News & Views Friday, August 18, 2017

Category: Staff Picks

Recorder Music to Dance To 18 August, 2017

recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

49045581In 1651, John Playford (1623-1686) published a comprehensive collection of 105 short country dances that were very popular at the time under the title “The English Dancing Master.” The tunes, given as a single melodic line, were followed in each case by a description of the dance. Playford’s collection was evidently very popular – by about 1728 it had been revised several times and reissued seventeen times under the title “The Dancing Master.” When the eighteenth version was printed, it had expanded to include over a thousand pieces!

This delightful collection of 5 Easy Dances from “The Dancing Master” is at a Level One difficulty for the soprano recorder, and also includes an easy piano accompaniment, plus chords for guitar accompaniment and an easy hand drum part in some cases. A description  of each dance is included. It isn’t easy to find easy recorder music with piano or guitar accompaniment, and if you are a folk dancer or you dance English Country dance, you may already be familiar with one of more of the tunes, and with the steps of the dances!

This little gem of a collection is worth a look for  its use as an easy recorder collection and for the possible use as live music for a dance group! Remember – 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.


Considering Matthew Shepard 16 August, 2017

recommended and compiled by Alissa Ruth, Choral Music Specialist

Conspirare.jpgIn the world of professional choral music, one of the groups that stands out from the rest is Conspirare, the Grammy Award-winning Texas-based group under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson. They are known for their expressive singing, Johnson’s unique “collage-style” programming, and their education outreach. As someone who spends much of her free time watching choral videos on YouTube (anyone else? anyone?), I love watching and listening to this group.

All of UsAll of Us (from Considering Matthew Shepardby Craig Hella Johnson
One of their most recent projects is Considering Matthew Shepard, Johnson’s first concert-length work composed to reflect on the life of Matthew Shepard as the 20th anniversary of his murder draws near. Shepard was a young, gay student at the University of Wyoming who, in 1998, was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a fence and left to die. In composing this work, Johnson uses text from poets such as Rumi and Hildegard von Bingen, as well as excerpts from Shepard’s own journal and interviews from his parents.

Now available from Considering Matthew Shepard is Johnson’s final movement, entitled “All of Us.” Utilizing elements of hymnody and American folk and gospel styles, this piece that has been described as “heartfelt” and “brilliant” would be an excellent, uplifting concert opener or closer.
Listen to Conspirare’s Recording

Unclouded DayUnclouded Day arr. Shawn Kirchner
Kirchner’s writing is very much based on songwriting and folk melodies, and his original writing often utilizes elements of jazz, bluegrass, and gospel. This gospel piece, which is movement one from his Heavenly Home: Three American Songs, is tried and true (and is one of my personal favorites). It begins with a straightforward verse and chorus, then develops into a more bluegrass style with elements of counterpoint and fugue, gradually incorporating more and more divisi. The peak of the piece comes in a hair-raising eight part chord on the phrase “in the city that is made of gold.” This is one of those pieces that is just as satisfying to listen to as it is to sing, and I can see it being standard repertoire for years to come.
Listen to Conspirare’s Recording

Light of a Clear Blue Morning.gifLight of a Clear Blue Morning arr. Craig Hella Johnson
Now newly arranged for women’s voices, this stunning arrangement of Dolly Parton’s piece is the perfect addition to any concert. I love that this is a “pop” piece that really feels like it was made to be sung by a choral ensemble. Featuring a soprano soloist, the arrangement uses rich a cappella harmonies, solo soprano recorder, and a hint of the original country style to focus on the hopefulness of the text. After a joyful middle section that uses “stacked” voices to play with color and texture, the piece ends reflectively. If you have a soprano that you would like to feature, this piece provides the perfect opportunity.
Listen to Conspirare’s Recording

Let the River Run.gifLet the River Run arr. Craig Hella Johnson
Johnson is known for his “collage-style” programming, and this Carly Simon piece (you might know it from the 1989 film Working Girl) is no exception. He uses driving percussion rhythms, dancing piano accompaniment, and triumphant homophonic choral writing to create this uptempo piece, perfect for a concert opener or closer. I actually did this piece with my high school students, who absolutely loved it (and were able to be successful with it). The melody is almost folk-like, making it memorable and “singable.”
Listen to Conspirare’s Recording

If you liked the above pieces and would like to learn more about purchasing them, or would like some similar recommendations, visit our website at stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com or give us a call at 1.800.42.MUSIC, ext. 1. We are happy to help with all of your sheet music needs!

