News & Views Sunday, January 20, 2019

Category: School Choral

Suggestions for Choral Adjudications 2019 09 January, 2019

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

The beginning of 2019 is a perfect opportunity to look back at what your students have learned so far this school year, and to look forward to the new and exciting musical challenges you will present to them in the coming months. As you prepare for your upcoming concerts, festivals, or adjudicated events, we recommend these repertoire choices, carefully chosen from many new and recent publications as the “best of the best!”

for SATB Ensembles
leon-517698Hold On! arr. Brandon A. Boyd, SATB divisi with piano
Although there are a number of fine arrangements of this spiritual, Brandon Boyd’s setting of “Hold On!” for mixed chorus divisi with piano is exceptionally creative yet true to the idiomatic style. The rich harmonic language set against lyrical melodic passages and articulated by syncopated rhythmic elements provides a thrilling opportunity for singers and audience alike.

Music in the Night by Elaine Hagenberg, SSATB with piano
Elaine Hagenberg is one of our country’s most respected writers. The superb craftsmanship of her works once again is seen in this new piece. Scored for 5-part mixed chorus (divisi soprano) and piano on a text of Harriet Prescott Spofford, try the piece in a group reflecting the power of music, for Women’s History Month or American Music Month.

chorgd-cge230-fThe Old Mill by Kenneth Riggs, SATB with piano
Rigg’s intriguing setting of this poignant, reflective poem by Thomas Dunn English features an accompaniment that emulates flowing water and the turning of the mill wheel. The minor mode and 6/8 pulse effectively establish the mood for this haunting piece which will provide a unique contrast for your concert or festival programming needs.

Antiphonal Cantate by Greg Gilpin, SATB with piano
Whether performed on risers, as a processional, or encircling the audience, this celebratory fanfare is the perfect opening number for concert or festival and is appropriate for use throughout the school year. The middle section is in 3/2 and provides an interesting and fun contrast. The text is both in easy Latin and in English, and an optional English text is provided for sacred use.

for Treble Ensembles
mornin-7-0577-fO Clap Your Hands by Stephen Chatman, 3-part treble with piano
“O Clap Your Hands” is a setting of words from Psalm 47 as translated and adapted by the composer. Influenced by jazz and gospel music, this fast, energetic work surges forward with constant syncopation, rich pan-diatonic and chromatic harmony, and repeated melodic lines and text. The bright and challenging piano part, with its added-tone arpeggios and extended registers, highlights and punctuates the vocal lines. Through alternating keys, various homophonic and contrapuntal episodes, and the addition of “tutti” clapping, the work reaches a climactic, resounding ending.

I Will Arise and Go by Shawn Kirchner, SSA with piano or hammered dulcimer
This is an evocative, folk-like setting of Yeats’ poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” The modal vocal writing is both simple and sophisticated and always expressive of the yearning in Yeats’ words.

Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound by G.F. Handel/arr. Russell Robinson, SSA with piano and trumpet
A very energetic and joyful chorus from Handel’s oratorio Samson, “Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound” arranged by Russell Robinson is in an accessible key for SSA choirs. Sure to delight audiences and enhance programming for any concert.

leon-523143Set Me as a Seal by Bruce W. Tippette, SSA with piano
From Song of Solomon comes a cherished text set to rich harmonies for women’s voices. Beginning with a simple and warm piano introduction, unison singing melts into harmonic delight, creating an emotional climax and resolving to a quiet ending stating again “for love is strong as death.”

for Tenor/Bass Ensembles
Down by the Salley Gardens arr. Ben Bram, TTBB a cappella
Ben Bram is the amazing arranger for the Pentatonix. Justin Miller is the hailed director of the Westminster Men’s Chorus – one of the best ever. Justin asked Ben to create a piece for his new series that they could premiere at the ACDA Western Division conference – and now we can offer it to you. Absolutely yummy might be the best way to describe the arrangement. Creative and satisfying would also be appropriate words.

leon-521763Plorate filii Israel by Giacomo Carissimi/arr. Brandon Williams, TTBB a cappella (optional piano)
Here is the beautiful final movement from Giacomo Carissimi’s oratorio Jephte. Originally for SATB choir, soloist, narrator and instruments, here is a new arrangement for men that allows them to explore this important musical style. Along with the Baroque style and the Latin text, this piece also lends itself to teach legato line, imitation and the emotional context of loss and lamentation.

