News & Views Saturday, September 20, 2014

Category: Staff Picks

Augsburg Organ Library 19 September, 2014

augsburg organ LibraryDuring the twentieth century, the organ experienced a resurgence of interest.   Music from the 16th and 17th centuries was rediscovered.  Modern composers began to arrange favorite hymn tunes with newer harmonic structures and rhythmic possibilities.  New music was composed that has a contemporary feel.  Organ settings were written by contemporary composers and arrangers for new hymns and some contemporary worship songs. The Augsburg Organ Library is a collection of organ books organized for the church year.  There is a book for Lent, a book for augsburg organ library2Easter, etc.  Go to and then type in Augsburg Organ Library.  You will be able to see the books available and their contents. For  more information about this music or other organ music,  call 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at or visit  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Is There Room in Your Heart for a King? 18 September, 2014

Prepare for Christmas with your church choir with one of these outstanding anthems, carefully selected by our experienced Sacred Choral Music staff:

Every Valley by Victor C. Johnson
Victor C. Johnson provides this strikingly beautiful setting for the familiar Advent text. The flowing accompaniment enhances the choral harmonies in a quiet celebration of the Child who will bring peace on earth.

Peace Will Come arr. David Schwoebel
Truly memorable for Christmas, this offering features a thoughtful text from Terry York that shares the message “Christmas comes when we hear the still, small Voice of God.” David Danner’s quietly powerful music moves from tender to soaring.

The Long-Awaited by Lee Dengler
This upbeat Advent offering captures the spirit of this blessed time of year with a light classical touch. The rhythmic energy of the accompaniment is reflected in the voices, creating a unique and refreshing piece.

Is There Room in Your Heart for a King? arr.Mark Hayes
Pamela Stewart’s unforgettable text about the search for the birthplace of God s Son challenges all believers to prepare room in their hearts for the King. Mark Hayes magically conveys the heartfelt poetic imagery in this evocative setting.

Born in Bethlehem arr. Mary McDonald
Mary McDonald and Jean Anne Shafferman partnered in this creative pairing of two well-loved spirituals featuring touches of blues, engaging interplay between vocal parts, and clever musical depictions, especially of the “magi from the East.”

Angels We Have Heard on High arr. Peter Anglea
A bright new arrangement of the traditional carol. Exciting rhythmic accompaniment introduces the lively first verse and chorus which contrasts with a quiet, contemplative second verse and chorus. The anthem ends with a strong, dynamic invitation to “come,” ”see” and “adore” the newborn King. A great piece for Christmas Eve.

By Candlelight by Ruth Elaine Schram
For the first time, this modern classic from Ruth Elaine Schram is now available in a new Two-Part mixed voicing. Accompany with the chamber orchestration or the sparkling InstruTrax accompaniment CD.

Cradle Carol arr. Victor C. Johnson
Victor C. Johnson s original melody beautifully blends with a beloved carol and classic lyrics by Christina Rossetti in this sensitive Christmas anthem. “Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, in the world His hands had made, Jesus, born on this day.”

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, click here to view our complete Sacred Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

September Chill 17 September, 2014

pj pantswinter scarfIt’s September, and the evenings are getting chilly as we get closer to fall.  We have music themed clothing here at Stanton’s: flannel pajama bottoms, fuzzy slippers, gloves, caps, scarves, ties and socks.  Stay comfortable indoors and outdoors with  apparel from Stanton’s!  Check out our website at and click on “gifts’, then “apparel”, email us at, or call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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!

Love Came Down at Christmas 15 September, 2014

Presenting a cantata with your church choir is a wonderful way to prepare your congregation to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. Stanton’s Sacred Choral Music staff highly recommends these cantatas for the Christmas season:

Darkness Into Light by Mary McDonald
Just as Mary and Joseph moved from darkness into light, so do all when accepting the One True Light. This new 40-minute adult Christmas musical from Mary McDonald features fresh settings of carols along with beautiful new songs, and celebrates the Light of Christ. An optional candlelight moment is included along with inspired narration and lighting suggestions to heighten the darkness into light theme.