About the Author
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 a variety of choirs in the Columbus area, and she spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


Curious About Copyright? 15 August, 2017

Find practical answers and information geared toward music educators and directors with the new COPYRIGHT HANDBOOK

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Copyright is a challenging but important subject in music education.  Most of us have a very limited understanding of it, and have had no formal training or education provided, yet it applies to every facet of being a music educator.  Literally meaning the right to copy or reproduce, copyright law is designed to protect creators from having their works essentially stolen rather than purchased.  Education has a very special caveat regarding copyright law, fair use, however, this does not mean unlimited use or reproduction.  While this special relationship complicates our understanding, it makes it all the more important to know what is permissible and do what is right.  Likewise, ever-changing digital technology and the internet make copyright that much more complicated and important.

Thankfully Alfred’s new Copyright Handbook for Music Educators and Directors provides us with a guide geared especially for the classroom and rehearsal hall.  Written by music education industry professionals, it provides a very practical approach to copyright law as it applies to performing musicians and teachers based on experience.  It is well laid out and easy-to-use, reasonably priced, and most importantly, directly applicable!  When you know better, you do better, so grab a copy and familiarize yourself with what you should and should not do – you might discover things that you can do that you never realized!  You might even find yourself helping your school or district to better operate within the law, and more importantly, set a good example for your students.

Copyright Handbook for Music Educators and Directors
Pam Phillips & Andrew Surmani
Alfred Publishing                                                                 $19.99
The Copyright Handbook for Music Educators and Directors provides a concise overview of the key aspects of copyright law that affect music educators and directors in the United States. Designed to provide answers to the most common questions raised by educators and directors, this resource makes it easy to find specific answers and is arranged in a user-friendly question-and-answer format. For ease of use, a thorough Glossary of Terms and an extensive Index are included. Not meant to replace legal counsel, the Copyright Handbook is a starting point for music educators and directors with questions concerning copyright. Topics: How to determine if a work is protected by copyright * The use of print music and lyrics * The use of audio * The use of video * Digital products and the Internet * Performance rights * Composing and arranging.

Also Available:
The Teacher’s Guide to Music, Media, and Copyright Law
Music Copyright Law

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.


International Carol Suites 14 August, 2017

recommended by Judy H. and Jennifer F., Sacred Choral Music Specialists, and Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral Music Specialists

lorenz-513044International Carol Suites arr. Mark Hayes
International Carol Suites weaves together familiar and lesser-known carols in a thrilling and multicultural celebration of the holiday season! Select one movement for a ten-minute burst of Christmas joy, or perform several for an extended presentation of carols from around the world. English text is included throughout the work, with foreign language text also included where appropriate – great care was taken to find the best English translation of each song, but in many cases the translations are not literal, so we encourage you to use the original texts whenever possible. The dazzling orchestration is ideal for combined performances, whether used as a sophisticated cantata option for a church setting or community chorus, or for accomplished choirs at the high school level.

International Carol Suites contains 30 carols, representing 20 countries: Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Ukraine, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bohemia, Russia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Venezuela, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the United States.

Carols of Europe
I. Carols of Western Europe (Good Christian Men, Rejoice; He Is Born, the Holy Child; The Son of Mary; Still, Still, Still; Gesu Bambino; Break Forth, O Beauteous, Heavenly Light; Angels We Have Heard On High)
II. Carols of Eastern Europe (Ukrainian Bell Carol; O, Come Rejoicing; Infant Holy, Infant Lowly; Rocking Carol; Come, Hear the Marvelous News; Carol of the Russian Children)
III. Carols of the British Isles (What Child Is This?; God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen; Deck the Hall; The Wexford Carol; Baloo, Lammy; The Snow Lay on the Ground; Joy to the World)
Carols of the Americas
I. Carols of Central and South America (The Journey; Going to Bethlehem; The Babe; At the Hour of Midnight; Song of the Wise Men)
II. Carols of North America (The Huron Carol; Brightest and Best; Behold That Star; Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow; Go, Tell It on the Mountain)

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.

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 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.


Middle School General Music: Ukulele & Guitar 11 August, 2017

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

The middle school general music classroom can be an exciting (and/or terrifying) place! Throughout this coming school year, we’ll be sharing with you some valuable resources to help you develop enthusiasm and skills in your middle school musicians! Today, here are some great new options for teaching guitar and ukulele:

leon-510991Ukulele Jukebox by Tom Anderson
Drop in a nickel for hours of music-making fun! From one chord and a downstroke strum to switching from chord-to-chord using a pop shuffle, your students will explore the exciting world of playing the ukulele. This straight-ahead instrument provides the perfect introduction to playing harmony, singing with others and feeling the infectious rhythms of different styles of music. Chord frames, pictures of finger placement and notation are used throughout the song collection in a step-by-step, sequential fashion for building instrument-playing knowledge. Suggested strums are demonstrated with helpful audio examples. Pitched classroom instruments parts are also included for additional harmonic support. Everyone gets in the act! You also receive digital access to performance/accompaniment audio recordings plus PDFs of singer and instrument parts for projection and reproducible options. Well-known songs are the pathway to play these fun accompaniments. Get those ukuleles in your hands, plug in the jukebox and keep on jammin’! Songs include: Hey Lolly Lolly, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, Jammin’ Bells, This Train/The Crawdad Song, Rockin’ Robin, C.C. Rider, and more! Suggested for grades 4-8.

