News & Views Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Category: Staff Picks

Holidays with the Orchestra – Grade 2.5-3 16 October, 2017

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

There is a bumper crop of new holiday pieces this year, so take advantage of them and freshen up your library! There are lots of fun mash-ups, unique arrangements of Christmas favorites, and some off-the-beaten-track selections that will add pizzazz to your winter concert.

alfred-45870-fDeck the Hall of the Mountain King arr. Richard Meyer, Grade 2.5
The deft talent of Richard Meyer has conjured up this good-natured combination of the well-known Welsh carol, Deck the Halls, and Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt. The major/minor juxtaposition of the diatonic and chromatic melodies adds to the aural amusement as does the accelerando and stringendo at the end which one expects from In the Hall of the Mountain King. It’s clever but not crass. Add the optional sleigh bells and crash cymbals for the greatest effect!

My Candles (In the Window) arr. Brendan McBrien, Grade 2.5
It’s always super satisfying to find something off the beaten track for a holiday concert, and this one really fits the bill. Brendan McBrien has taken a simple, strophic Hanukkah song (My Candles a.k.a. In the Window) and written a complementary theme to separate its reiterations. Both themes are liberally shared among the orchestra sections which makes a great opportunity for your students to learn when to bring out their line and when to accompany. Optional suspended cymbal, triangle, bongos and bells will add some festive color to the performance.

alfred-45883-fSecret Agent Sugar Plum arr. Scott Watson, Grade 2.5
When you can find a way to class up a holiday concert novelty that will not only give a chuckle to your students and your audience but will also satisfy their expection of classical music from your orchestra, you’ve got it made! This clever fusion of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker with classic spy music idioms incorporating a rock groove will have the whole room heart happy! Optional drumset, cowbell, triangle and piano will help with the pop ambiance.

O Silent, Holy Night arr. Stuart Carlson, Grade 3
If you need a top notch “down” tune for your holiday concert, look no more! Here are two of the most popular slower Christmas tunes combined in a sublime, seamless medley that flows from 3/4 to 6/8 with hardly a ripple. The accompaniment parts are as interesting as the melody so everyone will enjoy this mellifluous mixture of Silent Night and O Holy Night.

wj-3035781-fJingle Bells arr. Michael Blackwood, Grade 3
You have never heard Jingle Bells arranged like this before! It’s amazingly unique, yet not so weird that it will turn people off. Your students will surely request to play it year after year! Everyone gets a shot at the melody, even the basses, in half time under a 16th note chromatic accompaniment that comes as a real aural surprise. There is a fair amount of chromaticism overall, so follow those fingerings! First violins and cellos do a call and response round at one point and the whole thing finishes with a big shout chorus. Oh, what fun it is!

Time for Christmas arr. David Bobrowitz, Grade 3
Sometimes you just want some standard carols for your holiday concert – but wouldn’t mind if they are cleverly arranged. A Time for Christmas will definitely fit the bill! Here are Good King Wenceslas, The First Noel and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen like you’ve never heard them before! Syncopations, hemiolas, staccato and spiccato bowing all contribute to this fresh, contemporary setting, with interesting, active parts for all sections so that no one will feel slighted. It’s spunky!

alfred-517868Away in a Manger arr. Jeffrey E. Turner, Grade 2.5
This is the “other” version of Away in a Manger, the beloved Christmas carol, written by William J. Kirkpatrick. Arranged by Jeffrey E. Turner, it features a string quartet within the orchestra and its haunting beauty is mesmerizing. This is sure to become one of your holiday favorites.

Catalonian Carols arr. Pierre LaPlante, Grade 3
Arranger LaPlante has taken two traditional melodies from the Catalonian (northeastern) region of Spain: Carol of the Birds and On Christmas Eve. Catalonia boasts a long and varied history of music and music making, and from this music the arranger has tapped into a deep well of inspiration to create this rich and very musical setting for strings. The piece offers a great opportunity for expressive playing, phrasing, and exercising one’s musicality without having to drill too much on technical difficulty. This fabulous setting will work well on a seasonal concert, or as a festival selection.

Need more holiday options for your orchestra? Visit our website, or contact us! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Dan C. has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions. A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


Kid’s Korner: Fall & Christmas 2017 13 October, 2017

recommended by Judy H. and Jennifer F., Sacred Choral Music Specialists

Involve your youngest singers in worship this fall and Christmas with one of these great anthems for children’s choirs!

FOR GENERAL WORSHIP
celgra-622011305-fA Blessing of Grace arr. Joseph M. Martin
This general anthem can also serve as a wonderful blessing or benediction for any service or program. The imagery encourages spiritual growth in our service as we are connected to the Savior. Easy writing is complemented by a well-crafted optional second part which provides rich harmonies.

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing arr. Lynn Shaw Bailey & Becki Slagle Mayo
This creative hymn arrangement combines the familiar 3/4 meter of the original with a rhythmic 5/4 meter second verse. A newly written refrain incorporates the optional second part for a nice harmony opportunity. Percussion parts add to the festive quality of the piece.

Come with a Grateful Heart by Lynn Shaw Bailey & Becki Slagle Mayo
New from Lynn Shaw Bailey and Becki Slagle Mayo is a fun, easy-to-learn anthem that will be a hit with your young choristers! Featured in the Choristers Guild “Rote to Note” series, this piece has a memorable refrain and two short stanzas highlighting John 3:16.

Grow Me, Lord by Ruth Elaine Schram
This gentle song of commitment expresses the desire for the Lord to grow and mold us into Christ’s image. Hymnlike in its writing, the optional second part soars in a descant style creating beautiful musical moments. Consider using the flute for a special effect.

leon-512443I’m Gonna Sing arr. Audrey Snyder
Handclaps, spoken refrains, and a dynamic piano accompaniment make this jubilant arrangement of the familiar spiritual a perfect selection for older elementary choirs or choirs of any age. The final verse includes an optional descant that heightens the sense of joy and exuberance found in this rapturous piece.

Thanksgiving to Our God arr. Stan Pethel
Now available for unison or 2-part treble choirs, this gently contemporary anthem truly sounds rich and full. The incorporation of classic words with new lyrics creates a wonderful counterpoint of something old with something new.

This Is the Day by Ken Berg
This cleverly written song gives text options for both general use and Easter. Incorporating the familiar hymn Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him, the song moves along at a joyful pace with syncopated rhythms and a fun melody. It finishes with the combining of optional second and third parts. The percussion adds another layer of creative flavor.

FOR ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
leon-512441All On a Christmas Morning by Mary Donnelly & George L.O. Strid
This charming anthem invites one and all to join the angel chorus and celebrate the birth of Jesus. A lilting piano accompaniment brings a festive flair to the piece as the choir recounts the joy and wonder of the first Christmas morning. An optional flute part adds to the spirit of merriment and jubilee.

