Sugarplum Dancing

by Teresa Jennings

We've all heard of a Sugar Plum Fairy dancing, right? But what about the sugarplums themselves? Don't they have a right to do, do, do some sugarplum dancing, too? The sugarplums singing this song certainly think so! Inspired more than a little bit by the "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite, this lighthearted piece is part hip hop, part classical, and all fun. How carried away you get in performance is up to you. Will you costume your sugarplums? Let them choreograph their moves? Feature solo(s)? None of this is necessary for an effective performance, but it is a plum opportunity. (Pun intended...)

As you will hear on the recording, we chose to have a soloist (Emery Allen) the first time at measure 9. And since she was doing such a great job, we let her continue all the way through the chorus starting at measure 19. Part 2, which is optional, also joins in at the chorus as an echo of sorts. Once it goes back to the D.S. at measure 9, part 2 has the light and happy job of singing "plum" on the offbeats. Back to and through the chorus, and it's off to the coda, where we let our soloist rejoin part 1 on the repeat. Again, this is optional, but if you have an outgoing singer (as we did), it's a great chance to let her shine. To help teach this one, we have provided a rehearsal track for part 2 at our web site. We have also included a "no solo" version, in case that is more useful to you.

Since the tune is hip hop, the eighth notes are actually swung (except where "straight 8ths" are indicated). That is, they have a triplet undercurrent. Singing along with our kids on the recording will help yours get the hang of it, but it's pretty natural, especially given the underlying groove they will hear.

One of the more spritely elements of the recording is the celeste. It combines with the bells and glock here and there, but gets to show off a bit in the coda. It's the essence of sugarplum dancing!

This song includes a Diving Deeper Into The Music interactive learning assessment.

Remix (arr. Dan Thieman)

When I heard Teresa's "Sugarplum Dancing" I couldn't help but think an electronic version would be a lot of fun to make, and it was! The remix version builds nicely throughout. It has a rather serious overall vibe to it, and the melody is full of stylistic intricacies. Feel free to listen to the remix version just for fun, or to sing with, or even dance to if you'd like. - D.T.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.