News & Views Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Category: School Choral

Lights! 26 January, 2015

Do you need help creating exciting choreography for your choir? If so, you’ll want to join the thousands of choral directors across the country that have discovered Alfred Publishing’s popular movement DVDs! Featuring the creative talents of Sally K. Albrecht, Andy Beck and Anna Wentlent, these DVDs are a quick and easy way to add simple yet effective choreography to your concerts. Perfect for elementary, middle school or high school choirs, each DVD features movement suggestions for about 12 Alfred choral titles.

The newest DVD in the series is Lights!, which features such choral arrangements as “Aya Ngena,” “Jolly Old Saint Nick,” “Rockin’ Robin” and “When I Get My Name in Lights.”

Previously released DVDs from Alfred include: Reaching for the Stars!, Lift Me Up!, Showbiz!, Danza!, Follow Me to the Top!, Hooray for Hollywood! and more. Check out them all for great choreography ideas, or contact Stanton’s Sheet Music for more information.


Suggestions for Choral Adjudications 2015 22 January, 2015

by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

The beginning of 2015 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 classic publications as “the best of the best!”

for SATB Ensembles
Red River Valley arr. Jeffrey Douma
This arrangement of the beloved folk song was first premiered by the Yale Glee Club in the fall of 2006, and has since become an audience favorite. Probably referring to the Red River that flows north between Minnesota and North Dakota into Lake Winnipeg, the sentiment expressed by the text is immediately understood by anyone who has had to bid farewell too soon to a loved one.

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus by J.M. Haydn/ed. Martin Banner
Johann Michael Haydn was a prolific composer who wrote hundreds of compositions including a Requiem. The text lends itself for use at ordination or a festival liturgy. Scored for mixed chorus with 2 horns and strings, the work is also easily accompanied by keyboard.

Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal by Greg Gilpin
Greg Gilpin’s setting of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s time-honored text is a musical example of text painting set to lush harmonic phrases and lyric melodies. The simple yet supportive accompaniment allows the vocals to be showcased throughout. A concert or festival winner.

Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel arr. Roger Emerson
Now available in a flexible SATB voicing, this driving rock spiritual features a subdued opening that explodes into high-powered energy sure to be a hit with your developing mixed choirs in middle and high school.

for Women’s Ensembles
La Maumariee (J’entends le loup) arr. Joni Jensen
An incredibly dynamic adaptation of this beloved French folk song. Quick and rhythmic, the work reflects the determination and liveliness of the girl in the poem who won’t let others dictate her love or her future. Meter changes, body percussion and the dancing oboe and piano parts all work together in this challenging arrangement. Sure to be a favorite of choirs and audiences alike! With piano, oboe, opt. frame drum and body percussion.

Kyrie (from Mass in B-flat Major #10) by W.A. Mozart/arr. Arkadi Serper
From the Mozart Missa Brevis K.275, this delightful work has been adapted for treble voices. An excellent introduction to Classical era style and performance practice!

Samiotissa arr. Serper/Serper
Explore the music of Greece with this traditional folksong that tells the story of a boy who loves a girl from the island of Samos. In 7/8 meter, the choral parts are accessible and it’s easy to add Greek folk dance steps to create an authentic experience. Includes pronunciation guide.

Now My Heart by Jacques Arcadelt/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Arcadelt’s French chanson, transcribed into English, was originally written for SAT voices. “Now My Heart” is an excellent example of Arcadelt’s tendency to set chanson in chordal style with simultaneous pronunciation of the text by all voices. The use of optional percussion will only add to the Renaissance experience, and is sure to be a concert or festival crowd-pleaser.

for Men’s Ensembles
Flanders Fields by Paul A. Aitken
This distinguished setting of the McCrae text was originally published for mixed choirs soon after being named the first winner of the ACDA Brock Memorial composition contest. Aitken’s new women’s and men’s voicings are just as inspiring as the original.

Praise the Lord by Stephen M. Hopkins
Hopkins’ highly spirited and rhythmic adaptation of Psalms 148 & 150 masterfully imbeds the hymn tune Lobe den Herren before a unison “Praise to the Lord.” Majestic at times, this piece offers a plethora of musical moments for men’s choirs.

Loch Lomond arr. Russell Robinson
One of the most well-known of all Scottish folk songs, Robinson’s arrangement of “Loch Lomond” captures the flavor of the Gaelic language – Scottish sounds and textures in both male voices and piano accompaniment. Sensitive, accessible and just plain pretty, it is sure to be a favorite of any concert or festival program.

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.

About the Author:
Jen 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.


NEW in Contemporary A Cappella 20 January, 2015

Contemporary a cappella music gets more and more popular every year! With high-profile features like “The Sing-Off” and “Pitch Perfect,” many high schools and colleges are getting in on the action as well! Here are a few of Stanton’s new favorites for contemporary a cappella ensembles:

fun. (Medley from The Sing-Off) arr. Deke Sharon
America’s favorite a cappella show returned for another smash mini-season in 2013 with show-stoppers like this medley from super group fun. If you are up for no lip-synching, back-up bands or safety net, this chart is for you! Includes: Carry On, Some Nights, We Are Young.

