News & Views Sunday, May 28, 2017

Category: Music Education

SUPER SESSION is Coming Soon! 23 May, 2017

ss logoStanton’s Super Session
Saturday 8/5/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights United Methodist Church, 775 Galloway Road 43119
REGISTRATION: $55.00 (includes lunch)

Do you need to put a little “spark” in your choral program? Is there just too much new music out there for you to review? Join us for a fun, enriching day of music education with Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin, and Stanton’s own Jen Sper featuring music from Alfred Publications, Shawnee Press, Choristers Guild, Heritage Music Press, and other choral publishers. Nowhere else will you find such a variety of new choral selections and teaching resources to inspire and motivate you and your students as you begin the school year.

Visit our previous post for information on how to choose the Stanton’s session that is best for you. 

Registration opens on April 1st! Call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


31st Annual JOY OF SINGING 16 May, 2017

Stanton’s is thrilled to announce The Joy of Singing 2017 – two full days of the best new music from Hal Leonard!

THE JOY OF SINGING: Young & Developing Choir
Thursday 8/3/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $55 (includes lunch)
New music appropriate for the beginning choral singing level (unison/2-part/3-part mixed). Includes choreography and two spotlight sessions on specific areas.

THE JOY OF SINGING: Middle & High School Choir
Friday 8/4/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $55 (includes lunch)
New music appropriate for the middle/high school choral singing level (2-part, 3-part mixed, SAB, and SATB). Includes choreography and two spotlight sessions on specific areas.

Our clinicians this year will be John Jacobson, Cristi Cary Miller, Rollo Dilworth, and Mac Huff. Each director will receive a packet of complimentary booklets containing complete editions of arrangements suitable for both school and community choirs. You’ll have ample time to browse Stanton’s on-site store and chat with the clinicians throughout the day.

Visit our previous post for information on how to choose the Stanton’s session that is best for you.

Registration is now open! Contact us at 1-800-426-8742 or choral@stantons.com for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Disney Learning Books 15 May, 2017

recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

Check out these exciting new children’s storybooks from Disney Learning and Explore Music, perfect for kids ages 4 and up! If you’ve stumbled upon our blog, you’re likely already a musician in some capacity – these books are great gifts for children whose parents who are not musicians, as they provide easy-to-implement ideas and suggestions for including music in a child’s daily life, and valuable information about the benefits of music for a child’s growth and development. They’re great for a child’s birthday, or even a baby shower for new parents!

00160409-leonMickey’s Found Sounds
This inventive story uses music, crafts and creative play to help children experience the fun of making music out of “found sounds.” The Main Street Parade has been rained out, but Mickey and his friends make their own parade as they discover items around the house that can be used to make musical instruments, including shakers, a glass jar xylophone, and more. The book includes special unique online activities including a video read-along, an audio sing-along, and activities to explore sounds and sound makers.

00160408-leonTangled: It’s Better When You Sing It
In this innovative musical exploration storybook, Rapunzel shows us that everything is better when you sing! This playful story uses music and creative play to help children experience the joy of singing and discover their own unique voice. The book includes special online activities, including a video read-along, an audio sing-along, and activities to explore sounds and singing.

These books can keep a child and parent (or babysitter) occupied for a whole afternoon with all the things to do that go along with the stories. Singing and music provide important benefits to children as they grow and learn. Encouraging children to be free to explore, play, and develop musical ability at their own pace can establish a love of music that can last a lifetime!

Stanton’s Sheet Music offers not only these colorful and fun storybooks, but also many books of children’s songs to sing, dance to, and act out, including My First Orchestra Book, Tubby the Tuba, and the Freddie the Frog series. Call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC for more information, or email us at keyboard@stantons.com. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Barb M. has worked in the Keyboard Department at Stanton’s since 1981. An active folk musician in the Columbus area, Barb also works with ensembles at her church and plays in the Columbus State Concert Band. In her spare time, Barb loves working with animals and computer games.


Elementary General Music Clinic 2017 09 May, 2017

gm logoElementary General Music Clinic
Wednesday 8/2/2017, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $25.00
Stanton’s Sheet Music is excited to welcome Sharon Burch as our clinician for the 35th edition of our Elementary General Music Clinic. This is one of Stanton’s longest running and most successful clinics, showcasing the best new teacher resources, song collections, games, musicals and more! We are sure that you will find materials that will keep you and your students interested throughout the year. Get your school year started on the right foot!

