News & Views Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Category: Orchestra

For Orchestra: THE AVENGERS 28 June, 2019

leon-04491189-frecommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

The Avengers (Main Theme) arr. Larry Moore, Grade 3-4
The superheroes are back, and more popular (and powerful) than ever! Alan Silvestri’s theme perfectly portrays the excitement and heroics of the new blockbuster film, and Larry Moore brings energy and excitement to this arrangement for string orchestra.

Music from The Avengers arr. Larry Moore, Grade 3-4
Alan Silvestri’s powerful themes perfectly portray the excitement and adventure of this blockbuster super-hero film, and Larry Moore brings it all to the concert stage with this superb montage for strings. Includes: “Arrival,” “The Avengers Theme,” “Helicarrier,” “A Promise,” “Tunnel Chase.”

leon-04626494-fCaptain America March arr. Sean O’Loughlin, Grade 3-4
Veteran film composer Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Polar Express) brings a brilliant adventure theme to this year’s blockbuster action film, Captain America. Fanfares, bold and contrasting themes, and rhythmic drive make this a distinctive symphonic march.

Theme from Ant-Man arr. Sean O’Loughlin, Grade 3-4
From Marvel’s recent blockbuster film, Christophe Beck’s main theme is deliciously dark and ominous. This skillfully arranged version for the concert use skillfully brings all the drama of the original to life.

Black Panther arr. Larry Moore, Grade 3-4
From the blockbuster movie Black Panther comes an equally powerful score by Ludwig Göransson. This dynamic collection features many of the important themes, including “Ancestral Plane,” “Waterfall Fight,” “Killmonger” and “United Nations/End Titles.”

leon-530865Music from Black Panther arr. Robert Longfield, Grade 2-3
The film score for the blockbuster movie Black Panther is as dramatic and powerful as the movie itself. Here is a practical, accessible setting of the main themes carefully arranged for strings. Includes “Ancestral Plane,” “Waterfall Fight” and “United Nations/End Titles.”

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

Make Music Day 2019 21 June, 2019

OrchestraOn June 21st over 1,000 cities in more than 120 countries will be celebrating Make Music Day from sunup to sundown. This all day festival welcomes everybody to make music anywhere! Play outside or on social media, just MAKE MUSIC!

France started Fête De La Musique in 1982 to celebrate free and live music everywhere with everyone. Translated, Fête De La Musique means both “festival of music” and “make music!” Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, was chosen for the new holiday. Make Music Day has grown in such popularity that it shuts down the streets in France so musicians may take over!

Make Music Day can be organized as a small back yard concert or as a national event. The NAMM Foundation took up the US sponsorship of Make Music Day. They have resources for those who want to host an event. You can even join their Make Music Alliance to get assistance in promotion, sponsorship, and tech support – visit makemusicday.org if you want to know more.

This is Stanton’s Sheet Music’s third year participating in Make Music Day. Each year, we leave our recital hall open to those who would like to make music. This year, we are featuring some of our very own Sheet Music Specialists as our featured musicians. Catch any of our performances on our Facebook page!

If you participate from home, consider sharing your performance on social media and giving us a shout out! Feel free to tag us and use these hashtags to reach more people!

#makethemostmusic #MakeMusicDay

Drum Line

Cross Cultural Options for String Orchestra 27 March, 2019

grandm-gmmor204-frecommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Ireland, Scotland and Mexico all have wonderful musical traditions that can be experienced by your string players with these three offerings at the Grade 2-3 level. Stanton’s always looks for good teaching opportunities, satisfying parts for all sections and positive programmability in the literature they recommend, and these all meet the qualifications. You can’t go wrong with any or all of these top notch titles.

Siesta Dream by David Bobrowitz, Grade 2+
It is obviously Latin, but Bobrowitz steers clear of many of the rhythmic stereotypes, so your students are really going to have to read the rhythms to feel how they fall into the pulse of the piece. They will find the groove naturally, but counting is crucial. The optional maracas will help solidify the beat and with the memorable melody laid over the top, you’ll have a wonderful Lain change-of-pace. Dulces sueños!

grandm-gmmor198-fAnnie Laurie arr. David Bobrowitz, Grade 2+
Are you working on expression and finesse with your middle school/young high school players? “Annie Laurie” is the perfect vehicle to help teach those concepts. The well-known tune is heard in the first violins and cellos, but it is the accompaniment parts that will provide practice in making the piece come alive in its exquisite beauty. It’s the tremolo, pizzicato, rolling eighth note passages, stretched phrases and lush harmonies all happening unobtrusively under the tune that will bring a collective sigh from the audience as the pieces winds to a close at the final morendo.

fjh-st6449-fSheehan’s Pub Band by Chris Thomas, Grade 3
Sounding as if it is a standard Irish jig, this spritely 6/8 romp is actually an original composition inspired by the composer’s visit to Sheehan’s Pub in Killarney, Ireland. The melodic material is shared amongst all of the sections, so everyone gets a crack at manipulating the 6/8 rhythms and coordinating the left and right hands. If you are looking for a piece to work on 6/8 at the Grade 3 level, this one is ideal. It is wonderfully melodic and contains all the rhythmic possibilities in that time signature – including a few surprising rests! Fiddle music is one genre that string players can claim as their own – no one else can fiddle like fiddlers! So take full advantage of the uniqueness of string instruments and give this one a try. You won’t regret it!

