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Styles: Vocal Jazz for middle school

As requested, here is a compilation of vocal jazz pieces and resources that
would work well with middle school students. Thank you to all who replied!

Samuel Barrett
Patrick Henry Middle School
2200 S. 5th Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
(605) 367-7639

If it's still in print, Carl Strommen had an arrangement of "Georgia On
My Mind" for SATB that works well with this age. You might consider
rewriting the last couple of measures, which I feel don't measure up
(sorry for the pun) to the rest of the work.

The original Kirby Shaw setting of "Satin Doll" for SAB that came with
his original jazz pack was great. The current arrangement that I think
has replaced it (also by Kirby) is much more difficult.

Here are a couple of suggestions...

Kirby Shaw's "Ain't Misbehavin" is pretty accessible and a real winner. We
performed it as adults with a solo + 3 background parts, FYI.

He's also done "How Deep Is The Ocean" - worth a perusal:

We just got a shipment of the new songbook "Under the Boardwalk" - it
might be too easy for your kids (SAB) but it's targeted at middle school
(pop, not jazz per se):

Some of the Manhattan Transfer titles may be accessible, like
"Boy From New York City"

Java Jive is another Manhattan Transfer winner:

Good luck!

I co-own Sound Music Publications, a publishing company that specializes in
Vocal Jazz music. Please, check out our Web site: WWW.SMPJAZZ.COM
We have several SA, SAB charts that are specifically composed or arranged
for middle school jazz choirs.
Email me your address and I will send you a catalog.
Or, just give me a call and I will be glad to help you in any way.
Frank DeMiero

Frank DeMiero
Frank DeMiero Productions
Sound Music Publications
Seattle Jazz Singers
P0 Box 598
Lynnwood, WA 98046
Phone: (425) 771-0824
Cell: (206) 931-3664
Fax: (425) 771-7562
E-mail: frankgde(a)
Web site:
Web site:
Sno-King Community Chorale

I performed "Blue Skies", arr. Emerson, Hal Leonard, with two different
school MS choirs. They
both loved it! It can be purchased in SATB. There is a scat section in the
middle that can be
repeated as many times as you wish if you do it with your own instruments.
If you perform it
with the CD, then the peice must be done straight through and I feel it's a
little too short. I
recommend this highly!

How about 'Save the Bones for Henry Jones' by Kirby Shaw?
SATB with accompaniment, swing chart. It is great for
beginning jazz choir. Plus there are little solos (with text
about a bar each) that can feature a number of voices in the
choir. There is even a written out scat solo with some scat
backgrounds. Again, basic, but enjoyable especially with the
lyrics. It even has a couple of solos that can be somewhat
spoken if you have some students that are challenged with
matching pitch.

I believe it is still published by Hal Leonard.

Another good beginning chart is Kirby's arrangement of the
ballad, When I fall in Love.

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