News & Views Friday, February 12, 2016

Category: Music Education

NEW Adventures with Freddie the Frog! 10 February, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

sharon and freddieHave your students met Freddie the Frog? Freddie (and his musical friends!) was developed by master educator Sharon Burch to introduce fundamental music concepts to preschool and elementary children. Starting with his travels on Treble Clef Island (Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night), you can continue exploring and learning with Freddie as he meets the Bass Clef Monster and the Mysterious Wahooooo, and learns the blues on Crater Island and plays jazz with the Flying Jazz Kitten!

Don’t miss Freddie’s newest adventure…

Freddie the Frog and The Invisible Coqui
Freddie the Frog and Eli the Elephant are led by an unseen guide to the secret world of the invisible coqui. The coqui speak Spanish and love to play salsa music and dance through the night. Help Freddie and Eli learn the Latin rhythms to discover the identity of their mysterious hosts! Audio CD includes a read-along dramatization, a sing-along song, and play-along Latin rhythm tracks. Kid-friendly salsa dance steps are located at the end of the story. Suggested for Grades K-3.

For more quality resources for your elementary music classroom, please contact us!

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.


Announcing SCHOOL CHORAL WEEK 2016! 09 February, 2016

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 3, 2016
Clinician: Cristi Cary Miller
JoyOfSinging_30th_TINY THE JOY OF SINGING – 30th Anniversary Celebration!

for Young & Developing Choir
Thursday August 4, 2016
Clinicians: John Jacobson, Mac Huff, Cristi Cary Miller & Roger Emerson

for Middle & High School Choir
Friday August 5, 2016
Clinicians: John Jacobson, Mac Huff, Cristi Cary Miller & Roger Emerson

Stanton’s Super Session
Saturday August 6, 2016
Clinicians: Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin & Jen Sper

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

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 or 2-part treble voices), in both octavos and song collections. You’ll also get movement ideas (including videos and choreography notes from John Jacobson), and three 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 present 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 three 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 2016:

Sacred Choral Reading Session
Saturday August 13, 2016
Clinician: Mark Hayes
(no pre-registration for this session)
Excellence in Choral Literature
Saturday August 27, 2016
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!


Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz for Beginning Ensembles 08 February, 2016

recommended by Ben H., Jazz Music Specialist

The Stanton’s crew has just finished an exhausting season of music conventions from New York to Chicago and points in between. Although we’ve sold loads of great new jazz music and books, a jazz education standout has been the latest entry in the popular Teaching Music Through Performance Series. Released in time for the December 2015 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic on Chicago, Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz for Beginning Ensembles, is bound to become a staple on the shelves of music educators and college jazz methods classes. It serves as a veritable “how-to” for newbie teachers and seasoned professionals. The book is chock-full of tips and information from prominent jazz educators as well as analyzation of over sixty charts at the grade 1 – grade 3.5 level that are currently in print!

Read on for a description of this fantastic new jazz publication from GIA Publications.

“Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz for Beginning Ensembles”
Editor : Richard Miles
© 2016 GIA

Contributors: Ronald Carter, Roosevelt Griffin, Ben Huntoon, Brian Logan, Rob Parton, Willis Rapp, and Dean Sorenson

With this volume, the celebrated Teaching Music through Performance series is available for the first time for leaders of beginning jazz ensembles. This edition pairs practical perspectives from world-class jazz educators and performers— who specialize in working with beginning ensembles—together with Teacher Resource Guides for more than 60 of the best jazz charts published for beginning ensembles.

Part II: Conductor as Teacher focuses on the best jazz repertoire published today for beginning ensembles and provides a Teacher Resource Guide for each work. Each Teacher Resource Guide includes background information on both the composer and the history of each chart, technical and stylistic considerations, a discussion of musical elements of the work, and measure-by- measure rehearsal tips for the best jazz repertoire tailored for beginning ensembles. The repertoire covers Grade 1 through Grade 3.5.

This book is a truly significant resource for both beginning jazz educators and their students, and an invaluable contribution to the field.

