News & Views Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Category: School Choral

STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT on Elementary Choir 24 September, 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.

Ribbons in the Sky

Words and Music by Andy Beck

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

stanton's spotlight ribbons in the skyElementary students love to move to the music.  Whether it is in your general music class or in your elementary choir, “Ribbons in the Sky” is a beautiful selection for your elementary chorus that allows you to incorporate movement in a way that serves the musical concepts it teaches.  The piece has a simple melody with a small range (B3 to D5,) and is accompanied by a recorder and piano.  While it is a 2 part piece, the harmonies consist of echo patterns and a short (repeated) section where the homophonic parts are in contrary motion.

The composer suggests that you give each child a colored ribbon or scarf that corresponds with one of the colors mentioned in the text.  There are a multitude of ways that you can use these manipulatives to help your students.  Try having the students move the scarves slowly overhead during the length of a phrase.  This shows both the shape and duration of the phrase.   Students may also enjoy creating some of their own choreography to the piece.  Listen to a recording with your students and discuss appropriate types of motions, then let them create their own in small groups.  You might be amazed at what they come up with!

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

  • is a great beginner two part piece
  • gives students a chance to experience singing with an instrument
  • provides opportunities for Dalcroze-style music teaching
  • teaches slow, lyrical singing
  • offers the chance for creative choreography that is different from run-of-the-mill “choralography”

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


New for Elementary Choirs for Fall 2014 23 September, 2014

Welcome your elementary choir back to school with one of these great choral octavos, as featured on Stanton’s Elementary General Music Clinic with Sharon Burch:

If I Knew You by Cynthia Gray
Based on Nixon Waterman’s distinguished text, this piece addresses the serious issue of bullying with a poignant and sincere message about acceptance, friendship, and being sensitive to one another. The violin adds another voice of warmth, depth, and beauty to this stunning work.

It’s Possible (from “Seussical”) arr. Andy Beck
What started as words on a storybook page, then travelled to Broadway to light up the stage, is newly arranged for a different use, and now kids can sing what was written by Seuss. So come take a dip in McElligot’s Pool, by singing this song with your choir at school.

Monster Mash arr. Greg Gilpin
Triadic harmonies and several spoken solos are perfect for younger groups in this fun novelty song. Compare dance moves with Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Dracula, and maybe add a few of your own!

Polly Wolly Doodle arr. Russell Robinson
Russ Robinson’s arrangement of this traditional American folk song is full of clapping and lighthearted interplay between the two-part voices. Accompanied by piano, this lively piece is sure to be a concert or festival favorite at anytime of the year.

Ribbons in the Sky by Andy Beck
This tasteful Native American-inspired piece celebrates the beauty of a rainbow. As the seven colors are revealed, use movement scarves or ribbon wands for added effect (instructions included in the publication). An optional recorder part adds to the multicultural character.

You Can Dance, You Can Sing by Mark Burrows
This high-energy composition based on a traditional Zimbabwean proverb will be a hit with both your singers and audiences. The lyrics are mostly in English with a few simple Zimbabwean words. Shaker, djembe, and hand drum add a vibrant texture that helps to establish the rhythmic groove.

For more exciting elementary choral resources, please contact us!


FREE Holiday Choral Reading Session! 22 September, 2014

Pandora-Christmas-Music-StationsNow that you’ve been working with your ensembles for a few weeks and know the strengths of your particular students, you are probably ready to program your Holiday concert. Let Stanton’s Sheet Music help!

*FREE*
HOLIDAY CHORAL READING SESSION
Saturday, October 4, 2014
10:00-11:30 a.m.

We will read new titles in all voicings for winter concerts. Even if you attended our choral reading sessions this summer, we still encourage you to join us for this Holiday session, as we will be including many titles that have not been read on any previous Stanton’s sessions!

Because we will be reading music directly from our large inventory and sharing the expertise of the Stanton’s School Choral staff, we are able to offer this reading session at no cost to you! (There is no complimentary packet, but you may purchase singles or quantities on any titles that you like.)

For more information, please contact us at 1.800.426.8742 ext. 1 or email us.


Warm Up! 16 September, 2014

Warm Up! (20 Purpose Driven Etudes) by Gary Walth is a perfect set of warm-ups for the choral ensemble that’s designed to enhance and stimulate the growth of each member’s vocal and choral ability. Thinking of the warm-up as a “mini voice lesson,” you can reinforce concepts with consistent encouragement, criticism, problem-solving and praise. This practical volume will help the conductor provide purposeful leadership and develop artistry in each individual through exercises for breath support, open tone, flexibility, vowel uniformity, balance, intonation and much more. Each exercise includes a notated keyboard accompaniment with multiple modulations and professional recordings of a rhythm section and singers performing each drill on the enclosed CD.

For more valuable choral warm-up resources, click here to visit our website, or contact us!