How Great Our Joy arr. Terry D. Taylor
This jazzy Christmas piece is based on a traditional German carol. The optional second part creates tight harmonies while the optional clarinet part adds additional color. Perfect for older children or combined-age choirs.

Somebody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Jesus arr. Terry D. Taylor
A partner song arrangement of two spirituals, from one of our favorites: Terry D. Taylor. Rhythmic and catchy, your choristers will love the drama of sudden dynamic changes. The text of “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” receives a fresh new melodic treatment as the partner tune, making this piece very easy to learn.

For more suggestions for your children’s choir, please contact us. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Judy H. has been working in Stanton’s Choral Department since 1975. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. A member of the Grove City Chamber Singers, Judy also enjoys reading and spending time with her four grandchildren.

Jennifer F. is a graduate of Otterbein College with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has worked at Stanton’s for over 14 years specializing in Sacred Choral, Classical Vocal and Handbell music. Jennifer is a soprano section leader in the Chancel Choir at First Community Church in Columbus Ohio, and is also the founder, Artistic Director and bass bell ringer for Handbells Columbus.


New Festive Favorites for Band 12 October, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The holiday concert season is right around the corner.  Whether you’re in the process of selecting your whole concert or just searching for 1 or 2 new arrangements to complete your program, we have you covered.  These are our favorite new holiday releases for 2017 ranging from beginning band to high school, and featuring several of our favorite composers.  If you have a young group, be sure to check out Snow (Yuki).  This Japanese children’s song features a simple melody that is delightful.  My wife has programmed a choir arrangement of this song, so I was excited to see it arranged for band.  Enjoy!

African Holy Night
arr. Robert W. Smith
RWS Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $75.00
The traditional carol O Holy Night has been re-imagined in a completely different setting. Featuring the percussion section, we are musically transported to the Serengeti and jungles of Africa to explore the well-known melody in both time and texture. A unique and exciting selection for your next holiday concert!

A Festive Fanfare
Brian Balmages
FJH Beginning Band
Grade 1                                    $40.00
This powerful and driving overture is the perfect way to kick off your holiday program! Featuring a mix of original themes and holiday favorites, this work does not sound like a medley; rather, it is a powerful fanfare featuring snippets of holiday favorites that span from lyrical to soaring!

Jingle Jangle All the Way
arr. Ed Huckeby
Barnhouse Concert Band
Grade 3                                    $68.00
Ed Huckeby’s inventive and colorful treatment of the classic Jingle Bells is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit! The fresh rhythmic concepts provide just the right combination of uniqueness and familiarity to give this holiday favorite a brand new twist. The clever changing meter elements provide that extra “special” to bring the tune alive and create fresh sounds. Jingle Jangle All The Way is certain to become a favorite on your annual holiday concert program!

The Joys of Christmas
arr. Rob Romeyn
Barnhouse Rising Band Green
Grade 1.5                     $49.00
A festive and fresh holiday concert opener for beginning band that is sure to be a favorite for both performers and audiences. Good King Wenceslas is used as the basis for the work, crafted in a powerful and effective setting while a very creative and lyrical interlude of Jingle Bells serves as a beautiful musical moment before the piece ends as it began, powerfully festive. Easy to play and easy to put together, this wonderful selection is also appropriate for more advanced groups with limited rehearsal time.

Santa’s Heartfelt Christmas
arr. James Swearingen
Barnhouse Sound Foundations Red
Grade 0.5                     $45.00
This combination of Up On the Housetop and Jolly Old St. Nicholas clearly demonstrates Swearingen’s ability to make a young band sound mature beyond their years. Emotionally uplifting, this beautiful setting touches all the right buttons necessary to leave your audience wanting to experience the joy of the holiday season!

Snow (Yuki)
Robert Buckley
Hal Leonard First Concepts
Grade 1                                    $40.00
Snow is based on the charming Japanese children’s song Yuki. Robert has combined this song with an original festive melody to create a joyful, winter holiday piece. Everyone gets a chance to shine in this beginning band piece – suitable for that first holiday concert!

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the 5x Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), the Steelers, and all things Pittsburgh.  He’s sad about Tom Petty, but very excited that the new NHL season has begun!


The Christmas Season for Pianists 11 October, 2017

00236689-wlrecommended by Caryn G. and Judy S., Sacred Keyboard Music Specialists

It’s often not easy to find arrangements for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in all one book, but the new collection Piano Solos for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany does just that! There are five piano solos for each of the three parts of the Christmas season. These intermediate level arrangements are easy to prepare, so you’re sure to be ready for the busy season (even with limited practice time!). The selections include traditional favorites such as “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” and “We Three Kings,” and more. This is a collection that can be used over and over again! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.


THIS SATURDAY: Free Holiday Choral Session! 10 October, 2017

ChristmasPianoAre you ready to program your December choral concert? Maybe you need just ONE MORE perfect piece to complete your programming. Come join Stanton’s for a morning of holiday fun in October!

*FREE* Holiday Choral Reading Session
Saturday, October 14, 2017
10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Stanton’s Sheet Music
330 S. Fourth Street
Columbus OH 43215

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

Because we will be reading music directly from our large inventory and sharing the expertise of the Stanton’s School Choral staff, Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, we are able to offer this reading session at no cost to you! Current college music majors are welcome, as well as new and experienced teachers – come network with your fellow educators!

For more information, please contact us at 1.800.426.8742 ext. 1 or email choral@stantons.com!


Creative Programming: For Social Justice 09 October, 2017

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

“Art is an effort to create, beside the real world, a more humane world.” –Andre Maurois

As a result of today’s politically charged and divided climate, we have gotten a number of phone calls and emails asking about pieces composed on the idea of “social justice” in some form, and we’ve seen composers writing to this theme more frequently in recent months (as artists do in times of turmoil). Below, we’ve compiled some of these pieces that could provide another impactful selection to your concert repertoire.

But a Flint Holds FireBut a Flint Holds Fire by Andrea Ramsey
Jointly commissioned by a consortium of choruses to benefit the programs and services of Chorus America, this “socially conscious” work merges a Christina Rossetti text with words from choir students in Flint, Michigan. This was the personal revelation for the composer that there was something she could do to affect in a positive way the tragedy of the Flint Water Crisis. This is also a vehicle for you and your students to positively affect this tragedy as half of the profits from the sale will go directly to Flint Rising, a coalition of community organizations and allies. There is a QR code in the music for the audience to make a donation and the web site is also included.

From Andrea Ramsey’s Facebook page April 13, 2017
In September of 2016, I finished a treble choral work about the Flint Water Crisis. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Karen Salvador at UM-Flint invited me to do a residency in Flint in October of 2017 as part of a choral festival on their campus. At the time, I thought naively that Flint couldn’t possibly go another full year without the drinking water situation being fixed. Yet, there was no hesitation in Dr. Salvador’s voice when she told me things would still be the same in one year’s time. In disbelief, I told her if that proved to be the case, I would create a mixed chorus revoicing of the work for free.
Today, I just put the final touches on the mixed chorus revoicing of “But a Flint Holds Fire” that I hoped would be irrelevant in a year’s time. However, it is as relevant as ever, and the event is moving forward in October. Hard to believe nothing has changed.