I Need Your Love arr. Ben Bram
DJ Calvin Harris collaborated with English performer Ellie Goulding on this top-forty hit. Ben Bram’s contemporary treatment is sure to be a hit with your a cappella group!

Groovin’ arr. Kirby Shaw
The #1 hit from 1967 by the Young Rascals in a smooth vocals-only setting perfectly captures the relaxed slow groove of the song with an easy vocal accompaniment and an irresistible solo. Also available TTBB and SSAA.

I’ve Had the Time of My Life arr. Deke Sharon
Featured on NBC’s The Sing-Off, this #1 hit by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes from the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” features two soloists with a rich vocal accompaniment. Opening simply, it builds consistently through two key changes to an electrifying final cadence.

Skyfall arr. J.A.C. Redford
The hit single by Adele from the motion picture “Skyfall” has been creatively arranged by J.A.C Redford, the orchestrator of the film. Using vocal percussion and divisi vocal parts, J.A.C. has created a setting that is perfect for jazz and show choirs as well as concert choirs.

If I Die Young arr. Ben Bram
This poignant story about a young life lost too early touched listeners around the world when released by The Band Perry. Ben’s contemporary a cappella setting is an appropriate choice for more reflective concert occasions. Also available SSAA.

Royals arr. Deke Sharon
This 2013 song by Lorde topped the Hot 100, AC and Rock charts and won the Grammy for song of the year and best pop performance. This a cappella setting will be a hit with pop, jazz and a cappella groups in high school, college and beyond! Also available SSAA.

Turn on the Radio arr. Bryan Sharpe
Contemporary a cappella groups will enjoy this Reba McEntire top hit as they sing about a relationship gone bad. “So listen Romeo, when you’re feelin’ kinda lonely, let me tell you where to go: turn on the radio!”

Little Lion Man arr. Deke Sharon
The debut single from 2009 by Mumford & Sons from their debut album “Sigh No More” packs a folk rock punch in this arrangement for unaccompanied male voices.

The Circle Game arr. Kate MacColl
Originally created for Vancouver’s ensemble Elektra, this concert arrangement features a soloist as it weaves the melody through every section in the ensemble. Multiple key changes add to the musicality of this delightful setting of a Joni Mitchell favorite.

For more a cappella suggestions, contact our Choral Department at 1.800.426.8742, ext. 1.


Pop Music for Spring 2015 for Middle School Choirs 19 January, 2015

by Jen Sper & Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialists

If you’re planning a concert of popular music with your choir this spring, we’ve got some great recommendations for you! Lighter repertoire is a fun option for end-of-year concerts, but don’t forget to find some good musical challenges for your students as well – you want to showcase all the progress they’ve made throughout the school year!

Shooting Star arr. Audrey Snyder
It’s time for you to shine! The fresh sounds of Owl City continue to delight fans across the globe. Young singers will love recreating the music with this accessible arrangement!

Wooly Bully arr. Jay Althouse
Sam the Sham and The Pharoahs became a worldwide sensation with this novelty hit based on a standard blues progression. Easy-to-sing harmonies and fun lyrics will stick with you long after the concert has ended. As for the strange title: according to Sam, “The name of my cat was Wooly Bully, so I started from there.”

Can’t Buy Me Love arr. Roger Emerson
Celebrate 50 years of the Beatles with this energetic song from 1964! Set in a rock style swing, the voices trade off, and the blues chord progression makes it easy to add guitar! A great showcase for younger and developing choirs!

Aladdin (Broadway Medley) arr. Mac Huff
Disney’s hit film from 1992 is now a dazzling, enchanting and invigorating Broadway musical! With the fabulous classic songs and several delightful new additions, this 14-minute medley will be a spectacular concert feature for choirs of all ages. It’s “Genie-us!”

For more suggestions, click here to view our complete School Choral promotion for Spring 2015, or contact us!

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 eating good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

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 a Bachelor’s and 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!


Pop Music for Spring 2015 for High School Choirs 15 January, 2015

by Jen Sper & Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialists

If you’re planning a concert of popular music with your choir this spring, we’ve got some great recommendations for you! Lighter repertoire is a fun option for end-of-year concerts, but don’t forget to find some good musical challenges for your students as well – you want to showcase all the progress they’ve made throughout the school year!

Counting Stars arr. Mark Brymer
The band OneRepublic performs music that reflects many musical influences, from rock to pop to indie and more. This hit from 2013 has a driving rhythm and unforgettable chorus that will electrify your stage! The 3-part mixed and 2-part alternate voicings offer a nice opportunity for a combined number for all your ensembles.

Ease On Down the Road arr. Mac Huff
From “The Wiz,” this stand-out R&B classic retains all the energy, optimism and Broadway pizzazz you could ever imagine! Now in a fantastic new arrangement, it’s perfect for pop, show and concert choirs as an opener, closer or concert theme.