leon-00862639-fEssential Elements for Guitar
Take your guitar teaching to a new level! Hal Leonard’s top-selling comprehensive method for band and strings is now also available for guitar. With the time-tested classroom teaching methods of Will Schmid and Bob Morris and popular songs in a variety of styles, Essential Elements for Guitar is sure to become a staple of guitar teachers’ instruction – and get beginning guitar students off to a great start.

This method has been designed to meet the National Standards for Music Education, with features such as cross-curricular activities, quizzes, multicultural songs, basic improvisation and more. Available in both Level 1 and Level 2 books, and with LOTS of supplemental resources including flashcards, warm-ups, and song collections covering composers and artists from J.S. Bach to Disney Songs and Jimi Hendrix, and everyone in between!

leon-00116015-fEssential Elements for Ukulele
Playing the ukulele is an enjoyable, easy, and inexpensive way to get involved in music. It provides a way to learn musical concepts and skills that can apply to any instrument you decide to study. Moreover, it will give you a great opportunity to share the joy of making music with other people. This book will help to provide you with the basic skills and musical background you need to get started. The online audio contains demonstrations of all the songs and examples available for download or streaming using the access code printed inside the book. This carefully crafted method emphasizes chord strumming skills; teaching students HOW to practice; note reading exercises; “chord challenges” to learn how to figure out chord progressions; tab reading; and more.

Level 1 includes nearly 30 familiar songs that students can play while still learning, including: All My Loving, Home on the Range, Hound Dog, Jambalaya (On the Bayou), La Bamba, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Rainbow Connection, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and more! Level 2 is also available for continued musical development, and we expect additional supplemental resources to become available in the future, too!

Find more valuable resources for your music classroom on our website, or contact us for more recommendations! And don’t forget – 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.


Hal Leonard’s Play-Along Series 10 August, 2017

recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

00211597-wlPlay your favorite songs quickly and easily with Hal Leonard’s Play-Along series! Just follow the tab or notation, listen to the audio to hear how your instrument should sound, and then play along using the separate backing tracks. The Cover Band Hits volume includes: “Cruise,” “Ex’s & Oh’s,” “Get Lucky,” “Nobody to Blame,” “Shut Up and Dance,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “Uptown Funk,” and “The Walker.”

The price of each book includes Audio Access to audio tracks online, for download or for streaming, using the unique code inside. Now including PLAYBACK+, a multi-functional audio player that allows you to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, change keys, and pan left or right – great for practicing! “Cover Bands” has matching books for Guitar, Electric Bass, and Drum Set, so get your band together and “Play-Along!” 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.


NEW for Fall Concert: High School Choir 04 August, 2017

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

School starts soon – are you ready?!? Let Stanton’s help you out, with some great new repertoire for your ensembles – today, here are our top choices for HIGH SCHOOL CHOIRS:

FOR HIGH SCHOOL MIXED CHOIRS
lorenz-15_3392h-fAnd We Are the Dreamers of Dreams by Neil Ginsberg
Familiar words from Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s “Ode,” freely set with highly creative craftsmanship and expression, virtually dance off the page of this artful and unique musical interpretation. Equally effective in a single ensemble performance or a massed choir setting.

Safe 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.

leon-513736I Have Loved the Stars Too Fondly by Heather Sorenson
Inspired by Sarah Williams’ poem, “The Old Astronomer,” this new concert work tells of the irony of life’s moments; of a life long lived through joy, sadness, longing, endurance, love and so many other lessons rolled into a vessel of musical inspiration. “The shadows give perspective on things already known; and the light, although familiar, was only mine on loan. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” Optional cello included, this work is outstanding in text and music.

Old Joe Clark arr. Dan Davison
Davison’s arrangement of the famous American folk song was written to help mixed choirs of all abilities succeed. Throughout this arrangement, the tenor and bass parts are supported in other sections to help bolster their performance. With an exciting, rhythmic accompaniment, these very accessible vocal parts still provide a flashy ending making it a perfect program closer for any ensemble.

