recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral Music Specialists
The beginning of 2017 is a perfect opportunity to look back at what your students have learned so far this school year, and to look forward to the new and exciting musical challenges you will present to them in the coming months. As you prepare for your upcoming concerts, festivals, or adjudicated events, we recommend these repertoire choices, carefully chosen from many new and recent publications as the “best of the best!”
for SATB Ensembles
I Am by Jacob Narverud
Celebrated contemporary poet Charles Anthony Silvestri has written a text that reflects the personal insights and positive and negative aspects of being a teenager. Composer Narverud has set these insightful lyrics to depict the way that teenagers feel about the dichotomy of life: doubt and frustration coupled with excitement and passion – standing on the threshold of all things new.
Benedictus (from Missa Sancti Hieronymi) by Johann Michael Haydn/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Composed by Johann Michael Haydn (younger brother of composer Joseph Haydn), this classical work features brilliant melismatic lines and a well-crafted piano reduction of the original orchestral score. An opening triadic motive in the sopranos is repeated and developed through the lower voices in imitative fashion, before coming to a homophonic section, then a stately close.
¡Cantad al Señor! arr. Roger Bergs
This arrangement of the traditional Brazilian worship song builds slowly but intensely from a simple, sparse beginning to a fiery final verse. The choral parts are accessible but effective for choirs large and small. Improvised hand percussion can be added easily. An IPA pronunciation guide and a translation for the Spanish text are provided.
Cool Moon by Richard A. Williamson
With limited horizontal movement in the vocal parts and no awkward melodic skips, Richard Williamson’s “Cool Moon” offers an easy and effective introduction into contemporary a cappella singing. Soothing harmonies enhance this beautiful pairing of words and music.
for Women’s Ensembles
Shout for Joy! by Dan Davison
Upbeat and uptempo, this joyous anthem could be used in both worship and concert, and its accessible vocal writing alternates between unison and harmonic passages. A straightforward piano part further supports the choir, making this a perfect choice for church or school mixed choirs.
Qui Tollis Peccata Mundi by Baldassare Galuppi/arr. Jill Friedersdorf & Melissa Malvar-Keylock
Introduce your treble choirs to the Baroque/Classical style of the Italian composer Baldassare Galuppi with this adagio movement filled with sorrowful descending lines and ardent suspensions. An excellent work for developing clarity of line and musicianship.
La Monja Blanca arr. Christy Elsner
“La Monja Blanca” (the White Nun Orchid) is the national flower of Guatemala and symbolizes peace, beauty and art. This folk song in Spanish is set beautifully for young SSA a cappella voices. Light, lyrical and suitable for concert or contest.
Rainfall by Patti Drennan
Emily Pauline Johnson’s poem about a storm forming in the western sky is delightfully set in this concert work for SSA voices. Text painting at its best, the vocals sing with unison, two-part and full three-part writing and interpret the sound, sights and smells of a summer storm. An exquisite choice for concert and contest.
for Men’s Ensembles
Sit Down Servant arr. Stacey V. Gibbs
Four part harmony with divisi only at the spectacular ending, men’s groups small and large can enjoy this spirited arrangement.
Danny Boy arr. Mark Hayes
Newly scored for TTBB voices, this arrangement is sure to leave audiences breathless and become a staple of your library for years to come. An enthralling arrangement of the timeless Irish air.
Vair Me O arr. Emily Crocker
Your men’s choir will show their sensitive side with this lovely Scottish folksong from the Outer Hebrides. Translating loosely as “Bring me o’er, dear one,” this lyrical work expresses the pain of being far from home and missing one’s love. Mostly in English, this will be an excellent selection for contest or festival!
Invictus by Bruno Siegfried Huhn/arr. Stephen Rotz
“I am the captain of my soul”….so ends this great piece for young men. Both elegant and bold, this is a superb addition to this genre of repertoire.
Click here for all of our suggestions for select pieces for adjudicated events – while we have specifically geared these selections to be appropriate for Ohio Music Education Association events, this quality repertoire is sure to be successful on any spring concert or other event as well! For even more recommendations, please contact us – and remember, shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!
About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.
Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.