News & Views Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Category: Music Education

New Star-Spangled Titles for Band 23 April, 2014

Finding unique patriotic selections can be a challenge, but there is a wealth of new pieces for both young band and high school this year.  Ranging from typical fare (America, the Beautiful & The Star-Spangled Banner), to salutes to history (The Gettysburg Address; A House Divided; Last Full Measure); honoring the fallen (A Celebration of Taps; Ask Not; Arlington), and salutes to everyday heroes (Call to the Heroes); patriotic flag-wavers (Banners on Parade), and wonderful originals (Always United, Forever Strong & Legacy of Honor), there is something new to fill every patriotic programming slot.  All of these selections come highly recommended by our band staff, are great choices for patriotic concerts and civic events, and will make great additions to your library.

New Patriotic Titles for Young Band

America, the Beautiful 
arr. Dragon/Wagner
Grade 2
Long-established as THE setting of America, the Beautiful, the majestic beauty and awesome grandeur of Carmen Dragon’s arrangement has been preserved in this gorgeous edition with accommodations made for younger, less experienced groups. This edition is a must-have addition to your library that your students and audience deserve to experience!

Call to the Heroes
Chris M. Bernotas
Grade 1.5
This piece was inspired by the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the heroic acts of the first responders. Heroes surround us in life; this piece pays tribute to our everyday heroes, such as our parents, teachers, and peers.

A Celebration of Taps 
arr. Jerry Brubaker
Grade 2
Intertwining a harmonic component and featuring contrapuntal textures, this moving and mysterious work was inspired by a performance of Taps witnessed by the arranger in Arlington National Cemetery celebration the 150th anniversary of the hallowed melody with 150 buglers positioned throughout the twelve acre grounds.

The Gettysburg Address
Michael Story
Grade 1
To be performed with or without a narrator, this work contains musical fragments from three civil war songs, including the Battle Cry of Freedom, Dixie, and Battle Hymn of the Republic. Scored for beginners, the use of the narration will certainly enhance this patriotic setting.

A House Divided        
Brian Balmages
Grade 2.5
Based on Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech in 1858 about slavery, this contemplative work weaves original material with America to depict the tension in the House of Representatives. Often, the melody to America is altered melodically and harmonically as moments of anger, rage and fear dissolve into quirky moments of patriotism. The end of the work is magical, as the words let freedom ring are sung by the ensemble to leave the audience speechless.

Last Full Measure
Michael Sweeney
Grade 2.5
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Michael Sweeney has created an imaginative medley of Civil War tunes well-suited for young bands. The Girl I Left Behind Me (with optional tin whistles), When Johnny Comes Marching Home, and Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier express longing and hope for loved ones away, while Battle Cry of Freedom and Battle Hymn of the Republic inspire feelings of patriotic resolve and courage.

Yankee Fanfare
Travis J. Weller
Grade 2.5
Imaginative, crisp scoring and a constant rhythmic drive energetically propel this fresh new take on Yankee Doodle from start to finish. Originally used by British Soldiers to mock the American Colonists during the Revolutionary War, the Colonists used Yankee Doodle as a rallying song when the tide of war turned in their direction. Your students should rally around this stirring, very fun setting featuring mixed meters and engaging parts for all instruments, which could be used as an attention-getting opener or bring down the house closer!

                                                                                                                                                

New Patriotic Titles for Concert Band

Always United, Forever Strong
Brian Balmages
Grade 4
This dynamic concert opener reflects on the power of a community coming together to be greater than the sum of its individual members. A single note fanfare progressively builds and blossoms into a massive declaration of power and might. Glorious and resolute, this is a perfect programming alternative to the standard patriotic fare.

America, the Beautiful 
arr. Erik Morales
Grade 3
This thoughtful, yet powerful arrangement brings a distinct patriotic element to your program with a focus on harmonic beauty and ensemble sound. Melodies linger at times, then push forward as the music reaches a stunning climax full of polychords and a breathtaking ending.

Arlington (Where Giants Lie Sleeping) 
Paul Murtha
Grade 4
Composed as a tribute to generations of American servicemen and women buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., this powerful and emotional work is a fitting addition to any memorial occasion or concert. Offstage trumpets announce the opening theme following by reverent strains and a solemn statement of My Country, ‘Tis of Thee. The piece develops and builds gradually, reaching a heroic climax with the familiar hymn God of Our Fathers before returning to a quiet and reflective mood as the offstage trumpets return.

Ask Not: A Musical Tribute to JFK
James Swearingen
Grade 3
A glimpse of American history is unveiled in this stunning work that musically reflects the life and times of our 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Through the use of a narrator, a wealth of information is provided that the audience will find fascinating and informative, bringing music and history together to create an educational and inspirational event.

Banners on Parade
arr. Stephen Bulla
Grade 3
Perfect for any patriotic event or showing pride in the national colors at any time, here is a rousing and creative arrangement of familiar flag-wavers! Stephen Bulla opens with You’re a Grand Old Flag, followed by the “hurrah for the flag of the free” trio section of Stars and Stripes Forever, and finishes with a toe-tapping rendition of Yankee Doodle Boy.

Legacy of Honor
Jay Bocook
Grade 4
This impressive work from Jay Bocook opens with a reverent and lush chorale segment interspersed with brief solos for oboe, flute, trumpet, and bassoon. The pace quickens with a grand heroic theme which evolves and intensifies into a majestic climax. The mood calms as this beautifully orchestrated and rewarding piece closes in a quiet and delicate manner.

The Star-Spangled Banner
arr. Damrosch/Sousa
Grade 4
This is the first concert-sized publication of the superb Sousa-Damrosch Star Spangled Banner. Their Ab version remains one of the most standard and sing-able arrangements of our National Anthem. It was richly harmonized in 1917 by Walter Damrosch and skillfully arranged by John Philip Sousa. This arrangement has been carefully editied by Keith Brion, and includes fascinating historical background.