Combo Concerts: Men 12 September, 2014

men and boys choirsThe 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: Men

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

One of the most common complaints we hear from choral directors is “I just don’t have enough boys!”  Well, we say feature the boys you do have-if you build it, they will come!  Even though it can be difficult from a logistical standpoint, combining the male members of your choirs from all levels into one group and can have big dividends.  The younger boys will look up to your high school men, and your older men will be gratified that you trust them enough to be examples for your younger students.  Below, we suggest a few pieces that would be great for boys of all levels to perform together. While these are all in men’s voicings, many have high Tenor or Tenor I parts that can be sung by your youngest guys, even those with unchanged voices.

brooklyn's hereBrooklyn’s Here - arr. Mac Huff  TB 00123858

Music from Disney’s Broadway smash hit “Newsies” is the perfect vehicle for making your men feel good about singing.  The character’s in the show are boys in the same age range as your guys, and the historical context gives many teaching opportunities.  The catchy melody of “Brooklyn’s Here” is in an easy 2 part arrangement, great for groups of all sizes.  When the tenor part does run low, it almost always double in the bass part, or can be easily taken up the octave for your youngest singers.  The “all for one and one for all” attitude creates a great bonding experience.

baba yetu smallBaba YetuChristopher Tin/arr. Derek Machan TTBB 42801

For a large group of guys, you can’t go wrong with Baba Yetu.  This Swahili adaptation of “The Lord’s Prayer” from the video game Civilization IV  has an inspiring African feel and haunting melody that will hook your men on the first page.  Plenty of solo opportunities mean that you can feature a great soloist or various groups of men.  Consider adding ethnic percussion to create a powerful experience your student’s won’t soon forget.

manly men smallManly Men (Men’s Chorus Extravaganza)Kurt Knecht TTBB a cap. 08501442

Sometimes it’s OK to laugh at ourselves just a little.  Poking fun at the men’s chorus tradition and the stereotypes associated with male singers (egotistical tenors vs. super baritone vibrato!) this number is sure to get a giggle (or even a guffaw!)  out of your audiences.  Consider this if you combine men from several high school and/or adult community choirs.

vagabond smallThe VagabondMark Patterson  TTB or TBB  BL821

Mark Patterson’s original solo arrangement of this tune (found in the solo collection “Heroes and Vagabonds”) has been a popular choice for years.  This new arrangement for 3 part men captures the feeling of the original solo with a nod to the Robert Louis Stevenson poem of the same name.  The opening solo could easily be moved up the octave, giving an opportunity to showcase your young unchanged voices in their best range.

i am that man smallI Am That ManMark Hayes TTBB 31330

Sometimes music education is about life lessons.  I Am That Man is an inspiring piece based on President Barack Obama’s first inaugural address.  Perfect for multi-grade level and multi-generational ensembles, this specifically addresses male students, asking them to be leaders in their community “not by might or power, but with gentleness of heart, with courage and compassion.”  This thought-provoking discussion starter will send a great message to your students and your audience.

 

There you have it folks…5 great pieces for men’s choir, and not a pirate, sailor, knight or lost girlfriend in sight!  For more recommendations for men’s groups or combination concerts, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com.


Stanton’s E-Tools: Wishlists 05 September, 2014

wishlistThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is.  That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier,  faster and more enjoyable.  In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

Overheard often at Stanton’s-

  • “I did this piece in high school.  I loved it!!!   It  made my whole year in band/choir/orchestra. I’d love to do it with my kids, but they’re just not ready yet.  Sigh.  Maybe in a few years.”
  • “There’s so many great new pieces out this year.  I can’t do them all this fall, but maybe this spring.”
  • “This would be perfect for a theme concert about ___________.  I’ll have to keep it in mind for the future.”
  • “I listened to all those pieces on all those CD’s from the publishers, but now I can’t remember what I liked!”

All of the above are great reasons to use the Wish List feature on the Stanton’s website.  As musicians, we are always on the lookout for new pieces that will inspire us as well as invigorate and educate our students.  The  Wish List feature allows you to keep track of pieces you like, and organize them any way you want (by concert program, theme/style, performance year, etc).  You can also email your list(s) to friends or colleagues, export it to a Microsoft Excel file for your own records, or  submit it directly to your treasurer as a requisition for a purchase order!

If you have questions about how to use the Stanton’s Wishlist, or  if  you need further information on any of our e-tools, feel free to call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at greatservice@stantons.com.

Previous posts in this series:  Listening LibraryStanton’s App, Digital Delivery, Virtual Workshop, Jukebox


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT on Men’s & Women’s Choirs 04 September, 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.

Msilale Wanawake

by Paul Caldwell & Sean Ivory

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

Msilale Wanawake-page-001The music of Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory has become standard in the repertoire of many choirs. Often based on musical fragments from cultures around the world, their music has a dynamic quality that is truly unique.