FOR HIGH SCHOOL TREBLE CHOIRS
alfred-514545Count the Stars by Andy Beck
A poignant original text combined with Latin phrases from the Requiem Mass lays the foundation for this tender song of remembrance. Contemporary cluster chords, beautifully sculpted phrases, and expressive dynamics leave the listener with a sense of awe and wonder.

O Clap Your Hands by Victor C. Johnson
Johnson’s dynamic setting of this text adapted from the Psalms is the perfect opening number for concert, festival or call to worship. The opening fanfare-like section is complemented by a contrasting, legato middle section before returning to the joyous opening statement which leads to an exhilarating conclusion, complete with handclaps.

FOR HIGH SCHOOL MEN’S CHOIRS
leon-513744Love Do You Hear Me Sing? by Glenda E. Franklin
Based on the work of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Over the Land Is April,” the romantic and musical text is set here for young men’s voices. This a cappella and mostly homophonic arrangement sings in keys that fit both changed and unchanged voices with a lilting 3/4 time signature that creates vibrancy in the warm and lush writing.

Roll, Jordan, Roll arr. Ruth Morris Gray
A rhythmic piano accompaniment drives this well-crafted arrangement of the classic spiritual. Singers will love the crescendoing choral riff that connects the syncopated refrains to the call and response verses. A vibrant descant grows more and more soulful toward the end, bringing the piece to a climactic close!

Find more Stanton’s Signature Selections on our website, or contact us for personalized recommendations for YOUR ensemble! 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.


Gear Up for the New School Year 03 August, 2017

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

The school year is almost upon us so I thought we might feature some of the most useful resources for improving and developing your band program.  From overall program development and administration, music teaching, and conducting, to the National Standards, classroom management, and working productively with your booster organization, these titles touch on almost every aspect of being a band director.  Pick up 1 or 2 of these to recharge before the school year starts, or use them as guides to implement small changes over the year.  Either way they are sure to provide new insights, ideas, and resources to make your school year smoother and your program better.

Habits of a Successful Band Director
In Habits of a Successful Band Director, Scott Rush provides a how-to book for young teachers, a supplement for college methods classes, a common-sense approach to everyday problems band directors face, sequential models for instruction that are narrow in scope, and more.  Some of the topics covered in the ten chapters include: classroom organization and management, working with parents and colleagues, the importance of the warm-up, rehearsal strategies, selecting high-quality literature, and student leadership.

Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director
Building on the successful Habits series, Scott Rush and his team have created a practical guide to all aspects of the middle school band program, including, recruiting for beginners, mouthpiece testing and instrumentation, running an effective middle school rehearsal, teaching strategies for middle school, repertoire suggestions, warm-ups for beginner, intermediate, and advanced middle school players  Additional sections address musicianship, classroom management, working with parents and colleagues, assessment, technology, the middle school mind, minor instrument repair, private lessons…even traveling with middle school students.

Developing the Complete Band Program
This book is a unique resource for both novice and experienced band directors, gathering effective teaching tools from the best in the field. Includes more than 40 chapters on: curriculum, then and now of North American wind bands, the anatomy of music making, motivation, program organization and administrative leadership, and much more. A wonderful resource for all music educators! Dr. Jagow’s book is comprehensive and impressive in scope.

National Core Arts Standards in Secondary Music Ensembles
This practical, 96-page resource provides detailed information to ease understanding and implementation of the 2014 National Core Arts Standards in secondary music ensembles. Each artistic process in the standards – creating, performing, responding, and connecting – is explored through examples of day-to-day rehearsal activities and a sample cornerstone assessment that is ready for class use.

 

** NEW **
Boosters to the Rescue!

Veteran band director David Vandewalker has been successfully empowering school parent organizations across the country for years. In Boosters to the Rescue! he offers practical tools to modernize your program into a 21st-century booster organization that can function as a successful small business and significantly support the school music and arts programs. In clear, concise language Vandewalker lays out an action plan that includes how to learn to be articulate in sharing your vision; enlist an army of volunteers; develop project plans; define a composite list of duties, tasks, and responsibilities; communicate; create a business plan model; and more.

** NEW **
Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club

Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club is the companion resource to Boosters to the Rescue!, which provides ready-to-use Word, Excel, and PDF files to help booster clubs set and achieve a long-term vision for their organization. Strategic Plans includes project-planning guides for three diverse sizes of booster clubs: Developing, Growing, and Maximizing. Strategic Plans offers a wealth of ideas, forms, organizational charts, and branding tools in four concise sections: “Ready, Set, and Go!” introduces the strategic planning process and explains how to get down to business. “Rally the Troops” provides practical advice on how to organize, manage, and empower people. “Roll It Out” delves into the details of creating a business plan blueprint and a project-planning guide. And “Rock It Out” includes ways to build effective teams, with dozens of branding and advertising designs ready for you to download, edit, customize, and print.