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

Take a Trip With Your Young String Players 06 March, 2019

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Not only can you teach new musical concepts to your young players, you can give them some geographical references along the way. Stanton’s always looks for pieces that give everyone interesting parts to play along with many learning opportunities, and these are no exception. Travel to Mexico, England and Ireland with these three winners at the grade 1 to 1½ level and bring the audience along for the ride. You could even add a social studies lesson if you’d like.

cfn-bas77-fSound the Trumpets arr. Deborah Baker Monday, Grade 1
Reminiscent of “Simple Gifts,” another Shaker tune, this one was originally called “Mother’s Golden Trumpet” and appeared in a collection for Christmas. It could be used on a holiday concert, but would easily fit in any musical presentation. It could also be used within a cross-cultural curriculum. There is some part-independence, with cascading entrances plus always-solid, veteran arranger Ms. Monday scored it especially for equal playing among sections. There are some quirky, odd-measure phrases typical of this “old-timey” music which adds to the charm. Perfect for starting out your second year players at the beginning of the school year.

kendor-8301-fHuevos Rancheros by George T. Brueh, Grade 1+
Here’s a catchy tune inspired by a popular Mexican breakfast! Your first and/or second year players will have a blast with this little Latin loop-de-loop. There are suggestions on the score to help teach the syncopated Latin rhythms. Cellos and basses keep a groove going, but sometimes join the others in rhythmic unisons, and everybody gets to remember where to lay in the C naturals. Buen Apetito!

fjh-st6458-fWhere the River Shannon Flows arr. Brian Balmages, Grade 1.5
Young players often like to play loud and fast, but every now and then they need to play sweet and slow to build maturity and musicality plus develop their listening skills and their sense of ensemble. Here is the perfect Grade 1.5 piece to that end. Starting with the eponymous, beautiful Irish love song, Brian Balmages uses his unique orchestrating skills and lush harmonic sense to weave the melody through an increasingly complex series of textures and colors without using any rhythms more involved than quarter notes or any notes out of first position, except for basses. Fourth fingers are recommended in the violins and violas to avoid open strings for a less strident tone. The piece has a natural flow at almost any tempo, but you won’t want to take it too fast. The melody in cellos and basses adds some subtle moments of tension as the piece moves toward its glorious climax. Don’t let this one slip your attention. It is absolutely stunning.

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

All Together Now! String Orchestra Festival 22 February, 2019

fjh-st6454-frecommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

As the Grand Finale to your Spring Concert, consider putting all your groups together from Beginners to High School for a Mass Festival presentation of Electric Sinfonia by Lauren Bernofsky. Scored with three levels of ability – Grades ½, 1½ and 2½ – your better players can easily nail down the upper part, you can put your starters on the easiest part (all pizzicato) and fill in the middle with everyone else. A constant eighth-note rock groove makes it easy for everyone to fit their part into the mix. Add some polish and your parents will be so proud!

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

Add Pizzazz to Your Next String Orchestra Concert 06 February, 2019

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Are your young students ready to climb to the Grade 2 – 2½ level? Here are four sparkling titles you should not miss. Each one has the feel of exciting movie music, plus great scoring to give everyone interesting parts and they are chock full of techniques to teach with – a win/win for everybody! Don’t miss any of them!

alfred-46685-fL’improviste Vignette by Michael Kamuf, Grade 2
L’improviste means “an unexpected episode” and this refreshing Vignette certainly reflects that concept. Sounding like a French travel film score, its well-shared, soaring, twin melodies float over grippingly syncopated accompaniments using surprisingly colorful chords that come across as very mature for your young players. Sounding way more difficult than it is, it is all in first position in E minor, right in the Grade 2 pocket. It is in 4/4 time, but when the accented syncopations are correctly articulated, it can almost sound multi-metered, adding to the maturity factor. Following the dynamic extremes will really make it come to life and the big ending makes it an ideal concert opener or closer.

