News & Views Monday, July 22, 2024

“My Lord, What a Morning” and More NEW Organ Titles from Lorenz 29 December, 2023

recommended by Christopher B., Organ Music Specialist

My Lord, What a Morning (Spirituals for Every Season) arr. Roberta Rowland-Raybold
Roberta Rowland-Raybold’s settings of eight spirituals for organ are a heartfelt tribute to the African American spiritual tradition, deeply influenced by Eileen Guenther’s book, “In Their Own Words.” The expressive dimension of the original words and music is at the forefront of these varied pieces, all of which are based on spirituals that are familiar and widely used in today’s churches. Titles include: “My Lord, What a Morning,” “Deep River,” “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” “River of Peace (I’ve Got Peace Like a River),” “Sweet Chariot (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot),” “Steal Away,” “Balm in Gilead,” and “Were You There.”

Postludes for Rejoicing (Hymn Settings for Organ) arr. Douglas E. Wagner
Colorful harmonies and vibrant rhythms characterize these joyous postludes by Douglas E. Wagner that are sure to bring a lively conclusion to any worship service. This collection includes nine pieces based on well-known hymn tunes, alongside one original composition. Titles include: “Postlude on Picardy,” “Postlude on Diadem,” “Recessional on Lasst uns erfreuen,” “He Is King of Kings,” “Fanfare and Postlude on Easter Hymn,” “Recessional,” “Trumpet Tune on Hyfrydol,” “Postlude on Faithfulness,” “One Lord, One Faith, One Birth,” and “Flourish on Salzburg.”

All Things Now Living (Organ Settings for the Church Year) arr. Emma Lou Diemer
Emma Lou Diemer’s renowned organ music requires no introduction, having been a staple in the repertoire of American organists for decades. This collection of brief hymn reflections showcases her distinctive creativity, offering seven varied tunes that span the seasons. Titles include: “Let All Things Now Living,” “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “Prelude on Kingsfold,” “The Friendly Beasts,” “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” and “What Wondrous Love Is This.”

Hymns of Comfort (Reflective Organ Music for Worship) arr. Marvin Gaspard
Marvin Gaspard, recognizing music’s profound role in providing comfort for all, has crafted seven soothing arrangements of beloved hymns, highlighting themes of hope and comfort. These gentle, expressive settings are ideal for enhancing worship services, weddings, and memorial services. Titles include: “Be Still, My Soul,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “Come Down, O Love Divine,” “God Will Take Care of You,” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts,” and “The Lord’s My Shepherd.”

Collage for Organ (Music for Worship or Recital) by David Lasky
This collection by David Lasky offers a diverse array of characterful pieces, including free meditations, postludes, and hymn settings. Prioritizing practicality for worship, Lasky’s compositions span from the energetic “Trumpet Rondeau” to the emotive “Plaint” and the memorable “Postlude à la Rumba.”

All Glory Be to Christ (Hymn Settings for Organ) arr. Alejandro D. Consolacion II
This collection of seven hymn settings by Alejandro D. Consolacion II draws from his rich background as an organist, composer, and improviser both in the USA and his native Philippines. While six settings offer quiet, expressive preludes and offertories, the rendition of the Welsh hymn tune CWM RHONDDA is a lively, sparkling scherzo that builds to full organ. Titles include: “All Glory Be to Christ,” “This Is My Father’s World,” “Fairest Lord Jesus,” “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer,” “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us,” “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended,” and “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.”

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About the Author:
Christopher B. grew up in eastern Kentucky in a musically diverse family, and began playing organ at the age of 12. He majored in vocal performance with minors in keyboards and conducting at Marshall University and later received a Master of Theological Studies in congregational ministry from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Christopher has served as a church music director and organist for more than 20 years, presently serving as Director of Music and Worship Arts/Organist at Church of the Master United Methodist in Westerville, OH.

“Contemporary Voices” from Donald Nally and The Crossing 28 December, 2023

Donald Nally is the conductor of the Grammy winning choir The Crossing. He has commissioned over 120 works and is also the director of choral organizations at Northwestern University.

Donald’s new series “Contemporary Voices” features publications from a diverse group of composers that reflect contemporary societal themes and are also within the skill level of many choral organizations. Most of these publications have been recorded on releases from The Crossing choir and this series makes them available for the first time on a wider basis.

Exodus by Alex Berko, SATB a cappella
Inspired by the Exodus text, “Who is like you, O God?,” this challenging work is rewards the performers and listeners with an exploration into the possibilities and reflections of God. Commissioned by Donald Nally and The Crossing, it is included in a longer cycle entitled “Carols After the Plague.”

Jerusalem by Kile Smith, SATB divisi a cappella
This work comes from a larger work entitled “The Arc in the Sky.” The compositional style, while musically challenging, is very singable and balances consonance and dissonance.

Shining Still by Vanessa Lann, SATB a cappella
This challenging work, from the project “Carols After a Plague,” offers the performers and listeners an opportunity to reflect on the light left behind from those lost to COVID.

She Took His Hands by Nicholas Cline, SATB a cappella
This contemplative work effectively highlights activism for immigration. A challenging and rewarding work for advanced ensembles.

Colouring-In Book by Leila Adu-Gilmore, SATB a cappella
A work that explores vocal techniques and offers a significant challenge for singers. It is a whimsical text with depth of meaning that is rewarding to the performers and listeners.

What It Might Say by Ted Hearne, SATB a cappella
The haunting setting from the Donald Nally Contemporary Voices series challenges the singers. A great piece for a resonant performance space.

