News & Views Friday, February 24, 2017

Category: School Choral

Join us at THE JOY OF SINGING 21 February, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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


COMING THIS WEEKEND: Free Choral Reading Session! 20 February, 2017

14753471_10157613215545052_3204857196636172481_oJoin the Stanton’s School Choral Music team to review and sing our recommended choral music for finishing out the school year!

FREE
SPRING CHORAL READING SESSION
Saturday, February 25 from 10:00-11:30

James E. Strouse Workshop Hall
Stanton’s Sheet Music
330 S. Fourth Street
Columbus OH 43215

We will read selected titles for mixed, men’s, and women’s ensembles appropriate for spring concerts and graduation. Because we will be reading music directly from our large inventory and sharing the expertise of Stanton’s School Choral Music Specialists Jen Sper, Alissa Ruth, and Joyce Stonebraker, we are able to offer this reading session at no cost to you!

For more information, email us or call 1.800.426.8742 ext. 1.


Making Sight Reading Fun! 17 February, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

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

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

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


I Am Not Yours 13 February, 2017

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


SING from Pentatonix 08 February, 2017

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

pentatonix

The five-member vocal group Pentatonix has taken the pop music world by storm since they first leapt onto the scene in 2011. They have won multiple Grammy Awards, and are currently in the midst of their 2016 World Tour.

As a teacher, my kids were constantly (read: at least once a week) asking “Can we do something by Pentatonix?” So, whether you are getting those same questions or are just looking for some quality contemporary pieces to program, below are three of the PTX pieces we offer that we felt stood out from the rest. Because these were, at the start, arranged for multiple voices, they translate very well to a school choral setting; these provide a great way to incorporate pop music into your program without sacrificing musical integrity by using a piece never intended for choral use.

All three of these pieces were also featured at our Joy of Singing clinic over the summer, and if you would like to view the videos of those pieces being presented, they can be found here.

Sing arr. Mark Brymer
This piece is high energy, and works well with both the piano accompaniment and the full accompaniment recording. Your kids will love how peppy and upbeat the piece is, and that will feed well into your rehearsal energy as well. There are some great opportunities in here to reinforce rhythm work that has been done throughout the year, and we really feel that this is a piece that kids will get excited about.

Na Na Na arr. Mac Huff
This piece is just as high energy as “Sing,” and also can be performed effectively with either the written piano accompaniment or the accompaniment track. Mac Huff did a great job of using voice ranges that will work well for the target age range of a high school choir. It also provides an opportunity to use a beat boxer, so if you have a student who has that skill, this would be a great way to feature them.

Take Me Home arr. Roger Emerson
This is one of my favorite Pentatonix pieces. I think it provides a much-needed way to perform a pop piece while using the warm tone you have worked hard to achieve with your choirs. This arrangement is well-voiced, and has a rich, full sound; all of the ranges are in a warm place in the voice. I also really love that the tenors have the melody through most of the piece (as a soprano, I feel I can say that that’s a welcome change that happens too infrequently). I hope you enjoy this piece as much as we have.

If you have questions about these or any other sheet music recommendations, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to working with you!

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

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


Announcing SCHOOL CHORAL WEEK 2017! 07 February, 2017

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

Mark your calendar for these dates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also in August 2017:

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

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


FREE READING SESSION: In One Month! 25 January, 2017

14753471_10157613215545052_3204857196636172481_oJoin the Stanton’s School Choral Music team to review and sing our recommended choral music for finishing out the school year!

FREE
SPRING CHORAL READING SESSION
Saturday, February 25 from 10:00-11:30

James E. Strouse Workshop Hall
Stanton’s Sheet Music
330 S. Fourth Street
Columbus OH 43215

We will read selected titles for mixed, men’s, and women’s ensembles appropriate for spring concerts and graduation. Because we will be reading music directly from our large inventory and sharing the expertise of Stanton’s School Choral Music Specialists Jen Sper, Alissa Ruth, and Joyce Stonebraker, we are able to offer this reading session at no cost to you!

For more information, email us or call 1.800.426.8742 ext. 1.


Suggestions for Choral Adjudications 2017 23 January, 2017

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.


The Resonant Male Singer 11 January, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

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

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

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


Composer Profile: Andrea Ramsey 06 January, 2017

by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

dsc_2397-psOne of the most special and powerful things about being a choral musician is the beautiful relationship between music and text – few composers exemplify the incredible possibilities inherent in this relationship like Andrea Ramsey. Her compositions are musically satisfying in both technical concepts and the deeply emotional aspects of the poetry she chooses.