Msilale Wanawake (Women, don’t fall asleep) is a Swahili proverb encouraging women to rid themselves of societal shackles, to walk away from servitude, gender bias and oppression. Caldwell and Ivory also borrow from the traditional “To everything there is a season” text: “A time to sing, time for lullabies, then there’s a season to rise, rise, rise!” What a gloriously strong message to instill in young women! No flowers, stars or boyfriends to be found in this women’s piece!

Ranges are moderate, with SI and SII mostly in the middle to upper part of the staff, and altos primarily between middle C and A. It’s easy to sing with warm, supported tone. The descant can be sung by a solo or small ensemble.

Oh, and let your pianist loose on the accompaniment – it’s well notated for the average accompanist, but will really come to life with some extra attention.

This might be a great piece for your group because it…
•    features a strong and empowering text for young women.
•    has an energetic, rhythmic world music style groove.
•    lends itself to the creative addition of percussion.

A City Called Heaven

arr. Victor C. Johnson

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

City Called Heaven-page-001Victor Johnson knows how to write for developing choirs. End of story.

Ok, there IS more to the story… This creative arrangement is set in an easy jazz waltz style that just feels “cool,” even to the fickle young men’s ensemble. The TTB voicing provides an easy introduction to three-part singing, with plenty of unison singing providing a safe “home base” in between the divisi sections.

Ranges are conducive to the recently changed (or even still changing) voice – Tenor I from C3-G4, Tenor 2 from C3-F4, and Bass from C3-C4 – and whenever the Tenor parts have their lowest notes, they’re in unison with the Basses for support.

The optional solo at the beginning is a nice opportunity to feature an outstanding singer, or create a small soli ensemble – maybe all the senior boys, for example.

This might be a great piece for your group because it…
•    features a cool jazz waltz feel that is appealing to young men.
•    encourages an “adventuresome” ear with intriguing jazz harmonies.
•    is a good introduction to three-part singing for men’s choirs, with plenty of unison singing as well.

For more great suggestions, please contact our Choral Department at 1.800.42.MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com.


New for Men’s & Women’s Choirs for Fall 2014 03 September, 2014

As you prepare for your first concert of the school year, Stanton’s Sheet Music suggests that you consider one of these outstanding selections for your women’s or men’s choir:

Ally Bally Bee arr. Douglas E. Wagner
A tender text, a sweet melody, and warm harmonies come together in this gentle lullaby for SSA choirs. The tessitura is well chosen, allowing your girls to sing in the sweet spot of their voices. Fun fact: long before it was considered a Scottish folk song, this beautiful tune originated as the street cry of a candy peddler.

Hold On! (Keep Your Hand on-a That Plow) arr. Ruth Elaine Schram
An absorbing accompaniment and attractive chord structure support the vocal lines in this dynamic and powerful arrangement of the spiritual. It is a terrific choice for use at your next performance as an opening or closing number.

In Every Soul by Mark Patterson
Like an overgrown garden, each soul has a place of beauty and joy to be discovered. This lovely work for treble voices offers that beauty through the simplicity of inspirational text and expressive music. Ideal for young voices from elementary through middle school.

Ku’u Pua I Paokalani arr. Henry Leck & Martin Ellis
In 1895, Queen Lili’uokalani lived under house arrest in her Iolani Palace for eight months. Not being allowed to communicate with anyone nor to receive visitors, the Queen was able to receive a bouquet of flowers brought to her each day. This song is a treasured favorite from the deep cultural heritage of Hawaii.

Land of Beyond by Rollo Dilworth
Evoking a spirit of adventure and exploration, this well-known poem by Robert Service is vividly set to music in a fresh and contemporary style. Young treble singers will be inspired to perform this festival work and encouraged to never lose sight of their goals!

Night Wind Whispers by Julie Ann Ballard
With a repeating and rhythmic piano accompaniment that reflects the emotional tumult of the poetry, the vocal lines soar and intertwine in an impressive flurry of sound, before suddenly coming to rest. An exciting work for high school women’s voices.

Shady Grove arr. Robert I. Hugh
Now available in an SSA voicing! American folksongs combine to create a fascinating collage of sound and color in this accessible setting. Accompanied by piano and optional conga and mandolin, the vocal lines are layered, sung imitatively, augmented and much more for an excellent pedagogical and sonic treat!

Aya Ngena arr. Ruth Morris Gray
This authentic Zulu folk song is a perfect fit for men’s choirs in three parts! The authentic African rhythmic groove is punctuated by brief solos and joyful handclaps. Add the optional percussion (bells, shaker and drums), and the overall effect will be most impressive!