Vintage Vinyl – Classic Hits for Band 17 April, 2014

Pop titles are perfect spring concert fare, and once you’ve selected a contemporary Top 40 hit or two for your students, it’s nice to treat your audience of 30-something parents (and yourself) with music familiar to their generation.  From the funk of Tower of Power and The Commodores to the rock n’ roll and heavy metal of The Eagles, The Who, and Guns N’ Roses, there is a host of new arrangements of hits from the 70’s and 80’s that will go over well with your audience.  Besides, there’s no such thing as hipping your students to too much music!

Brick House – The Commodores
arr. Paul Murtha
Grade 3
This funky hit recorded by the Commodores in 1977 has proven its staying power over the years.   Paul Murtha’s lively arrangement featuring the signature horn riffs is sure to become an audience favorite.

The Eagles on Tour – The Eagles
arr. Patrick Roszell
Grade 3
Iconic 70′s rock band, The Eagles, are highlighted in this arrangement featuring three of their biggest hits—the bluesy Heartache Tonight, the beautiful Desperado, and the haunting Hotel California.

Lennon – John Lennon
arr. Roland Barrett
Grade 3
John Lennon is responsible for 25 number-one singles on the U.S. Hot 100 chart, and in 2008, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Included in this lush arrangement are Jealous Guy, Instant Karma, and Imagine.

Metal! – Various Artists
arr. Sean O’Loughlin
Grade 3
Who knew that vintage metal tunes would adapt so well for the concert stage! Sean O’Loughlin’s experience working directly some of the nation’s top recording artists gives him a decided edge when it comes to making these timeless heavy metal hits sound great for band. Includes: The Trooper (Iron Maiden), Iron Man (Black Sabbath), Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions), and Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne).

Pinball Wizard - The Who
arr. Patrick Roszell
Grade 3
From The Who’s rock opera, Tommy, this high-energy, driving classic has been recognized in Billboard’s Top 10.  Who but Patrick Roszell could bring Pete Townshend’s power chords come alive for concert band!

Tower of Power Greatest Hits – Tower of Power
arr. Victor Lopez
Grade 3.5
A mainstay of funk music since the 70′s, this arrangement features three of the best-known hits by Oakland, CA based Tower of Power.  Perfect for addressing articulation and tight playing, the tunes include What Is Hip?, the lyrical ballad, You’re Still a Young Man, and Down to the Nightclub.

Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N’ Roses
arr. Paul Murtha
Grade 3
Named the greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1, Guns N’ Roses’ signature hit was introduced back in 1987 and remains as popular and recognizable today as ever. Featuring plenty of musical variety and excitement, this version will challenge young players but is guaranteed to inspire them to practice!

Top 40 Hits for Concert Band 08 April, 2014

Students always want to play something familiar and fun on the spring concert, and it’s nice to reward them for their hard work during the school year.  It also helps with enthusiasm and retention, and besides, most of us start playing music because of our exposure to and interest in pop music.  There are several solid new arrangements of Top 40 hits at the grade 3 level from some of today’s most popular artists including Lady Gaga, fun., Coldplay, and hit maker Bruno Mars that your students will love.

Applause – Lady Gaga
arr. Michael Brown
Grade 3
Lady Gaga has struck gold again with this driving and catchy blockbuster hit. This up-tempo rock arrangement is characterized by a syncopated and rhythmic pulse and tuneful melody.

Atlas – Coldplay
(from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
arr. Michael Brown
Grade 3
Recorded by Coldplay, this beautiful and emotive ballad from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire notably marks the first time that the band has ever written and recorded an original song specifically for a motion picture.

Carry On – fun.
arr. Jerry Davis
Grade 3
A fun and infectious way to introduce your students to 12/8 meter, this uplifting, mid-tempo anthem, recorded by indie band fun., encourages you to push through and, indeed, carry on.

Treasure – Bruno Mars
arr. Victor Lopez
Grade 3
Bruno Mars’ latest upbeat Top 10 hit is incredibly playable and arranged with a contemporary disco soul beat.  Your band will dig the groove and zesty Latin ornaments.

Top 40 Hits for Young Band 02 April, 2014

One Direction

Spring concerts usually feature lighter concert pieces, music from movies and shows, and students always want to play something they know from the radio.  Teachers often like to reward students for working on the year’s concert music, and it also helps with enthusiasm and retention, so there is nothing wrong with choosing 1 or 2 Top 40 titles for your program.  At the grade 1-2 difficulty level there are new arrangements of hits from One Direction, Anna Kendrick from the movie Pitch Perfect, Pink, fun., and the ever popular (and really solid), Katy Perry.

Best Song Ever  – One Direction
arr. Michael Story
Belwin Beginning Band – Grade 1
This catchy hit from popular band One Direction features an upbeat rock groove, and is written for students in their first or second year of band.

Cups (When I’m Gone) – Anna Kendrick
arr. Johnnie Vinson
Discovery Plus – Grade 2
The critically acclaimed movie Pitch Perfect about a college a capella group featured this upbeat hit recorded by Anna Kendrick. The clever “cups” routine performed with a cup and table tapping has inspired numerous versions on social media. This arrangement for young players allows you to feature the percussion section, or be adventurous and have someone actually doing the “cups” routine out in front of the band!

Just Give Me a Reason – Pink
arr. Patrick Roszell
Belwin Young Band – Grade 2
The mega pop hit by Pink and Nate Ruess, lead singer of fun., comes to your developing concert band with every section getting a chance to shine on the melody.

Roar – Katy Perry
arr. Michael Story
Belwin Young Band – Grade 2
This mid-tempo “power-pop” chart is the first single released on Katy Perry’s 2013 studio album, Prism, and is set in a pop-rock style. Acclaimed as her most successful single to date, even beyond her chart-topping single “Firework,” the uplifting lyrics are certain to bring that same high energy to your developing band performance.