Dr. Ramsey’s teaching experiences range from work with adolescent and children’s voices to frequent guest conducting of all-state and honor choirs, to her current position as the Associate Director of Choral Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. A native of Arkansas, she is an active member of ACDA, ASCAP, and NAfME, and believes strongly in the positive impact created through the performance of meaningful choral music.

The music of Andrea Ramsey is available through Stanton’s from many different publishers, including Hal Leonard, Boosey & Hawkes, Alliance, and Santa Barbara. For more information about Andrea and her music, please visit her website.

Stanton’s Recommends: Shenandoah, Letter from a Girl to the World, Grow Little Tree, Three Quotes by Mark Twain, Tell My Father, Up Above My Head

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.


NEW for Vocal Jazz Ensembles 30 December, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Teaching vocal jazz, either as its own ensemble or as a supplement to a concert choir environment, provides great potential to choral programs. Through jazz repertoire, singers are given a unique opportunity to sharpen musical skills including intonation, sight-reading, and ensemble development. Here are a few new publications for ensembles at varying difficulty levels to get you started:

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square arr. Kirby Shaw
For over seven decades, this song, written during World War II has held an emotional connection with music-lovers for its nostalgic longing for happier times. This a cappella setting offers an accessible option to vocal jazz and concert choirs and opportunities for building style and technique.

Old Devil Moon arr. Mac Huff
Now available for mixed choirs, this popular standard from “Finian’s Rainbow” really swings, making it a great showcase for jazz, show and concert choirs!

‘Tain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It) arr. Rosana Eckert
Here is a song written in the big band era, first sung by jazz vocalist, Ella Fitzgerald, in 1939 and ideal for introducing beginning and developing groups to swing style. In the Discovery Series, it’s perfect for building jazz diction and rhythmic skills.

Blue Skies arr. Mark Hayes
Irving Berlin’s much-recorded song from 1926 takes a sultry and sophisticated turn with this dynamic, jazzy arrangement that includes optional rhythm, flugelhorn and flute. The song is a symbol of cheer of being in love. “Blue days, all of them gone. Nothing but blue skies from now on.” An American Songbook treasure.

Two great resources to explore are The Vocal Jazz Ensemble by Paris Rutherford and The Complete Guide to Teaching Vocal Jazz by Steve Zegree. Contact us for personalized sheet music recommendations for your ensemble, or visit us online at stantons.com!

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


American Folk Songs for Choir 28 December, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“Sing to Me” by Laura Farnell 09 December, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

You can always count on Laura Farnell to write excellent music for middle school singers – she innately understands their strengths and their weaknesses, and knows how to make them successful musicians! I was pleased to accompany the premiere performance of “Sing to Me” with the Ohio Music Education Association District X Junior High Honor Choir in November of 2015, under the direction of Loren Veigel. The students were SO EXCITED to be premiering the work, and about having a commissioned piece written “just for them!”

Sing to Me by Laura Farnell
Younger and developing mixed choirs will shine in this lyrical and expressive setting. Rubato phrases gently unfold over an accompaniment that is profound in its simplicity. Well-crafted part-writing will help build performance skills!

Find more quality options for middle school choirs in the Stanton’s Signature Selections area of our website, or contact us for personalized recommendations. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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


Composer Profile: Stacey V. Gibbs 02 December, 2016

by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Following in the steps of William Dawson, Jester Hairston, and Moses Hogan, the arrangements of Stacey V. Gibbs bring new life to the spiritual repertoire. His rhythmic voice is particularly fascinating, providing an authentic sense of energy and motion to each arrangement.

Highly acclaimed for his expertise in bringing new vitality and excitement to these beloved pieces, Stacey’s work has reached a wide range of choirs both internationally and in the U.S., where they have been featured in numerous festivals, celebrations, and competitions as well as at ACDA regional and national conferences. Stacey resides in Detroit, Michigan, and has worked in management for over 18 years.

The music of Stacey V. Gibbs is available through Stanton’s from many different publishers, including Santa Barbara, Colla Voce, Alliance, Walton Music and Hal Leonard.

Stanton’s Recommends: Way Over in Beulah Lan’, Dere’s No Hidin’ Place Down Here, Live a HumbleRide the Chariot, Witness

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.