Keep in mind that the 100,000 plus residents of Flint have not had clean water since APRIL, 2014.

A friend sent this paradigm- shifting quote to me today: “Today I am grateful that Russia and Syria did not bomb us for poisoning the children of Flint, Michigan…” – Matthew Parsons

Unabashed food for thought. There is no cure for lead poisoning, and no plan to help them.

Consider this excerpt penned by a choir student in Flint for the project: “My siblings and I were all tested for lead poisoning. A week passes and my mom finds out that all four of her kids have lead poisoning, including the baby. My mom and dad were angry. I didn’t want to believe it was true.”

Song for SarajevoSong for Sarajevo by Judy Collins, arr. Audrey Snyder
This song by Judy Collins from 1994 was written for the children of the Bosnian War of the 1990s, but has continuing meaning for today’s children of conflict. “I dream of Peace, I dream of flowers on the hill, I dream I see my mother smiling, When I close my eyes I dream of Peace.”

LullabyLullaby by Shawn Crouch
Poet and Iraqi war veteran Brian Turner writes moving accounts of the war that are vivid and powerful. Composer Shawn Crouch uses Turner’s visceral images of the war but emphasizes the lyrical qualities and changing colors of the poem to create long musical lines. Here, in Lullaby, a father seeks ways to comfort his child and himself as the sounds of war ring out all around them.

Hymn to FreedomHymn to Freedom by Oscar Peterson, arr. Paul Read
One of Oscar Peterson’s most heartfelt compositions and now once again available in the classic arrangements by Paul Read (SATB) and Seppo Hovi (SSA), this song has been embraced by choirs throughout the world. Now available with concert band and strings accompaniment arranged by Robert Buckley

Safe With MeSafe with Me by Bryan Sharpe
“Though the sky is dark, though the stars in heaven can’t be seen, though the world is cold, you will be safe, safe with me.” Brilliant opportunities for teaching phrasing, dynamic contours, breath support, and general musicianship abound. The depth of beauty and sensitivity in this Bryan Sharpe original make it a stunning addition to any concert program.

You Will Be FoundYou Will Be Found (from “Dear Evan Hansen”) arr. Mac Huff
The powerful Act I closer from the Broadway hit musical “Dear Evan Hansen” explores the complexities of social connectivity and our need for respect and love. A perfect choral showcase for pop and concert choirs!

For more information and recommendations, visit our website at stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com, or call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC

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 a very active choral singer, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


Handbells for Fall & Christmas 2017 06 October, 2017

recommended by Jennifer F., Handbell Music Specialist

FOR GENERAL WORSHIP
bpi-hb551-fThis Is My Father’s World arr. Patricia Hurlbutt
Patricia Hurlbutt’s arrangement of TERRA BEATA takes the tune through various keys and moods, providing ample interest for ringer and listener alike. A delicate, duet-like opening gives way to a chordal verse with fresh, unexpected harmonies, followed by a verse featuring stopped sounds. A final, triumphant verse rounds out the piece in glorious fashion. A great choice for any time during the church year!

Joyfully Rejoice arr. Terry Osman
Lift the spirits of your congregation with this dynamic medley of three beloved hymn tunes. Whether the piece is played on handbells or handchimes, it will establish a joyful worship experience that everyone can appreciate.

Shall We Gather at the River arr. Michael Helman
This hymn of quiet assurance is given a handsome treatment that is accessible and nicely expressive. Beginning choirs will have a chance to develop good legato ringing, and more mature choirs can explore its expressive qualities as an offertory or call to worship.

chorgd-cgb1033-fJesus Shall Reign arr. Bill Ingram
This flexible and solid level 1 arrangement is playable by 2, 3, 4 or 5 octave handbell or handchime groups, making it an excellent choice for festivals and for choirs ringing with some absentees. The stately hymntune, DUKE STREET, is set to several different sets of lyrics in different hymnals, and will be useful throughout most of the church year. The piece is enhanced by a variety of techniques, which can easily be adapted for handchimes.

Glorify the Almighty arr. Sandra Eithun
Sandra Eithun’s stunning medley of two well-loved hymns is sure to be a hit with your congregation. A bold fanfare gives way to a majestic setting of the tune ENGELBERG (When In Our Music God Is Glorified), followed by a joyous setting of LOBE DEN HERREN (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty). At the end, the two tunes are artfully combined to provide a triumphant conclusion.

Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven arr. Brian Childers
This is a tremendous arrangement of the grand hymn LAUDA ANIMA. Opening with an exultant fanfare the energy never let up, even in the contrasting middle section. This exciting arrangement will be a favorite of ringers and listeners alike!

FOR ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
lorenz-505370Two Joyful Carols arr. Linda Scholes
These two joyful carols are wonderful teaching pieces for beginning ringers. “With Heart and Soul and Voice, Rejoice!,” a level 1+ arrangement, incorporates shakes, thumb damps, and malleting with only a few bell changes. “Sing We Now of Christmas” is an accessible level 2 arrangement with numerous techniques. Both will add to the joy of your Christmas celebration.

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly arr. Linda R. Lamb
Remind your congregation of the significance of Jesus’ birth with Linda Lamb’s lovely arrangement of the Polish carol. With simple statements of the melody in both the bass and treble bells, the tune will stay with listeners as they leave the worship space. An ideal selection to practice keeping a steady beat, this piece has a flowing eighth-note accompaniment and no bell changes.

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming arr. Anna Laura Page
The expert writing of Anna Laura Page effectively combines two lovely Advent/Christmas carols: Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming and Of the Father’s Love Begotten. Bells and chimes interplay in this most accessible arrangement.

Carol of the Bells arr. Douglas E. Wagner & Michael Ryan
This Christmas classic begins with the effect of tower bells ringing throughout the countryside, then gracefully transitions into the familiar, quintessential tune for a handbell setting. The charm of this dynamic arrangement is matched with its carefully crafted level of difficulty making this accessible to many bell choirs.

chorgd-cgb1028-fOn This Day Earth Shall Ring arr. Carol Lynn Mizell
This simple yet musically powerful arrangement of PERSONENT HODIE for handbells and/or handchimes employs recurring rhythmic patterns and full chords. The option of doubling bass bells and chimes on the refrain provides rich added color. With its alternate title, “Long Ago, Prophets Knew” it is appropriate for both Advent and Christmas. Published in compatible editions for 2-3 and 3-7 octaves, the arrangement will fit beautifully in worship services and concert programs.

The Blessed Angels Sing arr. Michael Helman
This medley of six beloved carols embodies the joy and awe of the Christmas season. Featuring a variety of techniques, handchimes, and an optional brass quintet accompaniment, this piece will be the highlight of your Christmas Eve services or concerts.