Registration opens on April 1st! Call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


24th Annual EXCELLENCE IN CHORAL LITERATURE 25 April, 2017

Stanton’s Sheet Music is pleased to announce our 24th annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic!

EXCELLENCE IN CHORAL LITERATURE
Saturday 8/26/2017, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Stanton’s Sheet Music, James E. Strouse Workshop Hall, 330 S. Fourth Street, Columbus OH 43215
REGISTRATION: $20

This session, led by James Gallagher (Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University), is designed to help you select concert and contest literature from some of choral music’s most distinguished composers, featuring the best in new music for mixed, treble, and men’s choirs at all levels of difficulty. Your registration fee includes a complimentary packet of over 30 titles. Come join us to discover beautiful music and share ideas with colleagues and friends!

For more information, please contact us by email, or call us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


SUPER SESSION This Summer! 11 April, 2017

ss logoStanton’s Super Session
Saturday 8/5/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights United Methodist Church, 775 Galloway Road 43119
REGISTRATION: $55.00 (includes lunch)

Do you need to put a little “spark” in your choral program? Is there just too much new music out there for you to review? Join us for a fun, enriching day of music education with Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin, and Stanton’s own Jen Sper featuring music from Alfred Publications, Shawnee Press, Choristers Guild, Heritage Music Press, and other choral publishers. Nowhere else will you find such a variety of new choral selections and teaching resources to inspire and motivate you and your students as you begin the school year.

Visit our previous post for information on how to choose the Stanton’s session that is best for you. 

Registration is now open! Call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


THE JOY OF SINGING 2017 04 April, 2017

Stanton’s is thrilled to announce The Joy of Singing 2017 – two full days of the best new music from Hal Leonard!

THE JOY OF SINGING: Young & Developing Choir
Thursday 8/3/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $55 (includes lunch)
New music appropriate for the beginning choral singing level (unison/2-part/3-part mixed). Includes choreography and two spotlight sessions on specific areas.

THE JOY OF SINGING: Middle & High School Choir
Friday 8/4/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $55 (includes lunch)
New music appropriate for the middle/high school choral singing level (2-part, 3-part mixed, SAB, and SATB). Includes choreography and two spotlight sessions on specific areas.

Our clinicians this year will be John Jacobson, Cristi Cary Miller, Rollo Dilworth, and Mac Huff. Each director will receive a packet of complimentary booklets containing complete editions of arrangements suitable for both school and community choirs. You’ll have ample time to browse Stanton’s on-site store and chat with the clinicians throughout the day.

Visit our previous post for information on how to choose the Stanton’s session that is best for you.

Registration is now open! Contact us at 1-800-426-8742 or choral@stantons.com for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


THIS SUMMER: Elementary Clinic with Sharon Burch 28 March, 2017

gm logoElementary General Music Clinic
Wednesday 8/2/2017, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $25.00
Stanton’s Sheet Music is excited to welcome Sharon Burch as our clinician for the 35th edition of our Elementary General Music Clinic. This is one of Stanton’s longest running and most successful clinics, showcasing the best new teacher resources, song collections, games, musicals and more! We are sure that you will find materials that will keep you and your students interested throughout the year. Get your school year started on the right foot!

Registration opens on April 1st! Call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Plan to Attend: EXCELLENCE IN CHORAL LITERATURE 2017 14 March, 2017

Stanton’s Sheet Music is pleased to announce our 24th annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic!

EXCELLENCE IN CHORAL LITERATURE
Saturday 8/26/2017, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Stanton’s Sheet Music, James E. Strouse Workshop Hall, 330 S. Fourth Street, Columbus OH 43215
REGISTRATION: $20

This session, led by James Gallagher (Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University), is designed to help you select concert and contest literature from some of choral music’s most distinguished composers, featuring the best in new music for mixed, treble, and men’s choirs at all levels of difficulty. Your registration fee includes a complimentary packet of over 30 titles. Come join us to discover beautiful music and share ideas with colleagues and friends!

For more information, please contact us by email, or call us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Mission: Composition 03 March, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

Students love to compose their own music when given the knowledge and tools to feel confident doing so – but, teaching composition to young musicians can be intimidating! Here’s a great new resource to help:

Mission: Composition by Matthew Cremisio & Jennifer Lee-Alden
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: develop music literacy that won’t self-destruct! Beginning with steady-beat development and progressing through improvisation to reading and writing standard notation, this comprehensive music literacy program culminates in student composition. To assist your mission, manipulatives, play-along tracks, reproducible worksheets, and assessment rubrics appear on the included CD.