“Glow” by Eric Whitacre 21 November, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Eric Whitacre’s music is undeniably popular with school choirs, and with good reason – his musical voice is so compelling! But, a lot of his compositions are out of reach to many of the ensembles captivated by his sound. That’s why I was excited to find “Glow” this year. It has the same sophistication and warm dissonance that is so indicative of Whitacre’s work, but without many of the stumbling blocks like thick divisi, extended ranges, exposed unaccompanied lines, etc – instead, “Glow” features:
• straight-forward 4-part SATB vocal writing (no divisi)
• conservative ranges (mostly within the staff for all parts)
• a supportive piano accompaniment, or optional string quartet
• an evocative wintertime text with no mention of the holidays

Glow by Eric Whitacre
Simple and welcoming, “Glow” was performed for the first time by the World of Color Honor Choir at Disney’s California Adventure® Park. The Honor Choir, made up of over 700 singers from across America, were selected to be part of the night-time spectacular Winter Dreams show.

Find more unique holiday programming ideas on our website, or contact us for personalized sheet music recommendations for your ensemble.

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.


BEST OF: New Contemporary A Cappella 14 November, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

A cappella is everywhere, and there are lots of great new repertoire options this year – whether your group is just getting started, or has years of experience:

FOR MIXED GROUPS
Love Shack arr. Deke Sharon
From the reality show Pitch Slapped, one of the groups competes with this hot vocals-only arrangement of the B-52’s 1989 pop hit! Funky and fun!

Stitches arr. Brandy Kay Riha
This arrangement of the Shawn Mendes song demonstrates amazing a cappella craft and energy! Winner of the Noteflight A Cappella arranging competition, judged by Deke Sharon and Roger Emerson.

Absolutely (Story of a Girl) arr. Alex Phan
A bubbly and pulsating mix of vocables, lyrics, and vocal percussion support a vigorous male lead in this arrangement of the number one radio smash. Playful, memorable, cute, and catchy!

The Lion Sleeps Tonight arr. Kirby Shaw
Choirs will love singing the beautiful chords of this storied song famous the world over! Topping the charts in 1961 in a recording by the Tokens, it is now available in this a cappella setting that will fill your performance space with harmony!

Jar of Hearts arr. J.D. Frizzell
Christina Perri’s heart-wrenching debut single is perfect for pop a cappella groups with experience – lots of fun challenges!

Shut Up and Dance arr. Tom Anderson
With lyrics based on a real-life experience, this high-energy chart topper from the band Walk the Moon quickly became a hit in ten countries. The rhythmic vibe and fun hook make it fun to sing for all voice parts.

FOR MEN’S GROUPS
All of Me arr. Deke Sharon
This a cappella arrangement of the John Legend hit All of Me is set for TTBB voices. It is part of the Deke Sharon Contemporary A Cappella series.

Sing a Song arr. Deke Sharon
Written and recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire, “Sing a Song” peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976. Now your men’s ensembles can share what singing can do for everyone today!

FOR WOMEN’S GROUPS
Defying Gravity arr. Deke Sharon
From the Broadway show “Wicked,” this is Deke Sharon’s a cappella arrangement of Defying Gravity, by composer Stephen Schwartz.

Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) arr. Deke Sharon
This is Deke Sharon’s a cappella arrangement of the Billy Joel tune. It is the song Joel wrote for his daughter Alexa Ray and first appeared on the 1993 album “River of Dreams.”

(They Long to Be) Close to You arr. Deke Sharon
From Contemporary A Cappella Publishing, this is Deke Sharon’s arrangement of the Burt Bacharach song made famous by the Carpenters in 1970.

Need help starting or developing your a cappella group? Don’t miss “A Cappella” by Deke Sharon and “A Cappella Pop” by Brody McDonald – two invaluable resources! You can find more a cappella repertoire on our website, or contact us for personalized recommendations for your group. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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


Somewhere in My Memory 07 November, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Remember “Home Alone”? My younger brother and I used to watch this movie after school every day for weeks leading up to Christmas – we must have driven our poor mother crazy with it! Even as a kid, the warmth of the John Williams score resonated with me, and this year I was excited to find this new Mark Hayes arrangement for choir:

Somewhere in My Memory arr. Mark Hayes
This contemporary musical treasure is from the “Home Alone” movies we all adore and have enjoyed throughout the recent years. John Williams’ famous music is set here with a simpler orchestration, capturing the innocence and magic of childhood at Christmas with gentle vocal writing, surprising musical turns building to “home,” and ending in harmonic wonder.