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Sicut Cervus and More Classics from the Choral Canon 27 December, 2023

recommended by Jen Sper and Lisa Springer, School Choral Music Specialists

Sicut Cervus by G.P. da Palestrina/ed. Thomas Dunn. SATB a cappella
A pristine example of Italian Renaissance sacred literature for mixed choir. The Latin text is based on Psalm 42.

Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord arr. Undine S. Moore, SSAATTBB a cappella
One of the great a cappella spiritual arrangements of all time, “Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord” is a very popular selection in a variety of situations, and deservedly so!

Shenandoah arr. James Erb, SSAATTBB a cappella
James Erb’s classic eight-part (SSAATTBB) arrangement of the American folk song “Shenandoah” has taken its rightful place in our contemporary choral literature. It’s a winner!

The May Night by Johannes Brahms/arr. Arthur Frackenpohl, SATB with piano
With short sections for men only and women only, this is a popular contest/festival selection.

Set Me as a Seal by René Clausen, SATB a cappella
Quiet and relatively short in duration, this a cappella work is pensive and wonderfully expressive. Often selected for performance in contests and festivals, it has earned its reputation as a 20th century choral classic.

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About the Authors:
Jen Sper is a Choral Music Specialist here at Stanton’s Sheet Music. A native of Cincinnati, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College (now University) Conservatory of Music, and taught 7-12 choir, music theory, class piano, and drama in Southern Ohio before joining the Stanton’s team in 2006. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, Jen can also often be found exploring the exciting restaurant, brewery, and theater scenes in Columbus, wandering through the local metro parks, visiting family around the Great Lakes, or at home with her very friendly cat.

Lisa Springer joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2023. She taught middle and high school choirs for 27 years in addition to serving as Artistic Director of the Columbus Women’s Chorus. She holds degrees from Heidelberg University and Cleveland Institute of Music. She has enjoyed an extensive professional singing career and continues to perform in the greater Columbus area. During her free time, she enjoys spending time in southern Ohio playing with her grandchildren.

YOUNG BAND Five Star Features from Make Music 2023 26 December, 2023

guiro hero timothy loest

recommended by Ken Tilger and Austin Swack, Band Education Specialists

Guiro Hero by Timothy Loest, Grade 1
Celebrate Latin music’s colorful sounds and infectious rhythms in this lighter work by Timothy Loest, who puts the guiro front and center. Your audience will smile with each tap and scrape, and your students will gain an appreciation for world music. There’s a new superhero in town – “Guiro Hero!”

The Last Gladiator by Timothy Loest, Grade 0.5
Experience the brutal energy of the Roman Colosseum in this larger-than-life work by Timothy Loest. Heart-pounding drums and sword-clashing sound effects tell the heroic story of St. Telemachus, a frail Eastern monk whose bravery brought the gladiatorial games to an end. Exhilarating and epic, “The Last Gladiator” will absolutely be a student and audience favorite!

Clutch by Brian Balmages, Grade 1
Fasten your seatbelts for this aggressive and harmonically colorful work! “Clutch” is an intense experience, using percussion to establish a strong rhythmic pulse that compliments the powerful melodic lines throughout. While the piece has an amazingly complex sound and vivid imagery, Brian Balmages has once again managed to do so with music that sounds difficult but is surprisingly achievable for young musicians!

guardians adrian b sims

Guardians by Adrian B. Sims, Grade 0.5
This aggressive work depicts a fortress defended by brave and dedicated fighters. “Guardians” includes powerful brass and percussive statements that lead to a musical adventure filled with excitement and mystery. Showcase the authority of your ensemble with this sophisticated but accessible work for beginning bands by emerging composer Adrian Sims!

The Jester’s Galop by Jack Wilds, Grade 1
Dramatic and full of humor, “The Jester’s Galop” will showcase your ensemble in a musical whirlwind from beginning to end. Complex sounding yet extremely playable, the work allows for a lot of musical exploration with opportunities to work on dynamic contrast, fermatas, cesuras, and style to heighten the excitement.

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About the Authors:
A former band director, Ken taught grades 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in Central Ohio, and has been at Stanton’s since 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies. His interests include reading, history, traditional amusement parks, outdoor activities (especially hiking), and watching hockey.

Austin Swack joined the Stanton’s team after a decade of teaching band in Texas public schools, where his ensembles were consistently recognized for superior performance. He is equally at home with beginner and advanced students and has extensive experience programming for ensembles at all ability levels. Additionally, he is a versatile arranger as well as an experienced clinician and adjudicator. In his free time, Austin enjoys running, cycling, and cheering on the Blue Jackets!

CASTLES AND DRAGONS and More Flexible Concert Pieces for Beginning Band 22 December, 2023

recommended by Ken Tilger and Austin Swack, Band Education Specialists

Castles and Dragons by Todd Stalter, Grade 1 Flex
“Castles and Dragons” is a piece your students are going to love! As they embark on their journey toward the castle, the knights must confront and slay a dragon that threatens the local village. The ensuing battle ends with the defeat of the dragon, and the victorious knights return in a noble procession to their home. This best-selling composition serves as an ideal introduction to program music and is available in FLEX format, for just about any combination of four instruments.

Atomic Clock by Chris M. Bernotas, Grade 0.5 Flex
The Atomic Clock is the most accurate clock in the world. “Atomic Clock” by Chris M. Bernotas, is an exciting piece that is now available in FLEX format. This composition challenges students to be the most accurate performers by maintaining a steady pulse. Using only six notes, the piece generates energy and excitement through the incorporation of interesting harmonic and melodic tension and release. Students will engage in tactile performance while clapping the beat and playing the melody as it is traded throughout the ensemble. The legato section offers a chance for students to perform expressively before the powerful melody and rhythm drive the piece to a dynamic conclusion.

