by Mike Wilson
First responders really stepped into the limelight on September 11, 2001. But they have always been there protecting us from harm, and helping us in times of trouble. Natural disasters, violence, accidents, fire – when it happens, first responders, our guardian angels, are right there. This song was written to honor the sacrifice, courage, compassion, and selflessness displayed by first responders. "Worthy of honor. You're the first in our hearts."
This song is arranged as SSA, though it could also be done in unison if that works better for you. You can find rehearsal tracks for parts 2 and 3 as well as an alternate unison full performance version on our web site, free to our subscribers.
The form is verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, ending. If you listen to the recording, you'll notice the contrast in dynamics between the verses and the choruses. The unison verses are sung mezzo forte, then hit hard on the choruses with three parts sung forte. At the end of each chorus, it decrescendos back into the verse or bridge.
The bridge is the fun part. You can choose to build as you like, but we think it works best if part 1 and 3 start together. Part 2 enters at the end of the first time leading into the repeat. All parts start quietly and build to forte. You can make it fortissimo if you like, leading to the last chorus. Diction is important because the message is important. Sing with passion, but don't sacrifice the articulation.
Thank you, first responders!
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.