For a complete listing of works covered in this volume, visit http://www.TeachingMusic.org.

Chapter 1: Recruitment and Rehearsal Strategies for the Beginning Jazz Ensemble; Chapter 2: Scheduling Options for the Beginning Jazz Ensemble; Chapter 3: Beginning Jazz Ensemble Instrumentation; Chapter 4: Basiz Jazz Articulations for Beginning Jazz Band; Chapter 5: Beginning Jazz Improvisation; Chapter 6: Selected Resources”

Stanton’s Sheet Music is proud that our own “Jazz Guy,” Ben Huntoon was a writer for this volume and chaired the committee selecting the charts to be included.

Buy your copy today!!!

About the Author:
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.


Join us at OMEA for 2 Band Showcases! 26 January, 2016

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Hey Ohio band directors – we’re excited that in addition to our annual jazz and orchestra reading sessions, we are sponsoring 2 (count ‘em 2!) showcase sessions at this week’s OMEA Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati!

Motivation, Inspiration, & Differentiation in Your Beginning Band will be presented by Cincinnati’s own Richard Canter (Walnut Hills H.S.) featuring his popular (and newly released 2nd Edition!) Scale & Rhythm Chunks. This session will be on Friday, January 29 at 12:00 p.m. in room CC212. You can also catch Rick immediately after the session at the Stanton’s booth for a meet & greet, to discuss the series, and have a chance to win an “I  Chunks” t-shirt!

Canter Showcase

Assessment with a Purpose: Improving Your Band Students’ Sightreading and Music Literacy Skills (co-sponsored by C.L. Barnhouse) will be presented by composer and educator Dr. Ed Huckeby featuring the just released Sightreading 101, 201, & 301 series. It will take place on Saturday, January 30 at 8:00 a.m. (we know it’s early, but it’ll be worth it!) also in room CC212. Stop by the Stanton’s booth on Friday to meet Dr. Huckeby and discuss this new series (including its assessment component).

Huckeby Showcase

Of course, we will have plenty of each of these series on-hand at the booth, along with a whole host of other arrangements and music education resources – just look for the blue balloon. We look forward to seeing you there!

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. Now that the holidays are over, the countdown to Kennywood season has begun (opening day May 7!). He has the rest of hockey season (Let’s Go Pens!) and the upcoming releases of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War to tide him over.


Edgar Allan Poe in the Choral Classroom 20 January, 2016

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

When we think of Edgar Allan Poe, poems like “The Raven” and stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart” come to mind. Sometimes we forget that this American master wrote not only of the supernatural, but more traditional subjects as well. Here are two new chorals that we love with completely different moods by this master of the macabre!

evening starEvening Star by Victor C. Johnson

Poe’s ode to the beauty of the moon is the complete opposite of what we expect from a Poe text. “O evening star, gently glowing star, fill our souls with peace tonight. Play for us the gentle strains of your symphony of light.” This beautiful piece is precisely what we love to see from Victor Johnson: a beautiful masterwork text, a soaring melody, interesting (but not difficult) harmonies and a well-crafted piano part make this a perfect piece for your fall/holiday program or concert/festival performances later in the year. Available in SATBThree-Part Mixed, and SSA.

 

lakeThe Lake by Jay Althouse

This piece, on the other hand, will make sure you never enjoy a vacation by the water again! “My infant spirit would awake; To the terror of the lone lake.” Dissonant harmonies and staccato singing make this a fun challenge for your group. The slower middle section is packed with fermate and caesurae, making it a wonderful opportunity for less experienced groups to work on expression and interpretation of conducting gestures. Available in SATB.

Extension activities abound when you program both of these pieces on the same concert. Consider slide shows or artwork with each piece, or partner with your language arts department for an entire Poe week right around Halloween. The possibilities are endless!

For more recommendations give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1 or check out the “Favorite Texts/Poets” section of our Listening Lab.

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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.


Pajama Party! 18 January, 2016


pajama partyPajama Party!

