News & Views Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Category: School Choral

“Winter Songs” by Ola Gjeilo 14 November, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

“Winter Songs” is Ola Gjeilo’s latest album on the Decca Classics label. These winter and Christmas-inspired works include music for choir, piano, and strings with performances by the Choir of Royal Holloway, 12 Ensemble, and Ola Gjeilo.

Included on this beautiful album are: “The Rose,” “Ecce Novum,” “The First Nowell,” “Days of Beauty,” “Home,” “Across The Vast, Eternal Sky,” “Ave Generosa,” “First Snow,” “The Holly and the Ivy,” “Away in a Manger,” “Dawn,” “Coventry Carol,” “Silent Night,” “Wintertide,” and “The Rose II.”

Listen to samples from the album below, find more by Ola Gjeilo on our website, or contact us for more information!

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

Teaching with Respect 09 November, 2018

leon-517686recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Teaching with Respect by Stephen Sieck
This is a book for choral directors who find themselves in conversations they might not feel ready to have.

“Teaching with Respect” prompts us to ask deeper questions about the language we use, about systems of power, about our heritage and inheritance. When we examine our teaching, we may find that, while we do not intentionally act with racism, sexism, or bigotry, we may be complicit in adopting systems and language that marginalize and discriminate. But since we want to be the kind of directors that foster artistic communities built on respect, we must be willing to ask such questions. And the burden cannot be on our singers who are being marginalized to teach us a more respectful path; it is on us to learn how it is that we are marginalizing.

In this book we look closely at our teaching strategies. How does our repertoire and instruction intersect with our singers’ identities, specifically their learning abilities, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, and race? How do we engage with our audience? The book suggests an ethical approach to teaching choral music that is centered on respecting the singers in front of us. Readers will discover ways to maintain and elevate their artistic standards of excellence while also expanding their mindset.

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

Creative Programming: For Social Justice 05 November, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

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

Until All of Us Are Free by Mark Burrows, SATB divisi a cappella
Inspired writing and captivating choral textures carry the urgency and simplistic truth of a quote by Emma Lazarus. A rhythmically charged setting for medium or large sized ensembles with some divisi in all parts. “Until all of us are free, we are none of us free.”

leon-526952Now Is the Time by Jim Papoulis, SATB with piano & drum set
Written in a Foundation for Small Voices song-writing workshop hosted by the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, the students message is loud and clear – “Whatever your journey, whatever your beliefs, whatever your dreams or battle or triumph, the time is not tomorrow, or sometime in the future…now is the time.” The music is gentle with a soft rock beat with the final chorus a cappella.

True Colors arr. Jesse Hampsch, 3-part treble a cappella with djembe
“Don’t be afraid to let your true colors show!” A message that all of us need to hear. This iconic song by pop/rock legend Cyndi Lauper is timeless. This new arrangement relies on the strong heritage of the original while bringing new sensitivities that reflect the times we live in.

lorenz-sbmp1516-fIdentities by Paul Rardin, SATB with piano
The highly imaginative text defines our identities as many things, some quite whimsical. It concludes with the idea that “we are anything that is possible.” This is guaranteed to both add interest to a program, and to give the performers something to think about.

Sisi Ni Moja (We Are One) by Jacob Narverud, TBB with piano and djembe
Ever clever, composer Narverud came up with a highly rhythmic celebratory composition. The title translates “We are one,” the theme being that all human beings have much in common. The energetic djembe sets the tone, the piano adds its own rhythmic design, and the singers dramatically deliver the message.

Glory (from Selma) arr. Eugene Rogers, TTBB divisi with rhythm section
Winner of a 2015 Oscar Award, this inspirational song speaks of hope and looks to the future for healing in the midst of great division. Eugene’s “gospel-like” setting offers comfort to the community and motivates individuals to keep working for a better tomorrow. Through the voice of a powerful soloist, male chorus and spoken word artists, the message of unity and hope is left ringing in our ears.

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

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” 02 November, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Bring some fun to your holiday concerts with these great pop arrangements for choir – your audience will love it!

leon-525312FOR HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR
All I Want for Christmas Is You arr. Roger Emerson, SATBB a cappella
Here is one of the most popular contemporary Christmas carols by Mariah Carey set in a very hip, a cappella style. Percussion parts and a supprtive piano part are included as options for those who want to sing this song but are not quite ready for the a cappella challenge. For those who are, this will bring down the house in your pop winter concert.