Save the World/Don’t You Worry Child arr. Mark Brymer
Inspired by the vibrant a cappella sounds of the vocal group Pentatonix, this accessible setting of the mash-up by Swedish House Mafia is accompanied with keyboard and rhythm section, making this a fantastic showcase for high school pop and show choirs. Or, try it a cappella for true Pentatonix flavor!

Step In Time arr. Philip Kern
From Disney’s hit Broadway musical “Mary Poppins” comes this toe-tapping, broom-sweeping jewel! Accessible vocal writing provides thrills throughout for mixed voices and for the guys as well. Instrumental parts for this show-stopper are also available.

For more suggestions, click here to view our complete School Choral promotion for Spring 2015, or contact us!

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 eating good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.

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 a Bachelor’s and 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!


Composer Profile: John Rutter – 70th Anniversary 12 January, 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

About the Author:
Jen 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.


IPA Made Easy 29 December, 2014

Singing in foreign languages is an important benchmark in students’ choral education – but, teaching languages and pronunciation can be intimidating for some teachers. How many years has it been since YOUR last diction class? And if you’re new to the vocal side of music education, you may have NO experience with foreign languages (outside of Italian musical terms!).

The handy guidebook Alfred’s IPA Made Easy is an easy reference for the symbols used in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA): what they look like and how they are pronounced. IPA is a standard set of symbols used for notating pronunciation of spoken language; because the symbols are consistent across languages, a basic understanding provides guidance for singers as they expand their experience with new languages.

Example words for every symbol are included in English, Latin, Italian, German, French, and Spanish. An online resource includes demonstrations of every sound, recorded by a professional voice teacher.  A clear and concise tool for singing in foreign languages, equally useful in the choir room and the vocal studio.

For more choral education resources, please contact us!


Combo Concerts: Band or Orchestra and Choir 12 December, 2014

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

The concert schedule foband and choirr lots of schools is the same year-in and year-out.  Consider shaking things up this year with a “combo” concert!  Combine your groups across levels (imagine how big your band will be with students grades 5-12!) or across genres (your 6th grade choir would love to sing a piece or a medley with your high school jazz band!).

Whether it is a holiday performance, patriotic salute, or end of the year celebration, there is no more powerful statement to your community than a performance that features both your instrumental and vocal performing ensembles.  Show your parents, administrators, and school board members how many lives you and your colleagues touch, and give your students an experience that they will remember for years to come.

Dry Your Tears, Afrika – Music by John Williams, choral adaptation by Audrey Snyder, band and strings arrangements by Paul Lavenderdry your tears afrika

This arrangement from the moving 1997 movie Amistad features poetry by Bernard Dadie in the Mende language, and music by arguably the greatest film composer of all time, John Williams.  Since the choral is available in a variety of versions, this can be done with children’s choir, middle school choir, high school choir or any combination.  In addition, the available String Pak means that your orchestra and/or band could play.  Present this with sensitive program notes, appropriate readings or even excerpts of the film – your students will gain a new perspective on the history involved in this amazing music.

***For more advanced orchestral/choral groups, consider the John Williams Signature Edition of this piece for orchestra, SATB Choir and Children’s Choir.

SATB (08741425) – $1.95               SAB  (08741426) – $1.95               2 Part (08741427) – $1.95

Concert Band (04001735) – $70.00               String Pak (04626104) – $40.00

***John Williams Signature Edition, including orchestral & choral parts (04490084) – $375.00

Carols From the British Isles – arr. Douglas Wagner

carols from the british islesI love this carol medley specifically because it uses carols that are not overdone, but still common enough that your audience will recognize the tunes.  Included are “Suogan,” “I Saw Three Ships,” “Good People All, This Christmastime,” and “The Seven Joys of Mary.”  Since the band arrangement and choral arrangement(s) can be done as stand alone pieces, take some time to analyze where you may want to eliminate the melody in the instrumental (so as to feature the choir), or eliminate the chorals for a section to feature your instrumentalists.  The variety of voicings available for the choirs make this piece very do-able for most middle school or high school groups.  The Grade 3 band arrangement should be a cinch for your high school students, and could be playable by a strong middle school group as well.   Students will need the ability to play and sing in 6/8 time, while rhythms and ranges are moderate.

SATB (41762) – $1.85               SAB (41763) – $1.85               SSA (41764) – $1.85

Concert Band (39540) – $65.00

Armed Forces: Pride of America – arr. Larry Clark and Greg Gilpin

armed forces pride of america4th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day – we get calls each year for service medleys that can be performed at all of these occasions.  Our instrumental staff is a fan of this arrangement; it has some great quotations of Sousa marches in between the songs for each branch of the service.  Though written primarily for concert band,  there are reproducible string parts that come with the concert band arrangement.  At just under 7 minutes, it can be a bit of chop buster but this is the ONLY arrangement that features the songs of all 5 service branches. It also encourages audience participation by including a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem.  A solid piece for all organizations to have in their music libraries.