Roar – Katy Perry
arr. Michael Brown
Discovery Plus – Grade 2
With a moderate yet powerful rock pulse and signature strong melodies, this Katy Perry hit adapts easily to a setting for young bands.

Some Nights – fun.
arr. Patrick Roszell
Belwin Beginning Band – Grade 1
The infectious title track by fun. features basic, teachable syncopations, and is sure to be a hit with your students!

New Broadway & TV Band Arrangements 27 March, 2014

Amid all the new Top 40 and movie arrangements for concert band this year is an eclectic handful of pieces featuring music from Broadway and Television.  A hit in over 120 countries, and having just finished its fourth season in the U.S., Downton Abbey – The Suite blends some of the incidental music from the series with the beautiful main theme.  Mash-Up – Tribute Edition combines the music of fun. and Alicia Keys in remembrance of beloved character Finn from Glee, in the wake of the tragic loss of actor Cory Monteith.  HBO continues producing high quality miniseries with Hans Zimmer and Blake Neely’s theme to The Pacific available as well as a medley of songs from Stephen Schwartz’ Broadway classic Pippin.

Downton Abbey – The Suite 
arr. Douglas E. Wagner
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3
The highly popular television series has become the most-viewed period drama in thirty years. The trials, triumphs, and tribulations of the aristocratic Crawley family are intertwined with the colorful lives of the live-in servant class. The equally colorful music is cast in this medley featuring the series’ familiar theme Did I Make the Most of Loving You?.

Mash-Up – Tribute Edition  
(Remembering Finn)
arr. Patrick Roszell
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3
Combining the music of the infectious group, fun., and the soulful voice of Alicia Keys, this mash-up of We Are Young and Empire State of Mind serves as a fond remembrance of the popular character, Finn, from the hit television show, Glee.

The Pacific (Main Title)
arr. Ted Ricketts
Hal Leonard Concert Band
Grade 3
From the acclaimed HBO miniseries, with a production team that included Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, comes this distinctive and poignant main theme. Apart from the series itself this powerful music stands on its own, and is beautifully adapted for band by Ted Ricketts.

Pippin
arr. Ralph Ford
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3
This endearing medley from Stephen Schwartz’ Broadway classic includes Corner of the Sky, Magic to Do, Extraordinary, Simple Joys, Pippin (Finale), and Morning Glow.

Young Band Works Perfect for Spring Concerts 24 March, 2014

The Stanton’s Sheet Music band staff is always looking for pieces to recommend that are great for teaching, fun to perform and listen to, and that provide some programming variety.  In this post, we’re going to turn the variety concept on its head.  The majority of the titles mentioned in this post are of a programmatic (read: concert piece) nature, but their style and backgrounds make them wonderful choices for your spring band concert, so why not break up the monotony of pop songs and movie music with one of these great concert selections!  We are particularly fond of Douglas E. Wagner’s treatment of the Carmen Dragon America, the Beautiful, and Brian Balmages’ bluegrass and Irish flavored Blue Ridge Reel which has been very popular.

America, the Beautiful
arr. Carmen Dragon/Douglas E. Wagner
Belwin Young Band
Grade 2
Long-established as THE setting of America, the Beautiful, the majestic beauty and awesome grandeur of Carmen Dragon’s arrangement has been preserved in this gorgeous edition with accommodations made for younger, less experienced groups. This edition is a must-have addition to your library that your students and audience deserve to experience!

Blue Ridge Reel
Brian Balmages
FJH Young Band
Grade 2.5
One listen and you’ll know why you should program this composition! Masters of style, FJH, do it again, this time capturing the spirit and essence of bluegrass music and its Irish heritage for the concert band! Light playing style, lots of 8th note work, and intricate interweaving of rhythms put this one over the top, while washboard and spoons add to the fun!

Codebreaker
Robert Buckley
MusicWorks
Grade 2.5
Spy music is always fun to play, and the colorful sonic palette of this original work by Robert Buckley is no exception. Use of chromatic tones, shifts in tonal and harmonic patterns, and effective percussion set the tone of intrigue and suspense. Perfect for change-of-pace programming, or pops concerts.

Last Full Measure (Gettysburg)
Michael Sweeney
MusicWorks
Grade 2.5
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Michael Sweeney has created an imaginative medley of Civil War tunes well-suited for young bands. The Girl I Left Behind Me (with optional tin whistles), When Johnny Comes Marching Home, and Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier express longing and hope for loved ones away, while Battle Cry of Freedom and Battle Hymn of the Republic inspire feelings of patriotic resolve and courage.

Open Road
Robert Sheldon
Measures of Success
Grade 1.5
Looking for a refreshing concert opener? Fiery and uplifting, this expansive work captures the essence and excitement of traveling the open countryside. Off-beat 8th note syncopation combined with the 3/4 meter create forward-moving lift, the memorable legato response figure provides a light contrast to the overall rhythmic drive, and excellent percussion writing rounds out the complete package!

The Code
Alan Lee Silva
Young Performance Series
Grade 2
Originally published for string orchestra, The Code tells a story that is perfectly suited bands. Your students will enjoy the mysterious style and sophisticated sound created by the tight, 8th note moving patterns, intricate part writing, and syncopated rhythms, and numerous accents, alternating articulations, and subtle dynamic shifts are sure to increase the maturity of your ensemble.

Spring Concert Programming for High School Band 21 March, 2014

While we’re in the midst of featuring the latest mid-year pop releases for concert band, the fantastic arrangements that were issued over the summer often get lost in the shuffle.  Luckily, our band staff keeps track of these titles, and thinks you should definitely give them a listen – especially Erik MoralesAmerica, the Beautiful and the Mambo from West Side Story.  These titles are perfect for your spring concert, and there’s something for everyone!