The Battle of Kings Mountain by Vicki Tucker Courtney
The lyrics of this rhythmically interesting men’s song tell the story of a pivotal battle in the Southern campaign that took place in 1780 on Kings Mountain, near the border of North and South Carolina. Boys’ choirs will sound triumphant when singing the historic text, and the addition of the optional piccolo and snare drum will only add to a memorable performance.

A City Called Heaven arr. Victor C. Johnson
A soulful, reflective, and free-flowing opening leads into an easy jazz-waltz style in this marvelous arrangement. Jazz sonorities abound throughout the piece, and it is suitable for both school and church use.

Lil’ Liza Jane arr. Jimmy Baas & Randy James
This up-tempo folk tune setting is sure to excite singer and audience alike. The accessible arrangement by Baas and James was written to showcase the strength of the developing male voices. The lively piano accompaniment is supportive and sure to add musical interest to any performance. Appropriate for festival and concerts.

Men o’ the Sea arr. Gary E. Parks
Here’s a hearty and masculine feature just for the guys! This traditional whaling tune is an adventure in male bonding as the crew joins their voices to conquer the sea. A robust piano accompaniment mirrors the crashing of tempestuous waves. “Batten down boys, ready for the storm!”

Music’s Echo by Greg Gilpin
This a cappella best-seller is now available for TB voices! Using the optional percussion accompaniment creates a Renaissance sound and a madrigal effect. A simple melody starts of the work, then each part joins in with its own melody. Soon the polyphonic singing becomes gloriously forte, building to a strong ending that includes an optional descant.

For more suggestions, check out our video below, click here to view our complete School Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us!


Stanton’s E-Tools: Jukebox 29 August, 2014

website Jukebox image for promoThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is.  That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier,  faster and more enjoyable.  In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

As an extension of our Listening Library, we are proud to offer Stanton’s Jukebox Stanton’s Jukebox is a specialized “wish list” where you can add sound samples from our Listening Library, then use it to:

  • Research your music purchases by building a playlist for all the titles you are considering, and then easily compare “apples to apples” as you listen.
  • Arrange your concert program by listening to full-length pieces in order, then rearranging as needed to allow for a variety in tempi and styles.
  • Build specific playlists for each of your different ensembles to assist you with your rehearsal planning and score study.
  • Generate a personalized URL for each playlist that can be emailed to your ensemble to enhance at-home practice – you can even add custom practice/rehearsal notes to appear with each playlist.
  • Forward your playlist to your school administrator or Booster/PTA president when you need to solicit funding for specific music.
  • Design separate playlists for different genres or eras of music for your Music History or Music Appreciation students to use during class or with homework.
  • Create a list of your favorite works for your personal listening pleasure in your home or office, and let it inspire you to continue strengthening your ensembles!

If you have questions about how to use the Stanton’s Jukebox feature, we also have a quick video tutorial that you can watch, as well as a list of “Frequently Asked Questions.”  As always, if  you need further information, feel free to call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at greatservice@stantons.com.

Previous posts in this series:  Listening LibraryStanton’s App, Digital Delivery, Virtual Workshop


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT on Middle School Choir 27 August, 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.

Jambo

Harris/arr. Narverud

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialistspotlight template-Jambo-page-001

Many choral directors struggle with trying to be all inclusive with their repertoire choices.  Sometimes an easy solution to this problem is to choose a piece that falls into more than one category.  Jambo is a piece of classic pop music from Kenyan musician Teddy Kalanda Harrison.  His group “Them Mushrooms” took the song platinum in 1982.  However, since his music is heavily influenced by the folk traditions of Kenya, this translates well into an a capella selection  for your young singers.  That’s right – it’s multi-cultural a capella pop!

Don’t be scared off by the unfamiliar-the piece has easy harmonies that are comfortable to sing, and a range of only E3-C4 for your men.  While your ladies might prefer to sing higher than what they do here (the soprano part goes only to C#5,)  invite your students to dive into this choral tradition by writing a descant and sing that chorus one more time!

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

  • allows you to study the music of a different culture/choral tradition
  • gives students a chance experience singing with ethnic percussion
  • provides opportunities for solos/small groups (These are notated in bass clef, but could be sung by any voice part.)
  • offers the chance for a three-part group to sing a capella
  • showcases sudden dynamic shifts to add interest and drama.

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


New for Middle School Choirs for Fall 2014 26 August, 2014

As you prepare for your first concert of the school year, Stanton’s Sheet Music suggests that you consider one of these outstanding selections for your middle school choir:

Autumn Fires by Mary Donnelly & George L.O. Strid
Your younger choirs will build important choral skills with this tender setting of a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. Alternating between modal and major key tonality, the part-writing is carefully crafted, making this an excellent choice for that first concert of the year.

Cangia, Cangia Tue Voglie by Fasolo/arr. Tom Shelton
Here is a beautiful arrangement of an Italian Baroque tenor aria, scored for voices with piano and flute. It’s a great selection for introducing your students to singing in Italian, complete with a pronunciation guide and translation.