A Musical Revue About How Bedtime Can Be a Blast!

by Cristi Cary Miller and Jay Michael Ferguson
recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Music Specialists

When we review the scores of new products we receive each year for elementary general music teachers, one of the key things we look for are products that have clearly been “teacher tested, teacher approved.” It is obvious from the very first page that Pajama Party! falls into that category.

This musical for K-2 students is so adorable that you’ll want to start doing a musical with your early elementary students even if you’ve never attempted one before. Each of the songs is in a different musical style, and is about a different part of the bedtime routine. “Marching Orders” tells kids to pick up their toys and head for the bathtub in a fun march style. “Under My Bed” faces that scary monster that lurks in the shadows. Our personal favorite is the soft shoe-style partner dance “Cozy Special Friend,” where each student dances with their favorite teddy, blankie or doll. The cuteness knows no bounds!

Staging this musical is a breeze. Students play themselves and come in their favorite PJ’s, while a simple patchwork quilt-like backdrop can be made by hanging students’ old baby blankets. The rhyming script can be performed by as many or as few students as you like. There are no formal parts to cast!

This musical is an all-in-one package with a teacher book and a CD-ROM that includes performance and accompaniment tracks for each song as well as reproducible student songsheets, lyric pages and the script for just $49.99. Suggestions for choreography and staging are also included.

Have a great time with your younger students and throw a Pajama Party this spring!

For more recommendations for early elementary musicals, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1 or visit our Pinterest board, where we post our favorites for this age group.

About the authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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 SPOTLIGHT – Middle School Show Choir 30 December, 2015

middle school show choir

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of choir directors quite like the words “middle school show choir.” It’s a great recruiting ensemble that builds your program, but it can be very difficult to find appropriate literature. You want the kids to enjoy their music, but you don’t want it to be all current pop or “bubblegum” with no substance. You want to do some partner dancing, but you don’t want it to be too “touchy-feely” at this age. You don’t want the boys to constantly have to sing about lovey-dovey stuff, but the girls just eat that up. What’s a choral director to do?!?

singin in the rainMay we recommend Singin’ In the Rain? This classic tune from the Gene Kelly movie musical of the same name is arranged here for choir by Mac Huff. It’s perfect for middle school show choir! Here are some reasons why:

  • It’s got a happy, positive theme (“I’m singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain. What a glorious feelin’, I’m happy again. I’m laughin’ at clouds so dark up above, the sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love.”) that isn’t overly focused on couples and relationships. Plus, you never have to worry if the lyrics are school-appropriate!
  • Speaking of not being overly focused on couples, it IS the perfect opportunity for your first partner dance. Don’t have enough guys?  That’s ok, pairing up girls with each other can be lots of fun on this song too. And if you break out the umbrellas, you can skip the hand holding!
  • When it comes to giving your boys a strong dancing role model, you can’t do better than Gene Kelly! There’s lots of great moves that you can easily lift from the original.
  • The phrases in this arrangement are VERY short, giving students lots of opportunities to breathe without destroying the melodic line.
  • This particular arrangement comes in both a 2-part and SAB voicing. If you’re group has the balance, numbers, range and skill to do the SAB, that’s wonderful! If you’re just starting out or have a small and inexperienced group, the 2-Part can be easily adjusted for boys with changing voice. It has many unison passages as well, which can be opportunities for solos, small groups or more complex choreography.

For other great pieces for your middle school students give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext 1 or come on in and visit us!

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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.


News from the Music Publishing World – Choristers Guild Sing! 21 December, 2015

Sing2015-2016

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper

If you’re a teacher, you probably don’t pay much attention to publishers. You sometimes look for composers and arrangers that you like, but you barely give the publisher a second glance. However, we’ve got a new publisher on the scene this year for school choral music and we promise, it’s worth your time!

Mary Lynn Lightfoot has long been a name associated with quality school choral music. Longtime editor for Heritage Music Press (the educational arm of Lorenz publishing), this year Mary Lynn moved to Choristers Guild. Choristers Guild has always been a sacred publisher, but this year Ms. Lightfoot edited their first catalog aimed at the school market, entitled Sing!

