Sing For Joy!

by Mike Wilson

"Sing For Joy!" was designed to be a huge Christmas piece; Christmas in essence, yet without specific reference to Christmas. A regal horn section invites your attention with herald trumpets and a full complement of brass, winds, strings, and percussion keeping the enthusiasm up throughout.

There are three vocal parts (parts 2 and 3 are optional) with part 3 written in the bass clef for your lower, changing or changed voices. Part 1/melody takes a horn-like approach and sings the first chorus and bridge by itself. Parts 2 and 3 join at measure 23, singing another chorus and bridge before moving to the "bell-tone" section at m. 41. This is the fun section. Instruct your students to sing "Joy" like a bell. Choose your terminology – sforzando, forte piano or subito piano – just so they give each "joy" an accented attack followed by an immediate drop with sustain. It is important to give each dotted half note its full value so parts 1 and 2 keep overlapping, creating the overtone effect of multiple bells.

Then you get a quick four bar breather for a percussion break, with the dual purpose of giving your soloist time to move forward to the mic. We think it sounds best with the youngest soloist you can find. This creates a wonderful contrast when everyone in the building ("+congregation" as noted in the music) joins in on the D.S. The repeat is still valid in the D.S. so you will be singing a full chorus before jumping to the coda for the ending.

On our web site, you will find part 2 and part 3 isolated for rehearsal purposes. You will also find an a cappella version which sounds pretty wonderful by itself, though we do encourage the use of the recording to get the best result in performance. (See details for accessing these extras on page 76.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.