Find more options for your handbell choir on our website, or contact us for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Jennifer F. is a graduate of Otterbein College with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has worked at Stanton’s for over 14 years specializing in Sacred Choral, Classical Vocal and Handbell music. Jennifer is a soprano section leader in the Chancel Choir at First Community Church in Columbus Ohio, and is also the founder, Artistic Director and bass bell ringer for Handbells Columbus.


Masterwork Editions for Choir 04 October, 2017

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

HIGH SCHOOL – Classical Era
Gloria PatriGloria Patri by Franz Schubert/Patrick M. Liebergen
Written when he was eighteen years old, Schubert’s only setting of the Magnificat text is arranged here for mixed voices and piano. This exuberant piece begins with joyous acclamations in the opening measures, polyphonic writing and a lyrical presentation of the “amens” and followed by the return of the homophonic style in the closing declamatory statements. A wonderful selection for serious programming.

We like this because it is a textbook example of Schubert’s style, and the balance of homophony and polyphony is accessible for school choirs. The fugue style is included, but doesn’t go on too long, allowing for students to feel successful, and the ranges and tessitura fit the high school age group.

HIGH SCHOOL – Renaissance Era
Ego Sum Panis VivusEgo Sum Panis Vivus by G.P. da Palestrina/arr. Ryan Kelly
Blending scholarship and practicality, this performing edition of a Palestrina masterpiece can be performed a cappella. Or, employing the optional instrumental parts for strings in C, Alto and Bass clefs, and a keyboard part, it can be performed with whatever combination your situation calls for.

We like this because it is the perfect example of Renaissance style, which provides a plethora of great teaching tools, from solfege-accessible melodies to part independence. Also, is there really ever a reason NOT to work on a Palestrina piece?

HIGH SCHOOL – Renaissance Era
Haec Est DiesHaec Est Dies by Jacob Handl/arr. Philip Brown
A nice edition of a lesser-known work of the 16th century. “Haec Est Dies” is written for two SATB choirs, but the vocal writing is simple enough to work for younger high school choirs who are ready for the challenge.

Don’t let the double choir voicing scare you! We like this piece because it feels powerful and impressive without being too difficult; it’s the perfect introduction to double choir singing.

MIDDLE SCHOOL – Renaissance Era
Alleluia (Byrd)Alleluia (On a Theme by William Byrd) by William Byrd/arr. Russell Robinson
Inspired by the Byrd “Haec Dies,” this stylistically clean and direct arrangement, using only the word “Alleluia,” provides a nice introduction to counterpoint and singing independently for your developing choirs. Optional piano reinforces the vocal lines but can also be excluded for a fine a cappella performance.

We like this because it provides an accessible introduction to true, part-independent, 3-part singing, in ranges that are accessible to those young, middle school, changing voices.

MIDDLE SCHOOL – Renaissance Era
Sing Dance and PlaySing, Dance, and Play by Pierre Certon/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
This tuneful chanson is perfectly set for developing singers with modest vocal ranges. Bouyant “fa la las” alternate with joyful new English words by the arranger. Optional flute and hand drum enhance the dance-like character. Solid 3-part mixed repertoire.

We like this because it exemplifies the standard madrigal style, especially if you choose to perform it with the optional flute and hand drum. Perfect for middle school choirs.

MIDDLE SCHOOL – Classical Era
VivaViva! (from Il Re Pastore) by W.A. Mozart/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
A triumphant Mozart masterwork for today’s choirs! This joyful opera finale opens and closes with a boisterous choral fanfare, sandwiches a brief expressive vocal duet in the middle, features robust Italian lyrics (optional English text and IPA pronunciation guide included), and incorporates a thrilling dig-in piano accompaniment all in just two minutes. Not necessarily familiar, but undeniably fantastic!

We like this because it is the perfect example of Mozart’s style of writing, it translates well into the 3-part voicing, and offers a great way to put your solfege/number and rhythm work into practice.

WOMEN’S CHOIR – Baroque Era
Jubilate DeoJubilate Deo by Johan Helmich Roman/arr. John Leavitt
This selection by Baroque composer Johan Helmich Roman, adapted in this edition for treble voices, is recommended for festival and contest programming for choirs in middle school and high school, as well as community children’s choirs. An excellent choice for developing important performance techniques in music of the era.

We like this because of the excellent part-writing (that has been well-adapted for women’s voices) and because the ranges and the Baroque style make this “feel good” to sing

WOMEN’S CHOIR – Renaissance Era
Rise Up in Merry MeasureRise Up in Merry Measure by Guillaume Costeley/Patrick M. Liebergen
Enjoy this lighthearted Renaissance era madrigal highlighting resonant treble sonorities, terraced dynamics, and accessible homophonic voice parts. Consider adding the optional piano accompaniment, optional hand drum part, or perform entirely a cappella.

We like this because every voice part is interesting and involved, embodying that classic Renaissance style, and we think this level would be an excellent fit for freshmen women.

MEN’S CHOIR – Classical Era
SanctusSanctus by Franz Schubert/arr. Lon Beery
Beery’s adaptation of this Schubert favorite, now for male ensembles, adheres to the original SATB work with additional supportive accompaniment. Maintaining the beauty and simplicity of Schubert’s writing, the added option of singing in German or English is very appealing. Hymn-like in nature, it is sure to add understated elegance to any concert program.

We like this because it offers an excellent avenue to start practicing vocal control at this age level, and because the three-part writing feels solid and supported.

If you have questions about these or other similar titles, visit our website at stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com, or call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC, ext. 1. We are happy to help with all of 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, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


“All Aboard, Little Children!” 29 September, 2017

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

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

alfred-514491All Aboard, Little Children! arr. Mary Donnelly & George L.O. Strid
Get on board with this lively partner song adaptation of the well-known traditional spiritual! Featuring easy-to-sing countermelodies for both the verse and chorus, it’s a snap to put together and an excellent first experience with singing in parts.

El Coqui arr. Mark Burrows
This traditional song from Puerto Rico is a whimsical tune about a small, nocturnal tree-frog. It features easy and interesting 2-part writing and the use of percussion instruments including a “croaking frog” will be fun for a wide range of ages. The piece may be sung entirely in Spanish, entirely in English or in a mixture of both! Fantastic opportunities for musical and multicultural learning.

leon-512099The Erie Canal arr. Cristi Cary Miller
This is a favorite song for connecting music to American history and culture! Singers in elementary and middle school will gain important performance skills and sound their best with this easily learned setting.

Shoo Fly! arr. Greg Gilpin
This frolicsome American folk song is sure to leave toes tapping and hands clapping. A spoken rhythmic introduction ushers in the familiar melody, which is ultimately accompanied by independent counterlines at the height of Greg’s playful arrangement.

leon-509436Swing Song by Mac Huff
Here is an original jazz suite that is perfectly suited to treble choirs or developing mixed groups in middle school and high school. The lyrics for all three songs are about the joy and fun of singing and include an opening tune in medium swing, a jazz waltz and an uptempo cut-time swing.

