STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT on Middle School Choir

Each year, the knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s chooses select titles to promote to you, our valued customers.  We listen to thousands of new issues from scores of publishers and composers to present you with the very best in new music for your ensembles.  In our new Stanton’s Spotlight feature, we will put a special focus on one piece that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your group.


Harris/arr. Narverud

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialistspotlight template-Jambo-page-001

Many choral directors struggle with trying to be all inclusive with their repertoire choices.  Sometimes an easy solution to this problem is to choose a piece that falls into more than one category.  Jambo is a piece of classic pop music from Kenyan musician Teddy Kalanda Harrison.  His group “Them Mushrooms” took the song platinum in 1982.  However, since his music is heavily influenced by the folk traditions of Kenya, this translates well into an a capella selection  for your young singers.  That’s right – it’s multi-cultural a capella pop!

Don’t be scared off by the unfamiliar-the piece has easy harmonies that are comfortable to sing, and a range of only E3-C4 for your men.  While your ladies might prefer to sing higher than what they do here (the soprano part goes only to C#5,)  invite your students to dive into this choral tradition by writing a descant and sing that chorus one more time!

This might be a great piece for your group because it…

  • allows you to study the music of a different culture/choral tradition
  • gives students a chance experience singing with ethnic percussion
  • provides opportunities for solos/small groups (These are notated in bass clef, but could be sung by any voice part.)
  • offers the chance for a three-part group to sing a capella
  • showcases sudden dynamic shifts to add interest and drama.

For more great suggestions, please contact our choral department by phone at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at

Rachel Steele has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013.  She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University.  Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH,) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!


Categories: Behind the Scenes, Music Education, New Publications, School Choral, Stanton's Spotlight

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