America, the Beautiful                      
arr. Erik Morales
FJH Concert Band        Grade 3
This thoughtful, yet powerful arrangement brings a distinct patriotic element to your program with a focus on harmonic beauty and ensemble sound. Melodies linger at times then push forward as the music reaches a stunning climax full of polychords and a breathtaking ending.

indexSoundtrack Highlights from Les Miserables          
arr. Jay Bocook
Symphonic Band           Grade 4
Here is a powerful symphonic setting of music from the award-winning movie based on the Broadway classic. This medley includes the new song Suddenly, composed for the film, in addition to the familiar At the End of the Day, I Dreamed a Dream, Master of the House, Castle on a Cloud, and Do You Hear the People Sing?

Mambo (from West Side Story)                      
arr. Michael Sweeney
Hal Leonard Concert Band        Grade 4
From one of the greatest musicals of all time, Leonard Bernstein’s ever-popular Mambo has been carefully adapted and edited to reduce some of the extreme technical demands of the original (notated in cut time and scored a third lower). However, none of the authenticity or energy has been altered, maintaining its crowd-pleasing stature as a stunning theatrical showcase or encore.

The Rolling Stones on Tour  
arr. Patrick Roszell
Belwin Concert Band    Grade 3
Hot off their 50th anniversary, this full-bodied, straight-ahead medley of legendary Rolling Stones hits combines Paint It Black, Ruby Tuesday, and the driving I Can’t Get No Satisfaction into a tour-de-force of classic rock.

Band Arrangements from the Silver Screen 17 March, 2014

Movie music can be familiar and fun to play, and is the only exposure to symphonic music for most of the general public, including your students.  Besides sounding awesome, it is a great way to vary your programming with some style and texture, and since many arrangements are in medley or suite form, work with your band on style, tempo, meter, and key changes.

This year features several great new arrangements and well-known themes from some very popular movies.  Alan Silvestri and Hans Zimmer are two of today’s most prolific film composers, and have scored some of the biggest blockbusters over the past few decades, including The Avengers, The Polar Express, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, Forrest Gump, and Back to the Future.  The work of each of these composers’ is featured is medley-style arrangements that are sure to be hits with both your students, and especially, your audience.  Alan Silvestri: A Night at the Movies is probably the best composer specific movie arrangement since Michael Brown’s Music for a Darkened Theatre featuring the music of Danny Elfman!

Hans Zimmer’s powerful score to Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Man of Steel, is featured in accessible arrangements for both middle school and high school.  If you’re programming the suite (grade 3.5), better get your hornists ready, and rounding out the mix is a medley of some of the most popular James Bond themes, including the recent hit Skyfall, by Adele.

Keep following the Stanton’s Sheet Music blog for more new pop arrangements for concert band including Top 40 Hits, new Disney arrangements (including Frozen!), music from Broadway and television, and classic pop/rock hits.

Alan Silvestri: A Night at the Movies
arr. Michael Brown
Grade 3
Film composer Alan Silvestri has penned some of the most distinctive and memorable moments in recent cinema history. Sure to be a favorite year after year, this impressive setting includes music in a wide variety of styles with familiar themes from The Avengers, The Polar Express, Night at the Museum, Forrest Gump, and Back to the Future.

At the Movies with Hans Zimmer
arr. Justin Williams
Grade 3
Hans Zimmer’s film scores are bold and intense, and are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. This collection is less a medley of tunes, and more a portrait of his styles and moods. Incorporating selections from Man of Steel, Inception, and The Dark Knight Rises, this arrangement is a tour-de-force of dramatic and emotional cinematic textures.

Bond…James Bond
arr. Stephen Bulla
Grade 4
Over the past five decades music from the James Bond film franchise has become a part of our musical culture. This powerful setting of familiar film themes will appeal to all audiences. Includes: James Bond Theme, Skyfall, Nobody Does It Better, Goldfinger, and Live and Let Die.

Selections from Man of Steel
arr. Michael Story
Grade 2
Recreating the excitement from the blockbuster Hans Zimmer film score, this medley from Man of Steel includes Look to the Stars, If You Love These People, Goodbye My Son, Oil Rig, and What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?.

Suite from Man of Steel
arr. Ralph Ford
Grade 3.5
Capturing the vastness, beauty, conflict, and emotion of Man of Steel, Ralph Ford’s suite arrangement from Hans Zimmer’s powerful score includes Look to the Stars, DNA, Goodbye My Son, Launch, Krypton’s Last, If You Love These People, Flight, and What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?.

Don’t Miss Disney’s Frozen for Concert Band 03 March, 2014

If there is anything that your students are clamoring to play this year, it’s music from Disney’s Oscar Award winning animated film, Frozen.

In an age when movies are bumped from the big screen in a matter of weeks, and some going to Blu-Ray/DVD so soon that they may as well be “direct-to-video”, Frozen continues its domination of the box office 3 MONTHS after its release (11/22/13)!  In addition to 2 Oscar Awards for Best Song and Best Animated Film, as well as numerous other film awards, the soundtrack is #1 on the Billboard 200 for the third straight week.  It’s been over a decade since the soundtrack to a theatrically released movie has had 3 weeks at #1, and the only other animated film soundtrack to achieve that was The Lion King.  To date the soundtrack has sold 750,000 copies, with Idina Menzel’s single Let It Go reaching #21 on the Hot 100, and in the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs.  On top of all that, the piano/vocal/guitar collection published by Hal Leonard has gone back to press for a 3rd printing!

With all this excitement and popularity, our band staff is thrilled to share the new band arrangements featuring music from FrozenHighlights from Frozen is a grade 3 medley perfect for high school bands arranged by one of our favorite writers, Sean O’Loughlin; the Oscar winner for Best Song, Let It Go, performed by Broadway superstar Idina Menzel, is a great choice for young bands in the grade 2 Discovery Plus series; and bands with incomplete or mixed instrumentation should consider the Music from Frozen medley published in the Hal Leonard Flex-Band series.