We’ll Meet Again arr. Roger Emerson
This song, one of the most famous of the World War II era, was reprised on the last broadcast of The Colbert Report by Stephen Colbert and an assembled crowd of many of his most prominent guests. A great concert closer or graduation selection!

For more exciting elementary choral resources, 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.


EVERYBODY PLAYS: Guitar Ensembles 26 September, 2017

recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

g1043Looking for exciting music for guitar ensembles in the classroom or studio? The FJH series “Everybody’s Guitar Method” has two great sets of guitar ensembles perfect for up to six players. The arrangers, Philip Groeber and Matthew Joy, have written parts at varying skill levels to accommodate as many players as possible. Recordings are included to assist the student in the important skills of accurate note playing and rhythm.

“Everybody’s Guitar Ensembles” is designed to teach guitarists how to perform well with other musicians – a valuable school for students as they learn! All pieces in this book are adaptable to either pick-style playing or classical technique, and have been carefully graded so that beginning students may participate very early in their music training. The easiest ensemble uses all quarter notes (except for the final note), with each performer playing natural notes on only one string (each part using a different string). New concepts such as sharps, flats, chords, and other rhythm values are introduced gradually throughout the book.

EVERYBODY PLAYS! #1 includes “Amazing Grace,” “Go, Tell It On the Mountain,” “Hope It’s Santa,” “Look At the Stars,” and “Mary Ann.” EVERYBODY PLAYS #2 includes “Blues for Fela,” “El Condor Pasa,” “Fur Elise,” “Ja-Da,” and “Relentless Rocker.”

Find more resources for guitar ensembles on our website, and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Barb M. has worked in the Keyboard Department at Stanton’s since 1981. An active folk musician in the Columbus area, Barb also works with ensembles at her church and plays in the Columbus State Concert Band. In her spare time, Barb loves working with animals and computer games.


“Child of the Promise” 25 September, 2017

recommended by Judy H. and Jennifer F., Sacred Choral Music Specialists

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

alfred-46503-fPeople, Look East arr. Howard Helvey
With an optional, brief a cappella opening, this anthem continues with a refreshing and hopeful tone for a people longing for the Messiah. This traditional Advent French carol is a staple in choral repertoire, and Howard Helvey’s setting is welcome and delightful.

All My Heart This Night Rejoices arr. Trevor Manor
This beautiful arrangement of the traditional German carol, scored for SATB choir and optional French horn or optional brass quintet, harp, organ and percussion, is rich and warm in its harmonies and gentle rhythms.

Fear Not! by Mary McDonald
The soulful, gospel touch to this anthem is the perfect musical connection to enrich words of comfort and celebration to “fear not.” Also incorporating the carol “How Great Our Joy,” this offering is a celebration of good tidings of great joy!

HopeChoralTemplateIt Came Upon the Midnight Clear arr. Joel Raney
This lovely, artistic setting is sure to be a highlight of many Christmas concerts, school programs, and Christmas worship services. The piano part plays a significant role in creating an ethereal, peaceful, and solemn Christmas night building to the moment when “all the weary world rejoice!”-simply stunning!

Bring Us Hope by Ruth Elaine Schram
Choirs large and small will find this flexible anthem to be a tender, readily learned addition to their Advent programs. The message touches on several prominent themes, making it an ideal option to return to again and again: “Bring us hope, bring us love, bring us peace from above.”

lorenz-515080Child of the Promise by Jay Rouse
From the very beginning, this anthem draws you in with its stirring original text from Rose Aspinall. Combined with a lovely melody from Jay Rouse, this piece invites us all to worship the Child of the Promise. Jay creatively pairs the chorus melody with an excerpt of “O Holy Night” in the latter part of the piece to add familiarity and further draw in the listener.

Once In Royal Bethlehem by Ruth Elaine Schram
Cleverly combining two Christmas favorites, this tender anthem provides the opportunity for a children’s choir to open with the melody to “Once in Royal David’s City.” Transitioning seamlessly into “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” the optional cello accompaniment beautifully sets a tone of peace and comfort.

When Came In Flesh the Incarnate Word by Howard Helvey
New music from the uncommonly creative Howard Helvey is paired with a poetic 19th century text to create a quietly majestic new anthem. The exquisite organ accompaniment provides a solid foundation for this message of hope and contemplation.

For more quality suggestions for your church choir, visit our website or contact us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Judy H. has been working in Stanton’s Choral Department since 1975. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. A member of the Grove City Chamber Singers, Judy also enjoys reading and spending time with her four grandchildren.

Jennifer F. is a graduate of Otterbein College with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has worked at Stanton’s for over 14 years specializing in Sacred Choral, Classical Vocal and Handbell music. Jennifer is a soprano section leader in the Chancel Choir at First Community Church in Columbus Ohio, and is also the founder, Artistic Director and bass bell ringer for Handbells Columbus.


Halloween Piano Party! 21 September, 2017

recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

Many piano teachers host Halloween recitals and a party afterwards for their studios. The students (and parents sometimes too!) dress up for the evening and have games and refreshments after the recital – what fun!

wp411Halloween-themed piano solos are available in varying difficulty levels for students of all ages. From Jane and Lisa Bastien, the collection “Halloween Treats” is available from Primer level to Level Four. Alfred Music has different levels of Halloween piano solos, too, including solos sheets such as “The Galloping Ghost” by Glenda Austin, or “October Moonlight” by Jeanne Costello. There are books of Halloween solos that include songs like “Monster Mash,” the Twilight Zone theme, and more! Spoooooky!!

Now is the time to start planning for an evening of Halloween fun! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Barb M. has worked in the Keyboard Department at Stanton’s since 1981. An active folk musician in the Columbus area, Barb also works with ensembles at her church and plays in the Columbus State Concert Band. In her spare time, Barb loves working with animals and computer games.


Let’s All Sing! – Song Collections for Elementary 20 September, 2017

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

Gettin' Down with Mama Goose 4.0Gettin’ Down with Mama Goose 4.0 by Mark Burrows
Suggested for grades K-3

Mark Burrows gave us “The Ultimate Gettin’ Down with Mama Goose” in a collection packed with music, rhyme and fun! His creative mind continues using the Mother Goose rhymes in this collection, “Gettin’ Down with Mama Goose 4.0,” inspiring teachers and students with a variety of subjects, musical styles, texts, languages and smart activities that take learning to a whole new level – all while reinforcing literacy! This budget stretcher features piano/vocal arrangements, as well as digital access to performance/accompaniment audio recordings and singer PDFs for projection and reproducible options.

We like this collection because of the age-appropriate ranges, singable melodies and intervals, and the literature connections that provide a way to introduce these characters that we know and love.

Songs include: Mama Goose Is Ready, Little Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, Knick-Knack, Miss Mary Mack, Humpty Dumpty and more!

