October 4, 2019
Dear choral friends,
We hope that your first rehearsals of the new choral season have been productive!
We know how exciting it is to start a new year and that we all just want to get out and sing. That is why at The Leading Note we make ordering easy, so you can focus on what matters most: the music! This month we bring you a special feature on choral folders and accessories, the top 10 recommendations from Elise Letourneau for jazz choir, and a comparison between the different editions of Handel’s Messiah.
Also, don’t forget that the new year is just around the corner and that there is no better time than the present to place your orders for the new year. Browse through our choral collection and feel free to contact us for any questions you may have.
Top 10: Elise Letourneau’s Top 10 for Jazz Choir
Take recommendations from the award-winning composer who blurs the lines between classical and jazz. Including newer compositions and arrangements of jazz classics by Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck. See Elise’s selections and find new repertoire for your choir.
October 2, 2019
As Messiah Season quickly approaches, we thought it might be useful to our customers to clarify what makes each edition of Handel’s masterpiece special. We currently stock seven different editions of the Messiah and each one offers something of value to singers both professional and amateur.
Based on the latest scholarly edition produced by Max Schneider and Georg Friedrich Handel-Gesellschaft, this is the closest edition to an “authentic” or “historically informed” edition of the work available. The vocal score we keep in stock does not contain the critical commentary published separately by Bärenreiter but does provide a clear and transparent text that conforms to the Urtext criteria: no editorial dynamics are shown, the continuo realization is shown in small notes, and textual variances are indicated. Bärenreiter has produced a beautiful engraving of the Messiah that uses high-quality paper.
This edition is also surprisingly affordable. The publisher offers a special price for North America that is about half what Europeans would pay.
We recommend this edition to those who are very appreciative of the latest scholarship and interested in historical performance. It is a very clean and beautifully looking score and is becoming more popular every year.
October 1, 2019
For years, The Leading Note has stocked a variety of choral folders, including inexpensive models suitable for children’s choirs, folders from Marlo Plastics that are perfectly sized for a standard octavo, and the classic Black Folder Deluxe from Vancouver’s Small World Music Folder company.
To fill the gap between this top-of-the-line folder and the smaller, less-expensive options, we now stock two other folders from Small World. The Choralex and Ringbinder each offer unique features that complement what the Black Folder Deluxe offers, rather than replace it.
The Black Folder Deluxe
The classic Black Folder Deluxe is a durable, lightweight, ergonomic folder with options available to suit a wide range of requirements. This is one of the best folders available for both professional and amateur singers; an elegant lightweight folder at a good value that has by far been our most popular seller over the years.
One of the more important features of this folder is the bottom strap, which is attached at the outside base of the folder. It also has a comfortable hand strap at the back for you to hold it securely. It can carry many scores and will stand up to the abuse that daily rehearsals inevitably inflict on overworked choral folders. It is a large folder which makes it great for large scores, but this same quality means it can sometimes be too bulky for a crowded stage.
September 9, 2019
Dear choral friends,
September has arrived, which means back to school and, best of all, back to choir rehearsals! At The Leading Note, we celebrate “Bach to School” this month and, during this hectic season, we aspire to this quote by the master himself:
- “I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.” – J. S. Bach
We know how industrious choir directors are, especially at this time of year. We wish you a very successful first rehearsal and entire season! Remember that The Leading Note is here to support you along the way. Did you forget to order a key title for the upcoming term? Reach out to us and you’ll be amazed at how quickly we can get it out the door to you. We even offer rush ordering services (for an extra fee), if you are really in a jam.
This month we feature our “Bach To School” sale plus contemporary Canadian choral selections available through The Leading Note. Read below to find out!
Top 10 – Michael Zaugg and Pro Coro Canada
The Leading Note is proud to partner with Pro Coro Canada’s Michael Zaugg to make available a selection of contemporary Canadian titles that the Edmonton choir has premiered over the past few years. See the next generation of Canadian choral talent in Michael’s Top 10 list! (actually 13!). This music is quite challenging so we’ve provided sample pages and audio to help you make ordering decisions. This music is sold in PDF format.
Laura Hawley is an award-winning Canadian composer who’s been rocking the choral scene lately and someone we consider part of The Leading Note family.
Laura spent her formative years in Ottawa and worked at The Leading Note while completing her studies. We’re now very proud of everything she has accomplished in her career and would like to point the spotlight at her excellent work.
As a committed musician, she has made a career from composing, conducting, and teaching. She founded Hypatia’s Voice Women’s Choir of Ottawa, taught at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and worked with Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa as founding artistic staff member for fourteen years. She recently relocated to Edmonton, where she was appointed Artistic Director of Da Camera Singers, conducts ChandraTala Choir (part of Kokopelli), and teaches composition at Concordia University of Edmonton. She has also toured with the Canadian Chamber Choir as a singer, accompanist, and featured composer. All of this while continuing to write music and gaining international recognition for her choral compositions.
Popular titles by Laura Hawley include Sonnet 43, The Sun is Mine, and a French setting of In Flanders Fields (Au champ d’honneur). In December 2015, Laura’s arrangement of a traditional Arabic song, Vivre, Aimer, Partager, went viral just as Canada was welcoming refugees from Syria. The YouTube video of this first performance has now garnered well over one million views and the printed music is now the most popular choral title The Leading Note has ever sold! This title has even surpassed Morten Lauridsen’s ever-popular O Magnum Mysterium.
Her work is published by Rhythmic Trident Music Publishing and Cypress Choral Music, but we are pleased to offer a collection of Laura’s excellent work that extends beyond other publishers and retailers, including several of her self-published titles. Check out her complete catalogue and find out why she’s one of the most popular choral composers we carry!
August 27, 2019
One of today’s most popular composers of flute music, Ian Clarke has proven himself to be a virtuoso performer and composer. His unique style has helped to popularize extended techniques with flautists of varying levels.
The Leading Note has several compositions by Ian Clarke in stock, including the following titles:
August 9, 2019
We hope this message finds you well and enjoying all that summer has to offer. This month is all about one of our favourite music publishers in the world – Bärenreiter!
Bärenreiter publications are every musician’s favourite, with Urtext and Critical Commentary editions that are considered definitive and highly sought-after. We love singing with Bärenreiter blue – do you? Also included in today’s newsletter is a handy resource about other international choral music publishers. Read on below for more details.
And remember, whatever music you are seeking for the upcoming season, The Leading Note has it all! Contact us anytime for a quote or to place your orders for September rehearsals.
Top 10: Bärenreiter Choral Top 10
What are our most popular Bärenreiter choral titles? (hint: half of the titles are by the best composer of all times – climbing the charts for over 250 years!). Can you guess who it is? Have a look and find out!
July 5, 2019
Dear choral friends,
This month, we are celebrating Christmas in July!
It may feel strange to be thinking about Christmas in the middle of the hot, sunny summer. Or, as this bit of dialogue from Massenet’s opera Werther puts it: “vous chanter Noel en juillet… c’est s’y prendre à l’avance” (“you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season”). But it is a necessity for choir directors preparing Christmas-themed concerts in the fall. July is the perfect time to plan out your fall programming and get your orders into The Leading Note and avoid the late-summer rush!
Top 10 – Christmas Selections for Children by Jackie Hawley
Ottawa-based choral pedagogue, Jackie Hawley, has curated a list of Christmas selections for children’s choir. See her Top 10 recommendations.