** NEW **
The Conductor’s Companion: 100 Rehearsal Techniques, Imaginative Ideas, Quotes, and Facts
100 outstanding middle and high school, collegiate and professional band and orchestra conductors passionately and candidly share their most powerful rehearsal techniques and cutting-edge program ideas in this concise and inspirational volume. Also included are fascinating historical facts about famous composers and conductors as well as inspirational quotes ideal for advocating music programs. It’s an excellent university supplemental text and a “go-to” source for directors at all levels.

Classroom Management in the Music Room
Classroom Management in the Music Room: Pin-Drop Quiet Classes and Rehearsals is a resource vital to any productive music classroom. Designed with simplicity in mind – simple to teach, simple to learn, and simple to administer – this book promotes student-centered self-discipline and turns classroom management into creating music.

Don’t Forget These!
Handy Manual Fingering Charts
Complete Instrumental Reference Guide

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.


Creative Programming Choices: College Choir 02 August, 2017

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

One of my favorite parts of going to music conventions (think ACDA, OMEA, and the like) is seeing the choral performances; not only are so many of the performing choirs fabulous, but their directors often have found creative repertoire choices that showcase the choirs’ skill sets in a memorable way. Additionally (though I’m sure you know this already) repertoire selection is one of the most important tasks that we choral directors take on, and I know we’re always looking for that next concert closer, or the perfect fit to the performance theme, or the next piece that will have the audience talking about it long after the performance is over.

Whether you are looking for a creative piece to incorporate in your choir’s repertoire for a conference performance, or just looking for something in a style that is a little more off the beaten path, we have found four pieces that stood out to us amidst the new compositions that we think could bring the house down for your concert.

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.

Kaisa-Isa Niyan.jpgKaisa-isa Niyan by Nilo Alcala
Based on a popular children’s chant from the Southern Philippines, this fast, rhythmic piece from Los Angeles-based Filipino composer Nilo Alcala is sure to impress your audience. Challenging because of both rhythm and modality, the piece treats the voice in an almost “instrumental” fashion to start, establishing the tone of the piece with a driving ostinato pattern, contrasted by the soaring soprano line that follows. The piece concludes with rhythmic stomping, clapping, and shouting, making the piece even more unique.

Selene's Boat.gifSelene’s Boat by Don Macdonald
Using text by poet Allison Girvan, Don Macdonald’s new composition explores the power of the sea-wayfarer goddess “Selene” and her power to harness the moon’s influence over the tide. The atmospheric nature of the piece is established right away by the pitched percussion accompaniment, originally written for hapi or hang (though marimba, vibraphone, or harp would be excellent substitutes while maintaining the fantasy feel of the composition). The blurring of the rhythmic lines and breathy dissonances also create an ethereal, silvery tone, punctuated by the melody in the alto line.

Stone.jpgStone by Jacob Narverud & Ryan Main
I’m excited every time I see a Jacob Narverud piece cross my desk; he has done a great job of composing and arranging in a wide variety of styles and voicings and has done all of them well. Here, he and fellow American composer Ryan Main have set Robert Bode’s haiku in an “aggressive fusion of choral, electronica, and percussion forces which uses the latest digital sampling and non-traditional percussion effects (water gong, a combine disc blade, bowed crotales, stones, and scraped tam-tam).” The text painting is unmistakable here, as the fire and volcanoes are represented through the driving percussion accompaniment, accented rhythmic figures, and well-placed dissonances, and this would make an incredible opener or closer to your choir’s program.

We would love to hear your thoughts on these pieces, especially if you choose to perform them with your choir! For more information about these pieces and other recommendations, visit our website at www.stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com, or call 1.800.42.MUSIC, ext. 1.

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.


Celtic Jam Session 01 August, 2017

recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

00215696-wlNewly available in the Hal Leonard “Strum Together” series is the collection Celtic Songs. It is designed for five different instruments to play from together: soprano ukulele, baritone ukulele, guitar, mandolin and 5-string banjo (or any combination or number of those instruments). It contains seventy Celtic songs from the British Isles, including: “All Through the Night” from Wales, “Barbara Allen” from England, “The Blue Bells of Scotland” from Scotland, and “The Wild Colonial Boy” from Ireland. The melody line is included, so a fiddle could play along, too! Another couple of tricks – an Irish tenor banjo can play from the mandolin chords, and a tenor ukulele can play from the soprano uke chords, to bring more instruments in on the fun! This collection can provide hours of music for one person or many, so gather your friends and “Strum Together!” 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.