Spring concert programming couldn’t be easier with these titles filling one of the slots.  They are sure to be a hit with your students and audience!

Highlights from Frozen*
arr. Sean O’Loughlin
Hal Leonard Concert Band
Grade 3
Disney’s first Oscar Award Winner for Best Animated Feature, Frozen has quickly established itself as a classic with a heartwarming story, stunning visuals and magnificent songs. This wonderful concert medley from Sean O’Loughlin features Vuelie, Do You Want to Build a Snowman?, For the First Time in Forever, and the Academy Award winning Best Song, Let It Go.
        *Soon to be off the press – Available for pre-order!

Let It Go
arr. James Kazik
Discovery Plus
Grade 2
Performed by Broadway superstar Idina Menzel, this popular, Oscar Award winner for Best Song is available in a terrific setting for young players.  Both Let It Go and Frozen (winner: Best Animated Feature) are quickly becoming Disney classics.

Music from Frozen
arr. Johnnie Vinson
Flex-Band
Grade 2
From Disney’s Oscar Award winner for Best Animated Feature, Frozen, comes this medley of fantastic songs arranged for flexible instrumentation including Do You Want to Build a Snowman?, For the First Time in Forever, and Academy Award winning Best Song, Let It Go.

The Beatles Essential Elements Collection 28 February, 2014

Acknowledged by many Music Historians as the 20th Century’s best songwriters, The Beatles wrote songs that still retain their popularity and substance after nearly 50 years.  Now your young band musicians can learn and enjoy the catchy melodies, colorful harmonies and rhythmic hooks of some of The Beatles’ best offerings.

In a versatile book format that contains both full concert band and individual instrument arrangements, this Essential Elements-correlated collection gives first and second year students an introduction to eleven exciting titles from The Fab Four.  An optional CD contains a full recording of the band arrangements and additional tracks for use as accompaniments to the solo versions of the songs. A piano accompaniment book is also available.

Each student book has both a band part and a solo melody part, allowing the chance for even the “color” instruments, like oboe, horn and euphonium, to play the actual tune.  Johnnie Vinson, John Moss and Robert Longfield did the outstanding and educationally-oriented arrangements that are correlated page for page with the Essential Elements Band Method Books, spanning from Book 1, Page 24 to Book 2 page 32.

People have been clamoring for a band instrument Beatles book for a number of years and due to various copyright restrictions, none have been available recently until this one.  So now you and your students can relive the 1960’s British Invasion with more than a touch of music education along with it!  It’s your Ticket to Ride, Here There and Everywhere!

New Recommendations for JH Contests-SAB or 3 Part Mixed 27 February, 2014

Choosing music for your large group program can really keep a director up at night.  There are so many elements that you want to include in your program: varying tempi, foreign language, sacred, secular, accompanied, a cappella, differing time periods, world music,  and selections that show your group can sing in diverse styles.  Check out the selections below to help you on your way to a diverse and educational program!

All the Pretty Little Horses by Andy Beck

(English, secular,  American Folk Song, swing/jazz waltz, MM 152,)

This innovative arrangement presents the well-known American folk song with a jazzy twist. Unexpected, but highly creative, it’s something truly different for concert or jazz groups.

El Capotin arr. Lois Fiftal and Greg Gilpin(Spanish, secular, Puerto Rican Folk Song, MM 198, 3/4 time )

This Puerto Rican folk song has been arranged as a lively partner song using an original melody and both English and Spanish text. Combined with the festive piano accompaniment and shakers for all to play, this spirited choral is a multicultural gem.

For Everything There Is a Season by Jay Althouse (English, sacred, contemporary composer, 4/4 time, MM 84)

This contemporary setting based on this timeless and poignant text deserves a place in your upcoming contest program. Superb choral literature, guaranteed to touch all who hear it.

Kalinka arr. Audrey Snyder  (Russian/English, secular,  folk song, 2/4 time, spirited w/ many tempo changes)

Audiences and singers will thrill to this famous Russian folk favorite in an accessible setting for younger and developing choirs. Exciting tempo changes and dynamic contrasts will be tremendously fun to rehearse and perform!

Strike It Up Tabor by Thomas Weelkes, ed. John Leavitt (English, secular, Renaissance Madrigal, 3/4 Time, MM 198-207, a cappella)

This spirited 3-voice madrigal with hand drum dances with humor and rhythmic energy! Excellent as a processional or opening number, your singers will enjoy the clever wordplay and vocal effects!

Great 1st-Year Programming for Beginning Band 26 February, 2014

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Ruins at Tulum, Mexico

Beginning band is such a great time for students as they try new things and learn new skills.  The music that you program can really make a difference in helping them learn and grow, setting them up for success, and, hopefully, capture their imagination.  For these reasons, Stanton’s band staff takes pride and thoughtful consideration in the pieces that we recommend for beginning and developing band each year, and creates our own descriptions for those titles.  Besides, students are encouraged and feel like they’re making progress by “graduating” to real sheet music instead of performing from their band book, so why not program for your first-year players the way you would for your best junior high or high school band.

Our Staff Selections for beginning band this year include 2 concert openers, a number of different styles, 2 programmatic pieces, and a setting of a familiar sea shanty.  Educationally the ranges are fairly contained, of course, and there are opportunities to teach and reinforce basic diatonic scale patterns, basic 8th note rhythms, articulation, dynamics, and theme and variations.  These pieces also feature colorful percussion, and, most importantly, are interesting music that is fun to play!

For more exciting beginning band selections that have the recommendation of our band staff click here, and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Anthem of an Era
Tyler S. Grant
Grade 1.5
Celebratory concert openers at this level are few and far between. Tyler S. Grant gives us a work that is majestic with driving rhythms and contrasting lyrical passages. Conservative ranges and basic 8th note rhythms inspire confidence and set your ensemble up for success, while its bold sound is sure to impress!