This promotion (pictured at left) should have arrived in your school mailbox sometime in August. If you didn’t receive one, you can contact Choristers Guild through their website and request one here.

If you haven’t looked at this promotion, here are some reasons we think it’s worth your time:

  • First and foremost, the music is GREAT! When we do our initial listening for our choral promotions, we consider a publisher’s release “strong” if 30% or so of their titles make it through our first round. Out of this promotion, EIGHTY PERCENT of the titles make it through Round One (for more information about how we pick titles for promotion, check out our previous post on the subject).
  • When it comes right down to picking the 75 or so titles that we promote for the year, the competition gets even tougher. This year, SING! had the highest percentage of their new issues promoted. We picked FORTY PERCENT of their new releases for promotion. The next best major publisher had just 25%.
  • Many of the octavos come with a Learning Resource Page. Printed on the front inside cover, these offer coding from the new National Standards for Music Education (for use in lesson planning), as well as classroom activities, extension activities (for groupwork, homework, accelerated students, etc.), vocabulary and more.
  • We especially loved that the activities are age-appropriate. For example, two part octavo activities are clearly aimed at upper elementary/early middle school students, while SATB octavos have more sophisticated material for late middle school or early high school kids.

For more information about titles we especially liked, check out our middle school and high school promotions on our website, or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1.

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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.


Happy Birthday Alice Parker! 16 December, 2015

Alice Parker

by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

It’s hard to believe,  but Alice Parker turns 90 years young today! This elder stateswoman of choral music was born in 1925. She studied music at Smith College and received her master’s degree from the Juilliard School where she studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw. Her collaboration with Shaw continued for the duration of his career, and her catalog of folk songs, spirituals and holiday music (both alone and with Shaw) are staples of the choral literature. She is the recipient of 6 honorary doctorates and the Smith College Medal.

At the age of 90, Ms. Parker is still an active teacher, clinician, conductor and composer! Her non-profit organization Melodious Accord is sponsoring a project called Alice Is 90. They are asking for choral conductors to video record their groups singing her works anytime between December 2015 and December 2016 and upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook with #Aliceis90. Looking for a way to participate? Give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1; and we’d be happy to send you a 21 Day Trial or suggest something appropriate for your group.

Speaking of being an active composer, Stanton’s is happy to recommend these two new men’s chorals from Alice Parker, both in TTBB voicings:

hard times come againHard Times Come Again No More by S. Foster/arr. Parker (00144509)….$2.25

One of the sweetest of Stephen Foster’s songs, balancing nostalgia with heartfelt lament. Seems made for male chorus, with the kind of piano or guitar accompaniment that would’ve been found in 19th century homes. Very accessible vocal writing with a simple accompaniment, making this a fantastic option for every men’s chorus.

cindy.jpgCindy arr. Alice Parker (SBMP1215)………………………..$1.95

“I wish I was an apple a hangin’ from a tree, and ev’ry time that Cindy passed she’d take a bite of me.” Guys will delight in singing this clever arrangement of the American folksong. The versatility that the elegant writing affords makes this piece appropriate for choirs of all sizes.

 

 

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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.


Music from Star Wars 10 December, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Star_Wars_The_Force_AwakensWe’re 1 week away from the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and in addition to the numerous toys, action figures, shirts, collectibles, and other merchandise that you’re scooping up don’t forget to program some music from Star Wars on your spring concert or grab an instrumental play-along for you or someone you love. Below are the currently available, best-selling concert band arrangements and solo collections for winds and strings. We will update this post as new releases become available – the score to The Force Awakens is just recently finished, so arrangements and play-alongs featuring any new music have yet to be determined (and receive John Williams’ sign-off).
If you want to geek out on more Star Wars goodness, check out IGN’s helpful guide to what is now canon, and recent episodes of the Assemble After Dark podcast featuring Episodes I-VI.