Celebratory Fanfare by Scott Watson, Grade 1 Flex
“Celebratory Fanfare” is a bright, festive fanfare. It is the perfect concert opener and can lend its jubilant air to any celebration or observance in which your band plays a part. Hopeful and triumphant, and in FLEX format, this brief fanfare is written well within the ability level of developing players.

Hope Rising by Tyler S. Grant, Grade 1 Flex
Develop your ensemble’s tone, phrasing, and overall musicianship with this beautifully lyrical work.

Resilience by PinkZebra, Grade 1 Flex
This beautiful and haunting piece, with lyrical melodies projecting strength and determination, is like a modern chorale with film score undertones, providing an opportunity for band members to focus on tone and shape emotionally dramatic phrases. Great for a concert program needing a short piece to provide a contrast in mood and energy.

Thor’s Hammer by Patrick Roszell, Grade 1 Flex
“Thor’s Hammer” is a dramatic piece for beginning band, now in FLEX format. Musically designed to portray the Norse god, Thor, and his hammer, this piece is accessible to students in the second half of their first year of instruction. The stable, reinforced pulse allows for the introduction of neighboring eighth notes in the upper woodwind parts. The percussion contribution brings this delightful piece to life.

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About the Authors:
A former band director, Ken taught grades 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in Central Ohio, and has been at Stanton’s since 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies. His interests include reading, history, traditional amusement parks, outdoor activities (especially hiking), and watching hockey.

Austin Swack joined the Stanton’s team after a decade of teaching band in Texas public schools, where his ensembles were consistently recognized for superior performance. He is equally at home with beginner and advanced students and has extensive experience programming for ensembles at all ability levels. Additionally, he is a versatile arranger as well as an experienced clinician and adjudicator. In his free time, Austin enjoys running, cycling, and cheering on the Blue Jackets!

Center Stage Solos for Piano Students 21 December, 2023

Recital Treasures by Karen S. Wilson
This collection will become a teacher’s “go-to” for recital and festival repertoire at the mid-inter-mediate level. Students (and parents) are excited by the impressive and diverse musical effects they create. “Showtime!” uses damper pedal and parallel chords (both hands) moving up and down the keyboard to create a big sound. “A Winter’s Dream” and “Lullaby for a Ladybug” are lovely ballads featuring lyrical melodies. “Swirling Snowflakes” has showy hand-over-hand arpeggios. “Fiesta!” provides an authentic Spanish flair and “Llama Rumba” lends a Latin rhythm adventure. Three additional “treasures” in 3/4 meter round out the set.

Reflections of Nature by Ross Petot
This collection of intermediate to late-intermediate piano solos has eight stunning solos that are among the composer’s best works to date. They are reflective for the most part, full of expressive melodies and striking, original harmonies. Mr. Petot has effectively created a rich musical scene in each of these solos – musical gestures that reflect the unique character and mood of the title. Throughout the book, Petot’s immense love of nature is evident. Each solo is crafted with care and richly detailed. The style is contemporary Romantic, with hints of Impressionism, as well as ample use of 7th chords, whole-tone scales, and chromaticism. Each solo is fresh and original, evoking a singular musical scene quite vividly and beautifully.

Mysteries and Legends by Ross Petot
This collection has eight solos whose mood and character aptly reflect the title of the collection. The titles are evocative, such as “Gargoyles,” “The Lost Key,” “Sleepy Hollow,” and “Halo.” These titles set the scene for truly imaginative musical story-telling on the part of the composer. Their style is contemporary Romantic, with melodies that meander in delightfully original ways, and with harmonies that take you on journey that is mysterious, and always memorable. Intermediate to late-intermediate pianists of all ages will love discovering their hidden pathways, unexpected twists, and subtle harmonic turns.

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A Beacon of Light: Five Star Features from Belwin Band 20 December, 2023

recommended by Ken Tilger and Austin Swack, Band Education Specialists

A Beacon of Light by Patrick Roszell, Grade 4
“A Beacon of Light” was written for and dedicated to Mr. Gene Inglis and his incredible 49-year career in music education. With lively melodies, a touch of jazz harmonies, and a beautiful setting of “Be Thou My Vision,” this new contribution to instrumental literature will be a welcomed addition for contest and concert settings.

A Dashing Gallop arr. Patrick Roszell, Grade 2
Open your holiday concert or use it for a bold conclusion! “A Dashing Gallop” by Patrick Roszell imagines the age-old holiday classic “Jingle Bells” in a quasi-gallop/march style. Ring in the holiday season with this dynamic holiday arrangement!

Destiny Awaits by Michael Kamuf, Grade 1
Michael Kamuf’s bold and energetic work for beginning band reinforces syncopation and dotted-quarter/eighth-note rhythms. “Destiny Awaits” is destined to become a favorite of students and audiences alike and makes the perfect opening or closing selection for your next concert or festival performance!

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About the Authors:
A former band director, Ken taught grades 5-12 band and music appreciation in both public and parochial schools in Central Ohio, and has been at Stanton’s since 2004. His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies. His interests include reading, history, traditional amusement parks, outdoor activities (especially hiking), and watching hockey.

Austin Swack joined the Stanton’s team after a decade of teaching band in Texas public schools, where his ensembles were consistently recognized for superior performance. He is equally at home with beginner and advanced students and has extensive experience programming for ensembles at all ability levels. Additionally, he is a versatile arranger as well as an experienced clinician and adjudicator. In his free time, Austin enjoys running, cycling, and cheering on the Blue Jackets!

