our Columbus, Ohio location to peruse music, so we offer a 21 Day Trial service.

How It Works-Music can be secured with either a Stanton’s account or a credit card.  We send you the in-stock materials you request,  and you pay nothing but the shipping and handling costs.  As long as the music is returned to us in NEW condition within 21 days, you are never charged.  If you have specific titles you’d like to see, we will happily send those to you, or you can ask one of our knowledgeable staff members to select pieces for you based on concert theme, performance venue, type of group, etc.

What You Can Take On Trial (by department):

Choral, Handbell, Classroom General Music & Solo Vocal-You may take up to 20 single copies of octavos and/or up to 5 musicals, collections, or director’s scores.

Band, Orchestra and Instrumental-You may take up to six items on trial, including full arrangements, solos and chamber ensembles.  (Only scores will be sent for titles appearing on the OMEA High School Large Group Contest List.)

Piano/Keyboard-Up to five collections and/or 10 teaching pieces, one copy each.  Popular sheet music is not available for 21 Day Trial.  75% (by dollar amount) of the piano music on trial must be purchased.

For more details about our 21 Day Trial, visit us online at, or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC!

Previous posts in this series:  10% Educational Discount; Knowledgeable Staff

You Want Me to Teach WHAT?!?!? 29 May, 2015

you want me to teach whatWe specialize in panicked phone calls here at Stanton’s.  We’ve heard it all:  “I lost my judge’s copy!”  “I can’t find my Messiah!”  “It’s Christmas Eve and my O, Holy Night is nowhere to be found!”  These examples of immediate panic pale in comparison to another problem we’ve heard more and more about over the last couple of years.  Dazed choral, orchestral and band teachers, many with years of experience, come in and tell us they’ve been assigned to teach elementary general music.  Educators who don’t bat an eyelash at breaking up fights between high school boys in the lunch room or dealing with middle school girl drama are petrified of a classroom full of bright-eyed kindergarteners.

Never fear, Mari Schay and Michael Tolon have come to the rescue.  These self-described “recovering band directors” have successfully made the transition from upper level music teachers to elementary teachers.  In “You Want Me To Teach WHAT?” the authors guide you through this transition, dealing with such diverse topics as:

  • Your own emotions about your new assignment-negative and positive.
  • Getting to know the school, the kids, and the environment.
  • Learning styles and philosophies of elementary general music.
  • Playing instruments, singing, listening, reading and notating, and assessing.

There are also sample lesson plans for every grade level, and appendices about routine and purchasing materials.  The bonus part of this reference is that it is a joy to read.  Mari and Michael share their mistakes as well as their triumphs in a casual, conversational style that is funny enough to make you feel like you’re reading for pleasure instead of work.  If you are facing this challenge in your teaching career, or are a first year teacher who didn’t expect to be teaching this level, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC and order a copy today.

You Want Me To Teach WHAT? (42787)……………………………………………………………………………..$19.99

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

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


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!

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

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist


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.


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


Ryan Nowlin & Stanton’s band guru Kent White


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.


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!