Fa La La La La! (Deck the Hall) arr. Alan Billingsley, SATB with piano (optional combo)
A Christmas classic updated with a fresh Latin groove! Syncopated rhythms energize the vocal lines, which remain true to the carol’s original harmonization. A new “Fa la la” refrain and bridge build excitement leading to the third verse, and a key change near the end results in a big finish.

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) arr. Lisa DeSpain, SATB with piano (optional rhythm)
Rolling Stone magazine ranked this holiday rock song as #1 of “The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs,” noting that “nothing can match Darlene Love’s emotion and sheer vocal power.” This arrangement equals the original recorded version and will be a powerhouse addition to your holiday concert. Instrumental parts available for a festive performance.

lorenz-524047The Toyland Express by Michael Ryan, SATB with piano
Come along, and I will show you the way. Save your worries for another day. Hop on aboard for a grand holiday. Be my guest on the Toyland Express”. This relaxed, swingin original has a satisfying, laid-back groove that adds a dash of cool jazz to your December concert set. Perform with piano or add the accompaniment track for a splash of style.

Mistletoe and Holly arr. Mark Hayes, SATB with piano (optional combo)
A holiday pops tune straight out of the Rat Pack era, co-written by Ol’ Blue Eyes himself! This nostalgic mid-tempo swing arrangement starts with voices swapping the melody, then blossoms into sweet choral sonorities. “Oh, by gosh, by golly!”

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIR
We’re Gonna Decorate the Christmas Tree by Greg Gilpin, 3-part mixed/SAB with piano
Beginning with a simple statement of “O Christmas Tree”, this playful arrangement suddenly breaks out in a happy swing style with an original tune and clever text: “We re gonna decorate the Christmas tree, dress it all in colors bright. Making sure it s covered in ornaments and hit it with a string of lights”. Comfortable ranges, simple voice leading, and a whole lot of fun put this right in the groove for your younger choirs. Add the cool Yule synth track for extra glitter and glow!

alfred-46954-fRockin’ Holidays (Medley) arr. Alan Billingsley, SAB with piano (optional combo)
This trio of Johnny Marks Christmastime favorites is the ultimate holiday medley. Alan Billingsley’s rockin’ arrangement captures the characteristic sounds of the ’50s and ’60s. A fast-paced (less than 3-minute) crowd pleaser!

Sing Out, It’s Christmas! by Douglas E. Wagner, 2-part with piano
This exciting, Broadway show-style opener will immediately grab your audience’s attention and get them into the spirit of the season. Add in easy vocal parts and an upbeat, very Christmassy accompaniment track, and you have the makings of instant success for your December concerts. Loads of fun to prepare and perform. “Light the lights, trim the tree, gather friends and family. Sing out, it’s Christmastime again!

Jazzy Jingle Bell Waltz by Becki Slagle Mayo & Lynn Shaw Bailey, SSA with piano & sleigh bells
Pierpont’s “Jingle Bells” takes a jazzy turn with the addition of original music and lyrics creating a waltz that rings and swings in the holiday season! The piano is a jazz-waltz rhythm setting the mood for festive, three-part or two-part treble vocals. Add the optional sleigh bells for the perfect holiday concert selection.

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

In Dulci Jubilo 31 October, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Planning a madrigal dinner or feast with your high school choir this year? Maybe you’re just looking for something in a Medieval or Renaissance style for your upcoming concert – here are some great new options!

In Dulci Jubilo arr. Russell Robinson, SATB with piano
Mixed meter, dynamic contrast, whimsical accompaniment and lively vocals create a dance-like arrangement of this traditional carol. The original English text surrounds the few Latin phrases used throughout the work and helps make for easy learning. Mixed choirs will love this as a processional or opening number.

mornin-msm50-1151-fMake We Joy Now In This Fest by Matthew Culloton, SATB a cappella
Matthew Culloton provides a sprightly original setting of this 15th century text which alternates between short English and Latin phrases. SATB a cappella with the basses occasionally dividing at the octave at cadences, and the whole choir divisi in the last two measures.

Gaudete arr. Thomas Juneau, SSAATTBB a cappella with handbells, percussion & clapping
Thomas Juneau’s vocal writing infuses rhythmic intensity with percussion, handbells and clapping in this exciting arrangement of Gaudete, one of most popular late medieval sacred Christmas carols. Appropriate throughout the year, Gaudete offers a multitude of opportunities for choirs to demonstrate both their vocal and dramatic skills.