Let's All Sing - MoanaLet’s All Sing Songs from Moana arr. Tom Anderson
Suggested for grades 4-8

The Disney film “Moana” is tremendously entertaining, with stunning oceanic animation, a captivating adventure tale, feisty heroine and tuneful musical numbers by “Hamilton”’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and the authentic Polynesian sounds of Opetaia Foa’I and Te Vaka. The arrangements in this collection have been carefully adapted for young unison voices with optional harmonies for added fun, and are sure to be an unforgettable musical experience for singers and audiences alike! This value-packed collection of songs and professionally-produced recordings are perfect for group singing in the classroom, choir or community.

We like this collection because it presents a good way to get kids excited about singing, the ranges are generally very accessible, and the songs chosen are great for this type of collection.

Songs include: How Far I’ll Go, Shiny, We Know the Way, Where You Are, You’re Welcome.

Music of our RootsMusic of Our Roots by Rollo Dilworth
Suggested for grades 3-6

Experience the songs of our heritage with the music that makes our country unique. Learn the background of each song, a flexible teaching sequence, and how to adapt each song for any grade level. These cross-curricular classroom songs will also translate easily to a concert presentation for school assemblies or community engagement. The collection includes piano/vocal arrangements and reproducible singer songsheets. Accompany your singers live with simple piano parts, or use quality performance/accompaniment MP3 recordings available via audio access in the Performance Kit.

We like this collection because of the accessible ranges for beginning choral experience, the wealth of background information provided, and the intelligent lesson ideas.

Songs include: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, I’ve Got Peace Like a River, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, Nine Hundred Miles, Old Joe Clark, Ramblin’ Blues, and more!

If you have questions about these or other elementary music resources, visit our website at stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com, or call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC, ext. 1. We are happy to help with all of 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.


Community Band Spotlight: New Favorites 19 September, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

This post is the first in a series highlighting music for community bands.

While our emphasis is primarily on school band programs and music education, the band staff at Stanton’s places a focus on community bands, as well.  Some of this is thanks to the numerous groups we’re so fortunate to have in Central Ohio and around the state, but it is also the outgrowth of some tailored community band promotions we were doing several years ago.

At the time we were focusing on featuring music specifically useful to community bands, summer outdoor concerts, etc.  This led us to realizing how many new arrangements there are each year that are perfect for these groups, and in some instances, pieces that will almost exclusively appeal to community bands.  Over the past 8 years or so this has resulted in a special Community Band category of over 300 titles (all recent releases) within Stanton’s Signature Selections on our website, and each year as we preview the 500+ new releases for concert band, titles that are uniquely suitable for community groups are highlighted and added.  Of course, we keep an ear out for new marches, patriotic pieces, movie and pop arrangements, and novelty numbers, but we also feature some of the best new concert works for groups that meet all year and have formal concerts in the fall through spring.

We are excited to kick off this series with our favorite new arrangements from this year’s releases!  They are some absolute gems which is why they’re being highlighted first.  Among them are wonderful Alfred Reed arrangements of 2 classics, Victor Young’s original theme to the 1956 motion picture Around the World in 80 Days, and a lush arrangement of jazz standard Autumn Leaves; a fun, original stylistic programming alternative from the pen of Michael Sweeney, Blue Mambo; and an original patriotic work with narration from Robert W. Smith that pays tribute to the men and women who served in so many ways during World War II appropriately titled The Greatest Generation.  This work is available in two difficulty levels.  I really hope you and your audience enjoy these titles as much as we do!

Around the World in 80 Days
Arranged Alfred Reed; edited by R. Mark Rogers
Grade 3                                                    $75.00
Jules Verne’s popular 1873 adventure novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, has inspired countless readers, as well as two motion pictures. The first of these, produced by Michael Todd and released in 1956 featured a score by Victor Young that would earn him his sole Oscar Award (awarded posthumously in 1957) for best motion picture score. This arrangement for concert band by Alfred Reed captures the magical essence of Young’s original score. Reed’s singular talent for band writing would lead to engagements as staff composer for NBC and ABC television from 1948-1953.

Autumn Leaves
Arranged Alfred Reed; edited by R. Mark Rogers
Grade 3                                                    $75.00
The iconic tune Autumn Leaves “Les feuilles mortes” by Hungarian-born composer Joseph Kosma hardly requires an introduction to jazz aficionados. The music was originally set to French lyrics by Jacques Prévert, and later English lyrics by Johnny Mercer. This classic band arrangement by Alfred Reed showcases the rich harmonic language that underlines the melody with thick, sonorous orchestration. This piece can be the perfect change of pace when placed among works with quicker tempi or more rigorous demands on the players.

Blue Mambo
Michael Sweeney
Grade 3                               $65.00
Opening with a lyric section featuring a solo for flugelhorn (or trumpet), this appealing work includes sensuous melodies surrounded by lush and “bluesy” harmonies. The up-tempo “mambo” kicks in with an infectious percussion groove which accompanies the melodies and riffs from the full ensemble. A marvelous and entertaining change of pace.

The Greatest Generation
Robert W. Smith
Symphony Band Edition          Grade 4                        $95.00
Concert Band Edition              Grade 3                        $75.00
Written for the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and gathering of heroes from around the world in December of 2016, this stirring composition pays tribute to America’s “Greatest Generation.” Beginning with a heroic fanfare, the piece transforms into lush and melodic underscore to beautiful and historic text. Originally narrated by World War II and Normandy veteran Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, this is the perfect selection to honor those that have served in the armed forces past and present.

Keep following our blog for future Community Band Spotlight posts highlighting other select new arrangements.  For backlist titles, standard repertoire, and other great programming ideas check out these categories on our concert band page, and choose the difficulty most suitable for your ensemble: Essential RepertoireChristmas & Winter HolidayMarchesPop, Patriotic, & NoveltySolo, Section, & Ensemble Features, and bookmark Stanton’s for your Community Band music needs!

About the Author:
A former band director, Ken taught grade 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in central Ohio, and joined the Stanton’s team in 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (especially the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), the Steelers, and all things Pittsburgh.


SPOOOOOOOKY Choral Music for Halloween 15 September, 2017

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

Are you looking for the perfect spooky selection to round out your choir’s Halloween program? We’ve had a great time compiling some of our favorites here for choirs of all ages, and we hope that you like these as much as we do!

Mister Zombie's Jazz ClubMister Zombie’s Jazz Club arr. Ruth Elaine Schram
This novelty piece for 3-part mixed voices offers a fun opportunity to introduce jazz, swing, and the concept of scat singing to developing singers. There are some challenging chromatics to tune, and this would be a great piece to utilize to introduce partner dancing to your middle school showchoir students. Not only is this piece an excellent teaching tool, but also its message is one of cooperation and acceptance, making it even more useful for those younger students. While the string bass part is optional, it makes the performance even more “cool.”

Zombie Jamboree

Zombie Jamboree arr. Kirby Shaw
This fun novelty number, now available for men’s voices, has been recorded by the Kingston Trio and Rockapella, and offers a great way to shake up your program for both pop and show groups.