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.

Dragonfly by Cristi Cary Miller
This vivid concert work for young voices portrays the emergence of the adult dragonfly with the dazzling, jewel-like sapphire wings through layered vocal lines and shifting 6/8 to 3/4 metric feel. Accessible but satisfying, this selection will be perfect for concert, contest and festival!

Hopsa! Lisella! arr. Russell Robinson
“Hopsa! Lisella!,” an 18th century Alsatian folk song, quite literally sways back and forth as it is sung. The feeling of acceleration typical of 18th century song is captured through ritards, accelerandos and tempo changes at the beginning of each verse. Add tambourine and triangle to enhance the French character of the song. In two parts, this accessible setting will work nicely with any treble group.

Jambo arr. Jacob Narverud
Kenyan composer Teddy Kalanda Harrison and his group Them Mushrooms received world-wide recognition with their platinum-certified recording of his piece. Now available in an exciting choral arrangement, it is bound to be a favorite.

Lascia Ch’io Pianga by Handel/arr. Russell Robinson
Singers have long cherished this staple of the solo repertoire, and now it is beautifully set for choral groups of any size. Teach all of the same lessons you learned from your favorite vocal instructor as you share this baroque aria with a new generation. Not difficult, but rewarding.

Laudate Dominum by Mozart/arr. Russell Robinson
From Mozart’s “Solemn Vespers K. 339,” this lovely 2-part setting captures the intention of the original while creating an accessible work for young voices. With its recognizable melody and supportive piano accompaniment, this arrangement is a classic for your choir to learn and enjoy, and a staple for your choral library.

Li’l Liza Jane arr. Catherine DeLanoy
Spirited and fun for young voices, this folksong favorite sparkles with rhythmic energy! Individual part-singing as well as chordal and polyphonic passages fill the work, creating teaching moments for your rehearsal and ultimately an entertaining performance. Your guys will love it too!

Mysterious Moon by Janet Gardner
Longfellow’s mysterious words are beautifully set with a minor-mode melody, designed specifically for developing choirs. Staggered entrances create a canon effect, and independent voice parts form partner song moments. Stays comfortably within a one-octave range for all.

Pie Jesu by Victor C. Johnson
This luscious and sensitive setting of the traditional Latin text exudes a gentle simplicity with soaring melodic lines and a fluid accompaniment. A pronunciation and translation guide is provided.

Uskudar arr. Audrey Snyder
Expand your students’ horizons with this arrangement of a popular Turkish folksong that depicts the colorful, energetic music of the Middle East. Well-crafted and effective in performance, it includes an easily learned section in Turkish with additional English lyrics, pronunciation guide and translation. With oboe and tambourine.

When Midnight Mists Are Creeping by Greg Gilpin
This evocative text setting makes it easy for developing concert choirs to impress. Modest vocal ranges, logical voice leading, and manageable phrase lengths allow musicality to be the focus of rehearsal and the hallmark of performance.

Witness arr. Victor C. Johnson
Contemporary harmonies, cool syncopations in the vocal parts, and a rhythmically supportive accompaniment grace Victor C. Johnson’s high-energy setting of this favorite spiritual. This work is a marvelous choice for developing choirs in both concert and festival settings.

For more suggestions, check out our video below, click here to view our complete Middle School Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us!


Excellence Clinic 2014 Recap 25 August, 2014

Excellence logo NEWOn Saturday, August 23, Stanton’s Sheet Music hosted our 21st annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic! Our attendees gathered in the James E. Strouse Workshop Hall with our clinician Jim Gallagher, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University, and some of our choral staff (including our wonderful accompanist, Joyce Stonebraker) and had a fantastic morning reading through a wide variety of high-quality music for choirs at all levels of difficulty. We spent a little bit of time socializing and catching up with old friends, and A LOT of time discovering beautiful new music!

Did you miss out on this year’s Clinic? Never fear! Here are just a few of our favorite pieces that were featured:

For middle school choirs: Cangia, Cangia Tue Voglie arr. Tom Shelton
For high school choirs: Exultabunt Sancti in Gloria by J.M. Haydn/ed. Martin Banner
For college choirs: Live a Humble arr. Stacey V. Gibbs
For community choirs: I’m Gonna Sing When the Spirit Says Sing arr. K. Lee Scott
For holiday concerts: The Work of Christmas by Dan Forrest
For women’s choirs: The Coolin’ by Ryan O’Connell
For men’s choirs: The Dawn’s Awake! by Laura Farnell

You can still receive the full clinic packet for the registration fee of $15 (while supplies last). This year’s packet includes over 30 octavos, and contains an incredible amount of repertoire variety! Contact us if you are interested!