Choral #FlashbackFriday 28 July, 2017

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

#FLASHBACKFRIDAY
Looking for some quality throwback pieces for your choir? We’re here to help!

FOR HIGH SCHOOL CHOIRS
It Had to Be YouIt Had to Be You arr. Greg Gilpin
This classic, first published in 1924 and recorded by a wide variety of artists, is the perfect beginning-of-the-year jazz number for your SATB choir. It features accessible four part writing, a supportive piano accompaniment, and attainable (but still warm and colorful) jazz harmonies.

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIRS
A Banana Split for My BabyA Banana Split For My Baby arr. Rosana Eckert
This arrangement of the sweet Louis Prima tune presents the perfect opportunity to introduce and develop the vocal jazz style. The voice-leading has been approached with care, the ranges lie in a comfortable place, both melody and harmony are accessible for young singers, and there is a good blend of unison and part-writing. If you have a young show choir, this would be a fun piece to start off the year!

FOR MEN’S CHOIRS
It's Still Rock and Roll to MeIt’s Still Rock and Roll to Me arr. Paul Langford
This Billy Joel piece, considered a rock and roll classic, transfers quite effectively into the choral medium. The feel of the piece is authentic to the original, and it keeps the high energy that the piece is known for. Often in men’s voicings, we’ve found that the melodies can be lost or obscured in the part writing, but that hasn’t happened here, and because of that, in addition to the nice blend of part writing and unison, this piece is one with which your men’s choir can find success.

FOR ELEMENTARY CHOIRS
We'll Meet AgainWe’ll Meet Again arr. Roger Emerson
This charming WWII era piece (recently featured on the last broadcast of the Colbert Report) would make an effective concert closer for your young choir. It utilizes appropriately light, bright ranges, primarily homophonic writing, and the sentiment is lovely (not to mention it provides the perfect opportunity for a little soft shoe).

For more information about these pieces, as well as other recommendations, visit our website or contact the Stanton’s Choral Department at 1-800-42-MUSIC, Ext. 1, or choral@stantons.com. We are excited 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.


Composer Profile: Dan Forrest 26 July, 2017

by Alissa Ruth, Choral Specialist

Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as having “an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music….that is truly magical” (NY Concert Review), with works hailed as “magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture” (Classical Voice), and “superb writing…full of spine-tingling moments” (Salt Lake Tribune). In the last decade, Dan’s music has become well established in the repertoire of choirs in the U.S. and abroad, through both smaller works and his major works Requiem for the Living and Jubilate Deo. Dan’s music has received dozens of awards and distinctions, with premieres in major venues around the world. Dan holds graduate degrees in composition and piano performance, and is active as a composer, educator, and pianist.

Dan’s career and compositions are framed by his belief that “All good things, including any beauty that we encounter, are from God, through God, and ultimately to God. All beauty is God’s beauty, wherever it is found.”

The music of Dan Forrest is available through Stanton’s from several publishers, including: Beckenhorst Press, Hal Leonard, Lorenz, and Hinshaw. For more information about Dan Forrest and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: Good Night Dear Heart, O Come All Ye Faithful, See Amid the Winter’s Snow, The Work of Christmas, Psalm 8

About the Author:
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.


2017 Marching Band Favorites, Vol. 2 21 July, 2017

recommended by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

Among the new marching band releases each year are arrangements that just stand out.  You can tell just by hearing them that they will be best-sellers and hits with your students because of the great arrangement, popularity of the song, or both.  In case you overlooked them, I’m happy to share our favorite new marching band charts so you can snag them just before the season begins.  For Vol. 1 of our favorites check out yesterday’s post.

That’s My Girl arr. Tom Wallace
With its brassy horn licks, funky rhythms and roaring bass, That’s My Girl by the group Fifth Harmony, gives dance lines and bands the necessary ingredients they need to produce an exciting and entertaining performance.

Faith arr. Paul Murtha & Will Rapp
From the entertaining blockbuster animated film Sing, this driving rock tune was recorded by the legendary Stevie Wonder and featuring Ariana Grande. Just try sitting still for this one!

Can’t Stop the Feeling arr. Paul Murtha
Justin Timerlake has taken the pop world by storm with the release of this chart topping mega hit! With an infectious groove and catchy riffs this arrangement will add a contemporary flair on the field or in the stands.

Bang Bang arr. Tom Wallace
Bang Bang is the latest hit from the new album by venerable punk rock band Green Day. Aggressive power chords and chaotic musical stylings deliver the goods as a powerful and convincing opener. The furious nature of the verse and chorus is contrasted with an Arabic sounding bridge, providing a quick and surprising musical twist, all of which is amazingly captured in this Tom Wallace chart.