Tuba Mirum by Mark Burrows, TTB 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.

cfn-bl1014-fPoor Wayfaring Stranger arr. Christi Jones, TTB with piano
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.

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

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

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

Creative Programming: Madrigals 04 January, 2019

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

The educational benefits of programming madrigals in your choral program are many: students gain a new historical perspective, learn to sing unaccompanied in a small ensemble, and are exposed to a different style of literature than in larger choirs. Madrigals are even perfect for your show choir – the part independence, listening skills, and choral balancing are all skills applicable to that repertoire as well!

leon-522803Late In My Rash Accounting by Thomas Weelkes/arr. John Leavitt, SAB a cappella with optional percussion
Excerpted from “The SAB Choir Goes Renaissance,” this single offers simple, homophonic singing through the verse but a wonderful opportunity for your choir to sing Renaissance polyphony through the “Fa la la” section. In keeping with the style of the Renaissance, an optional hand percussion part has been added as a possible enhancement.

leon-523401Pastime with Good Company by King Henry VIII/arr. Steven Rickards, SATB with piano and drum or tambourine
This song, made popular during the Renaissance, celebrates the joys of dancing, singing, and hunting. Detailed performance notes offer suggestions for presenting an authentic and stylistic performance by employing instruments and ostinato percussion lines.

leon-525262The Madrigal Singer arr. John Leavitt, SATB a cappella collection
John Leavitt has established a reputation for carefully selecting important and historic repertoire, editing it in ways to make singers successful all while staying true to the stylistic period. This new collection from John includes “Fair Phyllis I Saw,” “Fa Una Canzona” and “Tant Que Vivray.” Three important and standard pieces in a value priced collection.

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 from Eric Whitacre 28 December, 2018

Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular musicians of our time. His concert music has been performed throughout the world by millions of amateur and professional musicians alike, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 120 different countries.

New from Eric Whitacre this season:

leon-524125i carry your heart for SATB a cappella
Written for best friends of the composer and premiered by the LA Master Chorale. The heart of this piece is reflected in the text “i am never without it.” This is an intimate text set in an intimate way.

Glow for SATB with piano
Simple and welcoming, Glow was performed for the first time by the World of Color Honor Choir at Disney’s California Adventure Park. The Honor Choir, made up of over 700 singers from across America, were selected to be part of the night-time spectacular Winter Dreams show. Now available in new voicings for SAB, SSA, and TBB.

The Seal Lullaby for SATB with piano
This loving and dreamlike work captures the undulating rhythm of a mother rocking her child to sleep. The text is a classic by Rudyard Kipling: “Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us, And black are the waters that sparkled so green. The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us, At rest in the hollows that rustle between.” Magical! Now available in new voicings for SAB, SA, and TB.

leon-00283875-fGoodnight Moon for SATB with piano
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.

The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus for SATB & children’s choir with piano
“Although his name was Jabez Dawes, his character was full of flaws!” With an hysterical text by Ogden Nash, Eric Whitacre has brought all of his theatrical skills to this three movement work and tells a wonderful story that will leave parents smiling and young children determined to be “even better” so as not to meet the same fate as young Jabez. This is a holiday treat for singers, players and audiences.

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

IPA Made Easy 19 December, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech-language pathologists, actors – and of course, singers!

How many years has it been since your last diction class? These valuable resources are perfect to bring that knowledge back to the forefront so you can use it in your choral classroom and vocal studio!

