News & Views Monday, January 23, 2017

Category: School Choral

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.


Masterwork Editions for Choir 05 October, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

I love finding well-edited versions of masterwork compositions for Middle School and High School choirs – it’s a perfect way to introduce major composers from different historical periods to your ensembles! Here are a few of our favorites this season:

RENAISSANCE
Tanzen und Springen by Hans Leo Hassler/arr. Russell Robinson
Hassler’s lively and dance-like madrigal, originally written for five voices a cappella, is re-voiced here for 3-part mixed and optional accompaniment. Both English and German are included and can be sung in either language or a combination. A smart choice for young singers beginning their exploration into Renaissance music.

Matona Mia Cara by Orlando diLasso/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Orlando di Lasso’s tuneful villanelle is set here for TBB voices with details that suit the young male voice. The Italian text is accompanied by an optional English text, it is shorter in length than the original SATB score, contains an optional piano accompaniment, and is written in a style that is rustic and light with the energized syllables of “dire, dire, don, don, don.”

Cantate Domino by Claudio Monteverdi/arr. Jill Gallina
One of a number of short motets written by Italian composer, Claudio Monteverdi, this madrigal style for six voices has been set for SSA, carefully weaving selected vocal lines from the original to create this stylistically authentic edition using both energized and legato singing.

This Is Our Time for Singing by Orazio Vecchi/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Lilting and light, the contrasting sections of this 16th century Italian madrigal provide an ideal introduction to this important musical style. Whether you enjoy singing a cappella or with piano, consider adding the optional flute and hand drum parts. Ideal for concert or adjudication.

BAROQUE
Dixit Dominus by Antonio Vivaldi/arr. Jacob Narverud
Arranged for SATB voices, harpsichord or piano, and string quartet, Vivaldi is celebrated by or perhaps even introduced to your singers in this smart edition. Optional children’s choir or ensemble is included, helping create a terrific opening masterwork for choirs of all ages.

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.

If Music Be the Food of Love by Henry Purcell/arr. Russell Robinson
Russell Robinson presents this choral masterwork by Henry Purcell in a well-constructed arrangement for middle school mixed choirs. The music for the first and second verses are identical to aid in quick learning of this especially fine contest selection that also offers an option to perform a cappella.

CLASSICAL
Alleluia, to Thee We Sing by W.A. Mozart/arr. Jacob Narverud
Mozart’s delightful melody is paired with an original text by the arranger suitable as an opening number for concert choir. The musical theme and accessible vocal writing will appeal to both high school and advanced middle school singers, too. The piano accompaniment is pure Mozart and a wonderful showcase for your pianist.

Benedictus (from Missa Sancti Hieronymi MH 254) by Johann Michael Haydn/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Composed by the 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.

ROMANTIC
Abschiedslied by Johannes Brahms/arr. Gerald Custer
Gerald Custer presents one of the most well-known Brahms love songs in this sensitive scoring that retains the harmonic richness of the original. The strophic setting takes voice leading into careful consideration and highlights men and women separately and together.

Find more options in the Stanton’s Signature Selections area of our website, or contact us for personalized recommendations at 1.800.42.MUSIC. 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.


Sight Reading Success 30 September, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

In my work with local choir directors here in Ohio, and even across the country, one of the most common inquiries I receive is for “more 4-part sight reading exercises!!” Preparing for the sight reading portion of adjudicated choral events can be stressful for a lot of teachers, and many of the popular sight reading methods only include unison melodies.

I was excited when “Sight Reading Success” by Stan McGill came across my desk, because I knew it would be perfect for these teachers! This resource is designed to help secondary choir students improve their music literacy skills. With 180 (!!) SATB exercises divided into 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 measure sets, even beginning groups can develop advanced skills over a relatively short period of time. The exercises are included in the book and as a free download for projecting to a screen or distributing to students via print or tablet.

For more sight reading resources and recommendations, visit our website or contact us! 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’d Like to Fly!” 23 September, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

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

The Bumblebee by Sally K. Albrecht
A true charmer! The original text cleverly hovers along the pitches of the major scale, and a slower middle section (in the parallel minor) provides a perfect opportunity to discover and discuss tempo and tonality.

Crawdad Song arr. John Leavitt
Accessible voice parts coupled with hand claps and toe taps help create this lively, energized arrangement of the American folk song favorite. Leavitt employs call and response phrases with contrary motion along with terraced dynamics to provide interesting variety in vocal textures. Enhance the fun piano accompaniment by including the xylophone and string bass parts.

Dors, dors, petit bebe arr. Cristi Cary Miller
This gentle lullaby offers a wonderful opportunity to build tone quality and phrasing in a well-crafted setting for young treble singers. The easily learned Cajun French sings “listen to the river” while the undulating piano accompaniment evokes the sound of the river beneath the rocking vocal line.

I’d Like to Fly by David Waggoner
A beautiful metaphor associating flying and soaring to finding one’s own discovery and destiny in life is sung here in this original work for 2-part voices. Contemporary motifs are played in the piano accompaniment, supporting melody and harmony that could be found on the Broadway stage. A stunning performance piece for young voices.

