News & Views Friday, December 06, 2019

Choral POPS for Spring 2019 Friday, March 01, 2019

recommended by Jen Sper and Lora Moore, School Choral Music Specialists

Be the Hero (from Big Fish) arr. Mark Brymer, SATB with piano (optional combo)
Be the hero of your story and you will always be the hero that lives on. This perfect little Broadway two beat song is up-beat, positive and full of fun and adventure. A chance for your singers to “tell a story” that highlights the importance of truth, hope and desire. Lessons learned of being the first to embrace the life we live and the life we hope for.

Dream arr. Russell Robinson, SATB a cappella
Written by songwriting legend Johnny Mercer, “Dream” has been covered by artists from Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Bublé. A rubato section in straight eighths opens this rich a cappella setting, before breaking into a moderate swing tempo with finger snaps. A final return to the earlier duple feel leads to a soft, sensitive ending. Perfect for exploring both jazz harmony and stylizations.

leon-531144Heal the World arr. Mac Huff, SATB with piano (optional rhythm)
With a message that seems to become more important with each passing year, Michael Jackson’s 1991 ballad championing the power of healing and acceptance has stood the test of time. A powerful arrangement features four soloists interweaving with the choir leading to a dynamic climax!

This Magic Moment arr. Mac Huff, SATB with piano (optional combo)
First recorded by Ben E. King and the Drifters in 1960, this easy listening love song is here set in a doo-wop style that hearkens back to the 1950s with finger snaps, a doo-wop bass line and a feature for a soloist who can really bring the style. The instrumental accompaniment for two trumpets, tenor and baritone saxophones, trombone and rhythm section is just as stylish as the vocals and together a scene with poodle skirts, bobby sox, duck tail hairstyles and all things cool from the period is set.

Will You Be There arr. Alan Billingsley, SATB with piano (optional rhythm)
Even in live performance this Michael Jackson ballad had a full back up choir of children and adults. Here is a wonderful pop tune written for choir and with a message of love and commitment that will resonate with singers and listeners. This arrangement captures the pop style while expanding on the choral footprint.

Brave arr. Roger Emerson, 3-part mixed with piano
The text of this chart topping song by Sara Bareilles and Jack Antonoff inspires those who sing it and those who hear it. Excellent teaching and rehearsal notes are offered by the arranger making this song a wonderful tool for highlighting the importance of the text and teaching rhythms.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight arr. Roger Emerson, 3-part mixed with piano, optional djembe & shaker
Here is one of the most popular doo-wop songs ever! This arrangement features percussion parts for djembe and shaker, a simple piano part and ranges that are perfect for young singers. The “call and response” form allows for easy learning. Every parent in the audience will know the tune, making it lots of fun for them to join in if they want.

Sing arr. Roger Emerson, 3-part mixed with piano
“Sing of good things, not bad” is certainly a wonderful mantra for all of us and it is the theme of this iconic Joe Raposo song from “Sesame Street.” With a driving and rhythmic piano accompaniment here is an incredibly creative arrangement of this positive song.

This Is Me (from The Greatest Showman) arr. Audrey Snyder, 3-part mixed with piano
The biggest hit from “The Greatest Showman” has been arranged for young developing voices in this accessible version. Plenty of unison, easy-to-teach harmonies, comfortable ranges, and solo opportunities make this a surefire selection for your elementary and middle school choirs.

leon-523381Un Poco Loco (from Coco) arr. Mark Brymer, 2-part with piano (optional combo)
Translating to “A Little Crazy,” the lyrics to this song are just that. Full of whimsy and surprises. The verse text is in English while the repeated lines are in Spanish. A fun hand-clapping section lends itself to movement if desired and the repeated sections make this easy to learn.

Songs of a Disney Hero (Medley) arr. Alan Billingsley, SSA with piano (optional combo)
Show your mettle and embrace your inner hero with this medley of Disney songs of bravery and adventure. Whatever the task, your choirs will be up to it as they are taught lessons of valor as only Disney movies can! Includes: “How Far I’ll Go,” “Touch the Sky,” “Reflection,” “When Will My Life Begin?” and “Zero to Hero.”

Think arr. Mark Brymer, SSA with piano (optional combo)
From the undisputed Queen of Soul, this is one of Aretha’s iconic songs and always listed as one of the greatest pop & R&B songs of all time. This arrangement stays true to the style and allows your students a chance to dig into this important style.

Walking On Sunshine arr. Mac Huff, SSA with piano
Here’s a sunny blast from the past! This 1985 hit by Katrina and the Waves is a super choice for pop and show groups.

Summertime arr. Roger Emerson, SSA with piano
Unlike the original ballad heard in the opera “Porgy and Bess” and sung by a high soprano, here is an easy swing rendition placed in a key that is comfortable for developing voices. The section with a written out scat solo can be easily repeated for those choirs learning to improvise.

alfred-47111-fFOR TENOR/BASS CHOIR
Fight the Dragons (from Big Fish) arr. Greg Gilpin, TBB with piano (optional rhythm)
From the Broadway musical “Big Fish” comes a song about finding the adventure in everyday life, as well as the bond between father and son. Greg Gilpin has designed this well-fitted feature for men’s ensembles that is equal parts strength and sensitivity. Great messaging for guys!

I’m Still Standing arr. Pete Schmutte, TTB with piano (optional combo)
British rocker Elton John made this famous in 1983 and stated that it was “my reaction to still being relevant and successful in the early 1980s.” The message rings just as clear today with rock and roll still ruling the music scene, generation after generation. Instrumental parts available for a powerhouse performance.

leon-524096Valentine arr. Jacob Narverud, (T)TBB with optional piano and rhythm
From the pop group Train’s album “A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat” comes this ’50s throwback for today’s generation to enjoy. Set either accompanied or a cappella, Jake Narverud has captured the novel sound of the original recording with this mixed voiced setting. Pure fun and great musical learning!

Good Vibrations arr. Mark Brymer, TTBB with piano (optional combo)
Rated by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 500 rock songs of all time, “Good Vibrations” is a rock classic. This arrangement builds on the happy “rock shuffle” groove and the now legendary harmonic progressions of the Beach Boys.

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.

Lora Moore joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2018. A former middle school and high school director of 32 years, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Choral Music from Capital University and a Master’s of Arts in Choral Music from The Ohio State University. Currently she is a church choir director, operates a private voice/piano studio and is active as a clinician and accompanist. During the off hours, Lora enjoys scouting out new day trips in Ohio to balance what her budget allows for her frequent trips to New York City to visit family and take in a Broadway show or two!

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