Christmas Is Coming arr. Andy Beck, SATB with piano
A festive setting of the English round that will come together quickly at that busy time of year! A rousing antiphonal treatment (a fanfare) leads into the traditional tune, followed by a newly composed bridge. Later, the unison melody becomes a 2-part, and eventually a 3-part round. A wonderful opener for holiday performances!

leon-525042Nowell by Drew Collins, SATB a cappella with percussion
This fifteenth century English carol, originally titled “Nowell, Nowell, Dieu vous garde” has been recast in modern form although the ancient feel is still present. Vocal parts may be doubled by wind or string instruments and optional percussion may be played by separate players or by members of the choir.

Shepherds, Run! (Allon, Gay Bergeres) by Guillaume Costeley/arr. Geoffrey Edwards, SSA with optional piano
Dig into this 16th Century choral classic in a dazzling setting for women’s choir. Perform this truly flexible piece with English or French text accompanied or a cappella. A treasured part of traditional repertoire for your December concert!

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

“Tidings of Comfort and Joy” 26 October, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Ready to program your upcoming holiday concert? Maybe you need just ONE MORE perfect piece to round out your winter programming. Let Stanton’s help! Here are some of the best new releases for school choirs this season, in many different styles and varying levels of difficulty:

lorenz-522077FOR HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR
Be Glad This Festive Day (A Winter Roundelay) by Douglas E. Wagner, SATB with piano & percussion
A perfect opener for your holiday concert or Madrigal dinner, this inspired Doug Wagner creation partners with “Deck the Hall” and possesses all of the color and pageantry of a Renaissance court celebration. Optional parts for drum, tambourine, and finger cymbals add to the festive flair that your choir and audiences are sure to enjoy.

The Huron Carol arr. Sarah Quartel, SATB with piano
This is a traditional Canadian carol with a text by St Jean de Brébeuf, a seventeenth-century French missionary who worked primarily with the Huron people. Following an ethereal beginning with dissonant, haunting harmonies, the carol builds to an expansive climax.

Have You Seen the Newborn King? by Victor C. Johnson, SATB a cappella
The crisp, accented energy of this original a cappella Christmas spiritual exudes rhythmic excitement from start to finish. A soloist is featured with the choir in a call and response style section and the layering of independent melodies in each part fuels the momentum that builds to the strong, dynamic ending.

chorgd-cge284-fWhat Child? by Ruth Morris Gray, SATB a cappella with percussion
Creative programming at its best is reflected in this unique, contemporary a cappella original employing the traditional What Child Is This? lyrics. In the opening and closing sections, vocal ostinato patterns support the melody and provide the frame for the middle section which features a lovely setting of the traditional carol tune. The addition of djembe and body percussion will add character and texture to the rhythmic feel of this joyous seasonal offering.

Winter by Anthony Giamanco/arr. Andy Beck, SATB with piano
Walter de la Mare’s poem is a fantastic example of the Romantic-era imagination, and even more so when paired with this gorgeously haunting music. A delicately constructed piano accompaniment glides beneath shifting contemporary harmonies and varied choral textures, ultimately leading to a beautifully subdued ending.

leon-523398FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIR
Tidings of Comfort and Joy arr. Audrey Snyder, 3-part mixed a cappella with hand percussion
Here is a new twist on this traditional English carol. The vocal writing is light and rhythmic and will surprise your listeners. A piano part is offered as an accompaniment but this arrangement works just as well when sung a cappella. And optional hand clap and percussion parts make this a special piece within your winter concert.

Come and See the Baby by Ruth Morris Gray, SAB a cappella
Percussive and dynamic a cappella singing will appeal to choirs of all sizes singing about the new born baby in Bethlehem. Hushed and vibrant energy play between voices throughout this a cappella work, which also offers optional descant, solos and a simple rhythmic shaker percussion part.

Now Sing We All Noel! by Mary Donnelly & George L.O. Strid, 3-part mixed with bells & hand drum
Written in the Renaissance “madrigal” style, this is a real change of pace for the developing choir. It is crafted to be sung a cappella but if your choir isn’t ready for that yet there is a piano part along with hand drum and bells to give support to the singers and enhance the performance.

cfn-cm9545-fWinter Dream by James DesJardins, 3-part mixed with piano & violin
Winter Dream is the ideal “winterscape” piece for three-part mixed voices. The artful piano accompaniment provides ample harmonic support throughout, while the vocal melody has a dreamy quality perfect for the winter scene depicted in the text. Add the optional violin part (included) to put the finishing, icy touch on your performance.