Find more exciting charts for the upcoming marching season on our website, or contact us for more recommendations! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet 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 comic books, amusement parks, hockey (especially the Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


2017 Marching Band Favorites, Vol. 1 19 July, 2017

recommended by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist

Among the new marching band releases each year are arrangements that just stand out.  You can tell just by hearing them that they will be best-sellers and hits with your students because of the great arrangement, popularity of the song, or both.  In case you overlooked these, I’m happy to share our favorite new marching band charts over the next 2 days so you can snag them just before the season begins.

24K Magic arr. Tom Wallace
Bruno Mars’ hit song, 24K Magic, covers all the bases. Heavily influenced by the styles of the ‘70s and ‘80s, this is a retro funk, disco, R&B sensation. There is something here for everyone, especially dance lines, and bands that are looking to grab some attention in the stands.

HandClap arr. Paul Murtha
Recorded by Fitz and the Tantrums, you’ll hear this catchy tune used in TV commercials as well as on the airwaves. This energetic chart is a great way to get the crowd involved with the signature hand clapping section.

Chained To the Rhythm arr. Jay Dawson
Debuting at the 2017 Grammy’s, Katy Perry’s thought provoking release became an instant international hit.  With latin/disco rhythms this is a perfect choice to perform with your dance line, or as a crowd-pleasing pep band chart.

Starboy arr. Ishbah Cox
Recorded by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk, here is an energetic stands tune that skillfully passes the melody from section to section.

Find more exciting charts for the upcoming marching season on our website, or contact us for more recommendations! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet 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 comic books, amusement parks, hockey (especially the Penguins), and all things Pittsburgh.


The Music Show 17 July, 2017

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

The Music Show by John Jacobson & Roger Emerson

“Join your favorite animated characters led by the famous Luigi’s Baton and his side-kick Mike the Microphone, as they introduce young music students to the ‘FUN’damentals of music, with emphasis on the fun! With the help of their friends Cadence the Drummer and Fret the Guitar, children will love learning about beat, rhythm, tempo, melody and so much more.”

This video series (with lesson plan guides included) is a resource that we feel will be useful for reinforcing concepts which you have introduced to your students. Intended for introducing/practicing elements such as steady beat, rhythm, and high/low, lessons include objectives, materials, vocabulary, suggested lessons, and assessments, making this accessible for you and your students. This would also be a helpful resource if you have a substitute teacher who is a musician as well.

The following are included in this all-in-one format:

– Full color digital lessons with embedded video episodes for instant viewing
– Projectable and reproducible song charts with lyrics and embedded audio
– Activity visuals to reinforce music concepts
– Quality lesson plans

All of the projectable content is included via digital access and viewed in your browser, so there is no need for special software. Just download the files onto your computer and you’re ready to go! Performance and accompaniment audio recordings are also available in a separate folder via download for performance options.

Songs include: The Beat Is the Heart of Music; I’ve Got Rhythm, How ‘Bout You? Take a Rest; We’re Gonna Sing High, Low and in the Middle; Presto Is Fast, Largo Is Slow; Lines and Spaces Baby! Suggested for grades 1-3.

For more information about this and other classroom recommendations, visit us at stantons.com, call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC ext.1, or email us at choral@stantons.com. We look forward to working with you!

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.


All Together, SING! 14 July, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

cfn-blb012-fAll Together, SING! by Lon Beery
A new skill building resource developed by Lon Beery, “All Together, Sing!” is invaluable to choral teachers working with changing voices. It provides multiple opportunities to both match pitch and develop the singing independence required for maintaining multiple parts. Grouped by age from younger to older, partner songs in various keys accommodate fluctuating vocal ranges. Voice testing models and other helpful teaching strategies are also included.

Find more choral resources on our website, or contact us for more information – and remember, shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Summer Jazz Piano Fun! 07 July, 2017

recommended by Ben Huntoon, Jazz Specialist

Summer is the perfect time for piano teachers to try something different. Introduce your students to creative music making with these popular books by Bradley Sowash, a renowned piano educator specializing in improvisation who just happens to live Ohio.

kjos-494295Creative Chords is a unique two-book series designed to teach beginning students who have mastered basic keyboard skills how to improvise! Each book comes with unique code to access videos and backing tracks in which the author demonstrates how to play well-known melodies by ear, improvise embellishments and variations, add chords and accompaniment styles, and create full-sounding arrangements based on their own tastes and preferences. Teachers, even those with a limited background in improvisation, will agree this is a must-have for balancing the ear and the eye for playing today’s music!

