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.
Words and Music by Greg Gilpin
Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist
Teaching students to sing “in parts” is an important part of their musical development. One of the easiest ways to introduce part singing to young students is the quodlibet, also known as a partner song. In this selection, Gilpin begins with his own (English) text to J.S. Bach’s Bist Du Bei Mir. After a short piano interlude, the second melody is introduced, this time an original composition. Finally, the melodies are sung at the same time, creating the partner song.
While all partner songs can serve the purpose of learning to sing in parts, this one is especially good for some other reasons. First, the range (C4 to F5) is very healthy for young singers. The tessitura remains high enough that it encourages the use of head voice at all times, allowing your students to sing where they sound best. In addition to range, the melody of Bist Du Bei Mir is excellent for working on the difference between steps, skips and leaps. It has just enough leaps that it will challenge your singers to be accurate and not “scoop” or “slide” to achieve larger intervals.
This might be a great piece for your group because it…
- is a great beginner two part piece
- gives students a chance to experience the music of a great composer (J.S. Bach)
- provides opportunities for interval work
- teaches part singing
- offers holiday/winter imagery without being associated with a particular sacred holiday
For more great suggestions, please contact our choral department by phone at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at email@example.com.
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!