SATB (CM8973) – $2.75     SAB (CM8974) – $2.75     2 Part (CM8975) – $2.75     TTBB (CM8976) – $2.75

Concert Band w/ reproducible String Parts (CPS61) – $90.00

If you feel your group is ready for a traditional classical experience, try Schubert’s “Mass in G” or Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”  Both are about 20-30 minutes in length, although doing just the “Gloria in Excelsis” movement of the “Gloria” is an option.  One of the representatives in our choral department will be happy to help you if you’d like more information on pursuing either of these large works.

For more recommendations, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com  Previous posts in this series : Men’s Combo Concerts; Women’s Combo Concerts; High School Choir w/ Children’s Choir

Rachel Steele has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013.  She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University.  Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH,) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!


Behind the Scenes: It’s That Time of Year… 04 December, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The holidays are already upon us. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner. For the Stanton’s staff it means that convention season is also here! This winter we will be exhibiting (and selling!) music at music educators’ professional conferences in New York (NYSSMA), Michigan (MMC), Ohio (OMEA), Kentucky (KMEA), and, for the first time, The Midwest Clinic. These conferences are a great opportunity to talk shop directly with our expert staff, meet customers face-to-face that we may recognize by name (and voice!), and besides, it gets us out of the store! Ever wonder how our 6-8 booths of music get to your state conference? Check out the slideshow below to see how we pull, pack, and transport thousands of sheet music titles and accessory items, and if we’re exhibiting at your conference be sure to stop by the Stanton’s booth (under the big blue balloon) and say “hello”!

Click to view slideshow.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. All he wants for Christmas is a Pittsburgh Penguins tuque, Guardians of the Galaxy on blu-ray, and some heavy-duty outerwear so he can play in the snow with his son this winter!


Behind the Scenes: Picking School Choral Promotions 01 December, 2014

music listening 2By Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

A few months ago, my colleague in the instrumental department, Ken Tilger, wrote a post about how that department picks the items for their promotions.  Not to be outdone, I’d like to take the opportunity to let you know how I and my partner in crime, Jen Sper, pick the items for our school choral promotions.

In late winter or early spring, publishers begin to send us their new releases for fall.  We get stacks of music (with demo CDs) to review from Hal Leonard (including Shawnee, Walton, Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, Pavane, Fred Bock etc.), Alfred (including Lawson-Gould), Lorenz (including Santa Barbara and Heritage), Carl Fischer (including BriLee), Hinshaw, Alliance, and a few other smaller publishers.  If you are thinking “Wow, that is quite a bit of music,” you’d be correct.  In fact, if you assign each piece an average listening/evaluation time of 3.5 minutes, we spend about 2,200 minutes, or 48 hours, or 6 full working  days (no lunch or potty breaks!) listening to more than 800 new releases.  For more data on our listening, scroll to the bottom.

When we listen, we’re not only keeping an ear out for our in-house promotions, but also for selections for our clinics (such as Stanton’s Super Session and Excellence in Choral Literature), OMEA Large Group Select Suggestions, and even music for Christmas, graduation and other special occasions.

music listening 3Round 1

Jen and I sit with the octavo in front of us and listen to every single selection from beginning to end.  We write our impressions on the cover of the octavo, usually just a few choice words or phrases.  After this, a piece goes into either the “no” or the “maybe” pile.  Our “no” pile is quite a bit larger than our “maybe” pile.  We consider it a good release if 25-30% of a publisher’s titles end up in the “maybe” category.

Round 2

Now that we’ve combed through the riff-raff, it’s time to consider the balance of our selections for our in-house promotions.  We sort our “maybe” pile by voicing, and then by genre.    Just like good concert programing, we are looking for a variety of styles – current pop, classic pop, broadway, folk songs, spirituals, world/multi-cultural, holiday music and various foreign languages.

Round 3

Now it’s time to play through selections at the piano.  We grab a genre and play through, looking for things like:

1.  Is it well written/voiced in all parts?

2.  Will students/teachers get something educational out of this?

3.  Is it enjoyable to sing/play/teach?

4.  Is it appropriate for school?

5.  Will it appeal to a wide variety of customers?

6.  If the song is available in multiple voicings, is one better than the other?  Why?

The answers to these questions will usually make our choices pretty clear, and then it’s time to make our lists, spreadsheets, and the actual promotional materials that you receive in your mailbox!

Promotions by the numbers 2014By the Numbers – This table shows the number of pieces that we promoted this year by publisher, and the percentage of their total offerings that we promoted.  You’ll see that even those publishers with the highest percentage of promoted items rarely break the 30% mark.

Other Points of Interest

  • Jen and I only look at promotions for school choral.  We have two other people who work specifically on selections for church choirs, and they have even more selections to listen to than we do!
  • While it might sound like a cushy job to sit and listen to music for 8 hours a day, it can be mentally exhausting after a while.
  • No, we don’t always agree, but you’d be amazed at how often 2 very opinionated people say the EXACT same thing about a particular piece.
  • If there is something that one of us truly believes is worth fighting for, the other one will generally give in.
  • The best part about the process is discovering a new piece that is just amazing!

