News & Views Monday, October 05, 2015

Category: Concert Band

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!

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  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





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