Cauldron DanceCauldron Dance by Verdi/arr. Ryan Kelly
This third act chorus from Verdi’s Macbeth (based on Shakespeare’s play by the same name) portrays witches dancing and a diabolical spell being prepared. This new edition includes suggested tempo and dynamic markings, an accessible piano reduction, a translation/pronunciation guide, and editorial notes. Additionally, for those of you looking to take your women’s group to large group contest here in Ohio, this piece is on the Class B SSA required list.

Gaur AkelarreGaur Akelarre by Josu Elberdin
Spanish composer Josu Elberdin aims to write pieces that tell a story, and this is no exception. “Gaur Akelarre” tells the story of a coven of witches and warlocks preparing for the night, using energetic rhythms and interesting melodic leaps and harmonic passages. The piece begins in 5/8 time, and the use of both the non-traditional meter and dotted rhythms create a sense of instability in the listener, who cannot predict where the piece will go. The tongue-twisting text, liberal use of chromaticism, and use of dissonance and unexpected harmonic progressions makes this piece a showstopper.

Purple People EaterPurple People Eater arr. Greg Gilpin
Don’t be scared! This purple people eater only wants to play in a rock-and-roll band. Have some fun performing this crazy 1958 chart-topper, complete with optional kazoos and hilarious solo opportunities using funny voice effects. This would also provide a great opportunity to have kids create a bit of choreography for your group. It’s a terrific feature for guys and is now available in a new 3-part mixed voicing!

Monster Mash

Monster Mash arr. Greg Gilpin
Triadic harmonies and several spoken solos are perfect for younger groups in this fun novelty song. If you are looking for something easily put together (we think this would be excellent for your 6th grade choir!), this is the piece for you. Compare dance moves with Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Dracula, and maybe add a few of your own! If you are really feeling funky, you can ask another staff member (or your principal!) to do the reading for this fun piece.

ThrillerThriller arr. Mark Brymer
One of Michael Jackson’s signature pieces, “Thriller” was released as a single in 1984, reaching #4 on the Billboard chart. Using sound effects, horror film motifs, and music video as a promotional tool, the choreography on the song has been replicated the world over, cementing Jackson’s appeal as a global pop culture icon. Your kids would love being in charge of learning and teaching this choreography, and audiences always love this fun 80’s throwback.

JabberwockyJabberwocky by Sam Pottle
This text from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” has been creatively set, capturing the true essence of this well-known poem. The innovative use of a variety of small percussion instruments enhances the fun and drama! Complete with notes from the composer and a pronunciation guide, this work offers a creative programming adventure!

Double TroubleDouble Trouble arr. Teena Chinn
From the award-winning film “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” comes this delightful John Williams choral work that uses the famous Shakespeare “Double, double, toil and trouble” text from Macbeth. Utilize the accompaniment track or the optional instrumental parts to capture the sounds of the original soundtrack!

For more information about these pieces and many others, feel free to browse our website (stantons.com), email us (choral@stantons.com), or call us (1.800.42.MUSIC, ext.1). We are happy to help with all of 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.


“Peace Has Come” 13 September, 2017

recommended by Judy H. and Jennifer F., Sacred Choral Music Specialists

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

alfred-46521-fPeace Has Come by Mary McDonald
Mary and Joseph were initially troubled, but eventually found peace. Shepherds on a hillside were trembling with fear, but were told to “fear not.” In Peace Has Come, we follow the journey of those who experienced that first Christmas night…and found peace in a new and fresh way. In the process, the listener is challenged to lay aside those illusions that promise peace, and embrace the Giver of true peace and abundant life. Create an unforgettable Christmas worship experience with Peace Has Come.

God With Us
God came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ to shed light in the darkness, bring hope to the hopeless, and instill peace within the restless. This flexible worship experience highlights this fundamental Christian belief, and has been assembled for use throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. It can either be presented in its entirety using the proposed sequence, the Advent and Christmas sections can be performed separately (both sections include four titles), or, individual anthems can be selectively programmed for services and special events throughout the month of December. Each selection can be presented with piano accompaniment, and many also include optional instrumentation. Optional scripture readings and underscores for these readings are also provided to give additional members of your congregation opportunities for involvement.

Find more quality cantatas for your church choir on our website, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Judy H. has been working in Stanton’s Choral Department since 1975. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. A member of the Grove City Chamber Singers, Judy also enjoys reading and spending time with her four grandchildren.

Jennifer F. is a graduate of Otterbein College with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has worked at Stanton’s for over 14 years specializing in Sacred Choral, Classical Vocal and Handbell music. Jennifer is a soprano section leader in the Chancel Choir at First Community Church in Columbus Ohio, and is also the founder, Artistic Director and bass bell ringer for Handbells Columbus.


Essential Repertoire for Band 12 September, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

I am excited to share a new category on our concert band page, Essential Repertoire.  Believe it or not, we haven’t had such a listing on our website before simply because we had never created one.  Since undergrad repertoire courses can be hit-or-miss (in some cases nonexistent) and often ignore pieces for beginning & developing band, and school music libraries can be a nightmare to organize when you take over a new gig, we thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance toward standard selections at all grade levels that are good educationally and great programming.  These difficulty based categories feature cornerstone repertoire (including marches!) culled from numerous lists and professional development sessions, cross-referenced with the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and our 100+ years of experience as musicians, band directors, and sheet music specialists.  Highlights include:

Beginning Band – publisher grades 0.5-1
– Perfect for 1st-year players
– Includes: Anasazi (John Edmondson), A Prehistoric Suite (Paul Jennings), A Song for Friends (Larry Daehn), and The Tempest (Robert W. Smith)

Developing Band – publisher grades 1.5-2.5
– 2nd-year players to advanced middle school bands
– Includes: Ancient Voices (Michael Sweeney), Creed (William Himes), Entrance of the Tall Ships (James Swearingen), and The Red Balloon (Anne McGinty)

Concert Band Grade 3 – publisher grades 3-3.5
– freshman or secondary high school concert bands, small high school bands
– Includes: Air for Band (Frank Erickson), Kentucky 1800 (Clare Grundman), Nathan Hale Trilogy (James Curnow), and Overture for Winds (Charles Carter)

Concert Band Grade 4 – publisher grades 4-4.5
– advancing high school concert bands/wind ensembles, college or university bands
– Includes: Chorale and Shaker Dance (John Zdechlik), English Folk Song Suite (Ralph Vaughan Williams), First Suite in Eb/Second Suite in F (Gustav Holst), and Scenes from the Louvre (Norman Dello Joio)

Symphonic Band – publisher grades 5-6
– very advanced high school symphonic bands/wind ensembles, college or university bands
– Includes: A Festival Prelude (Alfred Reed), Incantation and Dance (John Barnes Chance), Of Sailors and Whales (W. Francis McBeth), and Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo (Malcolm Arnold)

Check your library.  If some of these titles are in there, program them; if not, build your library by adding a few each year along with your new music.  I hope you find this helpful, and keep Stanton’s as your go-to resource for music education.