FOR TREBLE CHOIR
A Czech Christmas Carol arr. Lynn Shaw Bailey & Chris Pillsbury, SSA with piano & tambourine
“Pujdem spolu do Betlema” is a popular traditional Czech Christmas carol whose title translates to “Let’s all go to Bethlehem.” In dance-like style, the verses describe different people playing their musical instruments, along with onomatopoetic sounds, as if playing in a celebration. With optional Czech text (phonetic pronunciations are included in the score) as well as English text, this wonderful Czech Carol is a flexible, holiday programming must.

In the Bleak Midwinter arr. Robert I. Hugh, 2-part with piano
This classic melody by the early 20th century British composer never grows old. Young people will love to rehearse this melody. Older elementary singers will enjoy adding a second part and young women have a beautiful descant to discover.

chorgd-cge247-fBallad of the Winter Trees by Amy F. Bernon, SSA with piano
Written with a variety of choir types in mind, this captivating work captures the chilly allure of winter and is a superb creative programming choice. As the harmonies move from minor to major, the sun emerges, “warming and courageous,” and spring arrives. Detailed imagery and a haunting melody pull the singers into a frozen world that dramatically thaws and blossoms. A Learning Resource Page is included.

FOR TENOR/BASS CHOIR
Betelehemu arr. Andy Beck, TTB a cappella with percussion
A captivating chant opens this a cappella arrangement of the Nigerian Christmas carol, before breaking into a joyous, rhythmic celebration. This well-voiced adaptation allows even developing groups to sing a beloved staple of choral repertoire. Optional percussion parts add to the multicultural excitement!

Do You Know the Way to Bethlehem? by Douglas E. Wagner, TBB with piano, guitar & percussion
This is a high energy, rhythmically charged original Christmas song featuring a verse of the familiar “What Child Is This?.” Easy to teach and fun to perform with strong vocal lines and optional bass guitar and percussion parts, your guys will love digging into this one!

cfn-bl1011-fI Saw Three Ships arr. Paul David Thomas, TB with piano, flute & frame drum
Jolly and jaunty, rhythmic and fun, Thomas’ TB arrangement of “I Saw Three Ships” is highly energetic and sure to be a holiday favorite. Add the optional percussion and flute for an even more exciting performance for your tenor-bass ensemble.

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

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

Pop Intervals and Ear Training for Choir 22 October, 2018

leon-524857recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Pop Intervals & Ear Training for Choir by Roger Emerson
See it! Hear it! Sing it! Using familiar popular song phrases, POP INTERVALS FOR CHOIR teaches and reinforces the 10 most common intervals a singer will need to effectively sight-read choral literature. In addition, singing by step and establishing a key center are taught with popular songs that every singer will know. The importance of audiation (inner hearing) is reinforced with each interval as well as easy-to-follow instructions for preparation and extension.

You will also receive digital access to a professionally-produced audio recording of the accompaniment for each exercise and PDFs of singer parts and theory practice pages for projection and reproducible options. Build your choir’s musicianship the easy way with this motivational resource!

Exercises are based on the following songs: “Lean on Me” (step), “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da” (skip), “Isn’t She Lovely” (minor 2nd), “Hallelujah” (minor 3rd up), “Count on Me” (major 3rd up), “Brave” (perfect 4th up), “Skyfall” (perfect 5th up), “My Way” (major 6th up), “Let It Snow” (octave), “Hey Jude” (minor 3rd down), “Happy Together” (perfect 4th down), “It Don’t Mean a Thing” (perfect 5th down). Suggested for grades 6 and up.

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

“Let’s Sing a Sleighing Song!” 15 October, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

Feature your elementary choir this winter with one of these great octavos, as featured on Stanton’s Elementary General Music Clinic with Cristi Cary Miller:

alfred-46535-fCandy-Covered Gingerbread House by Andy Beck & Brian Fisher
So sweet it might just give you a toothache! This scrumptiously jazzy holiday novelty number is fantastically fun. Optional harmonies make it easy to tailor the piece to the ability level of your group, and it’s a tasty tune for adding some choreography. Staging is available on the Movin’ DVD. Not to be missed!