That’s Jazz, a nine-book series, is the perfect avenue for motivating late elementary & intermediate level students, while opening them up to the vital musical tradition and artistic expression of jazz. Whether teachers have limited jazz training or none at all, they can still feel confident leading students through their first experiences with jazz!

About the Author:
Ben Huntoon is the Jazz Education Consultant at Stanton’s Sheet Music. He received bachelors and masters degrees in music from Capital University and The Ohio State University respectively. As a professional trumpeter, Ben is accomplished in a wide variety of genres and has performed throughout the Midwest on many stages over the past 30 years. He also teaches trumpet, coaches brass ensembles and has served on the jazz faculty at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.


Top Christian Hits 30 June, 2017

00225283-leonHOT OFF THE PRESS – Top Christian Hits 2016-2017 has just been released! This collection includes twenty hits, including “Chain Breaker” by Zach Williams, “The Lion and the Lamb” by Big Daddy Weave, “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott, and more. It’s time to start planning special music for summer Sundays, and this volume has a great selection of current songs for worship. It is also a great resource for a praise band!

For more about this collection or others like it, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website, http://www.stantons.com. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


“Ten to Teach…” 26 June, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

lorenz-75_1007h-fThe “Ten to Teach…” series of resources from Heritage Music Press provide carefully crafted lessons from master educators including Artie Almeida, Donna Dirksing, Kate Kuper, and Mari Schay. Each volume includes lesson suggestions, audio recordings, PowerPoint presentations, reproducible music for students, and visual aids that you can print or project to suit your needs!

Ten to Teach MELODY
Each lesson targets a specific aspect of the element of melody, including: steps, skips, repeat; contour; high vs. low sounds; composing with sol and mi; identifying low sol; exploring and writing melodic inversions; and exploring sequences and motifs.

Ten to Teach HARMONY
These lessons provide your students with opportunities to identify and perform harmony in several ways: singing partner songs, playing barred percussion instruments, illustrating harmony with movement, and playing recorder descants, to name a few!

lorenz-75_1013h-fTen to Teach FORM
This collection of lessons will get your students out of their seats and engage them in music-making activities centered on the element of form and ranging from singing games to composing variations on their recorders and responding to form with parachutes. Concepts include: rondo, theme and variations, call and response, ABA, and D.C. al Coda.

Ten to Teach RHYTHM
These ten lessons comprise a versatile resource that explores rhythm in a variety of creative ways. Concepts include: rhythmic improvisation, quarter notes and rests, paired eighth notes, meter in 3, macrobeat/microbeat, half and dotted half notes, beat vs. rhythm, ostinato, and syncopation.

Find more resources for your music classroom on our website, or contact us for more information! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Jazz Charts for College & Pros – Grade 5+ 23 June, 2017

recommended by Ben Huntoon, Jazz Specialist

kendor-507101Beautiful Dreamer arr. Pete McGuinness
This 2015 Grammy-nominated arrangement was recorded by the Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra on Strength In Numbers (Summit Records). The original Stephen Foster waltz is refitted here as a medium-bright tempo samba in 4/4 time. The 1st alto has an optional double on soprano, and solos are included for piano and alto/soprano sax.

Beneath the Mask by Bob Washut
Commissioned by the University of New Mexico Jazz Band I, this chart for proficient groups is an even-eighth jazz waltz that features lead alto and guitar (or piano). The lead trumpet player is showcased with some soaring lyrical lines, and all trumpets double on flugelhorn.

leon-507233Chachanita by Michael Philip Mossman
Nobody does cha-cha like Michael Mossman. This inventive original features a smooth harmonic structure and a nice blend of inventive melodies with carefully crafted accompaniment figures. The solo section is open for any player, and this is followed by a driving double time groove. Appealing and dynamic all rolled into one chart!

Inner Urge arr. Mark Taylor
Composed by jazz legend Joe Henderson, this uptempo swingin’ burner from Mark Taylor features a mesmerizing groove and masterful scoring. Opening with a trio of tenor, guitar and vibes, layers of sound are gradually added to create a powerhouse effect. Includes solo space for tenor and feature spots for the brass section and saxes.

Find more great options like these on our website! Contact us for more information, and remember – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Ben Huntoon is the Jazz Education Consultant at Stanton’s Sheet Music. He received bachelors and masters degrees in music from Capital University and The Ohio State University respectively. As a professional trumpeter, Ben is accomplished in a wide variety of genres and has performed throughout the Midwest on many stages over the past 30 years. He also teaches trumpet, coaches brass ensembles and serves on the jazz faculty at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.