NEW Little Big Band Charts from Hal Leonard 19 December, 2023

recommended by Eric Stratton, Jazz Specialist

25 or 6 to 4 arr. Mike Tomaro, Grade 4
One of the early hits from the rock band Chicago, this hard-hitting tune is always exciting to play! Powerfully scored here in the 6-horn format by Mike Tomaro.

Chega de Saudade (No More Blues) by Antonio Carlos Jobim/arr. Mark Taylor, Grade 3
Featuring tenor sax and trombone, here’s a smooth arrangement of one of Jobim’s best melodies! With a medium samba groove and skilled scoring throughout, this one sounds great in the six-horn format.

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square arr. Roger Holmes, Grade 3
Originally composed in 1939, this popular standard features the amazingly tuneful melody and lush chords. Perfectly suited to the little big band format, this ballad is a perfect change of pace.

Deck the Hall arr. Mark Taylor, Grade 3
This holiday favorite is arranged here in a light Latin style with some clever twists and turns. Featuring a smooth moderate tempo and full scoring throughout, this is sure to be a winter concert standout.

Oye Como Va by Tito Puente/arr. Paul Murtha, Grade 2
One of the best-known Latin tunes ever written, Tito Puente’s hit is arranged here in a medium Latin rock style skillfully scored in the 6-horn format. With easy rhythms and modest ranges, this chart also includes written or ad lib. solos for alto sax and trumpet.

C-Jam Blues by Duke Ellington/arr. Rick Stitzel, Grade 2
Rick Stitzel skillfully dresses up this amazingly simple melody with counter lines and solid scoring for the little big band format. Solos are provided for alto sax and trumpet, but with the easy blues changes anyone can take a shot at an improvised solo.

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About the Author:
Eric Stratton is the Jazz Specialist at Stanton’s Sheet Music. From Westerville, OH, Eric received a Bachelor of Music in Classical Bass Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies from Otterbein University. On both electric and double bass, he plays in various groups around Columbus, including New Albany Symphony and Westerville Symphony orchestras. He enjoys listening to and playing many types of music, from jazz, pop, to rock and metal. Some of Eric’s favorite performance opportunities are in the pit orchestras of musical theatre productions. When Eric isn’t gigging or at Stanton’s, he enjoys playing video games, hanging out with his cats, performing repair and tech work on guitars, and going to local restaurants and breweries with friends.

Technic Classics from Bastien Essentials 18 December, 2023

Technic Classics: Piano Exercises Adapted and Composed by Lisa & Lori Bastien
These books are essential supplements to most standard piano methods. They are compilations of original, adapted, and composed technic exercises from the great European pedagogues of the 19th century as well as original works by Lisa Bastien. The series is designed to help students gain the ability to play the piano efficiently and comfortably while producing a beautiful sound. Close attention is give to the progression of concepts and includes the best exercises by Beyer, Czerny, Hanon, Schmitt, Gurlitt, Burgmüller, Türk, Wohlfahrt, and others. Useful Bastien teaching tips are also included.

Technic Classics Primer
Matches method series in which students learn notes from middle-C outward on the grand staff. Gives focus to lifting from the keys led by the wrists as well as shifting arm weight from one finger to the next. Playing melodic intervals and selected harmonic intervals (2nds, 3rds, 5ths) with the building blocks necessary for playing two- and three-note chords. Various note naming exercises are also included. Beautifully illustrated. A total of 26 exercises on 32 pages.

Technic Classics Level 1
This exercise book gives attention to many technic elements appropriate to early elementary piano students beginning with the down-up motion of the wrist in playing two-note slurs. Focus is also given to developing hands-together playing using mirror technics between the hands as well as parallel motion. It also includes preparation for playing 3-note chords including I and V7 chord (two-note) introduction. Up-touch staccato is introduced along with early experiences with playing staccato vs. legato between the hands. G and F positions are utilized. Agility exercises are notated in eighth notes and some early use of the damper pedal is explored. “Technic Challenges” ask students to transpose many of the exercises to other white keys. Has 52 exercises on 32 pages.

Technic Classics Level 2
Exercises by the master 19th century pedagogues appear more frequently throughout this book than the previous levels. Many exercises are included that build the skills needed for hands-together playing, agility development, finger crossing skills (needed to play fulloctave scales), melodic and harmonic 6ths, as well as I chords, inverted IV and V7 chords for cadences. Also included are hand-over-hand exercises and early experiences in voicing some notes louder than others within a series of eighth notes. Includes 58 exercises on 32 pages.

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NOBODY LIKE U and More for Contemporary A Cappella 15 December, 2023

recommended by Jen Sper and Lisa Springer, School Choral Music Specialists

Nobody Like U (from Turning Red) arr. Deke Sharon, SATB a cappella
Pixar’s “Turning Red” was a cheeky (and retro) look at adolescence and power dynamics between a mother and daughter that harbored surprisingly deep themes. FINNEAS (and other pop power players) penned the early-2000s-era soundtrack spins, and boy did they hit the nail on the head!

Price Tag arr. Bryan Sharpe, SSA a cappella
Jessie J’s most recognizable hit was featured in the fan-favorite movie “Pitch Perfect.” This contemporary a cappella treatment is just right for developing groups. Three conservative voice parts, a moderate-range solo (or small group), and notated vocal percussion pave the way for teens to successfully perform this popular style.

Dance! by Robert T. Gibson, SATB a cappella with body percussion/step routine
An outside-of-the-box rhythmic explosion that culminates with a notated step routine! Lyrics encourage listeners to “dance to the rhythm of your own drum,” embracing individuality and celebrating differences. The vocal percussion and satisfying parallel harmonies are a breeze to learn. Step instructions are included in the octavo, and an instructional video by composer Robert T. Gibson is available at alfred.com.