Christmas Eve Is Coming Soon by Dave & Jean Perry
This traditional German carol is from the Hunsruck/Taunus region and is traditionally sung on Nikolausabend (Nicholas Eve) on December 5th in anticipation of the Feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6th. The translation for “Lasst uns froh und munter sein” is “Let us be happy and cheerful”. In this delightful setting, the carol has been expanded with the addition of a brief “fa la la” section to bridge the central theme. Although the English text has been translated and adapted with additional singable lyrics, it follows the spirit of the original German.

leon-523372Et In Terra Pax by Greg Gilpin
The traditional Latin text of “peace and goodwill to men” has been stunningly set for young voices for developing choirs. The beautiful melody and thoughtful part writing create a work suitable for most any time of year and is appropriate for school or church.

Let’s Sing a Sleighing Song Tonight! by Greg Gilpin
Come join the winter festivities as we go dashing through the snow on a sleigh ride! A lively original melody leads to the rhythmic and spritely “jing-a jing, jingle, jingle” phrases which frame the ever-popular Jingle Bells. Add some sleigh bells and let the fun begin!

chorgd-cge245-fNino Querido arr. Mark Burrows
An absolutely charming arrangement of this delightful Spanish folk song! The gentle melody and soothing text are first sung in unison and then in two-part or three-part canon. The original middle section is sung in English and propels the natural flow to return to the traditional melody in canon form. There is an English text option provided, although the Spanish text is preferred. A Spanish pronunciation guide and translation are also included.

For more holiday suggestions for your young choir, please contact us, and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

Creative Programming: In a Classical Style 09 October, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Build choral skills with these new compositions for middle and high schools choir – then, apply those skills as your students develop and are ready for authentic Classical era literature!

cfn-bl1031-fExultate Justi by Dan Davison, SA(T)B with piano
Inspired by the classical style of music writing, Dan Davison has done a masterful job with this SA(T)B original work, “Exultate Justi.” With the tenor part doubling the soprano part or matching the bass part in unison, young singers will find this piece to be very accessible. Exciting and joyful to sing, this piece will enhance the programming for any concert or festival.

Tuba Mirum by Mark Burrows, SATB with piano
With a lashing, powerful piano accompaniment to impel the equally dramatic traditional text from the Requiem Mass, this commanding musical setting for men, women or mixed chorus is spellbinding indeed. It is an exceptional repertoire choice for concert or festival performances, displaying rich passages from a full-throated forte to a lovely, controlled piano, all while exuding an air of fiery, rhythmic drive and a sense of urgency. A pronunciation guide and translation are included.

lorenz-522098Exsultate! Fill Your Heart with Gladness!
by Richard A. Williamson, 3-part mixed with piano

Choral textures range from unison writing to gentle independent counterpoint in this bright, forward-moving original work that’s perfect for concert or festival programming. The Latin and English text and fun to play Baroque-style accompaniment make this original musically satisfying and easy to learn!

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

“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

Clap and Sing, Join Together! 28 September, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

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

alfred-46934-fCardinal by Andy Beck
Few things compare to the sight of a red cardinal against a backdrop of winter white. This magical seasonal selection by Andy Beck captures the wonder of nature, while offering choral writing well suited to 2-part voices: taking turns with the melody and an easy-to-sing countermelody. Optional sleighbells and mark tree create even more shimmer.

Clap and Sing, Join Together! by Victor C. Johnson
This vibrant celebration in classic A B A form consists of primarily unison writing with some easily taught moments of two part harmony. Arranged in a comfortable range for young voices, this is an ideal concert opener for ensembles of any size!

Little David, Play On Your Harp arr. Andy Beck
A clever arrangement of the traditional spiritual that includes a surprise nod to Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” plus an optional part for autoharp! The pentatonic chorus is great for teaching or reinforcing solfège, while the harmonies are appropriately independent for developing singers. A few new words tell us more about the heroic boy, David. A terrific teaching piece that kids will enjoy!

leon-522806Sing arr. Roger Emerson
“Sing of good things, not bad” is certainly a wonderful mantra for all of us and it is the theme of this iconic Joe Raposo song from “Sesame Street.” With a driving and rhythmic piano accompaniment here is an incredibly creative arrangement of this positive song.

