by Jen Sper, School Choral Specialist
Between the Pitch Perfect movies, NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” and the phenomenon that is Pentatonix, it seems like a cappella singing is everywhere! This year, both master a cappella arranger Deke Sharon and Ohio teacher Alex Phan bring us an assortment of pop arrangements in the CASA style for younger ensembles. Deke’s SSA arrangements are great for girls in young high school groups or mixed middle school ensembles (the alto part works for girls or changing boys), and Alex’s SSAB setting is perfect for middle school with vocal parts to fit their changing voices.
No vocal percussion? No problem! These arrangements are so well-crafted that adding VP is not necessary. (But, let your kids play around with some VP anyway – who knows, you could find a real talent among your ranks!)
Best Day of My Life arr. Deke Sharon
Practice your beatbox skills with this 2014 pop hit from the indie rock band American Authors. The upbeat folk/pop acoustic with a fun chorus transfers beautifully to “vocals only.”
Cups (When I’m Gone) arr. Deke Sharon
The trailer for the highly anticipated “Pitch Perfect 2” gives us a sneak peek at the music for the new film, including this expanded version of Anna Kendrick’s breakout hit “Cups.” After a sweet, reflective opening verse, it moves into tempo for a more expanded treatment.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun arr. Deke Sharon
Celebrate the awesome ’80s with this Cyndi Lauper hit from 1984 and develop some great a cappella singing skills at the same time!
Happy arr. Deke Sharon
Younger or beginning a cappella groups will love this creative and upbeat song from Pharrell arranged for unaccompanied voices!
Roar arr. Alex Phan
This super-charged anthem of empowerment is arranged especially for pop a cappella groups that are just getting started. With smart voice-leading, quick success is guaranteed.
Royals arr. Deke Sharon
The pop megahit and Grammy-winning song of the year by Lorde will be an accessible and fun introduction to pop a cappella for younger SSA choirs!
Wake Me Up! arr. Deke Sharon
From Swedish DJ and artist Avicii, this 2013 chart hit in a fun and accessible a cappella setting!
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.