You’ll Be In My Heart arr. Kirby Shaw, SATB a cappella
Based on Phil Collins’ studio version from Disney’s “Tarzan,” this tender and loving arrangement will make a fine addition to your choral oeuvre.

Rock This Town arr. Kirby Shaw, SATB a cappella
The 1990s saw a popular revival of big band swing, and no one did it better than the Brian Setzer Orchestra. From the landmark album “Dirty Boogie,” the a cappella setting of the 16-bar blues classic will be an outstanding feature for your jazz choir!

What a Wonderful World arr. Tripp Carter, SATB a cappella
First recorded by Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. This arrangement captures the joyful spirit of the song while using limited ranges making it a great choice for any mixed ensemble.

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About the Authors:
Jen Sper is a Choral Music Specialist here at Stanton’s Sheet Music. A native of Cincinnati, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College (now University) Conservatory of Music, and taught 7-12 choir, music theory, class piano, and drama in Southern Ohio before joining the Stanton’s team in 2006. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, Jen can also often be found exploring the exciting restaurant, brewery, and theater scenes in Columbus, wandering through the local metro parks, visiting family around the Great Lakes, or at home with her very friendly cat.

Lisa Springer joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2023. She taught middle and high school choirs for 27 years in addition to serving as Artistic Director of the Columbus Women’s Chorus. She holds degrees from Heidelberg University and Cleveland Institute of Music. She has enjoyed an extensive professional singing career and continues to perform in the greater Columbus area. During her free time, she enjoys spending time in southern Ohio playing with her grandchildren.

Shepherd Songs by Joel Raney 14 December, 2023

recommended by Caryn G. and Christopher B., Sacred Piano Music Specialists

Shepherd Songs (12 Meditations on Psalm 23 for Solo Piano) by Joel Raney
The vast majority of sacred piano music is hymn settings, but pianists often need music that sets a certain tone without calling to mind familiar lyrics. Here are 12 original, reflective, piano compositions with optional parts for C instruments and cello. Some are somber and melancholy, ideal for communion and memorial services. Some are warm and hopeful, perfect for general worship and weddings. Most are simple in form and under three minutes with optional repeats. If you’re looking for something playable and pretty, this is the collection for you.

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About the Authors:
Caryn G. is a graduate of Trinity Lutheran College (Washington state). She has over 24 years of experience working at Stanton’s in both the Piano and Choral departments, specializing in sacred piano music. She is a church pianist/accompanist and has enjoyed being a piano teacher and singing in many choirs over the years. When not working at Stanton’s or at church, she loves spending time with family members and friends, traveling and exploring, watching movies, reading, bike riding and most recently trying to better her culinary knowledge and be a little more artsy by painting rocks and water coloring.

Christopher B. grew up in eastern Kentucky in a musically diverse family, and began playing organ at the age of 12. He majored in vocal performance with minors in keyboards and conducting at Marshall University and later received a Master of Theological Studies in congregational ministry from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Christopher has served as a church music director and organist for more than 20 years, presently serving as Director of Music and Worship Arts/Organist at Church of the Master United Methodist in Westerville, OH.

COMING IN JANUARY: Sacred Choral Reading Session for Spring & Easter 2024 13 December, 2023

Plan to attend Stanton’s Sacred Choral Clinic on Saturday, January 13th 2024, and you’ll be fully prepared for the next “holiday season.”

SACRED CHORAL READING SESSION
Saturday January 13th, 2024
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Stanton’s Sheet Music
James E. Strouse Workshop Hall
330 S Fourth Street, Columbus OH 43215
Cost: $25.00 (there is no pre-registration for this session; you may register the day of the clinic beginning at 8:30)
email our Choral Department for more details

We will be featuring the best new choral publications for Spring, Lent, Easter, and beyond, as chosen by Stanton’s experienced Sacred Choral Music Specialists.

Attending this clinic is a fantastic way for you to choose new church anthems for your choir by hearing the music read live. This January’s clinicians will be Stanton’s own Jennifer Fry and president emeritus Jim Strouse. Please feel free to contact Stanton’s at 1-800-42-MUSIC and speak with a Choral Music Specialist for the details of the event. We look forward to seeing you on January 13th for a wonderful morning of singing!

Expand Your Organ Library 12 December, 2023

recommended by Christopher B., Organ Music Specialist

The Ultimate Organ Book
This collection is a comprehensive compilation of organ music including a total of 151 titles. It is perhaps the most exhaustive volume of its type to have ever been published. The compiler has given careful attention to the needs of the church organist for interesting and practical organ literature of varying levels of difficulty for weddings, funerals, ordinary times in the church year, and for special seasons and days.

400 Last Verses
This entirely revised and reset edition of Noel Rawsthorne’s famous collection of 400 last-verse harmonies matches keys found in most recent major hymn books as well as those that have been in use for many years. You will find colourful, manageable arrangements requiring only a moderate technique.

The Essential Collection for the Church Organist
Edited and compiled by Jane Holstein, this essential collection contains 55 organ settings for the entire Church Year, as well as for weddings. The list of composers represents some of Hope’s best keyboard writers, and the tune index allows for quick, easy referencing. The level of difficulty ranges from easy to moderately difficult and the title selection presents a treasury of well-known hymns. Includes settings by: John Behnke, Doug Wagner, John Ferguson, Gordon Young, Joel Raney, Kenneth Lowenberg, Eleanor Whitsett, Sue Mitchell-Wallace, Don Hustad, and others!