Love Came Down at Christmas by Joel Raney
Love is the central theme of Christmas. The incarnation story tells us that God so loved the world that he came to earth as a Baby, and that love is creatively illustrated in this compelling Christmas work by Joel Raney. The versatile format of this 30 minute cantata allows it to be performed in its entirety in a single worship setting, or it may be presented around the four traditional themes of hope, peace, joy, and love throughout the Advent season. A rich tapestry of original and familiar melodies, diverse musical styles, accessible choral settings, and engaging accompaniment options combine to ensure a rich and meaningful Christmas worship experience for your congregation.

Christmas Suite by Mark Hayes
Three exquisite carol arrangements from the inimitable Mark Hayes are linked with brief spoken narratives to create Christmas Suite. Perfect for a Christmas Eve service or anytime during the Christmas season when a full work isn’t desired. Accompany with piano and/or organ, Chamber Orchestra or the sparkling InstruTrax Accompaniment CD. Contains “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella”, “Midnight Noel” and “O Holy Night.” Create an elegant, yet easily-prepared Christmas celebration with Christmas Suite.

Treasury of Carols by Joseph Martin
This remarkable new resource is an essential compilation of beloved carols by a trio of our best-selling arrangers. Fully orchestrated and filled with variety, you will discover music for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Soaring festival arrangements mingle with equally impressive restrained offerings to provide a well-balanced volume of seasonal songs for concert or sanctuary usage. Beautifully orchestrated, this assemblage is sure to be a permanent part of your holiday music planning.

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, click here to view our complete Sacred Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

New Church Anthems for Fall 2014 11 September, 2014

autumn-churchAs church choirs start up for the fall and Christmas season, Stanton’s Sacred Choral Music staff has carefully chosen these pieces to be appropriate for a variety of worship styles and services throughout the coming months:

O Come and Lift Your Voices arr. Mark Hayes
The classic ASH GROVE tune is given a delightful new text and arrangement in this anthem perfect for Thanksgiving or any time. The artistry of Mark Hayes is on full display with his artful accompaniment coupled with creative and satisfying, surprising harmonies. Refreshing!

There Is Room for the Stranger by Lee Dengler
Warm and inviting, this Christmas communion anthem is filled with hope. The words and music are perfectly matched. Add the optional flute obbligato for a nice touch. “So come, feast, be not afraid…come taste and see where peace is made.”

I’d Rather Have Jesus by Mary McDonald
Starting with a contemplative opening and building to a powerful climax, this dynamic anthem will enhance any worship or concert experience. Your congregation and choir will be inspired by this affirmation of faith!

Wonderful Grace of Jesus arr. Larry Shackley
This spirited arrangement of the well-known hymn offers a rollicking celebration of the abundance of God s grace. Featuring options for two or four hands at the piano, this adaptation from the keyboard collection “Festive Hymns for Four Hands” (70/1773L) is a great choice for worship throughout the year.

Hymn of Fellowship arr. John Ness Beck
Three trumpets herald each verse of John Ness Beck’s powerful setting of “In Christ There Is No East or West” for choir and congregation, lifting each a half-step higher before reaching the final Alleluia Amen. Majestic and festive, yet accessible for most choirs.

Come Sing a New Song by Lloyd Larson
There is unbridled joy in this anthem from Susan Dengler and Lloyd Larson. Rhythmic and driving, it has a fun gospel touch that will have the congregation’s toes tapping. The contrasting dynamics add an element of fun leading to an ending flourish.

Softly and Tenderly arr. Joel Raney
This time-honored hymn portrays the gentle, invitation of Christ’s call to “Come home.” Like the story of the prodigal’s return (Luke 15:11-32), Christ stands at the door waiting and watching for the weary. Joel Raney’s elegant presentation lends passion and depth while staying true to the original 19th-century hymn by Will Thompson.