We believe that devoting quite a bit of time and effort to this process is very important.   The 75 or so selections that make the cut are things that we recommend to you, our valued customers, for the entire school year. If you have questions about this process (or would like some recommendations), please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC, ext. 1.

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!


New from Broadway Jr. and Getting To Know 18 November, 2014

broadway jr

logoG2KOur friends at Hal Leonard, MTI, and Rogers & Hammerstein Inc. have some great new choices for you in their “Broadway Junior” and “Getting To Know”  series.  Purchasing the performance pack listed for each show includes everything you need to produce it and grants you the rights to perform it as many times as you like with one year.  Take a look at these latest offerings that your students and audience members will love!

getting to know sound of musicGetting to Know “The Sound of Music”by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II

The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein – The Sound of Music – was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical. When a postulant proves too high-spirited for the religious life, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval Captain. Her growing rapport with the youngsters, coupled with her generosity of spirit, gradually captures the heart of the stern Captain, and they marry. Upon returning from their honeymoon they discover that Austria has been invaded by the Nazis, who demand the Captain’s immediate service in their navy. The family’s narrow escape over the mountains to Switzerland on the eve of World War II provides one of the most thrilling and inspirational finales ever presented in the theater. The motion picture version remains the most popular movie musical of all time.

Preview Pack (00124211) ………………………………………………………………$15.00

Performance Pack (08754014)………………………………………………………..$650.00

Shrek jrShrek, Jr.by Jeanine Tesori

In a faraway kingdom, the green ogre Shrek finds his swamp invaded by banished fairytale misfits, runaways who’ve been cast off by Lord Farquaad, a tiny terror with big ambitions. When Shrek sets off with a wise-cracking donkey to confront Farquaad, he’s handed a task – if he rescues feisty Princess Fiona from the Dragon-guarded tower, his swamp will be returned to him. But, a fairy tale wouldn’t be complete without unexpected twists and turns along the way.

Preview Pack (00127656)……………………………………………………………… $10.00

Performance Pack (00127646) ………………………………………………………. $645.00

hairsprayjr. jpgHairspray Jr.Marc Shaiman

It’s 1962, and spunky plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad has one big dream — to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When she finally gets her shot, she’s transformed from social outcast to sudden star. In balancing her new-found power with her desire for justice, Tracy fights to dethrone the reigning Miss Teen Hairspray, Amber von Tussle, and integrate a TV network in the process. With the help of her outsized mom, Edna, and guest DJ Motormouth Maybelle, the rhythm of Tracy’s new beat just might prove unstoppable.

Preview Pack (00123343)………………………………………………………………..$10.00

Performance Pack (099717310)……………………………………………………….$645.00

 

If you’ve never worked with a Broadway Jr. show before, click here to read our previous post on the “how to’s,”  and here for some alternatives if you aren’t ready for a production that’s quite this big.  Questions?  Give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC, and we’ll be happy to assist you!

 


Combo Concerts: Mixed Groups/Children’s Choir 14 November, 2014

The concert schedule for lots of schools is the same year-in and year-out.  Consider shaking things up this year with a “combo” concert!  Combine your groups across levels (imagine how big your band will be with students grades 5-12!) or across genres (your 6th grade choir would love to sing a piece or a medley with your high school jazz band!).

Combo Concerts: Mixed Choir with Elementary Choir

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

Recruiting, like it or not, is part of the music teacher’s job.  Not only do lots of ensemble members ensure that you will have a choir (and a job,) it brings the music community just a little closer to our goal of making music education a part of every student’s academic career.  When you invite your elementary choir to be a part of a concert with your secondary students, you can show them a glimpse of what the0. choral music experience can give them as they become more mature musicians.  Just as importantly, it shows the parents of those students what they will be able to do in a few years if they continue their musical education.  Make your elementary students feel special by billing them as “Special Guest Artists” on your program, flyers and other communications.  Prior to the concert, pair them up with a high school student for a side-by-side rehearsal.  Elementary students will be in awe of the older kids, and you high schoolers will love being mentors for a day!

grow little treeGrow Little Tree - by Andrea Ramsey  2 Part  SBMP1170

Perfect for graduation or anytime of the year, this unique arrangement is tailor-made for children’s choir, but subject matter (the potential in each human being,) is appropriate for all ages.  Written for two part treble, it works well with adult women and children, though thoughtful part assignments/re-voicing could allow your men to participate as well.  In this case, it bears remembering that voicing does not always indicate difficulty level.  Give your elementary students plenty of time to learn this sometimes tricky melody, and make sure your older students are rock solid to lend support if needed.

