News & Views Thursday, August 21, 2014

Category: Staff Picks

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

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!

Bluegrass! 18 August, 2014

bluegrass songbookTraditional bluegrass music is typically played on acoustic instruments: fiddle, string bass, five string banjo, guitar, and mandolin.  Sometimes a harmonica, autoharp, or dobro may be played in the group.  Bluegrass songbooks are not always easy to find, and Stanton’s has one that will work well for everybody.   “The Bluegrass Songbook”  has over forty great Bluegrass songs including  “Ballad of Jed Clampett” from The Beverly Hillbilles, “Wabash Cannonball” by A. P. Carter,  “The Long Black Veil” by Marijohn Wilkin and Danny Dill, plus more.  Guitar chords, melody, and the words to the songs are included.  Expand your repertoire!   For more information about this collection or others like it, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Top Requested Country Sheet Music 14 August, 2014

Top Requested Country Sheet Music has seventeen country favorites: “Amazed” by Lonestar,  “Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver, and more.  The songs have been arranged as close to the original recordings as possible, so they sound like they did when we first heard them. Guitar chords are included. These are country classics! For more information about this collection or other country collections, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.


Behind the Scenes: Picking Band Promotions 13 August, 2014

Ever wonder how Stanton’s picks the titles that are in our promotions? In short, members of our staff listen to, review, and in the case of our piano department, play through, almost every new title! With yesterday’s announcement of our Top Choices for Young Band, we’re using our first Behind the Scenes feature to see how our band department picks the best new concert band arrangements each year.

Three of our five band & orchestra staff, Kent, Ken, and Kris, take the time to listen to all of the new concert band recordings from beginning to end. As you can see in the breakdown below, we evaluated 550 new pieces from grade 0.5-5 from 13 different publishers this year. Yes, this is a long and daunting task. Since there is so much music to get through, we’ve gone from listening independently at the store to working off-site at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library so we can work uninterrupted. Even without the day-to-day store tasks, it took about 7 or 8 full work days to get through everything.

We listen to one publisher at a time, and move from the easiest titles to the hardest – it’s hard to gauge the quality of any grade 0.5 title after listening to grade 4! While we listen we all score each piece on a scale of 1-10 with a 10 being exceptional. Having three of us score each piece helps to limit biases and no one person’s opinion determines a title’s fate. After all of the publishers are completed, our scores are entered into a spreadsheet, and averaged to determine what we want to promote and recommend. The top 40-45 average scoring titles for both young band (gr. 0.5-2.5) and high school (gr. 3-5) form the basis of each promotion, then we review each preliminary list and adjust it for an appropriate number of titles at each difficulty, and a sufficient selection of marches and Christmas titles.


Like we said, the days can get long…

Once all of the titles have been chosen, new descriptions are written for each title. We prefer to provide our own write-ups since publisher descriptions range from pure fluff to extensive programmatic descriptions. Rarely do any of them provide information about the musical skill required or teaching opportunities presented. After the new write-ups are completed and any other items added that we want to feature, the layout is created by Dan, our orchestra specialist. The final promotions then get sent to the printer, and mailed to you!

We really hope you find our suggestions useful, and that we save you time when selecting music for your bands. Keep an eye out for our Top Choices for High School Band coming soon!

Of Interest:
- You’d be surprised at how often our scores are the same or within a point or 2 of each other; we definitely hear a lot of the same things in spite of age, experience, personal musical tastes, etc.
– Yes, we get to listen to music all day during this process, but it gets to be exhausting
– The large publishers produce so many new titles that they each require a full day to get through their whole promotion! Aren’t you glad you can listen to specific grade levels?
– Our favorite publishers to listen to: FJH, Grand Mesa, Daehn Publications

By the Numbers:
# Publishers = 13
Total New Band Pieces = 550*
*excludes repromoted (old) titles & flexible instrumentation series

Difficulty                                                         # New Titles    # Promoted
Beginning Band (gr. 0.5-1)                              99                    11
Junior High/Middle School (gr. 1.5-2.5)           210                  34
High School/College (gr. 3-5)                          241                  40-45

The Best New Music for Young Band 2014-15 12 August, 2014

MS Promo CoverEven though it’s still only August (and who couldn’t use a little more summer?), the school year is already upon us – a few school districts have even started! To help with your planning for elementary and middle school band, the Stanton’s band staff is excited to share our choices as the Best New Music for Young Band for 2014-15!

The pieces featured are grades 0.5-2.5, and include marches, Christmas & winter concert selections, and a few really good pop titles. We’re also highlighting music from Frozen just to let you know what’s available – be sure to check out Do You Want to Build a Snowman? as a fun and different winter concert option! As always, the descriptions are our own – we want to make sure you have the most useful (and occasionally witty) information about the pieces to help with both teaching and programming. Also, keep reading our blog for our first Behind the Scenes feature about how we pick our band promotions!