Tell Me What You See by Amy F. Bernon
In this charming original, our curious narrator enlists the help of wildlife friends to discover nature’s gifts. Although a thunderstorm puts an end to the activities for the day, “tomorrow will bring more adventures.” Young singers will be delighted by the catchy, energetic melody and fun lyrics.

For more exciting elementary choral resources, please contact us, and remember – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

Creative Programming: Singing in Unison 19 September, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

As choir directors, it can be easy to focus on programming repertoire with more and more voice parts (4 part divisi! 8 part divisi!! And more!!!), and mentally associating “more parts” with “more difficult,” and a “more accomplished” ensemble.

But choral directors also know how very challenging singing in unison can be! Programming unison music on your concert – at the middle school, high school, or even collegiate level – can provide your audience with a unique insight into the choral art, and how your ensemble builds skills that lead up to your “final product.” Here are a few suggestions for unison music-making with your ensembles:

leon-08743259-fThe King’s Singers Book of Rounds, Canons and Partsongs
This delightful collection of 99 rounds, canons and partsongs makes a delightful introduction to part-singing to kids from 6 to 106! The selections are arranged by categories including English Pre-1700 (Secular), Pre-1700 (Sacred), Post 1700, From Around the World and Wordless Rounds. Start in unison, and build part-singing and listening skills from there!

cfn-bl1017-fFirst Songs for the Emerging Tenor-Bass Choir by Mark Patterson
Written and arranged to meet the challenges of finding quality repertoire for emerging unchanged male singers, Mark Patterson hits the mark with this set of three songs. “First Songs for the Emerging Tenor-Bass Choir” offers directors a wide variety teachable material and is a staple for any middle school choral library.

Laudamus Te (from Mass in C Minor) by W.A. Mozart/arr. Melissa Malvar-Keylock & Jill Friedersdorf
Unison treble choirs can experience the beauty and elegance of this movement from the Mozart Mass in C Minor and gain appreciation for music of the Classical era. The flute obbligato adds to the authenticity.

Consider vocal solo literature as well! Perhaps highlight each voice part’s individual color with a selection for each section: “The Lass with the Delicate Air” for sopranos, “Witness” for altos/mezzos, “Ride On King Jesus” for tenors, and “The Vagabond” for baritones/basses! This is great for developing your singers’ listening skills.

Brainstorm more ideas with Stanton’s by calling us at 1.800.42.MUSIC, or contacting us by email at choral@stantons.com. And remember – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

Sight Reading Success 13 September, 2018

leon-504286recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Sight Reading Success by Stan McGill & Morris Stevens
This choral sight reading resource is designed to help secondary choir students improve their music literacy. There are several sight reading systems that may be used: moveable do solfege, fixed do solfege, numbers and perhaps others. This book covers about five months of teaching, containing 180 SATB exercises in various keys and time signatures:
Month 1: Three 2 measure exercises daily (60 exercises)
Month 2: Three 4 measure exercises daily (60 exercises)
Month 3: One 8 measure exercise daily (20 exercises)
Month 4: One 16 measure exercise daily (20 exercises)
Month 5: One 32 measure exercise daily (20 exercises)

Helpful hints are included throughout, compiled from over sixty years of successful secondary choral teaching by the authors. With daily use, your choir will improve interval recognition by sound and sight; rhythmic and metric skills; choral balance and blend; independent, sectional, and choral literacy skills; dynamic and articulation recognition and implementation; altered pitches; major/minor key modulations; and consonant and dissonant choral chords. Also available for SSA choirs and SA (2-part treble) choirs.

Find more valuable sight reading material on our website, or contact us for more recommendations. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

The Excellence Clinic: Anniversary Celebration 29 August, 2018

IMG_5625On Saturday, August 25, Stanton’s Sheet Music hosted our 25th annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic. The Excellence Clinic was conceived and established by long-time Stanton’s Choral Music Specialist Judy Henry in 1994. Judy invited Jim Gallagher, then Professor of Music and conductor of the renowned Men’s Glee Club at The Ohio State University, to join her in this effort as clinician and presenter for the session. Mr. Gallagher’s background includes not only collegiate-level conducting, but also a long history of success in the public high school choral classroom – experience that is so valuable to our attendees!