Stanton’s E-Tools: Virtual Workshop 22 August, 2014

virtual workshop image for promosThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is.  That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier,  faster and more enjoyable.  In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

If you’ve never attended one of our workshops or reading sessions, you really are missing out.  We have tons of fun, read new music, and benefit from the advice and experience of internationally renowned clinicians as well as Stanton’s own knowledgeable staff.  But if you live too far away to attend, or just can’t make it, we are proud to present our Virtual Workshops.

Inside each Virtual Workshop you’ll preview the score of actual arrangements with audio demonstrations, and often LIVE video footage of our workshops.  The Virtual Workshops themselves are designed so you can easily preview Stanton’s top choices as featured on our clinics, workshops and promotions – it’s almost like being there!

Here is a sampling of just a few of our most recent clinics:

For questions about how to use the Virtual Workshops, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit us online or in person!

Previous posts in this series:  Listening LibraryStanton’s App, Digital Delivery


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT on High School Choir 20 August, 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.

L’ultimo di di maggio

Ottorino Respighi/arr. Robert Sieving

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist

L ultimo di di maggio-page-001This arrangement has had a rather convoluted journey to the final product – beginning as a balletto for lute written by Simone Molinaro in 1599, it was transcribed and arranged by Ottorino Respighi in his three suites for orchestra (Ancient Airs and Dances for Lute – 1917) before being paired with an anonymous 16th century poem in this setting by Robert Sieving. The charming Italian text tells of a lovely maid “on the last day of May” – “O happy day, joyful, fair and bright!”

Plenty of characteristic traits of a Renaissance madrigal are featured, including nonsense syllables – but, rather than another boring old “fa la la,” you get “tantandaridondela!” Fun!

Vocal ranges require all parts to stretch just a bit – sopranos up to high A, altos down to low A, and tenors up to F#. The bass part dips down to a low E very briefly, but remains within the staff most of the time. Divisi is straight-forward and diatonic, but will require good listening skills and tuning across the entire ensemble. Encourage light, healthy vocal production by keeping the tempo sprightly and the dynamics moderate.

Is it challenging? Yes! But is it achievable? YES! Use it as a teaching piece throughout the year – perhaps teach just the A section in the fall, then start the remainder of the piece in January when your ensemble has a few more skills under their belts.

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

  • provides an example of not only Renaissance madrigal style, but also introduces the instrumental music Respighi.
  • can be broken down and presented over a period of time – perfect for groups ready to transition to more difficult literature.
  • features straight-forward divisi that encourages tuning and listening skills.
  • encourages light, healthy vocal production.
  • is appropriate for concert performances, as well as festivals and adjudicated events.

For more great suggestions, please contact our Choral Department at 1.800.42.MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com.


New for High School Choirs for Fall 2014 19 August, 2014

As you prepare for your first concert of the school year, Stanton’s Sheet Music suggests that you consider one of these outstanding selections for your high school choir:

Aiken Drum arr. Philip Lawson
Like most popular Scottish folksongs, this one is rooted in history, but now has been transformed into a nonsense song. “Aiken Drum,” with his clothes made of tasty food, is creatively portrayed here in this clever edition with Scottish drone sounds, the melody passing from part to part, and underlying snare drum. A cheerful encore or folk selection!

Come Back to the Sea by David Waggoner
The emotive text of this contemporary choral compares the ebb and flow of ocean waves to our dreams and calls us to the sea. Musicality and metaphors abound. The inspirational message and memorable hook will bring out the best in your singers.

Du, Du Liegst Mir im Herzen arr. Keith Christopher
A lilting love song with great educational merit. Sing entirely in English or take time to teach the German text (both are included in the publication, along with an IPA pronunciation guide). An international delight.

Four Choral Critters by Christine Donkin
The poetry of Ogden Nash is witty and wonderful. Canadian composer Christine Donkin has selected four of the best: “The Duck,” “The Panther,” “The Guppy” and “The Llama.” The music brings even more fun to the lyrics. Excellent for high school, college and community choirs, these works are sold in 2 sets: THE FIRST TWO and THE OTHER TWO.

I’m Gonna Sing When the Spirit Says Sing arr. K. Lee Scott
K. Lee Scott is a superior arranger – he knows how to get the most out of the voice and gratify an audience. This is such a well-known spiritual and Lee piques our interest with tight, solid, harmonies that thicken and rise as the verses unfold, all the way to the vigorous finale. Great for church or school.

L’ultimo di di maggio arr. Robert Sieving
Robert Sieving combines an anonymous sixteenth-century poem with music from Respighi’s brilliant “Ancient Aires and Dances for Lute, Suite 1: Balletto” to create a light-hearted, dance-like representation of a charming lute piece.