Worship Guitar Anthology Volume 1 11 August, 2014

This Worship Guitar Anthology  Vol. 1  has the melody, lyrics and chords for one hundred songs.  It includes favorites worship guitar“Beautiful One”, “Revelation Song”, “Our God”, and more.  Chord grids for guitar are printed at the beginning of each song, so there’s no digging through a chord dictionary trying to find some of the more exotic chords.  Because there are chords included, a keyboard player can play along.  This collection of sheet music could be used for solo vocal with guitar, or it could be used as a starting point for a praise band to work with various songs.  It’s not easy to find this many praise favorites in one collection!  For more information about this collection or others like it, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

New From Hal Leonard-Online Audio! 07 August, 2014

love someonePlenty of sheet music books still come with CDs, but here at Stanton’s  we are beginning to see something new from Hal Leonard called “Online Audio”.  Leonard has started to include “Online Audio” with pop sheets, too, beginning with “Love Someone”, by Jason Mraz.   What is it?   It’s a downloadable sound file.    How does it work?   Leonard has MyLibrary, which you access through the instructions on the inside of your book. Your music will include a sixteen digit  access code which you enter. Each copy of a book or sheet has a unique code.  The library is cloud based, so you can access it from anywhere with a PC, MAC, or mobile device.  More information about this new option can be found at  For more information about new pop sheets or music books, contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Teachers! We carry prizes and awards for students! 06 August, 2014

Girl with giftIt’s time to start thinking about prizes and awards for your students!  Stanton’s carries all kinds of gifts, from forty cent pencils to lovely music-themed water globe music boxes for forty-three dollars.   We have sheets of shiny music stickers with 30+ stickers for $2.95  a sheet, and packages of four sheets of either black or brightly colored notes and clefs for $1.95 a package.  There are refrigerator (or locker) magnets for $1.50: Kitten on the Keys, “got music”, the first page of “The Entertainer”, and more.  There are non-sharpening pencils for .95 each, and a set for $2.00 including a non-sharpening pencil, a ballpoint pen, and a small eraser.  There are heavy duty bookmarks for $1.99, and treble clef pins in boxes for $2.50.    Browse our website, and check out our “gifts” category to see what is available. Call ahead  to check on what is in stock.  Stock up while you are here for one of our workshops, or order by phone!  1-800-42-MUSIC. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


“Toys” – 44 Easy Original Piano Pieces 05 August, 2014

49043989This delightful collection of piano solos about toys includes works from Robert Schumann (1810-1856) to Daniel Kemminer (born 1978).  There are pieces about dolls and teddy bears, clocks and music boxes, a police car chasing a fugitive, and one piece about a game-“ludo”- which turns out to be Parcheesi.  These pieces were written in the classical tradition for children.  Schumann wrote “Album for the Young”  as a birthday present for his daughter, Marie.  Tschaikowsky wrote an “Album for the Young” also.  These little masterpieces are fun to play, and expand the repertoire for early level players.  For more information about this collection or other collections of easy classical piano solo sheet music, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website,  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

THIS SATURDAY – Church Reading Session with Larry Shackley! 04 August, 2014

Sacred Clinic logoStanton’s is pleased to welcome Larry Shackley as our clinician for the August Church Choral Music reading session!

Larry is a full-time composer and music editor from Columbia, SC. From 1995-2007, he taught and directed the music program at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC. Prior to that, he worked for several years at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, creating original music and Shackley, Larryproducing radio programs for the Moody Broadcasting Network. He also served as staff keyboardist for ten years at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL. Larry’s published music includes over 200 choral pieces, seven cantatas, and 400 keyboard arrangements, as well as vocal and instrumental collections and numerous orchestrations. He has received writing awards from ASCAP every year since 1998, and has fulfilled commissions from schools, churches, and community choirs across America.

Your registration includes a packet of over 35 new choral anthems that are hand-picked from the hundreds published each year. We look forward to seeing you on August 9th for a wonderful morning of singing with one of the nation’s most sought after church music experts.

Sacred Choral Reading Session
Saturday 8/9/2014, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Battelle Fine Arts Center, Otterbein University
195 West Park St., Westerville OH 43081
Cost: $20.00 (There is no pre-registration; you may register the day of the clinic beginning at 8:30.)
email our choral department for more details

Sacred Piano Reading Session
also featuring Larry Shackley
Saturday 8/9/2014, 2:00 pm-4:30 pm
Stanton’s Sheet Music,
330 South 4th St., Columbus OH 43215
Cost: Free!
email our keyboard department for more details

Click here to watch video

Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Classical Favourites from Russia 31 July, 2014

ue36070522994f3a8ff7_195x255Russia has a rich heritage of classical music.  Much of that heritage has been shared with the rest of the world.  We all know at least something about Tchaikowsky‘s  “The Nutcracker”, represented in this collection of sheet music by “The Dance of the Reed Flutes”, and “Swan Lake”,  represented by the main theme from “Swan Lake”.  “The Flight of the Bumblebee”  came from Rimski-Korsakov’s opera, “The Tale of Tzar Saltan”.  Khatchaturian‘s “Sabre Dance” came from his ballet, “Gayane”.  In all, there are thirteen pieces by six Russian composers  transcribed from the string repertoire for piano by Nicolai Podgornov.  This fun collection of intermediate to advanced pieces will entertain you for hours, and add to your repertoire of performance pieces for recitals or just for enjoyment.  For more information about this collection or other music, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 25 July, 2014