Need more composition and theory resources for your music classroom? Find them on our website, or contact us for new ideas! And remember, shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Stanton’s SUPER SESSION 2017 28 February, 2017

ss logoStanton’s Super Session
Saturday 8/5/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights United Methodist Church, 775 Galloway Road 43119
REGISTRATION: $55.00 (includes lunch)

Do you need to put a little “spark” in your choral program? Is there just too much new music out there for you to review? Join us for a fun, enriching day of music education with Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin, and Stanton’s own Jen Sper featuring music from Alfred Publications, Shawnee Press, Choristers Guild, Heritage Music Press, and other choral publishers. Nowhere else will you find such a variety of new choral selections and teaching resources to inspire and motivate you and your students as you begin the school year.

Visit our previous post for information on how to choose the Stanton’s session that is best for you. 

Registration opens on April 1st! Call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Join us at THE JOY OF SINGING 21 February, 2017

Stanton’s is thrilled to announce The Joy of Singing 2017 – two full days of the best new music from Hal Leonard!

THE JOY OF SINGING: Young & Developing Choir
Thursday 8/3/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $55 (includes lunch)
New music appropriate for the beginning choral singing level (unison/2-part/3-part mixed). Includes choreography and two spotlight sessions on specific areas.

THE JOY OF SINGING: Middle & High School Choir
Friday 8/4/2017, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $55 (includes lunch)
New music appropriate for the middle/high school choral singing level (2-part, 3-part mixed, SAB, and SATB). Includes choreography and two spotlight sessions on specific areas.

Our clinicians this year will be John Jacobson, Cristi Cary Miller, Rollo Dilworth, and Mac Huff. Each director will receive a packet of complimentary booklets containing complete editions of arrangements suitable for both school and community choirs. You’ll have ample time to browse Stanton’s on-site store and chat with the clinicians throughout the day.

Visit our previous post for information on how to choose the Stanton’s session that is best for you.

Registration will open on April 1st – contact us at 1-800-426-8742 or choral@stantons.com for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Making Sight Reading Fun! 17 February, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Making Sight-Reading Fun! by Mary Jane Phillips
“Making Sight Reading Fun” – is that even possible? This creative resource book by veteran middle school choral director Mary Jane Phillips provides many different games to motivate upper elementary and secondary students to not only work harder on perfecting their sight reading skills, but to have fun while they do it! Along with motivational games like “Eliminator,” “Sight Reading Football” and “Trashketball,” Mary Jane offers tips and tricks from 27 years spent motivating students to learn to sight read in the most painless way possible. There are short Daily Activities and longer Friday “Game Day” activities – 20 in all – to keep students on their toes and engaged while learning to sight read. Also included are many sample music examples and a list of resources to use if you need to find more sight reading material. Suggested for grades 4-12.

Find more sight-reading resources for your choir on our website, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742 for recommendations. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Elementary General Music Clinic 2017 14 February, 2017

gm logoElementary General Music Clinic
Wednesday 8/2/2017, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $25.00
Stanton’s Sheet Music is excited to welcome Sharon Burch as our clinician for the 35th edition of our Elementary General Music Clinic. This is one of Stanton’s longest running and most successful clinics, showcasing the best new teacher resources, song collections, games, musicals and more! We are sure that you will find materials that will keep you and your students interested throughout the year. Get your school year started on the right foot!

Registration opens on April 1st! Call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


I Am Not Yours 13 February, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral Music Specialists

I am not yours, not lost in you,               Oh plunge me deep in love – put out
Not lost, although I long to be                 My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Lost as a candle lit at noon,                     Swept by the tempest of your love,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.                A taper in a rushing wind.

You love me, and I find you still                                  -Sara Teasdale
A spirit beautiful and bright,                                           
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

 

Sara Teasdale’s poem has been set by a number of composers, but this new setting by Victor Johnson beautifully captures the warmth of the text and allows for many opportunities to teach rich, open tone and elegant phrasing. For the most part, Johnson uses three-part writing, but divides into four parts at key musical moments for added depth. The voice leading both in and out of the divisi is intelligent and accessible, and is supported by a delicate, artful piano part that adds some shimmer to the warmth of the vocal lines. If you choose, you can add the optional violin part to this piece; it doesn’t detract from the singers but adds one more layer of color to the piece. Although we know that there are so many pieces for women’s voices inspired by text like this, we really feel that this is one that should be on your radar and that your students will love to sing it.

