recommended by Jen Sper and Lora Moore, School Choral Music Specialists
Start with Stanton’s as you plan your first concert of the year! Here are just a few of our Five Star Features for High School Choirs this season:
FOR MIXED CHOIRS
Singers, Arise! by Victor C. Johnson, for SATB with piano and optional trumpet
A triumphant unison fanfare sounds a clarion call in praise of music at the start of this concert/contest opener, followed by a contemplative, chant-like middle section on a brief Latin text. An accelerating return to the jubilant main theme leads to a majestic and satisfying conclusion. Be sure to add the optional trumpet part for full effect.
Alleluia by Bryan Sharpe, for SATB a cappella
The ancient joy-filled word ‘Alleluia’ is paired with contemporary harmony and gently syncopated rhythms. Independent parts weave in and out to create a brilliant musical tapestry, and subtle variations of dynamics and tempi add to the overall fabric. For Christmas or general use, concert or contest, this work will admirably showcase the abilities of mature ensembles.
O Clap Your Hands by Victor C. Johnson, for SATB a cappella
Johnson’s dynamic setting of this text adapted from the Psalms is the perfect opening number for concert, festival or call to worship. The opening, fanfare-like section is complemented by a contrasting, legato middle section before returning to the joyous opening statement driving us to the exhilarating conclusion, complete with handclaps.
Your Beauty Is the Song by Molly Ijames, for SATB divisi with piano
A hushed, exposed choral introduction blossoms into a sublime concert work for choirs who seek artistic literature. The men introduce the main melody in stunning four-part harmony, before the women join at the first chorus. With artful divisi writing and many moments of unbridled emotion, this work is sure to become a choral classic.
Song from the Road by Craig Hella Johnson, for SATB with piano
Written for a commissioning consortium through Chorus America, here is a beautiful and thoughtful piece intended as a quiet call to return home to discover oneself and to rediscover our “home” with each other. Long flowing lines with a beautiful and soloistic piano part create a feeling of peace and hope.
FOR TREBLE CHOIRS
I Will Be the Gladdest Thing by Neil Ginsberg, for SA with piano
An Edna St. Vincent Millay favorite is given a fresh and free treatment, complete with spritely, leaping rhythms. A gentle rock feel and invigorating contemporary harmonies support and propel the energizing text forward. An opportunity for solo or small group singing is included at the end. A delight to prepare and perform!
Exultate Justi by Dan Davison, for SSA with piano
Inspired by the classical style of music writing, Dan Davison has done a masterful job with this SSA work, Exultate Justi. Treble choirs will find this piece to be very accessible, exciting and joyful to sing. This piece will enhance the programming of any concert or festival.
FOR TENOR/BASS CHOIRS
Let the Music Fill Your Soul by Jacob Narverud, for TTBB with piano and optional horn
This anthem, originally scored for mixed choir, is energetic with a text that is relevant to our music classrooms. The horn part soars above the piano and the singers and the driving rhythms of the piano create excitement.
Give Me Your Stars to Hold by Ruth Morris Gray, for TTB with piano
Sara Teasdale’s text is superbly set in a steady and flowing concert work for mixed voices as well as men’s ensembles. Diverse part-writing fills the choral, creating harmonic contrast and richness with beautiful examples of text-painting from the composer.
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!