00125210The music of James Newton Howard, composed for “Catching Fire”, is now available for piano solo!  Eleven pieces from the second of  The Hunger Games trilogy are included in this book of sheet music from the movie.  The story written by Suzanne Collins took shape on film, and this music expresses the emotions of the characters and the feel of the environments they have to deal with.  There is a certain satisfaction when playing  “Arena Crumbles“.  For more information on this collection or other movie music, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

This summer, learn to play the guitar! 22 July, 2014

00-42548Stanton’s got a shipment of the best guitar methods from Alfred!   You can learn to play rock guitar. blues, electric,  jazz or acoustic.   We got some ukulele books and bass guitar books, too. While away the  evenings on your deck (or patio) with your guitar in the summer breeze!  For more information about these helpful methods, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? 18 July, 2014

00312479This great book of Sesame Street songs has forty songs from childhood’s favorite on-screen street.  From the “Sesame Street Theme” to “We Are All Earthlings”, these perennial favorites include guitar chords in addition to the piano part, which includes the melody in the right hand.  So set the rubber duckie next to the keyboard, line the kids up next to the piano and get ready to sing the summer away! For more information about this collection of sheet music, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

O’Neill’s Music of Ireland 17 July, 2014

This one-inch thick book of 1,850 Irish melodiesResizeImageHandler.ashx is a library of tunes in one volume.  There are set dance tunes, which are tunes for a “set”, or group of dancers in couples, many of O’Carolan’s tunes, folk song tunes, and more.  The melody is laid out, ready to be played, embellished upon, or arranged by a group or soloist.  There are many familiar tunes; “The Minstrel Boy”, “The Bard of Armagh”, “Planxty Irwin”, reels, hornpipes, and more.  The words are not included, nor are there chords provided.  The melody is the main emphasis in this collection. For more information about this collection or other tune books or fiddle books, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Jam Session! 16 July, 2014

00240112What is a jam session?  It is a musical event, process, or activity where musicians play (“jam”) by improvising.  At a typical folk music or Bluegrass jam, players in the group take turns choosing a tune to play and the key to play it in. (Example- “Let’s play “In the Pines” in the key of D.”)  Most of the group will be familiar with the songs, so people can strum, pick, or fiddle along to the song.  Maybe one person will sing the verses, and everyone will sing the chorus in harmony.  Often, the leader will give a nod to different people and the chosen person will improvise a solo for a verse of the song.  Jams can go on for hours with people coming and going as time passes.  It’s great fun!  I’ve been in jams where I’ve alternated playing fiddle, mandolin, or ukulele.   Sometimes, I stop playing and just sing. To learn the songs associated with a particular style of music, fakebooks are helpful, as is listening to lots of music in your chosen style. Eventually, your ear kicks in, and you can play “by ear”.  That is, you can hear a song and play it without sheet music.  For information about fakebooks for different styles of music, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

The Boss is Back! 11 July, 2014

Bruce Springsteen’s new album, “High Hopes” has been released for piano/vocal/guitar, and for guitar.   This collection includes several old favorites (The Ghost of Tom Joad”)  and several newly re-recorded  songs are presented (The Wall.)  The Boss is back on tour, and back on a roll!  Play along with the Guitar Songbook Edition!  For more information about “High Hopes” or other Springsteen music, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website,  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Piano Workshops, August 8 and 9! 10 July, 2014

00420168On Friday August 8, from 9 AM to 12:30 PM, there will be a free workshop for piano teachers at Stanton’s Sheet Music, 330 S. 4th st.  Enter from Noble St., which runs East and West between Main st and Mound St. Parking is free.  You may get to Noble St. from either 4th St. or 5th St.  Registration begins at 8:30 AM.  This year, Randall Faber, co-author of the Piano Adventures series, is our workshop leader.  Come meet him and learn how the Piano Adventures series of lesson books can help your students to learn the piano skills they want and need!

The next day, Saturday August 9, from 2 PM to 4:30 PM, Larry Shackley, a well-known arranger of sacred music, will present new arrangements of sacred piano music.  Registration is at 1:30 PM.  Come listen to these new arrangements, and see what you want to buy to play for your church, Sunday School, or just for yourself to play at home.8622

Both of these popular annual events are well attended, fun and informative. They are only about a month away. Come join us! You may call us at  1-800-42-MUSIC, or email us at for more information.

The Rocky Horror Show 08 July, 2014

14042919We present to you the 40th Anniversary Songbook for The Rocky Horror Show!  Forty years of Rocky Horror?  Yes!  Beginning in June 1973,  “Upstairs” at the Royal Court Theatre,  “Rocky Horror” has swept the world with the stage production and the movie.   It is a humorous tribute to the “B” horror films and science fiction films from the 1940′s through the 1970′s. Richard O’Brien’s zany story has a world wide cult following.  The film is the longest running release in film history.  This book of sheet music from the stage production includes a download card which gives you online access to professional backing tracks for all the songs!  To order this collectible album, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!