alfred-46705-fSparks by Chris Bernotas, Grade 2
There are some composers who have a “spark” in their writing that puts them on a higher plane than many of their contemporaries. Chris Bernotas is one of those composers. He had immediate success with his concert band material, and thank goodness he has stretched himself into writing for strings with ever increasing accomplishment. Not coincidentally, “Sparks” has that Bernotas “spark,” so you will definitely want to pay keen attention to this fiery formulation. A fabulous lesson in counting subdivisions, once your students feel the groove of the accents and syncopation, this piece will come alive! In the string-friendly key of E Minor, the melody, which is shared generously among the sections, is primarily step-wise with sharply contrasting E octave jumps that really give it momentum. With all these factors, plus the variety of textures that are woven throughout the piece, “Sparks” is destined to become one of those pieces that your students will want to play again and again. Light that fuse!

cfn-YAS184-fNorthwestern Skies by Alan Lee Silva, Grade 2
Alan Lee Silva has been a favorite of Stanton’s staff for a long time. His music is always refreshing and often sounds like the film score to a travelogue. In “Northwestern Skies,” as in many of his compositions, his harmonies are colored with major sevenths and ninths, he gives snippets of melody to every section, and entrances are often on offbeats so there is always a forward motion to his pieces. This one will not disappoint. We bet that it will make adjudication lists throughout the country and could certainly be used as a select piece anywhere.

grandm-GMMOR196-fIncognito by Kathryn Griesinger, Grade 2+
Here is a great teaching piece for F and C naturals (low 1 and 2 in upper strings), offbeat rhythms, string crossing, easy slurred sixteenth-notes and hearing how effective a minor second can be for producing chills! In the keys of A minor and E minor (through the use of accidentals), it will keep the players’ interest with something for everyone to do and will make a fun concert piece for a late October Halloween concert or any time you want a lighter work that has educational value.

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

On the Lighter Side – for String Orchestra 30 January, 2019

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Here is some “dessert” after the “meat and potatoes” of more serious string orchestra literature. The movie music, rock and blues offered here will give your students a nice break, but still keep them playing – and with pleasure! They can have fun and learn something about the idiosyncrasies of popular music as well. Spanning Grade 2 to 4, there is something for everyone.

leon-527964Remember Me (from Coco) arr. James Kazik, Grade 2
With a story of Mexican folklore and with characteristic music, here is a terrific setting of the main song, as Pixar Studios strikes gold again with their imaginative and original animated film Coco. The opening is in a lyric, ballad style, and then shifts to a faster tempo with a mariachi flavor.
TEACH • keeping melody out front • accidentals • pop rhythms
ORCHESTRATION • short violin solo, add piano & Latin percussion
PERFORMANCE • sweet song that movie goers and all will enjoy

leon-04492258-fMusic from Coco arr. Larry Moore, Grade 3-4
With four powerful new songs from the Pixar hit film, Larry Moore’s medley captures the rich heritage and cultural flavor of Mexican folk music, heard throughout the movie’s soundtrack. Includes Remember Me, Un Poco Loco, Lsa Llorona, Proud Corazon.
TEACH • Latin feel • watch the conductor • key and time changes
ORCHESTRATION • melody shared, can add piano & drumset
PERFORMANCE • folks will be smiling and tapping their toes

leon-527957Highlights from The Greatest Showman arr. James Kazik, Grade 3-4
The music from this blockbuster film has captured the imagination of the entertainment world, including countless awards and nominations. From the songwriting team who brought us Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land, the movie musical The Greatest Showman is based on the true story of P.T. Barnum with Hugh Jackman in the title role. Includes The Greatest Show, A Million Dreams, Never Enough, This Is Me and Tightrope.
TEACH • transitions • syncopation • accidentals • key/time changes
ORCHESTRATION • short cello solo, add piano & percussion
PERFORMANCE • movie medleys are always crowd favorites

leon-04492064-fFinn McCool by Robert Buckley, Easy
Over the past several decades, when writers attempt to write a fairly easy blues tune for string orchestra, it pretty much falls flat. Robert Buckley has changed all that! Man, what a great groove! Finn McCool is the coolest! Keeping an almost constant eighth note pulse in one part or another, he liberally passes around melodic material, then begins to layer the themes, with lots of “blue” notes (dominant sevenths) in a modified blues form, which is a music lesson in and of itself. Add dynamics, accents and staccatos for authenticity and everyone involved will have a guaranteed blast.

fjh-ST6447-fGrand Central by Rick Hirsch, Grade 3
With the popularity of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and other rock-oriented string groups, Grand Central is a real approachable number for better middle school and high school string players who want to get involved in the pop style, but may not quite have the “chops” for some of the tougher pieces. Calling for some “serious gusto,” you will instill your students with a driving sense of time and rhythm with this bluesy groover, bringing out accents with clear articulations and figuring out the syncopated rhythmic patterns. There is also an improvisation section, with the D Mixolydian scale provided upon which to base your students’ creative spontaneity. There are also suggestions on how to help students gain vocabulary and comfort level in playing “off the script” of the written music. To help propel the music along, add the optional drumset or orchestral percussion and have a blast with this bustling, energetic urban jazz/rocker.