Shenandoah arr. Andrea Ramsey
Weaving choral textures and warm harmonies evoke the gentle undulation of the river in this sensitive a cappella setting. Accessible for developing choirs, this work will provide wonderful opportunities for developing important choral skills.

Steal Away arr. Russell Robinson
A fine interpretation of this expressive arrangement will be a source of considerable pride for conductors and singers alike. Dr. Robinson treats the moving spiritual with great reverence and employs classic hallmarks of the choral tradition. Take liberties with the marked rubato for a meaningful performance.

Sweet Betsy from Pike arr. Greg Gilpin
Full of diverse rhythms, meters, harmonies, text-painting, and lots of humor, the journey of Sweet Betsy and Long Ike from Pike County to California has never sounded so fun! This delightful new take on the popular American folk song from the Gold Rush era will become a favorite for you and your singers and will certainly entertain your audiences.

We Sing by Brian Tate
This creative song affirms each person’s dreams and persona. Beginning quietly with assurance, solo voices bring us the first theme and soon the choir joins in. Then the choir introduces a new theme with a joyful Latin text accompanied by indigenous drums. Moments later the two themes are brought together. The unique combination of sounds, texts and message make this an excellent piece for high school and college choirs.

Who Paints the Night? by Mark Patterson
Inspired by Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night, this is a lovely reflection on the meaning of art and music. A wonderful work full of beautiful imagery!

For more suggestions, check out our video below, click here to view our complete High School Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us!


Stanton’s E-Tools: Digital Delivery 15 August, 2014

digital deliveryThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is.  That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier, faster and more enjoyable.  In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

It’s happened to all of us:  You have a rehearsal or a performance coming up in a few days (or a few hours!) and you’ve lost your music;  it’s they day before a competition, and your judges’ copies are no where to be found; you desperately need something new and fresh for your church choir to start on tonight.   In many cases, Stanton’s Digital Delivery can come to your rescue.

Using the Digital Delivery website, you can purchase thousands of titles and print them at home on your home computer within minutes.  In addition, many popular sheets (including pop, broadway, etc.) can be transposed to the key of your choosing, so you’ll always be able to have piece in a comfortable range for you.  Lead lines can also be transposed for instruments such as trumpet, clarinet, saxophone and French horn.  All you have to do is download the FREE Scorch Viewer software and you are off and running.

You access our Digital Delivery site directly by clicking here, where you can browse options for bands, orchestradigital delivery printers, choirs, and solos for many different instruments.  You can also use the regular Stanton’s website, where titles available for Digital Delivery have a printer icon next to their descriptions.  Clicking on that icon will take you directly to that item’s page on the Digital Delivery website, where you can purchase and print.

For questions about how to use the Stanton’s Digital Delivery Site, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit us online or in person!

Previous posts in this series:  Listening LibraryStanton’s App


Stanton’s E-Tools: The Stanton’s App 08 August, 2014

smart phonesThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is.  That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier, faster and more enjoyable.  In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

stanton's bar code scanner

 

Stanton’s has an app? 

That’s right, just like everyone else these days, Stanton’s Sheet Music has an app.  It’s called the Stanton’s Bar Code Scanner, and it is available for both Android and iPhone.   Even better, it’s free!

What does the app do?

Our simple-to-use app is just what it sounds like.  It helps you to use your phone or tablet’s  camera to scan bar codes on music.  Once you scan, you are taken automatically to the item’s page in our Listening Library.  Within seconds, you can be listening to the sample recording of the piece that you are holding in your hand!  If there is no sample recording of the piece provided by the publisher, you will still be guided to that item’s entry on our website where you will find a description, price, catalog number and other useful information.

How can I make the app work for me?

  • When you are shopping for music in our store, bring your headphones!  As you pull music off the shelf you can scan and listen immediately.
  • Going through your own music library?  Scan the titles you already own to refresh your memory or see if the item is still available to order.
  • When  you send your students or church choir members home with a folder full of new music, have them download the app as well.  They can listen, look, and have a valuable listening example at their fingertips!

For questions about how to use the Stanton’s Bar Code Scanner, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit us online or in person!

Previous posts in this series:  Listening Library


Band Directors Teaching Choir-SAB or SATB? 29 July, 2014

Here at Stanton’s12VBF_ConspirareHandel, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty.  Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear!  In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!

SATB is the standard voicing for high school mixed choirs and SAB/3-Part Mixed arrangements have the same designation at the middle school level.  However,  a teacher’s world is rarely perfect.  There are many reasons why you might have a need to use SAB pieces in a high school or SATB pieces in a middle school.

If one or more of the following apply to your high school singers….