Star Wars for Concert Band
*New for 2016!*
Star Wars Heroes
arr. Jerry Brubaker
This new arrangement has been announced, but is not yet available for order.
Celebrate the heroes with some of the most beloved music from Star Wars Episodes I-VI! This stunning medley arranged by Jerry Brubaker includes Star Wars (Main Title), Luke and Leia, Battle of the Heroes, Han Solo and the Princess, and The Throne Room.

Star Wars (Main Theme)
arr. Carl Strommen
Belwin Beginning Band
Grade 1                                    $56.00
One of the most recognizable movie themes ever written, John Williams’ explosive theme from Star Wars is made accessible to very young musicians in this Carl Strommen arrangement.

Highlights from the Star Wars Saga
arr. Paul Cook
Belwin Young Band
Grade 2                                    $70.00
Great music from the motion pictures Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. Composer John Williams’ genius shows in this very playable montage of Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme), Princess Leia’s Theme, Cantina Band, Han Solo and the Princess, and Star Wars (Main Theme).

Selections from the Star Wars Saga
arr. Michael Story
Belwin Young Band
Grade 2.5                     $67.00
Michael Story has expertly selected and arranged titles from Episodes I-VI of the Star Wars films for young band including: Star Wars (Main Title), Cantina Band, Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme), Augie’s Great Municipal Band, Across the Stars, and Battle of the Heroes.

Star Wars – The Marches
arr. Jerry Brubaker
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $77.00
John Williams created so many stunning marches to accompany the Star Wars motion pictures that they had to be combined in one powerful piece. The arrangement features: Star Wars (Main Theme), Parade of the Ewoks, Imperial March, Augie’s Great Municipal Band, and The Throne Room.

Suite from the Star Wars Epic – Part I
arr. Robert W. Smith
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3.5                     $80.00
A serious collection of the most recognized John Williams themes from the Star Wars prequels, the Suite from the Star Wars Epic – Part I contains three movements: Duel of the Fates (from The Phantom Menace), Across the Stars (from Attack of the Clones) and Revenge of the Sith (from Revenge of the Sith).

Suite from the Star Wars Epic – Part II
arr. Robert W. Smith
Belwin Concert Band
Grade 3.5                     $82.00
A serious collection of the most recognized John Williams themes from the original Star Wars trilogy, the Suite from the Star Wars Epic – Part II contains three movements: Princess Leia’s Theme (from A New Hope), Imperial March/The Forest Battle (from The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi), and, of course, the Star Wars (Main Theme).

Star Wars Solo Collections
Star Wars: A Musical Journey
Episodes I – VI                       $12.99
Star Wars: A Musical Journey includes selections from all six Star Wars movies. The wind instrument arrangements in this series are completely compatible with each other and can be played together or as solos, however they are not compatible with the string collections in this series. Each book contains a carefully edited part that is appropriate for the Level 2-3 player and a fully orchestrated accompaniment CD that includes a instrumental demo track followed by the play-along accompaniment track. Also included is both 4-color and black and white art from the movies.

The Star Wars Trilogy
Episodes IV – VI        $12.95
These instrumental editions are completely compatible with each other and can be played together or as solos. Melodic ranges and rhythms are carefully considered for each instrument so every tune is easily accessible to all players.  This collection includes music from the original trilogy not available in Star Wars: A Musical Journey – Ben’s Death/TIE Fighter Attack, Han Solo and the Princess, Yoda’s Theme, Luke and Leia, Parade of the Ewoks, The Emperor Arrives, and Victory Celebration.  Please note that no play-along tracks or piano accompaniment book are available for this collection.

Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III       $14.95
Part of an instrumental series arranged for Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Trumpet, Horn in F, and Trombone, these arrangements are completely compatible with each other and can be played together or as solos. Each book contains a carefully edited part that is appropriate for the Level 2-3 player and a fully orchestrated accompaniment CD. Each song on the CD includes a demo track, which features a live instrumental performance, followed by the Play-along accompaniment track.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He finds it very hard to believe that The Force Awakens will be the first Star Wars movie he’s seen on the big screen – especially having been born in 1977. He also wonders if the R2-D2 and C-3PO action figures that he and his brother had still exist somewhere in his parents’ basement.


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

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

John Mackey

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

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

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

Truly budding musicians...