IMG_5630We gathered in the James E. Strouse Workshop Hall with Jim and our wonderful accompanist, Joyce Stonebraker, and had a fantastic morning reading through a wide variety of high-quality music for choirs at all levels of difficulty. In honor of this anniversary year, we made a special effort to present not only newly-published repertoire, but also some classic literature with excellent teaching potential – John Ness Beck’s “Canticle of Praise,” “Choose Something Like a Star” by Randall Thompson, and “Sing Unto God” from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, to name a few. Jim’s insight on these “old chestnuts” was valuable for all, especially the young teachers in attendance. We spent a little bit of time socializing and catching up with old friends, and A LOT of time discovering beautiful new music!

Did you miss out on this year’s Clinic? Never fear! Here are just a few of our favorite pieces that were featured:

For middle school choirs: Agnus Dei by Victor C. Johnson
For high school choirs: Lunar Lullaby by Jacob Narverud
For college choirs: Illumina by Patrick Hawes
For community choirs: Ecce Novum by Ola Gjeilo
For holiday concerts: Mary’s Child by Bob Chilcott
For women’s choirs: Das Grosse Halleluja by Franz Schubert/arr. Ben May
For men’s choirs: Fare Ye Well arr. Stacey V. Gibbs

You can still receive the full clinic packet for the registration fee of $20 (while supplies last). This year’s packet includes over 30 octavos, and contains an incredible amount of repertoire variety! Contact us if you are interested!

“Goodnight Moon” by Eric Whitacre – NOW AVAILABLE 28 August, 2018

Goodnight Moon by Eric Whitacre
Originally composed for harp, string orchestra and solo soprano, next adapted for soprano and piano and now finally available for SATB choir and piano. This SATB setting takes a whimsical approach to the text we as parents have read hundreds of times. The harmonic structure is transparent and the choral writing is smart and a joy to sing.

View the entire score below with ScorePlay, and contact us for more information!

Coming THIS SATURDAY: Excellence in Choral Literature 2018 20 August, 2018

Stanton’s Sheet Music is pleased to announce our 25th annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic!

EXCELLENCE IN CHORAL LITERATURE
Saturday 8/25/2018, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Stanton’s Sheet Music, James E. Strouse Workshop Hall, 330 S. Fourth Street, Columbus OH 43215
REGISTRATION: $20

This session, led by James Gallagher (Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University), is designed to help you select concert and contest literature from some of choral music’s most distinguished composers, featuring the best in new music for mixed, treble, and men’s choirs at all levels of difficulty. Your registration fee includes a complimentary packet of over 30 titles.

In honor of this session’s 25th anniversary, we will also be presenting selected quality titles from previous years highlighting the great depth of valuable literature found on the Excellence Clinic lists.

Come join us to discover beautiful music and share ideas with colleagues and friends!

For more information, please contact us by email, or call us at 1.800.426.8742. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Front-Loading Your Choral Rehearsal 17 August, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

leon-519271Front-Loading Your Choral Rehearsal by Christine Bass
“Front-Loading Your Choral Rehearsal: Constructing for Success” is a creative rehearsal approach designed to aid conductors of all experience levels. Using the building blocks of musical concepts, style, and delivery, “Front-Loading” offers invaluable tools to help conductors scaffold their singers’ learning toward a collective goal of transformative performances. Concepts come alive in real time through the video clips of working rehearsals embedded in the narrative. Practical in application yet sophisticated in approach, Christine Bass condenses decades of experience into “Front-Loading,” a comprehensive rehearsal technique guide for conductors striving to reach the next level of excellence in their work.

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

NEW for Fall Concert: Middle School Choir 15 August, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

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NEW for Fall Concert: High School Choir 03 August, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Ready to program your fall concert? Start with Stanton’s! Here are just a few of our Five Star Features for High School Choirs this season:

FOR MIXED CHOIRS
alfred-46941-fIn That Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’! arr. Greg Gilpin
A grandiose choral introduction travels through several keys to open this polished setting of the traditional spiritual, which soon breaks into a joyously brisk treatment featuring call-and-response between sections, terraced dynamic contrasts, and thick divisi textures. Fantastic a cappella writing for advanced choirs.

Wild Mountain Thyme arr. Patti Drennan
“And we’ll all go together, to pick wild mountain thyme all around the bloomin’ heather.” Your audience will be sure to recognize this popular Irish folk song that’s been recorded by The Chieftains, The Clancy Brothers, and The Irish Tenors. Resplendent with Highland harmonies and musical nuances as-is, or add the optional tin whistle (or flute) for extra Celtic flair!

chorgd-cge278-fThe Wind Gives Voice to the Trees by Greg Gilpin
Exuding mystery and modal nuances, this concert/festival showpiece features the composer’s own original text. It is filled with word painting and rich imagery about how trees stand silently, and it is only until the wind blows or when “nature breathes” that they make a sound with their rustling leaves and branches. There is also an underlying important message about how all of nature works together. Rich harmonies and haunting melodies are supported by the interesting accompaniment which weaves a wind-like pattern.