Will you teach meWill You Teach Meby Victor C. Johnson  SATB 15/2682H (available 2 Part, SSA and 3 Part Mixed)

Beautiful melodies are the hallmark of Victor Johnson’s work, and this is an exceptionally fine example.  A terrific piece in defense of arts education without being preachy or obvious, the text talks about teaching our children how to imagine, dream, laugh, cry and even fail.  The oboe part (included in the octavo,) adds greatly to the texture.  Feature your elementary choir in unison on the opening solo, then share the soprano and alto parts with your older members.  If this causes a balance issue, consider using the three part mixed version and having all of your men sing part 3 together.

look at the worldLook at the Worldby John Rutter SATB and/or Children’s Choir  HMC1527

No need to alter parts or make adjustments here, it is all laid out for you.  Although this piece is sacred in nature, the sentiments expressed are nearly universal.  Each of the 4 verses is sung in unison, leaving endless possibilities for featuring different choirs, small groups or soloists.  The chorus is in four part harmony, giving a change of texture for each verse.  An instrumentation is also available (Double woodwind quintet and strings HMC1527A,) so invite some of your school’s orchestra to join you as well.

Let There Be Peace on Eartharr. Hawley Ades  SATB 35012617 (also available TTBB, SAB, SSA, 2 Part, Concert Band and Full Orchestra)

let there be peace on earthThe various voicings available for this piece are intended to be performed together, so grab as many choirs as you can and shout this sentiment from the rooftops!  Secular in nature, this piece is perfect for the holiday season (especially if you aren’t able to do sacred music,) or any time of the year.  The first section features a small group of singers echoing the chorus, which can be done in a multitude of ways.  Feature your children’s choir,  your seniors, or even a group of faculty, alumni or parents.  An oldie but a goodie!

hope for resolutionHope for ResolutionPaul Caldwell and Sean Ivory  SATB w/Children’s Chorus

This powerful work is dedicated to the winners of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela and F.W. DeClerk, leaders who worked together to end apartheid in South Africa.  While it’s format can look intimidating, it is really quite simple to put together.  The first half is a three part canon in English using the classic text “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” The second half is a fairly simple SATB setting of a South African freedom song in Zulu.  Layered on top of this is a unison part that is the same melody featured in the canon.  Combining the choral singing traditions of Europe and Africa, the composers mirror the work of DeClerk and Mandela.  Voice the round however is easiest for you, then have your children sing the unison part while your older students tackle the SATB.  This is a joyful way to end any concert, and guaranteed to make moms cry!

For more recommendations for children’s choir or combination concerts, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com  Previous posts in this series : Men’s Combo Concerts; Women’s Combo Concerts

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!


NEW from the Barbershop Harmony Society 05 November, 2014

PrintBarbershop harmony is a style of four-part, unaccompanied singing, utilizing close-harmony and intuitive voice leading characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note.

The Barbershop Harmony Society, legally and historically named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQSA), is the first of several organizations to promote and preserve barbershop music as an art form. Founded by Owen C. Cash in 1938, the organization quickly grew, promoting barbershop harmony among men of all ages. Just under 25,000 men in the United States and Canada are members of this organization whose focus is on a cappella music.

Through a new distribution partnership, Stanton’s is proud to announce the availability of music from the Barbershop Harmony Society! The arrangements below are now available directly from Stanton’s, with more authentic BHS editions coming soon:

00137952Can You Feel the Love Tonight?
Consider Yourself
Drivin’ Me Crazy
I’m Gonne Live ‘Til I Die
Lazy Day
Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You
Little Saint Nick
No More Sorrow
O Canada
Stand By Me
The Star Spangled Banner
Swing Down Chariot
What’ll I Do
When I Fall In Love

For more exciting resources for barbershop and other men’s ensembles, please contact us! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Choral Music from FROZEN 04 November, 2014

So, how many Elsas and Annas showed up at YOUR front door on Halloween? It’s a fact – FROZEN is everywhere! – and, it’s a perfect fit for your upcoming winter choral concerts. Here are all the choral arrangements from the hit Disney film:

NOW AVAILABLE:
Frozen (Choral Suite) arr. Roger Emerson – SSAATTBB, SATB divisi, SAB divisi & SA
Frozen (Choral Highlights) arr. Mark Brymer – SATB, SAB & 2-part
Do You Want to Build a Snowman? arr. Mark Brymer – SATB, SAB & 2-part
Let It Go arr. Mac Huff – SATB, SAB, 2-part & SSA
Let’s All Sing…Songs from Frozen (includes “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,” “For the First Time In Forever,” “Let It Go,” “In Summer” and “Love Is an Open Door” – Teacher Edition & Singer Edition 10-pak

COMING SOON:
Frozen (Choral Highlights) arr. Mark Brymer – SSA
Love Is an Open Door arr. Mac Huff – SATB, SAB & 2-part

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


Monster Mash for Middle School Choir 31 October, 2014

Monster Mash

Words and Music by Greg Gilpin

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

monster mash

Admit it…you smiled a little when you saw the words “Monster Mash!”   This Greg Gilpin choral arrangement of the one hit wonder from Bobby “Borris” Picket and the Crypt-Kickers has great potential for silliness.  The spoken solo we all know so well from the original version steals the show, and the choral parts are a snap to teach, full of ’60’s doo-wop fun.  Consider some of these ideas to use “Monster Mash” in performance or in your classroom:

  • Teach your kids about pop music in the 1950’s and 60’s, especially dances popular with teenagers, like the Mashed Potato and the Twist.  Try out some dance moves as you sing the song, or let small groups work on choreography for a section of the piece.
  • Ask a male teacher or even a principal (who doesn’t mind making a fool of themselves) to be your “surprise guest soloist.”  You can reveal your guest to the choir a few days before the performance when he shows up to rehearse, and then enlist them as your co-conspirators.  Ask the students to keep the identity of the soloist a mystery from their parents, friends, and concert guests-they’ll feel exclusive and you’ll give them a great bonding experience.
  • Split up the spoken solo among your students who want to “ham it up.”  Let them do a quick costume change backstage before they come out for their portion.
  • If you have some students who are into audio sampling, let them come up with your “background track” full of spooky lab sounds.  Better yet, take your whole class to the computer lab and see what they can come up with!

