A Perfect Winter Day

by Teresa & Paul Jennings

This past summer, the surveys we received let us know that you like the partner songs we bring you. So this year we decided to bring you another one with big band accompaniment (these have been very popular!) and a bit of silliness attached to it.

As with most partner songs, part 1 is sung first by itself, followed by part 2, also by itself. On the third time through, the two parts are combined.

In the case of "A Perfect Winter Day," part 1 is sung with joy and glee. These singers obviously love winter and can't wait to be outside in it. This part should be performed pretty normally (compared to part 2), remembering to swing the eighth notes, as this is a shuffle. At the onset of the song, your audience should be none the wiser that anything amusing is coming their way at all. (We liken this type of song to the efforts of such classic performers as Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Bing was always smooth and sincere, while Danny was the one making us laugh, usually at the same time.) The singers on the P/A recordings provide a decent example for your students.

Part 2 reveals the humor to the audience the moment it begins. Your singers should sing as if they cannot breathe through their noses. In fact, they shouldn't be breathing through their noses at all. Words like "nose" will come out as "dose." "Crummy" becomes "crubby," and so on. A little rouge on the ends of their noses, slumped over postures, wads of tissues in their hands, generally sickly demeanors, and they will have achieved the aura of misery perfectly. Let them sing a little badly as well for the perfect touch. Our singers enjoyed this part immensely. Try to teach cut offs for the sound effect sections so the singing can resume at least approximately at the right time.   At the end of the song, there is room for a little winter dance in part 1 while part 2 singers are blowing their noses. It's only a few bars long and can either be a lightly choreographed section with a bit of softshoe thrown in (using everyone or solo dancers), or it can be more free, letting each student make gleeful movements on her own.

As always, one of the best parts of this terrific arrangement is the big band behind the singers. If you have the time, play just the instrumental tracks for your students so they can hear it.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.