The Great Outdoors

by Teresa Jennings

The opening song, "The Great Outdoors," shares its name with the revue to set the tone for what follows. As you might expect, it is a fairly grand piece, symphonically arranged on our Performance/Accompaniment recording to highlight the feelings of awesome connection we share with the natural world. The recurring motif is introduced in the beginning by majestic horns, followed by low brass, then soaring trumpets, all the while floating over a bed of twinkling, fluttering woodwinds and strings. (Now there's a listening lesson waiting to happen!) At bar 7, the style abruptly changes and settles into a lightly bouncing ostinato over a syncopated bass line. Four bars later, we're ready for the vocal entrance.

On our recording, we chose to use four soloists of different ages for this first section, breaking it into four phrases. This is optional, and you may choose to use just one or two soloists or some or all of your singers here. Going into the anthem-like section at measure 27, we do recommend bringing in the whole group for contrast. You'll note that we have included an optional part 2 that also begins here and then continues on through the song. Its addition at the recapitulation at bar 11 adds excitement, which continues through to the (what else?) big ending in the coda. As always, if you need a little help with the second part, we suggest including others such as older students, teachers, or even parents to lend a hand. Or in this case, a voice. To help you teach part 2, we have isolated it and created a rehearsal track which you will find on our web site for free downloading. Also, we have provided a full version of the song that does not include solos, and an a cappella version for inspiration.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.