Coffee = Truly budding musicians

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

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


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

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

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

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

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

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

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


Guitar Trios for Christmas 09 October, 2015

00865015

recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

If you have several guitar students, or several mid-later elementary guitar players  at church, school, or studio, this book of sheet music for Christmas, “Christmas Classics” is a great collection to get 3 of your players together to play background music at a dinner, or for a recital. The 15 songs include two secular tunes, “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls.” Chord symbols are provided, so a fourth guitar may be added for a rhythm part. Each song includes the melody part, a harmony part, and  a bass line. There are other collections of songs for guitar trio in the “Essential Elements Guitar Ensembles” line, too. For more information about this collection or other similar options, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or check our website, http://www.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.

 


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT: Truly Brave 07 October, 2015

truly brave

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

If you haven’t read our post about how we pick choral promotions, you might not know that Jen and I spend hours and hours listening to new choral music each year. The publisher with the largest number of new issues is Hal Leonard, with 230 new pieces this year. As you can imagine, it’s quite daunting to start on this bin full of music, which is often still in manuscript form. The pieces are sent in alphabetical order, so by the time we got to “Truly Brave,” we were feeling more than a little jaded.

Even so, about 2 pages into this song, both of us were crying. Yes, it really is that good. Inspired by patients fighting childhood cancer, Hoda Kotb of “The Today Show” brought together Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper to create this mashup of “Brave” and “True Colors.” I’m not generally a fan of mash-ups, but these two songs fit together so effortlessly that it never feels forced or jerky. It doesn’t hurt that both songs are also great in their own right. If you only find room for one pop selection in your program this year, it should be “Truly Brave“!

Looking for an even more meaningful experience for your students?  You could try…

  • Doing this with combined choirs. It’s available in SATB, 3-Part Mixed and 2 Part, so you could teach it to your groups of all levels and put them together. No room for all those kids on the stage? No problem – spread them out around the auditorium for a surround sound experience!
  • Dedicating this piece to a particular student (or students) in your program or school that is/are fighting their own battle, be it with cancer or anything else. Allow your students to make the personal connection and you’ll create a moment they won’t forget.
  • Asking your students for input about what they think it means to be “Truly Brave.” They could give you letters, essays, pictures or anything that you can use to create a slide show. Project this during the concert, and you won’t have a dry eye in the house!

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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.


Happy 70th Birthday John Rutter 24 September, 2015

by Jen Sper, Choral Music Specialist

E53There’s always a little buzz of excitement in the Choral Department when a new piece by John Rutter comes across our desks. His works feel like old friends, even the first time you hear them – warm and comforting. With his 70th birthday in 2015, both Oxford University Press and Hinshaw Music are re-releasing a number of his most seminal compositions in new Anniversary Editions, with accompanying notes on both the music and performance written by Rutter himself.

Rutter’s work has strong footing in both the school and church choral markets, and an especially strong presence in the Christmas repertoire – his recordings with the Cambridge Singers are as Christmassy as the little drummer boy eating fruitcake!

Much of his secular music is less familiar, but equally well-crafted and memorable. Seeds Grow to Plants sets a lovely and thoughtful text about the cycle of life, and larger works such as When Icicles Hang and The Reluctant Dragon (which includes the charmingly funny Banquet Fugue) are refreshingly creative.

John Rutter was born in London in 1945 and received his first musical education as a chorister at Highgate School. He went on to study music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he wrote his first published compositions and conducted his first recording while still a student. His compositional career has embraced both large and small-scale choral works, orchestral and instrumental pieces, a piano concerto, two children’s operas, music for television, and specialist writing for such groups as the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the King’s Singers. From 1975 to 1979 he was Director of Music at Clare College, whose choir he directed in a number of broadcasts and recordings. After giving up the Clare post to allow more time for composition, he formed the Cambridge Singers as a professional chamber choir primarily dedicated to recording, and he now divides his time between composition and conducting.