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

Classical Transcriptions for Mid-to-Upper Level Strings 07 January, 2019

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Here are Stanton’s Top Choice Classical Transcriptions for concerts and adjudications for this school year. Every string orchestra section gets interesting parts to play, each title contains all kinds of musical skills to teach and/or reinforce, and every one of them will bring pleasure to the players and the audience. None of these titles have been arranged for string orchestra before, yet it is standard classical repertoire. What a wonderful opportunity to introduce your students to new, top quality music. This is outstanding literature that needs to be experienced!

leon-04492072-fLa Finta Semplice Overture, K. 51 by W.A. Mozart/arr. Jamin Hoffman, Grade 3-4
If you want to introduce your high school players to the magic of Mozart, this would be an ideal tool for that purpose. Wolfy wrote it when he was 12 years old, and while it showed maturity beyond his years, he was still a novice, as your young students are, so it’s a match made in heaven. This is especially true if your first violins are your strongest section, since they get the bulk of the melodic content. Work on spiccato bowing, forte-pianos and the chromatic accidentals to catch the sparkle of the Mozart style.

fjh-ST6443-fSymphony #6, First Movement by Ludwig van Beethoven/arr. Robert D. McCashin, Grade 3.5
Every high school orchestra student needs to experience Beethoven. And what better piece than a movement from one of his famous symphonies? We don’t recall ever seeing an arrangement of the First Movement from Beethoven’s Symphony #6 (“Pastorale”) in recent history. And what a delight! In Beethoven’s words, it evokes “pleasant feelings which awaken…on arriving in the countryside.” The music is peaceful and tranquil, and at the same time spritely and effervescent. In 2/4 with the quarter note = 104-108, it bubbles along like a babbling brook. It is in the key of F, like the original, which shouldn’t tax students at this level. There are accidentals, triplets (and 3 against 2) double stops, staccato vs legato and other techniques typical of the Classical/early Romantic period. Robert McCashin has done an absolutely superb job with this transcription. Do yourself and your students a huge favor and get this masterpiece from the inimitable Ludwig van.

kendor-10088-fNorwegian Dance Opus 35, No. 1 by Edvard Grieg/arr. Deborah Baker Monday, Grade 3
Teach your students the importance of scales (“Why do we have to practice these things?”) because they will be needing fingerings for the natural, harmonic and melodic D Minor scales as well as the A Major scale for G# accidentals. Your second violins get to review the notes on their G string and the violas, their C string, and everyone gets work on chromatic accidentals. Every section gets some action so no one can complain about boring parts, plus the lively tune may bring to mind Grieg’s famous “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” Outstanding concert addition or adjudication option.

grandm-GMMOR210-fDrink to Me Only with Thine Eyes arr. David Bobrowitz, Grade 3
The familiar melody was written in the late 1700s to words playwright Ben Johnson penned in 1616, so there is some history here! But it’s not the same old stuff you may expect. There are jazz harmonies with Neapolitan twists, unexpected rhythmic quirks and a contrasting pizzicato section that will get everyone’s attention. With a key change from C to D and everyone getting a crack at the melody, your students will enjoy playing it and your audience will get a thrill hearing it as well. Don’t miss this one!

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

A Plethora of Programmatic Possibilities for Strings 03 December, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

When your high school winter concert is over, have a few of these outstanding titles waiting in the wings to keep the momentum going. In a wide range of styles, they have interesting, active parts for everyone, so no one will complain of boredom, plus technical elements that can be taught while everyone is enjoying the music and won’t realize they are learning something! Every title would be a outstanding adjudication option and/or a memorable concert addition.

fjh-st6457-fA Riverside Celebration by Brian Balmages, Grade 2.5-3
Written in honor of a retiring Riverside, Illinois music teacher, this rhythmic energizer captures the playfulness of students thriving under the direction of a great teacher and features a memorable melody intentionally designed to stay with the listener long after the piece is over, a reflection of how music teachers never really retire! There is optional percussion (splash cymbal, ride cymbal and tambourine) which would add nice color and stability, but the string writing is so infectiously rhythmic, that it could be done without the percussion, if necessary. All in first position, except for basses, there are a few accidentals and some doublestops using fingered notes with open strings, but otherwise the name of the game is rhythm! Taken in 2, with the quarter note = c. 200, there are a few bars in 3/4 time that create additional momentum, plus a few moments of slight restraint and others that are just carefree childlike fun. The rousing A Riverside Celebration is destined to become one of Balmages best-selling pieces. Don’t miss it!

alfred-46710-fMoment at Angels Landing by Bob Phillips, Grade 3
Written in memory of string teacher and singer/songwriter Jenny McGraw from Waverly, Michgan, here is a beautiful, lyric piece that gives every section melodic content and some shifting, even second violins! With hints of The Water is Wide and quotes of Amazing Grace, your cellos get some of the spotlight as the orchestra subtly wends its way through various meters in the keys of C major and C minor. You can also emphasize a sustained and legato sound with connected bow strokes and sensitive phrasing. A gorgeous change of pace for serious settings.

cfn-cas112-fUnleashed by Peter Terry, Grade 3
Capture the exhilaration of being set in motion with unlimited optimism and energy! Unleashed is a rhythmic and propulsive galop that spins off lyrical material as it drives to a climactic finish that is both exciting and fun. Subdivided counting is key, as well as keeping the pulse steady as the piece propels itself forward. Sure to be a showstopper!