And Can It Be by Dan Forrest
A thoughtful new setting of the well-known text for SATB choir and piano. A quiet contemplative opening builds gradually to a confident stating of the truth of the gospel, ending with a pensive reiteration of the question and the assurance of the amazing love.

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, click here to view our complete Sacred Choral promotion for Fall 2014, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Composer Profile: Randall Standridge 09 September, 2014

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

Randall StandridgeRandall Standridge has quickly become one of our favorite band composers first getting our attention with Afterburn and Adrenaline Engines. His bold, contemporary sound and modern compositional influences combined with driving rhythmic punch result in music that is fun to play, and popular with students and band directors. While his high school level Steel is also in this mold, Standridge’s music is far from one-note. His gorgeous melancholy setting of the Scottish ballad The Rowan Tree is a favorite for lyrical ensemble performance and nuance, while Gadget (exploring the wonder and innovation of mid 20th century technology) and Zooveniers (multiple movements depicting specific zoo animals) add a fun programmatic twist to developing band music.

His creative contemporary writing and consistency resulted in our selecting 6 (that’s right, 6!) of his new titles for promotion: Angelic Celebrations, Christmas at the Circus, Darklands March, IronHeart, Ruckus, and The Witching Hour, and both Angelic Celebrations and The Witching Hour are on the 2015 Ohio High School Class C concert band list.

Mr. Standridge received both his Bachelor’s of Music Education and Master’s in Music Composition degrees from Arkansas State University and was Director of Bands at Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, Arkansas from 2001-2013. In 2013 he left his band post to pursue a career as a full-time composer and marching band editor for Grand Mesa Music Publishers. His works are published by Grand Mesa, Alfred, FJH, Wingert-Jones, Band Works Publications, Twin Towers Publications, and Northeastern, and he is a contributing composer to Alfred’s Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development series. In addition to his career as a composer, Mr. Standridge is active as a clinician, and in demand as a marching band arranger, drill designer, and colorguard designer.

For more information about Randall Standridge and his music, visit his website and our Featured Composer category on Stanton’s Listening Library.

Stanton’s Recommends: Adrenaline Engines, Angelic Celebrations, Christmas at the Circus, The Rowan Tree, The Witching Hour

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

Piano Lesson Books 08 September, 2014

music for little mozartsTeachers and parents have begun to buy music and lesson books for their children.  At Stanton’s, we have lesson books for nearly everything  alphabetically from accordion to zither. (Really!)  In the piano department, we have a wide selection of piano method books from Aaron to Thompson.  Some of the newer methods come from the Alfred music publisher, (the Premier series), FJH publishing, (Helen Marlais’ “Succeeding at the Piano” seriesalfred premier piano course), and Alfred’s “Music for Little Mozarts” series, which is written for four-year-old beginners on piano.  We have the classic favorites such as Schaum‘s Pre-A lesson book series, and Thompson’s  ” Teaching Little Fingers to Play”, followed by the “First Grade” book and on up.  You can get familiar with the piano methods we offer by checking our website.  You may also contact us at, or call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

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

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

Piano Music with Special Effects 28 August, 2014

sneezes snorts and snifflesSneezes, Snorts & Sniffles” is a fun collection of seven piano pieces by Wendy Stevens.  Written on an elementary level, these pieces have words to sing , and each piece has some special effects to perform at the right moments.  Boys especially will appreciate this!  It involves sneezing,  snoring, and more!  For more information about this collection or other easy piano sheet music, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.

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

2013 Greatest Christian Hits 21 August, 2014

greatest christian hitsThis collection of contemporary Christian sheet music is the annual edition of the year’s (2013) most popular songs.  There are sixteen songs, from inspirational ballads to to up-tempo rock styles.  Songs include “Who You Are“, “Jesus Friend of Sinners” and “Your Love Never Fails”.  The arrangements are for vocal solo with piano accompaniment.  If there are 2 vocal parts, the second part is included in small notes.  Guitar chords are included.  Update your repertoire with this great collection of songs of praise and devotion.  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!

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!