House of Lords
Mekel Rogers
Grade 1
Perfect as an opener with its fanfare style, the majestic, regal quality of this piece accurately depicts the English style of its namesake. Basic diatonic scale patterns will begin developing articulation and fingering technique, and although most of its musical components are basic, the quality of stylistic writing is impressive.

The Ruins of Tulum
Jack Wilds
Grade 1
Intense and dissonant, both your winds and percussionists will have plenty of fun with this ancient sounding work about a Mayan city at the height of its power! In addition to claves, triangle, and marimba, driving drums set a primitive tone, while your winds address changes in articulation, and strong dynamic contrasts.

Sea Shanty Variations
Timothy Loest
Grade 0.5
Pirate themed works are always popular, and Sea Shanty Variations is based on the familiar sea shanty Drunken Sailor. Perfect for addressing 8th notes, independence in the low brass, and theme with variations in style and tempo, your students will love this arrangement!

Tambora!
William Owens
Grade 0.5
Colorful percussion and powerful wind writing bring this depiction of the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia to life. Your audience will be surprised by a programmatic work of this quality from a beginner group that features basic 8th notes and only the first six pitches, and your students will have fun with the clapping and foot stomping!

Plan to Attend: Excellence in Choral Literature 2014 21 February, 2014

Stanton’s Sheet Music is pleased to announce our 21st annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic on Saturday, August 23, 2014!

This session 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. 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!

New Solo & Section Features with Band 20 February, 2014

Solo and section features with band accompaniment are very specialized programming choices, and, therefore, do not receive a lot of attention or fanfare.  Even so, we do receive phone calls asking what is available to feature a specific instrument or section.  2013-14 is a particularly full year with a half-dozen each of NEW solo and section features, so we decided to highlight them to make your spring programming a little easier.  If these are not exactly what you’re looking for, or if you want to feature an instrument/section that is not listed here, head on over to our concert band page, and click on the Solo, Section, & Ensemble Features link to view complete listings by instrument/section, and continue to shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Solo Features with Band
Luisa di Montfort Finale
Clarinet Feature
Michael Bergson/arr. Andrew Glover
Barnhouse Spotlight Series
Grade 3                        $68.00

Sonata, Op. 29
Alto Saxophone Feature
Robert Muczynski/arr. Anthony LaBounty
G. Schirmer
Grade 5                        $95.00

Soaring
Trumpet Feature
Sean O’Loughlin
Concert Performance Series
Grade 3                        $90.00

Divertimento for Tuba and Band
Tuba Feature
David Bobrowitz
Daehn Publications
Solo Grade 4; Band Grade 3       $80.00

Field Ayres
Snare Drum Feature
arr. Douglas Richard/Eric Sheffler
Alfred Concert Band
Grade 4                        $80.00

Classical Gas
Mallet Percussion or Guitar
Mason Williams/arr. Ralph Ford
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3                        $70.00

Section Features with Band
Buglers Rule
Trumpet Section Feature
Joseph Compello
Premiere Performance Series
Grade 0.5          $45.00

A Saint-sational Trio
Trumpet Trio Feature
arr. Michael Story
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3                        $65.00

Teddy Trombone
Trombone Section Feature
Henry Fillmore/arr. Robert E. Foster
Authentic Fillmore Edition
Grade 4                        $80.00

Slim Trombone
Trombone Section Feature
Henry Fillmore/arr. Nicholas J. Contorno
Daehn Publications
Grade 3                        $72.00

Clamor, Clang, Clap & Clatter
Percussion Section Feature
David Shaffer
Rising Band Green
Grade 1.5          $46.00

Drummers’ Delight
Percussion Section Feature
Henry Mancini/arr. Robert Longfield
Discovery Plus Series
Grade 2                        $45.00

New Favorites for Spring & Summer Programming 12 February, 2014

“Hi.  Do you have any new patriotic/novelty/solo feature/fun arrangements for concert band?”

We get this type of question regularly, and not only are there new arrangements in each of these categories this year, our band staff likes them enough to include them in our Staff Selections and feature them here!  Each one fills a specific programming need, and is perfectly suited for spring high school programming or summer community bands.

Although there are plenty of patriotic arrangements available, occasionally it is nice to pay tribute to our nation with a stirring original concert work instead of the usual patriotic fare.  Brian Balmages’ Always United, Forever Strong does just that, and will add some variety to the patriotic selections in your library.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted novelty or encore number, you can’t go wrong with Curtain Call by John Wasson, composed for the Dallas Brass.  It features every section of your band, and is a programming throwback – a fun finale or encore number perfect for concerts “on the green”, or as a lesson in American wind band history for you high school group!

Divertimento for Tuba and Band is easily the best solo feature we’ve heard in a long time.  Its three contrasting movements highlight the flexibility of the instrument, and while sincere in its musicality and presentation, it never takes itself too seriously.  It’s enjoyable listening from beginning to end and a worthwhile showcase for your finest tubist.

Lastly, the aptly titled Fusion Generator by Ryan Fraley is just that.  The arrangers at FJH always capture the character of the style they’re going for perfectly, and this rock fusion chart just grooves and features an improvised solo section.  Great as a programming alternative!

Always United, Forever Strong
Brian Balmages
Patriotic – Grade 4
This dynamic concert opener reflects on the power of a community coming together to be greater than the sum of its individual members. A single note fanfare progressively builds and blossoms into a massive declaration of power and might. Glorious and resolute, this is a perfect programming alternative to the standard patriotic fare.

Curtain Call
John Wasson
Encore/Novelty – Grade 3
Originally composed for the Dallas Brass as part of a collection entitled Brass Grooves, this celebratory work really comes to life in this sparkling setting that features every section of the band. Conceived as a tribute to all the great finales and encores, it’s a flashy, energetic flag-waver sure to end your concert with pizzazz.