-You have less than half as many men as women; putting the men on the same part will balance the group

-Your male singers are inexperienced enough that  they need the strength in numbers

-You are working on a new concept (language, choreography, etc.) and want to simplify the number of parts

…you may want to try one of these excellent SAB pieces:

Canon of Praise – Pachelbel, arr. Hal Hopson – MW1226

Der Tanz – Schubert, arr. Patrick Liebergen – BL382

Die Nachtigall – Schubert, arr. Russell Robinson – 08501705

Elijah – Dan Davison – 00126742

Praise the Lord – Handel, arr. Hal Hopson – 35017273

Sicut Cervus – Palestrina, arr. Russell Robinson – 31089

If one or more of the following apply to your middle school group…

-The young men in your choir are overpowering the light, healthy sound of your middle school women

-You have enough men that they are able to sing 2 different parts and still balance your women

-You have boys whose voices are changing in different ways; some still comfortable in a cambiata range and some who have temporarily lost their mid-range (from about A below middle C to E above)

-You teach in a junior high instead of middle school and have 7th, 8th and 9th graders in the same group

…you may want to try one of these beginner SATB pieces:

Adoramus Te – Emily Crocker – 08740061

Beachcombers – Amy Bernon – 15/2538H

Bound for Jubilee –  Joyce Eilers – SV7903

Come to Me, O My Love – Allan Petker – HMC997

Going Over Home – Sonja Poorman – BL334

Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name – Dennard Brazeal – 35009892

Song of the Sea – Raymond Hannisian – SV7802

Three Madrigals – Emma Lou Diemer – 48003439

Hope Is Like the Wind – Ruth Elaine Schram – 15/2677H

Remember, voicing does not always indicate difficulty level.  With some sleuthing you can find appropriate pieces for all ages in a variety of voicings.

Still not sure what to choose?  Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world.  As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations, or give advice.    Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Previous posts in this series: Warm-Ups and Rounds; Sight-Singing; SAB or 3 Part Mixed; Help! I’m Not a Pianist!; Solo and Ensemble Pt. 1; Solo and Ensemble Pt. 2


The Stanton’s Difference: Big Enough to Serve Your Needs; Small Enough to Serve You 28 July, 2014

At Stanton’s, we know you have many choices when it comes to purchasing sheet music.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve been highlighting just a few of the many reasons why Stanton’s is the best place to buy music for your school, church, private studio or personal use!

We’re Big Enough to Serve Your Needs-
*
Stanton’s Sheet Music has direct access to all major and many minor, independent, and European publishers allowing us to carry and order hundreds of thousands of print music titles for you.

*Stanton’s e-Tools are designed to make your job easier. Use our Listening Library, Jukebox, Virtual Workshop, Wish List, and Digital Delivery features to compare and organize titles for your music program. Watch for our upcoming blog series spotlighting each of our e-Tool features.

*Itemized purchase orders, bids, and large orders are no problem. We work with a number of schools around the country and U.S. International schools who “bulk order” over the summer.

*Besides providing music to customers all over the country, access to publishers like Hal Leonard and Alfred combined with stantons.com gives Stanton’s Sheet Music global reach with numerous international orders and worldwide shipping destinations.

But Small Enough to Serve YOU-
*
Stanton’s Sheet Music is still a single, family-owned store in downtown Columbus, Ohio. We do not have a warehouse or call center, and our website is just another way to shop for music with Stanton’s.

*We have 3 departments each with a specific number of dedicated, specialized staff: Choral & General Music, Band & Orchestra, and Keyboard & Pop. While anyone in a respective department can help you, if you find a specific staff member you like to work with, feel free to request them.

*We are your customer service. We answer your phone calls and e-mails. We fill your orders and process your internet orders. We personally handle your “sheet music emergencies.” We solve any problems should they arise. We will get to know you by name, and by working with you over time, get to know your program.

*We are your partner in music education. We choose Stanton’s Suggestions and Top Choices to make your job easier. We organize and conduct Stanton’s numerous clinics, workshops and reading sessions. We develop Stanton’s e-Tools with you, the music teacher, in mind.

We hope that over the course of this series we have given you some reasons to make Stanton’s your #1 choice for sheet music. If not, give us a call or place an order with us, and see why Stanton’s Sheet Music has been Sheet Music Specialists since 1960!

Previous posts in this series: 10% Educational Discount, Knowledgeable Staff, 21 Day Trial, For New Teachers, Setting Up Accounts, Make It a Road Trip!, Going the Extra Mile


JUST ONE MONTH – Excellence in Choral Literature! 23 July, 2014

Stanton’s Sheet Music is pleased to announce our 21st annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic on Saturday August 23, 2014! This session was designed to help you select concert and contest literature from some of choral music’s most distinguished composers, featuring the best in new music for mixed, treble, and men’s choirs at all levels of difficulty. Registration fee includes a complimentary packet of over 30 titles.

Come join us to discover beautiful music and share ideas with colleagues and friends! For more information, please check out our video below, contact us by email, or call us at 1.800.426.8742. Register online NOW!

Click here to watch video