If you have any questions about these or other octavo recommendations, feel free to contact us for this and any other sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


Announcing SCHOOL CHORAL WEEK 2017! 07 February, 2017

Featuring talented clinicians from major publishers, Stanton’s summer choral clinics are a fantastic way to jump-start your school year! We always look forward to visiting with our regular customers, matching up faces with names of new attendees, and meeting teachers new to Stanton’s from across the country.

Mark your calendar for these dates:

Elementary General Music Clinic
Wednesday August 2, 2017
Clinician: Sharon Burch
THE JOY OF SINGING

for Young & Developing Choir
Thursday August 3, 2017
Clinicians: John Jacobson, Cristi Cary Miller & Rollo Dilworth

for Middle & High School Choir
Friday August 4, 2017
Clinicians: John Jacobson, Cristi Cary Miller, Rollo Dilworth & Mac Huff

Stanton’s Super Session
Saturday August 5, 2017
Clinicians: Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin & Jen Sper

Not sure which session is best for you? Here are some helpful guidelines:

I teach elementary classroom music! (any grades K-6)
Stanton’s Elementary General Music Clinic is perfect for you! We’ll feature new resources, song collections, activities, and musicals especially designed and selected for classroom music teachers.

I teach elementary school choir! (grades 3-5)
You’ll find great options at both the Elementary General Music Clinic AND the Joy of Singing – Young & Developing Choir sessions (see above and below for more details).

I teach middle school choir! (any grades 5-8)
The Joy of Singing – Young & Developing Choir is a great option. This day will feature new music for the beginning choral singing level (unison/2-part/3-part mixed voices), in both octavos and song collections. You’ll also get movement ideas (including videos and choreography notes from John Jacobson), and two spotlight sessions on specific areas. We’ll even look at some musicals too!

If your middle school choir uses 3-part mixed/SAB or developing SATB literature, you may also want to consider the Joy of Singing – Middle & High School Choir and the Stanton’s Super Session (see below).

I teach high school choir! (grades 9-12)
Join us at the Joy of Singing – Middle & High School Choir session OR the Stanton’s Super Session!

At both sessions, we’ll feature new choral music in all voicings (SATB/SAB/3-part mixed/2-part/women’s/men’s).

At Joy of Singing, we’ll present new music from Hal Leonard. You’ll also get movement ideas (including videos and choreography notes from John Jacobson), and two spotlight sessions on specific areas. Joy of Singing is usually about 50% concert/festival literature and 50% pop.

At Super Session, we’ll present new music from many publishers including Alfred, Shawnee Press, Heritage Music Press, Choristers Guild, BriLee and Carl Fischer. Super Session is usually about 75% concert/festival literature and 25% pop.

I teach middle school AND high school choir! (any grades 5-12)
Consider the Joy of Singing – Young & Developing Choir, the Joy of Singing – Middle & High School Choir AND the Stanton’s Super Session. Any (or all three!) days will provide you with lots of new repertoire and teaching ideas!

Also in August 2017:

Sacred Choral Reading Session
Saturday August 12, 2017
Clinician: Mary McDonald
(no pre-registration for this session)
Excellence in Choral Literature
Saturday August 26, 2017
Clinician: James Gallagher

Registration will open on April 1st. For more detailed information regarding any of these clinics, contact the choral department at 1-800-426-8742, extension 1. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Jazz for Young People 27 January, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral & Classroom Music Specialist and Ben Huntoon, Jazz Specialist

Jazz for Young People, Volume 1: New Orleans & Jelly Roll Morton by Sharon Burch & Wynton Marsalis
Introduce students to jazz through great literature combined with learning by doing! The first of ten volumes, Jazz for Young People includes step-by-step lessons that combine content and audio/video recordings of Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center artists with interactive student learning, including classroom instruments that every music teacher already owns or can easily afford. This easy-to-present resource is designed for a teacher who may or may not be trained in America’s art form – bringing jazz to the next generation. Digital downloads include: step-by-step lesson slides to project, audio recordings of each song and Wynton Marsalis sharing background information, as well as reproducible activity/assessment worksheets. Plus! You will have FREE access to corresponding video clips for each lesson. Perfect for the general music classroom (grades 2 and up), beginning jazz ensembles and community jazz education courses.