Yumiweeus by Richard Meyer, Grade 4
Echoing the increasingly popular, youthfully mature notion of “coming together to common ground,” this joyful and jubilant piece has the sound of a celebration and a title that describes how music unites us all – (You-Me-We-Us!) Written primarily as a Theme and Six Variations, Richard Meyer puts your players through their paces with various time signatures (5/4, 3+3+2/8 among others), key signatures and modes (E Ionian and more) to keep them challenged. Duets featuring the first stand players of every section introduce the first five variations and a virtuosic final variation closes the piece. So many of Meyer’s pieces have that “it” factor that puts them in a class by themselves, and Yumiweeus does not disappoint. If you’re got the horses this year, be sure to consider this winner.

kendor-9961-fAria for Strings by Frank J. Halferty, Grade 4
To help your high school students build their maturity of sound and musicality, this gorgeous, singing selection will increase their awareness, through listening to each other, how their parts all fit together and whose line should dominate in the musical fabric at any given moment. Lower voices should lead crescendos for richness and fullness, but must not decay too slowly on decrescendos, leaving the upper voices unsupported. These are among the many subtleties in this piece that can be taught to make a group that much more musical – plus you’ll have a beautiful contrasting piece to your more lively literature in your repertoire.

grandm-gmmor194-fScherzo on Rising Water by Robert Moore, Grade 4
If you have students that have pretty good “chops,” love to tackle grade 4 material, and enjoy music off the beaten track, be sure to check out Scherzo for Rising Water. It’s crazily syncopated enough that at first it’s difficult to find the downbeat, but then, like storm clouds opening, the sun shines through and you are flowing with the tide. When all the parts fit together it’s got a great groove, much like quirky video game music, but it will take intense counting and subdivision from the start to make that happen. If your students are up to the challenge, they will absolutely love this one.

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

Positive Opportunities for Your Beginning String Orchestra 06 November, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Once your first and second year students have worked hard and learned the lessons in their beginning method books, give them a chance to play some “real” music that is not part of the book. You can incorporate their class material and maybe some new technical concepts with these wonderful pieces and stretch their musicality as well. Plus your students will have some excellent new music for their next concert!

cfn-pas22-fContemplation by Larry Clark, Grade 0.5
The composer’s aim: “I want the students to be able to stretch their musicianship beyond their experience on their instrument to play in a contemplative manner. It is something that cannot be stressed enough, even in students who have just begun to play.” Beginners should be able to reach this selection technically, but will have to stretch musically. The notes and rhythms are limited, so students can strive for beauty of tone, good phrasing and emotional involvement. It will make them better musicians, and give them a wonderful piece to play for their families and other audience members.

alfred-46715-fSpring at Last by Doug Spata, Grade 1.5
You know that feeling when you step out into the late April/early May sunshine and you can just tell that the chill of winter is finally over? The grass is brilliant green, the earth smells rich and fertile, the birds are singing and the bugs are buzzing, and you know it’s “Spring at Last!” The inimitable Doug Spata has captured that moment musically in this fun, fresh offering, and it almost literally “springs” off the page. At a Grade 1.5, it is very playable, plus it has great teaching opportunities. The interesting, angular melodies with arpeggiated skips will require string crossing (some with slurs), plus you can work on staccato bowing, repeats with first and second endings and counting rhythms in cut time. Two orchestra sections are often scored in unison to support the melody, sometimes pairing second violins with cellos or violas with basses and various other combinations. This spritely selection is sure to have players and audience smiling by the end.

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

“Silent Night” 200th Anniversary 03 October, 2018

maxresdefault (1)“Silent Night” (German: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xavier Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria.

In 2018, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of this lovely carol, and festivals and events are planned in commemoration around the world. If you plan to program “Silent Night” for your ensemble this holiday season, use Stanton’s powerful search filter to find the perfect arrangement for you! From the stantons.com homepage, use the search box in the upper right corner to search “silent night.” You’ll get over 600 results! The search filter options on the left will help you narrow your search – filter by instrument/voicing, arranger, publisher, and more. Use the Five Star Feature filter to find the best arrangements as selected by our experienced Sheet Music Specialists!