You can find more holiday recommendations in the Stanton’s Signature Selections area of our website (including another one of my favorites from “Home Alone 2” – “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas”), or contact us for personalized sheet music recommendations.

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.


What Will Santa Claus Say?!? 24 October, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Ready for holiday concerts? Have some fun with your programming this year, and try one of these exciting pop arrangements – perfect for concert, show, or jazz choirs!

FOR HIGH SCHOOL
What Will Santa Claus Say? arr. Larry Shackley
Louis Prima’s quirky and upbeat tune will practically dance itself into the hearts of singers and audiences alike! With exciting swing rhythms and tight chromatic harmonies, it’s ideal for choirs with some jazz experience.

Winter Wonderland arr. Greg Jasperse
Dazzling jazz harmonies and an exquisite, flowing accompaniment combine in this incredibly artistic setting of the festive familiar favorite! Sure to be a memorable moment on winter concerts and holiday programs alike.

Jingle Bells arr. Philip Lawson
You’ll be laughing all the way with this fresh winter showpiece that is great fun for mixed, treble or men’s choirs! The keyboard part is dazzling, the vocal parts are definitely “rollicking” and the audience will be cheering. Don’t miss it!

Someday at Christmas arr. Mac Huff
Filled with the universal hope for peace on earth, this soulful Stevie Wonder song evokes heartwarming memories of Christmases past. Originally released in 1966, in 2015 it received renewed interest as Stevie performed it with Andra Day.

We Wish You the Merriest arr. Mac Huff
Deck your hall with this swinging Christmas song that’s positively brimming with Yuletide cheer. Popularized by Frank Sinatra in the 1960s with Bing Crosby, it has remained a holiday standard through the generations!

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Holiday Road arr. Roger Emerson
Written and recorded by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and featured in the 1983 film “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” this makes a great up-tempo addition to seasonal concerts! A sensational selection for show and pop groups!

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.

FOR WOMEN
Candy Cane Lane arr. Greg Gilpin
This bubbly, contemporary country-pop release from Point of Grace has darling lyrics and a catchy chorus that begs for choreography.

Sugar Cookie! by Andy Beck & Brian Fisher
Written in a 1940s swing style, this choral confection is chock full of accessible harmonies with lots of built-in repetition, plus a fun-filled spoken word section that’s the icing on top.

FOR MEN
Little Saint Nick arr. Audrey Snyder
Younger choirs will have holiday fun, fun, fun with this Beach Boys Christmas classic! Easily learned, it is perfect for adding beach choreography and costumes for a special showcase!

You can find more fun holiday numbers for your concert or show choir in the Stanton’s Signature Selections area of our website, or contact us for personalized recommendations. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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


“This Little Holiday Light of Mine” 20 October, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

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

A La Ru, A La Me arr. Douglas E. Wagner
Douglas Wagner’s soothing setting of this Spanish lullaby includes mostly unison voices throughout, making it a snap to learn. The lilting countermelody added to each chorus pairs perfectly with the optional instrumental parts and colorful synth track to enhance any performance.

Ding Dong! Merrily On High arr. Cristi Cary Miller
The traditional carol receives a spirited treatment in this easily-learned arrangement for younger choirs with the bonus of optional handbells or hand chimes to add sparkle to your holiday programming!

This Little Holiday Light of Mine by Jerry Estes
Sparked and inspired by the familiar spiritual, this bright, cheery holiday original shares a marvelous message of peace and goodwill. With ample unison lines, this winner is a snap to learn and the ranges are very accessible for young choirs. Consider adding candles, flashlights or other visual enhancements to add to the festive mood and important message.

For more holiday suggestions for your young choir, please contact us, and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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


Handel’s Messiah: Warm-ups for Successful Performance 10 October, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Handel’s Messiah: Warm-Ups for Successful Performance by Jason Paulk & Ryan Kelly
This valuable resource is a must for every choral director that prepares a chorus to sing Handel’s Messiah! In three sections, Part I – Introduction to Preparing Messiah highlights Baroque performance practice and Ideals, Practical Considerations for Performing Messiah and other helpful information; Part II includes warm-ups for 20 choruses; Part III includes Appendices with a historical context of Messiah, primary sources supporting Baroque style and expression and a recommended reading list. The director score includes the full text and warm-ups with piano accompaniments, along with a code for accessing downloadable singer parts online. The singer book includes a handy folder-sized print edition of the vocal warm-ups.

For more information, please contact us – and remember, shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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