IPA Made Easy by Anna Wentlent
This handy guidebook is an easy reference for the symbols used in IPA: what they look like and how they are pronounced. Example words for every symbol are included in English, Latin, Italian, German, French, and Spanish. An online resource includes recorded demonstrations of every sound. A clear and concise tool for singing in foreign languages, equally useful in the choir room and the vocal studio.

IPA Made Easy Poster Set by Anna Wentlent
This set of full-color 9″ x 12″ cardstock posters provides a practical tool for teaching the International Phonetic Alphabet and uniform vowel formation. Each poster displays one of the primary vowel sounds, including its IPA symbol, pronunciation, and example words in English, Latin, Italian, German, French, or Spanish. Plus, an online resource offers recorded demonstrations of every sound. Equally useful for choral rehearsal rooms and vocal studios!

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.

Composer Profile: Shawn Kirchner 17 December, 2018

ShawnKirchnerby Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Shawn Kirchner has recently become a composer name that I am especially excited to see come across my desk. His choral writing is strongly influenced by folk traditions around the world, as evident in both his arrangements and original compositions, which are equally compelling.

A composer/arranger, singer/songwriter, and pianist active in the music circles of Los Angeles, Kirchner’s choral works are performed throughout the world. His appointment in 2012 as the LA Master Chorale’s Swan Family Composer in Residence was the culmination of an ongoing creative relationship with music director Grant Gershon, resulting in numerous commissions and premieres at LA’s Disney Hall. Kirchner has also collaborated with and/or written for many leading choral ensembles across the country, including Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Lorelei Ensemble, San Diego Master Chorale, Los Robles Master Chorale, and the Atlanta Master Chorale.

The music of Shawn Kirchner is available through Stanton’s from a variety of publishers, including Boosey & Hawkes, Oxford University Press, and Santa Barbara Music Publishing. For more information about Shawn and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: Unclouded Day, Weevily Wheat, Sweet Rivers, I Will Arise and Go, Cornerstone, Wana Baraka

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: Storytelling Through Song 12 December, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Music has always been used to communicate and to tell stories. Here are a few new choral selections that demonstrate music’s innate storytelling ability, through both masterwork texts and original storylines and melodies.

cfn-cm9538-fThe Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Mark Patterson, TTBB with piano
This TTBB setting of “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” is based on Longfellow’s poem of the same title and captures the mystery, intrigue, and suspense found in this classic story. Throughout the piece, Patterson’s flair for variety and musical interest makes it easy to maintain performance energy and is certain to keep audiences riveted.

Bold Adventures by Philip E. Silvey, 2-part treble with piano
Well-written books can transport young readers, introduce great characters and expose the reader to new and wonderful feelings. This composition hopes to inspire singers to open a new book and travel wherever it takes them.

alfred-46930-fI Saw a Ship Go Sailing by Glenda E. Franklin, 2-part with piano
A piano accompaniment that suggests the gentle rocking of a boat at sea sets the scene for this fanciful nighttime adventure, featuring a text adapted from a traditional nursery rhyme. With a melody built around a minor triad, it’s a clear introduction to minor tonality. A couple of cues allow for optional three-part harmony at the end.

Tell Me What You See by Amy F. Bernon, Unison/2-part with piano
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.

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.

King’s Singers 50th Anniversary 05 December, 2018

In 2018, the 50th anniversary year of The King’s Singers, there is much celebrating to be done! A 3-disc CD has been recorded by the current members of the group and from that new recording, the most popular songs have been selected for these collections. Known for their consummate artistry in all genres and styles, their interpretations of standard a cappella repertoire and pop and folk music are legendary.