I’ve Been Working on the Wabash Cannonball arr. Cristi Cary Miller
These two famous train songs are arranged for young singers in a creative way that includes sound effects, layered rhythm speech and much more! A great choreography showcase, it is a wonderful concert finale!

Rainsong by Mary Lynn Lightfoot
Lightfoot’s whimsical and energetic original is a creative programming delight! Throughout the piece, both piano and voices emulate the gentle and playful rhythms of falling rain, and the ending unfolds with a fun, syncopated tap, tap, tapping of the rain upon the window pane. Limited ranges and lots of dynamic interest make this a great choice for developing 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.

For more exciting elementary choral resources, 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.


The Stanton’s Difference: Make It A Road Trip!! 12 September, 2016

At Stanton’s, we know you have many choices when it comes to purchasing sheet music. Over the next few weeks, we want to take the opportunity to highlight 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!

Places where you can browse and buy A LOT of sheet music are hard to come by. It’s amazing how many times we hear, “It’s so nice to be able to look at music before you buy it,” and “I live in                                              , and there is nowhere like this to buy music.” This last statement includes cities like New York and Los Angeles, and has been made by some of the touring Broadway Across America musicians who come through Columbus. If you live within driving distance of Columbus, and you’re wondering if a trip to Stanton’s is worth it the answer is “absolutely!”

Who doesn’t love a road trip? We’re not as far away as you might think. Columbus is only a 2 hour drive from Cleveland and Cincinnati, and 3 hours from Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Lexington and some of the farther reaches of Ohio. Besides, Stanton’s Sheet Music is in a former A&P grocery store (complete with cupola) that has hundreds of thousands of sheet music titles in stock!

While you’re here, you are welcome to look through and compare all of the music that’s on hand. You can pull up a chair at our listening station or use the Stanton’s app on your smart phone to scan titles and listen to them throughout the store. If it’s your first time at Stanton’s, let us know – we’ll give you a tour! Did we mention that you can also take advantage of our knowledgeable staff, too?

Bring your entire music department! Do you have an upcoming professional development day this fall? We’d love to see your WHOLE music department here in the store! Let us know you’re coming, and we’ll be happy to set aside a table for your group, and we can even start pulling some repertoire suggestions for you to peruse while you’re here.

Need to grab lunch, or staying in town for dinner? In addition to sheet music suggestions, our staff can recommend plenty of great, non-chain places to grab a bite. Within walking distance are Dirty Frank’s, Little Palace, Katzinger’s Delicatessen, and Indian Oven, as well as Mikey’s Late Night Slice and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at the Columbus Commons (and you’ve got to try Jeni’s!). Also nearby are plenty of restaurants in German Village, on Gay Street, and in the Short North and Arena Districts.

Have we given you enough reasons to come to Columbus and visit us? We look forward to seeing you soon!

Click here for more information on the STANTON’S DIFFERENCE!


“O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana 31 August, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Over the last several years, we have seen a surge in the popularity and performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana by community choirs, collegiate ensembles and even local high schools. With multiple accompaniment options (orchestra, wind ensemble, or the very nicely done 2-pianos and percussion edition) and reasonable vocal challenges for teen voices, programming and performing this work can be an exciting accomplishment for a good high school choir!

Not ready to tackle the entire major work? The spectacular opening movement, “O Fortuna,” is now available in an individual performing edition for SATB and one piano. It would be a fabulous concert opener or closer, and a great example of 20th century choral music.

For more recommendations for large works for your high school choir, visit our website or contact us – and remember to 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.


New York Voices: Old Friends 26 August, 2016

American vocal music group New York Voices was formed in 1987 from an Ithaca College alumni group. They released their first, self-titled album in 1989, and won a Grammy award for their 1996 collaboration with the Count Basie Orchestra, “Count Basie Orchestra with New York Voices Live at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild.” Aside from performing, the New York Voices give jazz clinics at schools and universities and individually have their own solo careers. To date, they have released seven studio albums, all blends of classical, pop, R&B, Brazilian and American jazz.

The new choral collection New York Voices: Old Friends represents and celebrates the incredible cross-section of high-level artistry of this award-winning vocal jazz group, adored for nearly 30 years. Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, Darmon Meader and Kim Nazarian have defined and raised the bar for jazz ensemble arranging and singing style and have influenced and inspired musicians, audiences and music educators with every arrangement, workshop and performance.

This collection includes personal photographs, historical notes regarding New York Voices, words of tribute from other well-known jazz musicians and personal memoirs from each member. The songs range from traditional standards like “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Sing, Sing, Sing,” and Ellington’s “Bli-Blip” to contemporary classics from Paul Simon and a Peter Eldridge original. Now you can learn, sing and enjoy these outstanding jazz vocal arrangements that have been crafted by the New York Voices.

For more recommendations for vocal jazz ensembles (of all difficulty levels!), please visit our website or contact us! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Coming THIS SATURDAY: Excellence in Choral Literature 2016 22 August, 2016

Stanton’s Sheet Music is pleased to announce our 23rd annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic!

EXCELLENCE IN CHORAL LITERATURE
Saturday 8/27/2016, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
**NEW LOCATION** Christ Lutheran Church, 2314 E Main Street, Bexley OH 43209
REGISTRATION: $20

This session, led by James Gallagher (Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University), is 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. Your 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 contact us by email, or call us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!