Like Diamonds In The Night

by Teresa Jennings

No matter who we are, where we live, or what we celebrate during December, there are a few things our celebrations have in common. One of those things is light. Everywhere we look we see decorations, embellishments, and displays great and small all filled with light. Is there anything quite so magical as driving around in the evening looking at all the beautiful lighted trees, homes, parks, stores, streets, buildings, you-name-it? Truly, the sparkling is akin to diamonds in the night.

This happy pop song is a tribute to that feeling. From the bouncing anticipation in the strings at the beginning, it slowly builds to a passionate, full envelope of sound surrounding us much like the lights all around. Let your singers become fully immersed in the music. Turn it up and fill the room. And when they get to the echo, "Like diamonds in the night," let them become serene, glowing in the moment.

We've taken great care with the orchestration and production of the instrumental tracks for this piece, as you can hear on the Performance/Accompaniment recording. In fact, we've used two full sets of strings so that we could layer the sound most effectively as it reached the pinnacle heading into the coda. The wall of sound is just wonderful. If you have a chance to play the background tracks for your students, please do. Let them experience it as a sound painting, visualizing the lights all around them as they go. What a marvelous exercise in imagination, too.

Listening to our singers on the recording will help yours learn the piece, though we have kept it relatively simple so that you can use it with varying grade levels. And while it could be done in unison, the echo that recurs is very effective and easy to do. We do add a third part at measure 54, but it is optional. It adds a bit of punch and lively fun which you could assign to a select group of singers to simplify things. We have isolated this part and put it on our web site free for you to access to teach it. (See the details in the box on page 77.)

Using this piece in performance just cries out for strings and strings of lights all over. You will likely have at least some of these, perhaps on a Christmas tree as well. If you can amend them with more (safely!), you might consider lowering the room lights when you perform so that the little lights do shine like diamonds all around.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.