Here are just a few of our favorite arrangements for various ensembles:
arr. Eric Nelson for church choir
arr. Becki Slagle Mayo for children’s choir
arr. Betty Garee for handbells
arr. Greg Gilpin for high school choir
arr. Jonny Priano for contemporary a cappella ensemble
arr. Jeffrey E. Turner for string orchestra
arr. Chip Davis/adapt. Calvin Custer for full orchestra
arr. Mark Taylor for jazz ensemble
arr. Jim Swearingen for concert band

String Orchestra for Winter – Off-The-Beaten-Track 01 October, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

When programming for your Winter/Christmas Concert, it’s always nice to have a fresh piece or two to include with your traditional fare. Here are two new titles that will add a tasty twist to the holiday season.

fjh-st6445-fArre Borriquito arr. Carrie Lane Gruselle, Grade 2
Stanton’s is always on the hunt for you to find unique, educational and musically satisfying Christmas/Winter Concert material. Arre Borriquito (Giddy-Up, Little Donkey) is certainly in that bailiwick. The image of a donkey-riding traveler on the way to Bethlehem is vividly portrayed in this Spanish children’s carol. A descending minor third is used to depict the braying donkey (Hee-Haw) in the cellos and basses and also is the opening interval of the chorus. Pizzicato eighth notes and optional woodblock are the clip-clop of the donkey’s hooves. The spritely tune and accompaniment incorporate short sixteenth note groups, there is shifting for the basses and the option of teaching second position in the cellos to avoid raucous open A strings while they have the melody. The biggest teaching element is the fact that the verse and the chorus are in different keys (D and G) so your student will have to pay attention to the key they are in at any given time. Many courtesy accidentals and fingering hints are provided as reminders. So, educational opportunities abound and it is also a delightful new addition to your holiday library at the Grade 2 level. Giddy-up!

alfred-46692-fSee Amid the Winter’s Snow by Dan Forrest/arr. Kirk Moss, Grade 3
If you are looking for THE piece that people will be talking about at the end of your High School Winter Concert, look no more. When played sensitively, this absolutely gorgeous arrangement will bring tears to the eyes and goosebumps to the skin of your whole audience. Starting with the delicate and sublime English Carol, See Amid the Winter’s Snow, based on the tune, Humility, Kirk Moss has taken the beautiful choral arrangement by Dan Forrest and scored it for string orchestra with optional percussion (wind chimes, suspended cymbal, bells) in a stunningly exquisite rendition that will bring a sumptuous hush over the venue. Not technically difficult, although there is a key change from G to Bb and back to G, it sits so well for strings that it could be performed in a combined concert with middle and high school players after working on coloring the sound with bowing lanes, sul tasto bowing and vibrato with your students. It will make everyone heart-happy.

Find more holiday and winter choices for orchestra on our website, or contact us for more ideas! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

Fresh and Spooky Music for Orchestra 10 September, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Many orchestras seem to have a late October concert, so why not take advantage of the timing and program some great spine-tingling tunes to add some excitement – or better yet, do a whole Halloween theme concert and program them all! Spanning Grade 1.5 to 4, spooky special string effects such as col legno, sul ponticello tremolo and harmonic glissandi will add teaching opportunities, and each of these titles offers parts for everyone to help join in the creepiness. And you know your students and their audience will love them!

cfn-fas111-fIncursion by Sean O’Loughlin, Grade 1.5
Lots of teaching elements and a chilling concert highlight all in one! With a harmonic moment reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, you can teach musical concepts such as col legno, offbeats, Grand Pause and ground bass and end up with a dramatic and hair-raising piece for your middle-schoolers that is destined to become a tradition at your late October concerts around Halloween. Kids that age love things chilling and macabre, so they will glom onto Incursion with relish.

Dark Dreams by Sean O’Loughlin, Grade 2
Leave it to the super creative Sean O’Loughlin to spice up your October concert with great special effects in this mysterious and eerie selection that will keep your players on their toes and your audience on the edge of their seats! Sul ponticello tremolo, trills, pizzicato, staccato sfortzandos, accents, and offbeat melodies make great teaching moments plus you’ll have a top-notch, moody addition to your repertoire.

fjh-st6446-fThe Haunted Ballroom by Chris Thomas, Grade 3.5
It seems as if many school orchestras have concerts toward the end of October, so they are always in the market for new Halloween repertoire. Here is a winner that should be included in your library for such occasions. Marked to be played “Ghostly and refined,” it is a spooky waltz, accentuated by effectively eerie glissandi on harmonics. It is also rife with staccato bowing, tremolos, dynamic extremes, col legno, and just enough chromaticism (with helpful fingerings) to make your teeth turn sideways. It will make a great, colorful addition to your late Autumn/Halloween concert.

leon-04492165-fWitch’s Fiddle by Robert Buckley, Grade 3-4
If you only buy one piece for your high schoolers this year, make it this one, especially if you have a concert around the end of October. Loaded with spine-chilling special effects such as glissandi on harmonics, short, fingered glissandi, snap pizzicato, and sul ponticello tremolo as well as jarring harmonies and off-kilter rhythms to spice up the Munsters-like melody, this will be the piece your audience will be talking about at the end of the concert – and that your students will want to play year after year. Do not miss it!