leon-521706The Art of the King’s Singers
Songs include: “Sing Joyfully” (William Byrd), “Sicut Cervus” (G.P. da Palestrina), “In Manus Tuas” (Thomas Tallis), “Musica, Dei Donum” (Orlando de Lassus), “Abendlied” (Josef Rheinberger), “Das ist je Gewisslich Wahr” (Heinrich Schutz), Dessus le Marche D’Arras” (Orlando de Lassus), “All Meine Herzgedanken” (Johannes Brahms), “Die Nacht” (Franz Schubert), “Baisez-moi” (Josquin des Prez), “Rest” (Ralph Vaughan Williams), and “Das G’laut zu Speyer” (Ludwig Senfl).

leon-525005Folk Songs and Fantasies
Songs include: “And I Love Her,” “And So It Goes,” “Danny Boy,” “Down by the Riverside,” “Down with Love,” “I’ll Follow the Sun,” “Loch Lomond,” “Love Is Here to Stay,” “MLK,” “Quand Tu Dors Pres De Moi,” and “That Lonesome Road.”

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch 27 November, 2018

alfred-47182-frecommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

A modern holiday classic, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” has been a winter concert staple for years. With choral arrangements for SATB, 3-part mixed, 2-part, and TBB, almost any ensemble can bring the Grinch’s miserly humbug to the stage!

New this year for the accomplished a cappella ensemble:

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch arr. Jamey Ray, SATB a cappella
Check out this electrifying arrangement about everyone’s favorite holiday villain as performed by a cappella group and YouTube sensation Voctave. A bass soloist (or a few guys) takes center stage, singing over a smooth choral background of jazzy chords and riffs. Clever rhythmic touches and fun articulations add plenty of vocal interest in all voice parts. Terrific!

Check out Voctave’s exciting performance below, contact us for more novelty holiday suggestions, 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: For Contemporary A Cappella 19 November, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

As contemporary a cappella ensembles (a la Pentatonix) continue to thrive in schools across the country, we present the titles below as concert literature options that utilize similar choral skills to those developed through pop style contemporary a cappella literature – tone quality and vocal stylings, choral accompaniment to featured melody, achieving style through vocal rhythmic motives, et cetera. Use your contemporary a cappella program to help grow and support your concert choir program!

leon-523389Down by the Riverside arr. Ryan O’Connell, SATB a cappella
O’Connell’s upbeat and dynamic a cappella setting of this popular spiritual is not to be missed! Rhythmically charged vocals from start to finish make you feel like you’re in your own Dixieland vocal band. The well-arranged vocals imitate trumpets and banjos surrounded by snaps and claps and a whole lot of vocal fun!

cfn-cm9552-fShenandoah arr. Michael John Trotta, SATB a cappella
Michael Trotta’s arrangement of the beloved American folk song “Shenandoah” is built on a rhythmic vocal ostinato which provides the backdrop for the soaring vocal line, casting this familiar tune in an exciting new light. This arrangement is a perfect addition to concert repertoire during concert and festival performances throughout the year.

Be Thou My Vision arr. Connor Smith, SATB divisi a cappella
A stunning a cappella treatment of the enduring Irish hymn. Shimmering “loos” in clustered harmony yield to a simple statement of the beloved melody, which soon blossoms into decadent choral colors. Expressive tempi and dynamics, coupled with ample divisi, offer both exquisite sounds and artistic challenge.

leon-516938When All the World’s Asleep by John Milne, SATB a cappella
A warm Christmas poem by Sigerson Clifford called the Kerry Christmas Carol is the text that John Milne has set to music. John keeps a hymn-like carol quality throughout, with sumptuous suspensions and satisfying resolutions. The choral writing is so lovely this carol calls to you like great choral music does and begs you to sing it. The text refers to an old Irish custom in which each household would leave a lighted candle in their window on Christmas night in the belief that Joseph, Mary and Jesus still wandered the roads of the world, looking for a place to rest from the persecution of Herod.

chorgd-cge284-fWhat Child? by Ruth Morris Gray, SATB a cappella with djembe & body 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.

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.

“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.