The Essential Organist for Manuals
The bestselling original has been revised and enlarged with 10 more popular pieces that are requested for weddings, funerals and other special occasions – offering a bumper total of 70. A fabulous resource for the parish organist.

Essential Book of Funeral Music for Organ
This generous collection includes the fifty most popular and useful pieces for funerals and memorial services. They are arranged to be easily playable, requiring the minimum of practice for a busy organist.

The Oxford Book of Wedding Music
“The Oxford Book of Wedding Music” is the definitive collection of the most frequently requested organ music for weddings. All organists have their own particular favorites, but this volume brings together the small and select group of pieces that couples choose again and again: music that has stood the test of time, in practical arrangements that are designed to last.

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About the Author:
Christopher B. grew up in eastern Kentucky in a musically diverse family, and began playing organ at the age of 12. He majored in vocal performance with minors in keyboards and conducting at Marshall University and later received a Master of Theological Studies in congregational ministry from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Christopher has served as a church music director and organist for more than 20 years, presently serving as Director of Music and Worship Arts/Organist at Church of the Master United Methodist in Westerville, OH.

What Was I Made For: Choral Music from BARBIE 11 December, 2023

what was i made for jennifer lucy cook

recommended by Jen Sper and Lisa Springer, School Choral Music Specialists

What Was I Made For? arr. Jennifer Lucy Cook, SATB with piano
The “Barbie” movie deepened connections to the iconic toy doll with a sophisticated story and compelling soundtrack. Billie Eilish’s rumination on purpose and identify is given a towering choral arrangement courtesy of Jennifer Lucy Cook, with rich harmonies and diverse textures infusing the work, all while keeping the music’s message simple and clear.

What Was I Made For? arr. Andy Beck, SATB with piano
Here’s a melancholy Billie Eilish ballad from the “Barbie” soundtrack. Introspective lyrics reflect on finding your place in the world. A poignant opening solo, expressive choral parts, and an ethereal piano accompaniment make this heartfelt arrangement equally appropriate for concert and show choirs. In the end, singers convey the assurance that happiness is “something I’m made for.”

Dance the Night arr. Alan Billingsley, SATB with piano
Dua Lipa rocked movie theaters around the world with her thrilling contribution to the “Barbie” soundtrack! Destined to become an icon of disco-pop style, the catchy, rhythmic hook and good-time lyrics make you want to move and groove. Your choir will have a blast, and your audience is sure to be on their feet! Don’t miss Alan’s soundalike SoundTrax accompaniment.

Dance the Night arr. Rob Dietz, SSATB a cappella
Here’s the smash hit from “Barbie” in a contemporary a cappella setting by popular aca-pop arranger Rob Dietz. The driving adaptation gives every section of the choir a chance to shine, with no soloists required. For even more fun, simple body percussion kicks it up a notch, and optional vocal percussion may be improvised. “Dance the night away!”

I’m Just Ken arr. Mac Huff, T(T)B with piano and optional rhythm
From the movie, “Barbie,” this 80s’-styled ballad has a fun and lighthearted lyric, all from Ken’s “in Barbie’s shadow” point of view. It’s the perfect novelty song for your Tenor/Bass groups!

Closer to Fine arr. Roger Emerson, SATB with piano and optional rhythm
Join Barbie on her road trip with this classic folk-rock hit covered by Brandi and Catherine Carlile in the hit film “Barbie.” Originally written by Indigo Girls, this song still resonates with young people seeking answers to life’s big questions. Fun but slightly enigmatic lyrics are paired with an upbeat melody and catchy chorus. The arrangement keeps the harmonies fresh and simple, with syncopation and countermelodies hearkening back to the original version.

Choose Your Fighter arr. Jack Zaino, SATB with piano
Ava Max’s exhilarating “Barbie” hit embraces individuality and encourages us to design our own paths. A caffeinated a cappella opening gives way to a dance-pop hook that really packs a punch! It’s a high-energy anthem that will have your audience singing along: “Wings of a butterfly, eyes of a tiger…choose your fighter!”

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About the Authors:
Jen Sper is a Choral Music Specialist here at Stanton’s Sheet Music. A native of Cincinnati, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College (now University) Conservatory of Music, and taught 7-12 choir, music theory, class piano, and drama in Southern Ohio before joining the Stanton’s team in 2006. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, Jen can also often be found exploring the exciting restaurant, brewery, and theater scenes in Columbus, wandering through the local metro parks, visiting family around the Great Lakes, or at home with her very friendly cat.

Lisa Springer joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2023. She taught middle and high school choirs for 27 years in addition to serving as Artistic Director of the Columbus Women’s Chorus. She holds degrees from Heidelberg University and Cleveland Institute of Music. She has enjoyed an extensive professional singing career and continues to perform in the greater Columbus area. During her free time, she enjoys spending time in southern Ohio playing with her grandchildren.

What Child Is This: Piano/Organ Duets for Christmas 08 December, 2023

recommended by Christopher B., Organ Music Specialist

What Child Is This? arr. Ron Sprunger & Linda Sprunger
Featuring the creative writing skills of veteran arrangers Ron and Linda Sprunger, this diverse and sparkling addition to the Christmas repertoire for organ and piano duets is a treasure. Classic Christmas melodies and yuletide favorites are included in this rich collection. Two copies are required for performance. Titles include: “What Child Is This?,” “Adoration,” “He Is Born, the Divine Christ Child,” “O Holy Night,” “Manger Carols,” “Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “Go, Tell It on the Mountain,” “The First Noel,” and “Love Has Come!”