Rain Music by Victor C. Johnson
“On the dusty earthdrum beats the falling rain. Now a whispered murmur, now a louder strain.” This forward-moving, rhythmically-driven music enhances the dramatic, image-laden text of Kentucky-born poet and playwright Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. Effective unison, two-, three-, and four-part writing throughout and optional parts for rain stick and djembes heighten the musical effect.

FOR TREBLE CHOIRS
Dies Irae (from Requiem) by W.A. Mozart/arr. Patrick M. Liebergen
Introduce your choir to one of Mozart’s most enduring masterworks! Arranger Patrick Liebergen has sensibly adapted the original material into multiple voicings that stay true to the original, while also offering a compelling piano reduction of the original orchestral score. Exciting and dramatic classical rep!

allian-amp1067-fLift Your Voice In Singing by Laura Farnell
This piece should be sung exuberantly throughout! A contrasting B-section demonstrates a hushed sense of wonder, then builds dynamically in excitement and intensity as each voice part enters. The text “Let your song be love” reminds all who sing and hear this piece that life is too short and precious to allow anything but love to direct our hearts.

The Slender Moon by Greg Gilpin
With gently soothing harmonic colors, Greg Gilpin captures the mystery of the slender moon in this wonderful setting. Inspired by the descriptive text found in poet Joseph S. Cotter, Jr’s. poem Night Winds, The Slender Moon will wow audiences and choirs alike.

FOR TENOR/BASS CHOIRS
Jubilate, Exsultate! by Victor C. Johnson
Contemporary choral harmonies and a driving piano accompaniment are the hallmarks of this exuberant setting of the traditional Latin text. A legato English language section in the middle provides contrast before an energetic return to the original material. Highly recommended for concert or contest!

cfn-bl1014-fPoor Wayfaring Stranger arr. Christi Jones
With ostinato-like phrases throughout, Jones’ rhythmic and interesting arrangement of this beloved spiritual will suit the needs of developing tenor-bass choirs of all sizes. Performed with piano accompaniment or a cappella, “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” is sure to please in any concert.

I Will Lift My Eyes by Jonny Priano
“I will lift my eyes to the mountains; from where comes my help?” These words from Psalm 121 have inspired countless composers and they have been sung by choirs of every kind. Here they are beautifully set for high school women or men.

Find more Five Star Features at stantons.com/SchoolChoralFall2018, or contact us for personalized recommendations. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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

NEXT WEEK: School Choral Week 2018! 25 July, 2018

Featuring talented clinicians from major publishers, Stanton’s summer choral clinics are a fantastic way to jump-start your school year! We always look forward to visiting with our regular customers, matching up faces with names of new attendees, and meeting teachers new to Stanton’s from across the country.

NEW THIS YEAR: Stanton’s Elementary General Music Clinic and The Joy of Singing for Elementary Choir are now combined into ONE GREAT DAY OF MUSIC! We’ll explore classroom resources, musicals, games, and more from a variety of publishers, and you’ll also preview the best new music and resources for beginning choirs from Hal Leonard!

And, we’re excited to host ALL of our valuable School Choral Week sessions this year at our store in downtown Columbus Ohio! There’s no better destination for music, and you’ll love being able to explore all the resources that Stanton’s has to offer.

Mark your calendar for these dates:

Elementary General Music Clinic
(featuring The Joy of Singing for Elementary Choir)
Thursday August 2, 2018 (9:00-4:00)
Clinician: Cristi Cary Miller, John Jacobson & Roger Emerson
THE JOY OF SINGING for Middle & High School Choir
Friday August 3, 2018 (9:00-4:00) Clinicians: John Jacobson, Roger Emerson & Cristi Cary Miller
Stanton’s Super Session
Saturday August 4, 2018 (9:00-4:00)
Clinicians: Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin & Jen Sper

Pre-registration will close on Friday 7/27, but space will be available at the door. For more detailed information regarding any of these clinics, contact the choral department at 1-800-426-8742, extension 1. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!