Contact us for more spooooooky recommendations, or browse our newly redesigned website at stantons.com!

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

Six Resources to Protect Your Hearing in Rehearsal 18 July, 2018

Wearing ear plugs is something few performing musicians do. We worry about communication and our effectiveness in playing, so we tend to forgo the plugs – but AFTER experiencing hearing loss is not the time to start worrying about protection. Here are some educational resources to help you protect one of your most valuable musical assets – your hearing!

New Year, New Look! 18 June, 2018

new-year-new-lookNotice anything different about us?

We’ve launched our newly redesigned website for musicians and educators to compare all music options, organize titles for personal and professional use, and share their passion for musical expression. The new website is designed to improve your search results and reduce research stress.

“We’ve been working on this website for three years now. The features we are most excited for are the advanced search bar and music-specific filters that offer you more opportunities to find sheet music that fits your educational or performance goals,” said David Ginter, technical manager.

Our search bar is optimized for music specific searches. You can search by instrument, voicing, keyword, full title, composer, artist, arranger, series, or catalog number. However, remember – less is more. If you want to be even more specific, click on our advanced search and type in as much information as you have.

CaptureIf you still have too many results after hitting enter, click on the photo to the left to reveal the filter! All you’ll have to do is chose the tab you want and it will grow to show you how every item is grouped. Say you searched the word “Star,” but you only want to see SAB music – the voicing tab will tell you how many SAB selections are in this search.

We are also introducing new Social Media and Reprise pages. These pages archive our social and email announcements to allow our non-social media users access to our news and product recommendation. You can check in with the Social Media page for a weekly snapshot of what’s happening at Stanton’s and easily follow us without ever logging in.

You can stop scrolling back months at time to find that email with that title you can’t remember the name of, but you know would be perfect! Visit our Reprise page and only look through our emails without any distractions.

“The website is a resource where music directors can easily see, listen, and learn new products that best fit their ensemble needs. What we’ve created is a large music library database. With that database we can help directors and musicians compare ideas, organize their selections, and share with their ensemble and the audiences they reach,” says President, Eric Strouse.

AMERICANA for Orchestra 04 June, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

String Teachers – here are some excellent String Orchestra pieces evoking the feel of Americana for young string students. They’re perfect for summer camps and workshops!

Deep Wood by Frank J. Halferty, Grade 3
Reminiscent of Jazz-Bluegrass that Bela Fleck and the Flecktones might offer, Deep Wood puts the cellos and basses in the spotlight, but keeps everyone on their toes with rhythmic layering, bluesy-greasy glissandi and wild color chords. Sounding way harder than it is, it features short duets for principal first & second violin and principal cello & bass plus one short violin solo. For everyone else, just count and groove!

The Girl I Left Behind Me arr. Sandra Dackow, Grade 0.5
All in first position with straightforward rhythms and thematic parts for everyone, this poignant song arranged by Sandra Dackow will be a wonderful addition to any concert. The Girl I Left Behind Me first appears in 18th century Ireland, often known as “Brighton Camp.” It emigrated to the United States along with many other Anglo/Scots/Irish folk tunes and became a popular marching song for soldiers. During the American Civil War, soldiers in both the Confederate and Union armies sang it. A number of cultures have embraced this song, adding their own local lyrics.

Lonesome Valley arr. Jason Krug, Grade 2
From a plaintive and prayerful opening in solo violin, this arrangement of a well-known spiritual builds in power and emotion with each successive verse. The melody passes between voices, and frequent and varied countermelodies are employed throughout, providing ensembles the chance to work on balance of parts. One key change, from G to D, should pose little difficulty. A rich and nuanced selection to challenge your ensemble’s musicality!

When Johnny Comes Marching Home arr. Sandra Dackow, Grade 2.5
An exciting arrangement by Sandra Dackow that students will love to play that remains in first position with strong eighth-note passages and great parts for all. This piece appears in the 1800s and is embraced as traditional folk music by both Ireland and the United States, where it is popularly known as When Johnny Comes Marching Home. The original words “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye” are sung by the song’s narrator, a young Irish woman who watched her loved one run away to soldier in a war far away. When he finally does return home to her and his child, he is broken, but she still takes him in and loves him. In more recent times the song has become, in some ways, an anti-war anthem. The American words of the song were popular with both the Confederate and Union Armies during the US Civil War.