The Sunday Morning Organist, Volume 11: Christmas Duos
This Christmas edition of the Sunday Morning Organist includes 14 arrangements for organ and piano. Classic carols capture the spirit of the season, and provide a memorable experience for your congregation. Featured in the collection are traditional Christmas hymns as well as show-stopping seasonal suites that can be used as both preludes and postludes. Bring in good tidings for all with Organ and Piano Christmas Duos. Title include: “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Joy to the World,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night,” and more.

A Christmas Festival arr. Jerry van der Pol
Organ/Piano duet teams will enjoy this easy to play, energetic medley of familiar Christmas season tunes. Church congregations will enjoy the beauty and energy it adds to worship services as well. Tunes used are: “Shepherds, Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep,” “As Lately We Watched,” and “Still, Still, Still.” Two parts are included in each cover.

Noel! He Is Born arr. Marilynn Ham & Lyndell Leatherman
This festive collection of organ and piano duets combines the talents of Marilynn Ham and Lyndell Leatherman. Based on familiar Christmas carols, the duets provide partners with bold options for their worship services. Titles include: “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,” “Sing We Now of Christmas,” “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” “He Is Born, the Divine Christ Child,” “I Saw Three Ships,” and “The First Noel.”

What Shall I Give to the Child? arr. David Sarandon
This compendium of Christmas arrangements brings together the talents of five masters of the genre, such as John Innes, Gilbert M. Martin, and Douglas E. Wagner, to provide organ-and-piano-duet partners with a season’s worth of glorious settings. Including Advent as well as Christmas titles, this book will become an annual favorite at your church. Two copies are required for performance. Titles include: “What Shall I Give to the Child?,” “Once in Royal David’s City,” “The First Nowell,” “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” “I Wonder as I Wander,” “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” and “What Child Is This?.”

Come to Bethlehem (Sparkling Carol Duets Reflecting the Colors of Christmas) arr. Douglas E. Wagner
In a refreshing departure from traditional organ and piano offerings, Doug Wagner has created six uniquely stylized carol-based works that display the wide range of tonal colors and emotions that this versatile combination brings to the worship or concert setting. From the sparkling strains of “What Shall I Give to the Child?,” to the introspective meanderings of “I Wonder as I Wander,” the music of Christmas is presented with skill and imagination, idiomatically representative of each instrument. We hope that you will find this diverse collection as we have, fun to play, musically satisfying, and full of the sounds that warm the heart and delight the ear this joyous time of year. Two copies are required for performance. Titles include: “What Shall I Give to the Child?,” “On Christmas Night,” “I Wonder as I Wander,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

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About the Author:
Christopher B. grew up in eastern Kentucky in a musically diverse family, and began playing organ at the age of 12. He majored in vocal performance with minors in keyboards and conducting at Marshall University and later received a Master of Theological Studies in congregational ministry from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Christopher has served as a church music director and organist for more than 20 years, presently serving as Director of Music and Worship Arts/Organist at Church of the Master United Methodist in Westerville, OH.

1989 (Taylor’s Version) 07 December, 2023

1989 (Taylor’s Version) for Piano/Vocal/Guitar
Swift Mania continues in 2023 with Taylor’s Version of her first fully pop album “1989.” After its very first day of release, it had already garnered the third-largest sales of any album in 2023! This folio features all the tracks from the release, including the original songs plus the five new “From the Vault” tracks, arranged for piano and voice with guitar chord frames.

Titles include: “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” “Bad Blood,” “Blank Space,” “Clean,” “How You Get the Girl,” “I Know Places,” “I Wish You Would,” “Is It over Now?,” “New Romantics,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Out of the Woods,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Shake It Off,” “Slut!,” “Style,” “Suburban Legends,” “This Love,” “Welcome to New York,” “Wildest Dreams,” “Wonderland,” and “You Are in Love.”

More “Taylor’s Version” folios available are Speak Now, Red, and Fearless.

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International Sound Stories 06 December, 2023

recommended by Jen Sper and Lisa Springer, School Choral & Classroom Music Specialists

International Sound Stories: Folk Tales, Fables, and Poems for the Music Classroom by Anna Wentlent
Promote full listening, encourage active participation, and make cultural connections with this useful collection of literature from around the world. 20 folk tales, fables, and poems have been thoughtfully selected from a variety of countries with rich storytelling traditions, including India, Korea, Hawaii, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, Ghana, and more.

Each tale includes specific sound effects, melodic patterns, and rhythmic ostinati for sound exploration on common classroom instruments. You may choose to read and play as written, use them as inspiration for student creation (such as curated playlists or digital compositions), or even employ them as a resource for interdisciplinary work. For convenience, each story is also included as a PDF to project or print. Recommended for Grades 1-6.

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About the Authors:
Jen Sper is a Choral Music Specialist here at Stanton’s Sheet Music. A native of Cincinnati, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College (now University) Conservatory of Music, and taught 7-12 choir, music theory, class piano, and drama in Southern Ohio before joining the Stanton’s team in 2006. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, Jen can also often be found exploring the exciting restaurant, brewery, and theater scenes in Columbus, wandering through the local metro parks, visiting family around the Great Lakes, or at home with her very friendly cat.

Lisa Springer joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2023. She taught middle and high school choirs for 27 years in addition to serving as Artistic Director of the Columbus Women’s Chorus. She holds degrees from Heidelberg University and Cleveland Institute of Music. She has enjoyed an extensive professional singing career and continues to perform in the greater Columbus area. During her free time, she enjoys spending time in southern Ohio playing with her grandchildren.