For more information about John Rutter and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: For the Beauty of the Earth, Candlelight Carol, Christ Is the Morning Star, Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind, Banquet Fugue, Seeds Grow to Plants

This article was originally posted Jan. 12th, 2015, and has been re-posted today in honor of the composer’s 70th birthday!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, and an active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys eating good food, running (to counteract the good food!) and the Muppets.


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT: A Christmas Line 18 September, 2015

Each year, the knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s chooses select titles to promote to you, our valued customers. We listen to thousands of new issues from scores of publishers and composers to present you with the very best in new music for your ensembles. In our new Stanton’s Spotlight feature, we will put a special focus on one piece or resource that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your students.

A Christmas Line

by Andy Beck and Brian Fisher

Recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper

christmas lineIf you are looking for a new Christmas musical for your middle-to-upper level elementary students this year, look no further than A Christmas Line! We love Andy Beck’s spoof on Marvin Hamlish‘s hit 1970’s musical “A Chorus Line!”

All of your students will play auditionees who want a part in the North Pole’s annual musical. Everyone performs in the opening number, after which your chorus members are “cut” and move to the risers to accompany our finalists. These lucky folks include Seymour, a snowman from a showbiz family; Randy, little known reindeer; Cameron (boy or girl), just a regular kid; and Cocoa, Cinnamon, and Nog, three elves with attitude! A Stage Manager teaches and leads a dance audition, and Mrs. Claus makes a successful last-second plea to audition herself, adding to the fun.

Just like in the original, the part of the director (Santa) is an off-stage character that we only hear and never see, so it’s a perfect opportunity to feature a favorite teacher, principal, local celebrity or even Santa Claus himself!

A Christmas Line might be the production for you if you are looking:

  • to feature 3rd-6th graders in your musical.
  • for a musical with minimal set (just requires a stage), costumes (cute hats would do the trick), and props (the only things you need are audition numbers, resumes, and headshots for the lead performers).
  • to teach a unit about Marvin Hamlisch and/or Broadway Musicals.
  • to feature a small cast of speaking parts but a large chorus.
  • to have a great time with well-written songs and adorable dialogue.

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper 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.


Voice Lessons in the Choral Classroom 14 September, 2015

by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

In many middle school and high school situations, the choral director is the only voice teacher most students will have – what a responsibility! And, what a worthwhile pursuit! Proper vocal technique opens up your choir to a much greater variety of literature, more expressive, sensitive singing, and a more satisfying experience for everyone in the room.

A varied set of warm-up exercises is of course your first step in developing vocal technique in your choir, but today I want to share some repertoire choices that can reinforce these skills.

Litanei (D. 343) by Franz Schubert/arr. John Leavitt
Schubert’s famous art song has been adapted for use with unison chorus accompanied by keyboard or the optional strings, creating an excellent opportunity to develop vocal tone, expression and diction. Perfect for treble, men’s or mixed voices.

Die Forelle by Franz Schubert/arr. D. Jason Bishop
The famous art song by Franz Schubert has been arranged for 3-part treble voices and tells of a casual observer admiring the movements of a frisky fish as it darts below the surface. The tone of the music changes when, to the observer’s horror, a fisherman puts an end to both his and the trout’s merriment by snagging the fish on his hook and reeling him in.

Gretchen am Spinnrade by Franz Schubert/arr. D. Jason Bishop
In this, one of Schubert’s first and most successful art songs, Gretchen reflects on her sudden infatuation with Faust. The piano accompaniment, with its relentless sixteenth notes in the right hand, depicts both Gretchen’s accumulating madness and the perpetual motion of the spinning wheel.

Svegliatevi nel core by G.F. Handel/arr. Brandon Williams
Translating to English “Awaken My Heart,” this da capo aria from Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare has been arranged for SSA voices for a delightful choral showcase. With options for drama and expression, choirs will enjoy the opportunity to experience this work of the Baroque era.

Singing these songs with your choir is a great opportunity to introduce young musicians to art song literature, and the wonderful marriage of music and text contained therein. For more concert suggestions for your ensemble, please contact us.

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.


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 stantons.com. 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

Features
– 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.