Divertimento for Tuba and Band
David Bobrowitz
Solo Feature – Grade 3; Solo Grade 4
This three-movement solo feature for tuba entertainingly showcases the many qualities of the instrument– flashy, whimsical, tender, and sometimes in-your-face! Each movement is a delightful stylistic gem in its own right (Kinetic Energy, Lullaby, and March) and all are a unique departure from the standard “solo feature” dryness.

Fusion Generator
Ryan Fraley
Fusion Rock – Grade 3.5
This fusion rock chart features rhythm section and can also showcase electric guitar. A great way to add a pop element to your program, this piece is also an ideal vehicle to feature your alto or tenor sax player in an improvised solo section. Memorable melodies and a groovin’ bass line will leave a lasting impression on both students and audience.

New Concert Collections Perfect for 1st & 2nd Year Players 04 February, 2014

In case you missed our post when these were first released back in the fall (or in case you completely forgot about them), we’ve decided to re-post this feature on the new Accent on Performance concert collections from Alfred Publishing.  Beginning and middle school band directors will want to take note as these make programming easy for first and second year players.

Concert collections are a great way to add a lot of titles to your library, and get some real bang for your budget buck.  This past fall, Alfred Publishing released a whole new series of concert collections called Accent on Performance collecting the beginning band arrangements from the Accent on Achievement band series written and arranged by John O’Reilly and Mark Williams.  The series are collected by style and theme, (Concert Favorites Collection, Light Concert Collection, March Collection, and Classical Collection), each featuring 22 titles – now that’s some bang for your buck!  Being correlated with the Accent on Achievement band method, the arrangements are fun and educationally sound, and range in difficulty from grade 0.5-1.5.  Click on each series below to see the instrumentation, and visit Stanton’s Concert Band page to find more fantastic concert collections!

Accent on Performance: Concert Favorites Collection

Attack of the Cyclops, Aurora, Bryce Canyon Overture, Cardiff Castle, Cedar Canyon Roundup, Centurian, Dragons of the Ancient Court, Festival of the Gladiators, Knights Kingdom, Lone Star Trail, Northern Lights, One Hit Wonders, Pacific View Overture, Primordium, Procession of the Cyborgs, Rimrock Overture, Temple of Sinawava, The Lost Kingdom, The Might of Hercules, Two Modal Episodes, Windstorm, Windstar Overture

Accent on Performance: Light Concert Collection

African Marching Song, African Spirit Dance, Camino Real, Canciones Mexicanas, Echoes of Santa Fe, Legend of the Alhambra, Mary Ann, More Cowbell, Mountain Songs, Mucho Mariachi, No Drummer Left Behind, Pico Rivera, River Trilogy, Rockin’ Candy Mountain, Rockin’ La Bamba, Sailor’s Holiday, Skye Boat Song, Stand Up and Swing, Synco Rock, Trumpets of Seville, Two Chinese Folk Songs, Viva Mariachi

Accent on Performance: March Collection

Battle Creek March, Cold Brook March, Early Bird March, Fanfare for Freedom, Honor Roll March, March for Megan, March for Patriots Day, March Royale, March Saranac, March Supreme, March Zuma, Marching Marines, Maritime March, New Orleans Strut, Pirates Cave, Seaway Festival March, The Magnificent Five, Thunder Bay March, Trumpets Up Front, Twin Cities March, Two Bridges March, Wingate March

Accent on Performance: Classical Collection

A Mozart Mix, A Night at the Opera, Allegro from Water Music, An Afternoon at the Ballet, An Evening with the Masters, Ave Verum Corpus, Bach March and Musette, Best of Beethoven, Can-Can, Classic March Duo, Elizabethan Dances, Finale from Brahms #1, Joyful, Joyful, Mozart Minuet and Rondo, Mozart Serenade and Dance, Night at the Pops, Renaissance Dances, Saturday at the Symphony, St. Anthony Chorale, Surprise Symphony Variations, The Big Three, Two Greig Sketches

Junior High Vocal Solo Collections 30 January, 2014

Choosing music for solo singers at the middle school level can be challenging. Students often have limited vocal range, difficulty with long phrases, or light voices that are easily overpowered by a thick piano accompaniment. Many appropriate selections for beginning soloists can be found in the following collections, great for solo and ensemble competitions, recitals or even church performance.

    “Let Nature Sing” is the newest volume in a series for young singers from BriLee Music.   It contains a wide variety of songs, from spirituals and folk songs to originally composed works, all by female composers. Selected with the treble voice in mind, songs with narrow ranges of six and seven notes progress to songs that expand the range as the voice develops. The nature of the selections is to challenge the voice, not to tax it, to develop its expressive capabilities, not to over-extend it.

The fourth in a series of solo song volumes for young singers, “Tales of Land and Sea” contains spirituals, folk songs and originally composed works by Mark Patterson.  The selections are especially compiled, arranged, and composed for the male changing voice. Songs progress from the “just changing” voice, to selections for young tenors, and finally, to songs for the young baritone. The included CD contains both vocal demo and instrumental tracks for all 10 pieces in the book.

Other selections in this series from BriLee include “My Heart Sings” (treble voices,) “Heroes and Vagabonds” (changing male voice,)  and “Traveling On” (changing male voice.)

folksong     “15 Easy Folksong Arrangements” (available in both Low and High voice,) is designed for those students in the early stages of voice study.  The ranges are modest, and songs have been chosen for both genders. The new arrangements are lovely, fresh and interesting, but keep the simple vocal line in the forefront. The piano accompaniments were deliberately designed for an intermediate level player. The CD is included as a learning tool, and a piano accompaniment track for practice.  Also available in this series are “15 Easy Spiritual Arrangements” (Low and High) and “15  Easy Christmas Carol Arrangements” (Low and High.)