For more novelty number ideas, or great pieces for recruiting, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC.  Shop Stanton’s for all your Spooky Sheet Music needs!

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!


New! Sight-Singing Materials for Your Choir 30 October, 2014

eisenhower-2_DONELet’s be honest, there is no perfect sight-singing resource for everyone.  Educational philosophies, students’ prior music education, ability level and teacher comfort all play a part when you choose your materials.  Here are two new sight-singing  resources that we hope many teachers will find helpful.

 

 

sing at first sight more melodiesSing at First Sight…More Melodies!By Andy Beck and Brian Lewis

Andy Beck’s Sing at First Sight books are used by many choral teachers as their sight-singing “textbook.”  This is a supplemental book that gives more practice for reading rhythms and melodies at all levels, and is useful regardless of whether or not you use Sing at First Sight as your primary text.  An included CD has reproducible PDF files for every page in the book, so you won’t have to spend your whole music budget on new sight-singing materials.  The easiest exercises begin with quarter notes on do and re only, and progress to include all key signatures, compound meter, and rhythms including dotted 8th/16th notes.

Book w/ CD (42793)……………………………………………………….$39.99

 

SOS.jpgSOS: Simplify Our Sight-Reading – By Laura Farnell & Mary Jane Phillips

Acclaimed choral composer and educator Laura Farnell has partnered with Mary Jane Phillips to create a new system for teaching sight singing.  SOS (Simplifying Our Sight Reading,) is based on the premise that students will comprehend sight singing better if they are exposed to one element at a time.  The authors separate pitch, rhythm, and notation before moving on to unison, 2 part and 3 part melodies.  An excellent supplement to the directors resource are the flash cards for both Bass and Treble Clef.  Large enough to be read by the entire choir at once, each shows one measure and can be combined with the other cards for a nearly endless number of exercises.

 

Director’s Resource (BLB009)…………………………………………………………….$9.99
Rhythm Reader (BL836)……………………………………………………………………$1.95
Flash Cards for Treble Clef (BLB010)……………………………………………………$19.99                                                                   Flash Cards for Bass Clef (BLB011)……………………………………………………….$19.99

For more recommendations of sight reading materials, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC, check out our website, or visit us to browse in our store.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Choral Collections-Reproducible Budget-Stretchers 29 October, 2014

money_signTight budgets are a universal problem amongst teachers in general, and music teachers in particular.  Stanton’s understands that you might not always have the money to purchase new octavos, so consider one of these NEW budget-stretching collections for your group!  All are fully reproducible, so you can make as many copies as you need for your students without infringing on copyright law.  In addition, all include an accompaniment CD, making them concert ready and easy to rehearse.

 

multiple voicings,jpgMultiple Voicings for Middle School Voices - compiled by Mary Lynn Lightfoot  SAB, Three Part Mixed, SSA, TB and 2 Part.
This reproducible book is both a unique value and a great resource for quality repertoire for developing voices! Included in this collection are 2-3 different selections for each of the following voicings: SAB, 3-Part Mixed, SSA, TB and 2-Part. Reproducible PDFs are included on the supporting CD, along with the accompaniment tracks for each title.
Collection w/CD (30/3139H)…………………………………………………………….. $44.95

 

let the women singLet the Women Sing!by Greg Gilpin SSA

Let the Women Sing! is a new reproducible collection of chorals for soprano and alto voices.  Folk songs, holiday music, spirituals, inspirational songs, and patriotic themes fill this nine-song collection. This economical kit includes an enhanced CD-ROM with accompaniment and performance tracks, information about the composer, as well as reproducible vocal parts and instrument pages. Whether you have 10 or 100 female singers, this must-have collection will keep you on budget while supplying your program with excellent choral literature for your young female singers for many years to come.

Collection w/ CD (35029097)………………………………………………………………………………..$49.99

Also available:

Let the Men Sing! by Greg Gilpin (TTB)

Collection w/ CD (35012576)………………………………………………………………………………..$49.99

Just for the Gals compiled by Larry Pugh (SSA)

Collection w/ CD (30/2717H)………………………………………………………………………………..$44.95

Just for the Guys compiled by Larry Pugh (TB)

Collection w/ CD (30/2590H)………………………………………………………………………………..$44.95

Just for the Guys at Christmas compiled by Larry Pugh (TB)

Collection w/ CD (30/2850H)………………………………………………………………………………..$44.95

For more information on these collections or other choral collections, please give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com.