Piano Duets for Elementary Students 05 December, 2023

Next to You by Jyoti Hench
This collection of six piano duets celebrates the joy of duet playing at the elementary level. Both the primo and secondo parts are equal in level of difficulty and expressive melodic content. Students will enjoy playing primo on some duets, and secondo on others. Making music next to another musician playing at the same piano is an unmatchable experience. Titles include: “The Old Clock Tower,” “Double Rainbow,” “Watermelon Wiggle,” “Brownie Sundae,” “Long Little Dog,” and “First Bass Line.”

Birthday Buddies by Jyoti Hench
Birthdays are an essential part of childhood, and they are best celebrated with others. “Birthday Buddies” brings the theme of birthday celebration to the piano – with a friend! The six duets in this collection feature primo and secondo parts that are equally matched in level of difficulty and melodic interest. Emphasis is placed on imagery, storytelling and drama. Titles include: “Legend of the Piñata,” “Pin the Tail,” “Surprise Party!,” “The Perfect Present,” and “Whipped Cream Frosting.”

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Take a Look at Us Now! New Pops for Middle School Choir 04 December, 2023

recommended by Jen Sper and Lisa Springer, School Choral Music Specialists

Take a Look at Us Now (from Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile) arr. Mac Huff, SAB with piano and optional combo
Based on the best-selling children’s book series, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” was released to positive reviews and even better word-of-mouth. Composers Pasek and Paul infuse every square inch of this song with energy and spirit!

Price Tag arr. Bryan Sharpe, 3-part mixed/SAB a cappella
Jessie J’s most recognizable hit was featured in the fan-favorite movie “Pitch Perfect.” This contemporary a cappella treatment is just right for developing groups. Three conservative voice parts, a moderate-range solo (or small group), and notated vocal percussion pave the way for teens to successfully perform this popular style.

Sing arr. Audrey Snyder, 3-part mixed with piano
This blazing, energetic hit from the vocal group, Pentatonix, is carefully crafted to be easily accessible for younger singers. Perform it at the tempo you wish, or take it up to full speed with the exciting audio accompaniment!

go the distance roger emerson

Go the Distance (from Hercules) arr. Roger Emerson, 3-part mixed with piano
This exciting song from the Walt Disney animated feature, “Hercules,” has been skillfully arranged by Roger Emerson for upper elementary, middle school, and beginning high school ensembles. With a timeless message of perseverance, the song is certain to be a favorite of singers and audiences alike.

September arr. Roger Emerson, 3-part mixed with piano
“September,” performed by Earth, Wind & Fire, holds the honor of being one of the most popular songs of all time. With a limited range and many unison passages, this arrangement is easy to sing and makes a great opener or closer for your ensemble.

We’re Going to Be Friends arr. Mac Huff, 2-part with piano and optional rhythm
Mac Huff’s spirited 2-part arrangement is a bright new take on the nostalgic original by The White Stripes, notably featured in the film “Napoleon Dynamite.” With an unpretentious, easy-to-learn melody and catchy rhythms, this is the perfect back-to-school morale-booster for your young choir.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough arr. Roger Emerson, 2-part with piano and optional combo
“Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough to keep me from gettin’ to you, babe.” This #1 hit from 1970 by Diana Ross still has super appeal, and Roger Emerson’s arrangement has all the drive of the original, building to a powerful finish. A fantastic closer!

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About the Authors:
Jen Sper is a Choral Music Specialist here at Stanton’s Sheet Music. A native of Cincinnati, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College (now University) Conservatory of Music, and taught 7-12 choir, music theory, class piano, and drama in Southern Ohio before joining the Stanton’s team in 2006. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, Jen can also often be found exploring the exciting restaurant, brewery, and theater scenes in Columbus, wandering through the local metro parks, visiting family around the Great Lakes, or at home with her very friendly cat.

Lisa Springer joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2023. She taught middle and high school choirs for 27 years in addition to serving as Artistic Director of the Columbus Women’s Chorus. She holds degrees from Heidelberg University and Cleveland Institute of Music. She has enjoyed an extensive professional singing career and continues to perform in the greater Columbus area. During her free time, she enjoys spending time in southern Ohio playing with her grandchildren.

Yes You Can! 01 December, 2023

recommended by Jen Sper and Lisa Springer, School Choral Music Specialists

Yes, You Can! (The Band Director’s Guide to Teaching Choirs) by Derrick Fox
“Yes, You Can! The Band Teacher’s Guide to Teaching Choirs” deals directly with the challenges faced by a teacher transitioning from conducting band to chorus. The handbook pairs pedagogical theory with concrete examples of exercises, techniques, and detailed solutions to common challenges, including dealing with changing voices in a young SATB choir. Fox pulls on his firsthand experience to create a handbook which is essential for the library of any band teacher hoping to teach choirs.

Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
Jen Sper is a Choral Music Specialist here at Stanton’s Sheet Music. A native of Cincinnati, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College (now University) Conservatory of Music, and taught 7-12 choir, music theory, class piano, and drama in Southern Ohio before joining the Stanton’s team in 2006. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, Jen can also often be found exploring the exciting restaurant, brewery, and theater scenes in Columbus, wandering through the local metro parks, visiting family around the Great Lakes, or at home with her very friendly cat.

Lisa Springer joined the Stanton’s choral staff in July 2023. She taught middle and high school choirs for 27 years in addition to serving as Artistic Director of the Columbus Women’s Chorus. She holds degrees from Heidelberg University and Cleveland Institute of Music. She has enjoyed an extensive professional singing career and continues to perform in the greater Columbus area. During her free time, she enjoys spending time in southern Ohio playing with her grandchildren.