For more advanced singers in this age group, consider “Daffodils, Violets and Snowflakes” (available in Low and High voice.) Joan Frey Boytim has compiled this collection especially for young women singers. The 24 songs – excellent literature for the young classical singer – have been chosen not only for the vocal ability of pre-teens and young teens, but also for the tastes and sensibilities of this age group.

For more information on these collections or other vocal solo literature, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit www.stantons.com!

Exciting New Programmatic Pieces for High School Band 28 January, 2014

barn-012-4207-00-fAside from filling a unique role in your concert programming, programmatic works for band can be great for musical growth and development, fun and motivating for students, and provide points of imaginative thematic and sonic interest for your audience.  They also draw from a wide range of inspiration – from the literary (Call of the Wild) to the magical (Hocus Pocus), the mythical (The Phantom Herd Across the Western Sky) to the historical (The Ides of March; Voyage to the Edge of the World), fostering imagination and creativity within your students, and creating great cross-curricular connections.  Whatever your interest in programming any of these titles, our band staff enthusiastically recommends them for their musical and music teaching qualities alone.

Call of the Wild
Brian Balmages
Grade 3
Based on the novel by Jack London, this powerful work depicts a heroic dog’s struggle as he progressively moves from domesticated animal to a creature of the wild.  The powerful opening fanfare over dissonant woodwind trills moves into a fast-paced section as Buck has his brutal introduction into primitive law. The music becomes angrier as dramatic battles occur along with long journeys without adequate food and water. Eventually the music becomes heroic and resolute as Buck finally completes his transformation, returning to the wild.

Hocus Pocus
James Syler
Grade 3.5
Mischief and fun abound in this magical work that evokes images of some of our favorite young wizards, including the sorcerer’s apprentice. A mystical opening features flute and percussion before moving into a tarantella, a fast dance in 6/8 that almost has a delirious character to it. Themes collide, intensity rises, and pulse quickens as the music moves forward at a feverish rate. Let the magic begin!

The Ides of March
Sean O’Loughlin
Grade 3
Pulse-pounding and haunting, this dramatic composition celebrates the composer’s love of modern film music and displays an intriguing economy of musical material while remaining wonderfully melodic and elegant.

The Phantom Herd Across the Western Sky
Robert W. Smith
Grade 3
An exciting and intriguing work based on the legend of Texas ghost riders and a ghost herd as they embark on a dark and mysterious journey through the night.

Voyage to the Edge of the World
Larry Neeck
Grade 3
The global voyages of the great explorers are portrayed in this bold, adventurous overture.  Driving, themes depict tension and uncertainty, while subtler lyric melodies portray the wonders of the new world.

Recommended New Adjudication Options for Junior High Band 22 January, 2014

imagesSelecting pieces for adjudication is always a challenge.  Whether you’re a band director in Ohio looking for the perfect “optional” selection to pair with your piece off of the OMEA Required Lists, or one of our friends in a state like Kentucky where “anything goes” – there is no specified list for junior high/middle school, these six new titles are all great adjudication options.  All of them made our young band promotion for 2013-14, and they provide a variety of programming styles and teaching opportunities.  Hopefully one of these will be the “perfect fit” for your contest program.  Don’t forget to order your judges’ scores and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.  Best of luck at adjudication!

Beyond the Darkness
James Swearingen
Grade 2.5
A dramatic opening gives way to pulsating percussion, driving subdivision, and syncopation throughout the ensemble as this work alternates between thematic sections.  Layered parts address playing independence while powerful unison ensemble punctuations develop confidence in this exciting concert work.                                             

Beyond the Riverbend
Robert Sheldon
Grade 2
If you’re looking for a really good, new A-B-A overture, this one has it all – an energetic A-section; a light, flowing, B-section with lush harmonic shifts; and a solid transition to the recap.  Throw in multiple off-beat syncopations, a strong melody, and layered counter-melodies on the recap., and you have a fantastic program opener.                                                   

Chant, Chorale and Dance
Bill Calhoun
Grade 2
As the title implies, Chant, Chorale and Dance consists of three contrasting styles: the opening Chant features an incessant 8th note pulse and short scale patterns in thirds; the short Chorale section alternates between legato phrases and stately, rhythmic responses; the closing Dance has an underlying 8th note subdivision and light, staccato melody.  This is an ideal work to address style and tempo changes, and watching the conductor.                                                  

Counterbalance
Todd Stalter
Grade 2.5
Alluding to the musical variety contained within, Counterbalance is built around contrasts.  Full of syncopation, subdivision, 8th note lines that pass from section to section, contemporary, angular sounds, a lovely B-section with nice swells and harmonic shifts, accents, and triplets against 8th notes, this is definitely a work for the maturing ensemble.  It is a perfect optional piece for advanced middle school or high school bands going Class C.                                                   

Cradle Hymn
arr. Earl J. Fox, Jr.
Grade 2.5
Based on a lovely Kentucky folk tune, this is a great programming alternative.  The lyrical first setting contains nice counterlines and layers, and plenty of room for rubato phrasing and shaping.  The rollicking second setting features some 16th note work, jam blocks, and mallets before a last statement of the first setting leading to a peaceful conclusion.                                                    

Credo    
William Owens
Grade 2.5
Latin for “I believe,” the optimistic, inspiring sound of Credo makes for a perfect program opener.  Alternating between sections of 4/4 and 3/4, this work contains bold fanfares, engaging harmonies, and hemiolic rhythms along with a variety of tonal textures before leading to a strong finish.                                            

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing 20 January, 2014

The poem was written in 1899 by James Weldon Johnson, and set to music in 1905 by his brother,  John Rosamond Johnson.  It has become know as “The Black National Anthem“.   Over the course of more than one hundred years, this song has inspired and uplifted millions of Black  Americans through times of trial and triumph.  Stanton’s  Sheet Music tries to always have a few copies on hand.  The low version is in  A flat major, the high version is in B flat major.  To find more music for special occasions, you may call Stanton’s at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website at http://www.stantons.com.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!