A New Generation of Broadway

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral Music Specialists

Broadway Musical Magic arr. Mac Huff
We love this newest Broadway medley from Mac Huff because of its quick, no-nonsense transitions, quality part-writing, and full piano accompaniment (which works well on its own if you don’t have a combo for your performance). The medley is divided into three installments as seen below, which allows you flexibility in terms of your programming options.

Section 1: A Musical, Into the Woods, Seize the Day, Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious
Section 2: The Song of Purple Summer, Electricity, Seasons of Love
Section 3: Let’s Hang On, Mamma Mia, So Much Better, Steal Your Rock ‘n’ Roll

Additionally, this medley is the third of its kind by Mac Huff (following “100 Years of Broadway” and “Opening Night”), and the three can be performed consecutively to create a, 84-piece, 90-minute “Broadway in Concert” performance option.

Something Rotten:
Welcome to the Renaissance arr. Mac Huff and A Musical arr. Andy Beck
Something Rotten has a sweet spot in my heart because it was the very first musical I saw in New York City! Because both of these pieces from the show are full chorus numbers, they translate very well from the Broadway stage to the school choral setting.

Welcome to the Renaissance” goes back and forth between swing and fast rock styles and boasts a wide range of funny historical references, which your audience will love (not to mention that they provide cross-curricular information). Because there are so many cheeky moments, there are a number of opportunities to talk about communication through consonants, facial expression, etc, and the harmonies here are rich and satisfying.

A Musical” has that classic Broadway feel (yep, there’s an opportunity for a kick-line), which makes the lyrics, which cleverly poke fun at musical theatre, even more humorous. The entire piece is filled with text painting, offering a variety of avenues to talk about the relationship between music and text.

Hamilton:
My Shot arr. Roger Emerson and Hamilton (Choral Medley) arr. Lisa DeSpain
Over two years after its January 2015 premier, Hamilton is still one of the most sought-after tickets on Broadway. It combines hip hop, rap, and theatre elements to tell the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and because of the variety of styles used, it has an appeal to a wide range of audiences. While I was skeptical of the music from this show (which I love) being turned into a choral arrangement, I think both Emerson and DeSpain did a great job of keeping the integrity of the original pieces when creating these arrangements. If your kids are excited about Hamilton, these are both great options for you!

My Shot” offers a great way to feature students that have the skill to rap, and while the solos are definitely the feature of this piece, the choral parts are solfege-accessible and there are valuable opportunities for rhythm reading here.

Hamilton (Choral Medley)” utilizes the following six pieces from the show: Alexander Hamilton, My Shot, The Schuyler Sisters, The Room Where It Happens, Helpless, and The Battle of Yorktown. The transitions between each are quick and clean, and because each piece is so different, there are lots of opportunities to talk about the contrast of styles and why Lin-Manuel Miranda chose the styles that he did for each piece.

Waitress:
Waitress (Choral Highlights) arr. Greg Gilpin
Waitress, with music and lyrics by six-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, is based on Adrienne Shelly’s film of the same title. It boasts a creative team comprised entirely of women, and has been nominated for the 2017 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Waitress (Choral Highlights)” uses strong three-part treble writing, accessible ranges, tasteful use of solos, and quality transitions, making it an excellent Broadway option for your women’s chorus. The closing number in particular captures the uplifting tone of the show, and Bareilles’ style is captured beautifully.

Looking ahead?

Dear Evan Hansen:
You Will Be Found arr. Mac Huff
Dear Evan Hansen has been nominated for nine 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and tells the story of high school student Evan Hansen, who struggles with social anxiety and wants nothing more than to fit in. “You Will Be Found” would be a great choice as a senior tribute or spring concert feature:

Have you ever felt like nobody was there
Have you felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere
Have you ever felt like you could disappear
Like you could fall and no one would hear
Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

For more information about these or other recommendations, visit us at www.stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com, or call 1.800.42.MUSIC ext.1.

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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

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Categories: Broadway, New Publications, School Choral, Staff Picks

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