This is the first of 10 volumes in the “Jazz for Young People” series – we’ll be sure to update you as new volumes become available! Find more classroom music resources and jazz resources on our website, and contact us for more information – remember to shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

Ben Huntoon is the Jazz Education Consultant at Stanton’s Sheet Music. He received bachelors and masters degrees in music from Capital University and The Ohio State University respectively. As a professional trumpeter, Ben is accomplished in a wide variety of genres and has performed throughout the Midwest on many stages over the past 30 years. He also teaches trumpet, coaches brass ensembles and serves on the jazz faculty at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.


“Silly & Serious” for Early Childhood 16 January, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

Mari Schay’s Busy Bodies, Busy Brains series is a must-have resource for preschool and early elementary teachers! Research-driven and classroom-tested, each book in the series contains four thematic units, each consisting of eight lesson components which will develop musicianship while reinforcing general classroom curriculum. The child-centered and playful music-making activities include many favorite songs and rhymes as well as suggested picture books related to each theme.

New in the series this year:
Silly and Series by Mari Schay
Units include: “Silly Stuff,” “Sticky & Stinky Stuff,” “ABC & 1-2-3,” and “Time for a Rhyme.” All lessons are aligned with Common Core, NAfME, and Head Start standards.

Don’t miss the other books in the “Busy Bodies, Busy Brains” series – The Music in Me and You and Up, Up, and Away! – and lots more resources from Mari Schay, including Listen, Sing, Rattle, Ding, Sing, Drum, Play, and Strum, Tube Jams, Behind Bars, Poetic License, and Sing and Play the Global Way.

Find more valuable early childhood resources on our website, or contact us for more recommendations! And remember – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


The Resonant Male Singer 11 January, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

The Resonant Male Singer by Jacob Narverud
An inspired and fresh approach on building tone and ensemble resonance with male singers! With you as their personal trainer, this book provides daily workouts for your guys to help them develop a vibrant, healthy, and mature sound through proper vocal technique. This resource includes notated warm-up examples and photos with descriptive, enthusiastic teaching ideas. Topics include:
• Body, Breath, & Energy
• Muscles & Movement
• Exploring the Voice
• Finding & Activating Resonance
• Focusing the Resonance
• Tuning the Resonance
• Repertoire/Rehearsal Ideas
An appendix of tried-and-true suggested repertoire for middle, high school, and collegiate male vocal ensembles is included. An enjoyable, yet practical guide for anyone working with male voices!

Find more valuable choral texts on our website, or contact us for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


American Folk Songs for Choir 28 December, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral Music Specialists

As both a choral director and choral singer, folk songs frequently end up being my favorite pieces on a concert program; singing them is like experiencing a little piece of the culture from which they come. Because so many folk songs have been passed through generations by rote, they often have simple, singable melodies and a timelessness that resonates with both the performers and the audience. The three American folk songs we selected to share with you all have those traits, and we feel that they would work well in both concert and contest settings.

bright-morning-stars-are-risingBright Morning Stars Are Rising arr. Audrey Snyder
This sweet melody is showcased here with straightforward, quality three part treble writing, and the opening and closing of the piece provide opportunities to showcase a set of soloists or a small soli group if you choose. The long notes and ties over the bar provide great opportunities to teach phrasing and vowel matching, and although the harmonic writing is quality, there are also unison moments to both latch onto and teach unison tuning. The accompaniment options are flexible (and each of the options works well), so you have the options of performing the piece a cappella, with piano accompaniment, or with guitar accompaniment. If you have a student who plays guitar, this could be a great way to showcase his or her skill.

nine-hundred-milesNine Hundred Miles arr. Roger Emerson
This is one of my favorite folk melodies. In this arrangement, I like that every voice part gets the melody at some point throughout the piece, and, like Bright Morning Stars, the accompaniment works well for both piano and guitar, allowing you flexibility in your programming. The majority of the piece dances around a minor tonality (which students often gravitate toward and enjoy singing), and the pitches are diatonic, making solfege and number work with this piece accessible. The optional cello part adds some extra character and color, and would be a nice way to showcase a student cellist.

red-river-valleyRed River Valley arr. Roger Emerson
The minor setting of this folk song reflects the sadness in the text that depicts a friendship that is destined to be apart. The three part writing is straightforward and well-written, and, from a teaching perspective, this piece provides an excellent introduction to cut time and accessible, diatonic pitches for sight-reading exercises. My favorite part of the piece, though, is the a cappella section in the center; it’s accessible but powerful, and I think students will feel powerful singing it.

If you have any questions about these or other octavo recommendations, feel free to contact us for this and any other sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.