About the Author:
A former band director, Ken taught grade 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in central Ohio, and joined the Stanton’s team in 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, hockey (especially the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


His Light In Us 11 September, 2017

recommended by Alissa Ruth, Jen Sper, and Judy H., School Choral Specialists

Kim Andre ArnesenNorwegian composer Kim André Arnesen has gained notoriety over recent years for his choral compositions that boast warm harmonies, well-placed dissonances, and elegant melodies. He was trained at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim, and while he has always loved both Baroque and pop music, choral music stood out as his passion, and he had his first choral concert as a composer at age 18.

Below are some of Stanton’s recommendations of Arnesen’s pieces. Enjoy!

His Light in UsHis Light in Us
Commissioned by Anton Armstrong for the St. Olaf Choir for St. Olaf’s 2016 Christmas Festival, this work is “a thanksgiving about the gift of a tiny child,” and reflects that “only the nature of love is changeless.” The piece opens with a sweet soprano soli line, then the altos join to create a gentle duet, blossoming into a women’s trio which guides the piece into the men’s entrance, echoing the sweeping melody the sopranos introduced. The piece speaks of renewal, both in the sense of renewal of hope and renewal of spirit.

Cradle HymnCradle Hymn
This sweet, simple melody is set with piano and strings, with a gentle constant eighth-note pattern in the piano keeping the phrase moving forward. The melody itself is almost folk-like in nature, and the harmonies surrounding it gradually build through each verse of the piece. Both the SATB and SSAA are beautiful, but I think that this piece really shines in the women’s voicing.

 

Dormi JesuDormi Jesu
This a cappella Christmas piece offers a beautiful avenue to showcase a pair of sopranos, using a sweet, soaring melodic line and that beautiful simplicity for which Arnesen is known. The choral parts, while using well-placed dissonances, are extremely accessible in terms of solfege, so don’t fear programming this piece for your high school or college group!

 

Even When He is SilentEven When He is Silent
Using the famous text “I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining / I belive in love even when I feel it not / I believe in God even when He is silent,” Arnesen uses his trademark dissonances to create a shimmering effect, swelling to a climax on the phrase “I believe in love.” The timelessness of the text makes this a wonderful programming choice, and the musical structure here provides opportunity to work on elegant phrasing and warmth of tone.

For more information about these pieces and many more, visit our website at stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com, or call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC. We are happy to help with all of your 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 Santa Fe Desert Chorale, as well as various choirs in the Columbus area, and she 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.

Judy H. has been working in Stanton’s Choral Department since 1975. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University, and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. A member of the Grove City Chamber Singers, Judy also enjoys reading and spending time with her four grandchildren.


On with the Snow!! 08 September, 2017

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

Presenting musicals and programs with your elementary students is a great way to provide performance opportunities for young singers, and to teach valuable performance skills. Try one of these brand new publications with your classes!

leon-510981Arctic Animal Antics by Jill & Michael Gallina
Cool it, friends, and CHILL! It’s time for the annual Snow Ball with a talented group of cold climate friends ready to entertain you. Join hearty polar bears who refuse to take a snooze, good natured arctic terns, hi-falutin’ penguins dressed to the nines and multi-talented seals who are sure to seal the deal! The Singin’ and Swingin’ at the K-2 Chorale Series includes easy-to-stage mini-musicals specifically designed for primary-age students. The all-in-one format features piano/vocal arrangements, scripts with 18 short speaking parts, costumes and staging suggestions and audio access to performance/accompaniment recordings, as well as projectable/printable PDFs of melody sheets, lyric sheets and dialog … all under one cover! Songs include: Out in the Cold, Roly Poly Polar Bears, One Good Tern Deserves Another, The Penguin Ball, Seal the Deal! About 20 minutes. Suggested for grades K-2.

alfred-515598The Great Big Holiday Bake Off by Andy Beck & Brian Fisher
It’s down to the wire and the remaining contestants in our confectionary cooking competition are assigned one final task – fantastic holiday treats! What will it be? Sugar cookies? Hot chocolate? A candy-covered gingerbread house? Minty candy canes? This delicious 30-minute musical delivers all the goodies with scrumptious songs and simple scenes that are guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth. Two hosts, a pair of judges, six star bakers, and a chorus of any size are just the right recipe for fun. Complete choreography videos are available for every song, from the tasty opening theme to the festive fruitcake finale! Songs include: The Great Big Holiday Bake Off; Sugar Cookie!; My Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Bun; Hot Chocolate!; The Candy Cane Twist, Candy-Covered Gingerbread House; Fruitcake. About 30 minutes. Suggested for grades three and up.

leon-513800Holly Jolly Jukebox by John Jacobson & Roger Emerson
Whoa! It’s spooky in this attic! Quick! Let’s find those holiday decorations and get out of here! Hey! Look at this piece of junk. Yikes! It talks … a TALKING JUKEBOX that lights up and plays music? Join in the fun as Holly Jolly Jukebox spins records from the ‘40s to the ‘70s – back to the good ole days of swing, doo wop, beach music and disco! See how the Jukebox learns that we all have something to share no matter how old or “outdated” we think we are. Songs include: Swingin’ Holiday, Doo Wop December, California Christmas, S-A-N-T-A, Something to Share, Jingle Bell Jam. About 35 minutes. Suggested for grades 4-8.

leon-513797On with the Snow! by John Jacobson & John Higgins
If cold weather makes you shiver to and fro, you’ll love our COOL show about friendship and SNOW! Hep 2 3 4! Hep 2 3 4! Here come the Shovelers, ready to go where shovels have never gone before. And now … a BIG round of applause for the stars of our show – those friendly, furry monsters – the Abominable Snowman, and his buddies Bigfoot and Sasquatch with their high-kicking dance moves! Don’t judge a monster by its fur! Learn how real warmth starts from within and can spread like a blizzard when shared with a song! Songs include: It’s Snowtime!; B-r-r-r! (The Shiver Song); Shoveling; Snow Buddies; A Warm Spot in My Heart. About 25 minutes. Suggested for grades 1-3.

Find more fun winter-time options for your elementary students online, or contact us for more information! 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.


Songs of Protest 06 September, 2017

00198180-wlSongs of Protest is a collection of twenty-six songs in Piano/Vocal/Guitar format, written between 1939 and 2004 to protest war, racial inequality, and to beg for peace. For high school contemporary history classes, this can be useful and thought provoking; for older generations, it is a collection of youthful memories.

People were writing and singing these songs in the face of official opposition (We Shall Overcome). There were songs of mourning and protest against racial prejudice (Strange Fruit). There was so much unrest that some people were very unsure of the outcome (Eve of Destruction). Some songs sounded sweet, yet delivered a poignant message (Where Have All the Flowers Gone?). These songs are well worth revisiting, and many of them still deliver a powerful message for current times.

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