 


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT on Elementary Choir 24 October, 2014

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 that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your group.

Welcome Winter on This Night

Words and Music by Greg Gilpin

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

Teaching students to sing “in parts” is an important part of their musical development.  One of the easiest ways to introduce part singing to young students is the quodlibet, also known as a partner song.  In this selection, Gilpin begins with his own (English) text to J.S. Bach’s Bist Du Bei Mir.  After a short piano interlude, the second melody is introduced, this time an original composition.  Finally, the melodies are sung at the same time, creating the partner song.

While all partner songs can serve the purpose of learning to sing in parts, this one is especially good for some other reasons.  First, the range (C4 to F5) is very healthy for young singers.  The tessitura remains high enough that it encourages the use of head voice at all times, allowing your students to sing where they sound best.  In addition to range, the melody of Bist Due Bei Mir is excellent for working on the difference between steps, skips and leaps.  It has just enough leaps that it will challenge your singers to be accurate and not “scoop” or “slide”  to achieve larger welcome winter on this nightintervals.

This might be a great piece for your group because it…

  • is a great beginner two part piece
  • gives students a chance to experience the music of a great composer (J.S. Bach)
  • provides opportunities for interval work
  • teaches part singing
  • offers holiday/winter imagery without being  associated with a particular sacred holiday

For more great suggestions, please contact our choral department by phone at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com.

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!


Have a “Jolly Jingling” Christmas! 23 October, 2014

Feature your elementary choir this winter with one of these great octavos, as featured on Stanton’s Elementary General Music Clinic with Sharon Burch:

Goldfish Christmas by Alan Billingsley
What child has not wanted a puppy for Christmas? This original novelty song is a sweet and funny look at what can happen when we don’t get exactly what we want. Written in a theatrical style, this tune lends itself to riser choreography, leading to plenty of smiles all around!

A Jolly, Jingling Carol Medley arr. Greg Gilpin
This concise arrangement seamlessly strings together six carol favorites, featuring various twists on meter and style while maintaining accessibility. It is perfect as a festive opener or closer that audiences and singers will love.

We Are Santa’s Elves arr. Greg Gilpin
Made popular on the holiday television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” this Johnny Marks song is a bright new work for young voices and includes optional kazoos for added fun. Simple, repetitious part-writing makes this quick to learn and easy to add staging, movement, and costumes.

Welcome Winter On This Night by Greg Gilpin
This peaceful setting features Bach’s gorgeous “Bist du Bei Mir” partnered with a gentle original melody and Greg Gilpin’s descriptive winter text. Their simple beauty combines to provide an excellent vehicle for musical expression and interpretation.

For more holiday suggestions for your young choir, please contact us!


Pertinent Professional Development 21 October, 2014

by Jen Sper and Ken Tilger, School Music Specialists

IMG_0809Professional development days/sessions can be of great benefit to educators – IF they are relevant and applicable to your subject area! We were honored to be invited to present sessions at the Fine Arts Professional Development Day through the Tri-County Educational Service Center in Wooster, Ohio on October 17. Music teachers from Ashland, Wayne and Holmes counties gathered at the Wayne Center for the Arts for a full day of arts-related professional development sessions – a great opportunity to both learn from outside presenters and network with other nearby music educators!

With numerous new options for band warm-up/technique and beginning band, Ken’s session for band and orchestra directors highlighted books from publishers including Alfred (Sound Innovations; S.I. Ensemble Development), Hal Leonard (Essential Elements Interactive), FJH (Measures of Success; Warm-Ups and Beyond), Kjos (Tradition of Excellence; Technique & Musicianship), and Focus On Music (Scale & Rhythm Chunks). Online resources through the Stanton’s website were explored (Jukebox, Listening Library, mobile app, etc.), as well as sharing the Top 10 New Titles for Band for 2014-2015 using a custom playlist created through the Stanton’s Jukebox.

Jen presented a reading session for the choral directors in attendance, featuring new concert, festival and holiday literature for middle school and high school ensembles. A couple of brave sight-readers even served as accompanists! Many titles included were specially selected as quality options for OMEA Adjudicated Event performances, or are new additions to the required repertoire lists. Also discussed were recent changes to the required lists, and how these changes affect teacher’s programming and budgeting options.

IMG_0812On the way back, IMG_0813a stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn in Ashland was a requirement (we gotta eat, right?). One of Jen’s favorite stops on her way back and forth to college, Ken had never been before – and it’s a lot to take in! Much cheese (and dip, and jelly, and cider, and and and…) was consumed. :)

Are YOU planning programming for an upcoming professional development event? Contact us and let us help! Our knowledgeable and experienced staff are able to present a wide variety of sessions (and would love a field trip out of the store!), and we’re happy to tailor our topics to fit your needs.

About the authors:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He enjoys comic books, playing with his young son, and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band. You should check out their album Walk On Out the Door available on iTunes and Amazon.

Jen 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.