Contact us for more information, and don’t forget – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

Low Instrument Feature for Orchestra 11 May, 2018

master-50250118-frecommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

Low and Lower by Clarence Barber, Grade 2
Feature your (sometimes) neglected lower strings on this fun, bouncy romp in C major. The majority of the melodic content is in the viola, cello and bass, which are often independent of one another, so it’s a great lesson in counting as well as a chance for your lower strings to shine! Second violin will sometimes play in thirds with the viola and first violin get an occasional melodic lick, so no one is neglected. There is also an opportunity to teach left hand pizzicato.

Need to feature a special section or instrument in your ensemble? We have ideas – let Stanton’s help! Contact us for recommendations, and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

New for FULL ORCHESTRA 16 April, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

Are you lucky enough to have a Full Orchestra at your school? Don’t miss these outstanding new Full Orchestra titles for the 2017-2018 school year from Grade 2.5 to Grade 4!

alfred-45891-fDance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli/arr. Richard Meyer, Grade 2.5
Your orchestra will love the chance to play these ever-popular tunes from Ponchielli’s opera La Gioconda, as arranged by Richard Meyer. Instantly recognizable to any audience, this arrangement retains the sound of the original and gives students a chance to develop the variety of techniques needed to perform two very different styles of dance music. The key has been changed (from E major to G major) and the time signature simplified (from 4/8 to 4/4), but none of the fun is missing!

Symphony #8, 1st Movement by Franz Schubert/arr. Richard Meyer, Grade 2.5
Treat your students to one of the most-loved symphonic movements ever written by a master of the classical style in this Richard Meyer arrangement of Symphony No.8, Mvt. 1, known as the “Unfinished.” All of Franz Schubert’s unforgettably melodious themes are present, and the composer’s imaginative orchestration has been carefully preserved. A must for any young symphonic orchestra!

master-50200041-fLegacy by Robert Longfield, Grade 3
This outstanding original work in D minor exists for both band and full orchestra. It is rich, full, and vibrant, with exciting parts for all players.

Northumbrian Suite arr. Ian David Coleman, Grade 3.5
Folk songs have a long and mysterious history. Their origins are unknown; they have come down to us mainly through an oral tradition passed from generation to generation. Many of the folk songs we have come to know and love are rooted in the ancient region of northern England and southern Scotland known as Northumbria. The three folk songs in this suite reflect this vibrant, wild and deeply historic region. Includes When the Boat Comes In; Dives and Lazarus and The Keel Row.

Suite from Hamilton arr. Jerry Brubaker, Grade 3.5
Hamilton is a musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda and others. In 2016, it was nominated for a record-setting 16 Tony Awards®, winning 11 (including Best Musical), and was also the recipient of the 2016 GRAMMY AWARD® for Best Musical Theater Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Jerry Brubaker has chosen six of the most musical selections from the show to use in this arrangement, including “You’ll Be Back,” “Helpless,” “My Shot,” “Dear Theodosia,” “It’s Quiet Uptown,” and “One Last Time.” Experience the beauty and excitement of this amazing musical!

master-a8633-fThe Summer Knows by Michael LeGrand/arr. Mike Lewis, Grade 4
Lush, vibrant, and beautiful, this arrangement of the theme from the film Summer of ’42 will be the perfect addition to your program.

Find more for full orchestra on our website, or contact us at 1.800.426.8742 for personalized recommendations. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

Adventures with the Orchestra 28 March, 2018

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

lorenz-5096241For many years, teachers across the country and around the world have been inspired by the innovative and creative lessons cultivated in Artie Almeida‘s Florida classroom. In one of her earliest published resources, Dr. Almeida packaged several ideas for learning about the orchestra into a complete unit designed to thoroughly explore the instruments, vocabulary, and enjoyment of the symphony orchestra.

Now this unit is available in Adventures with the Orchestra, along with many additional tools to make implementing every activity as simple as possible. Everything you need for a complete instructional unit is here: flashcards, printable game pieces, guided listening activities, musical examples, website lessons, and more!

For more information, visit us online at stantons.com, or contact us! 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.

Teaching Pieces for Orchestra 21 March, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist

Stanton’s always endeavors to point out the teaching aspects of the pieces we recommend. These two examples are custom-made for teaching. Check them out!

fjh-st6429-f10 Intonation Studies and Chorales by Brian Balmages
Outstanding “first ten minute” warm-up routines to get students’ ears in sync with a particular key concentrating on correct intonation, using open strings as guides for chord note alignment, with both scales and chorales.

String Crossing March by Lynne Latham, Grade 1
Sounding more difficult than it actually is, this tuneful, educational creation will help you teach string crossing, skipping fingers, and left hand pizzicato. It has fun parts for everyone, including some call and response and knocking on instruments for a unique aural experience.

Contact us for more suggestions with great string pedagogy connections! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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