Chocolate Sundae

by John Riggio

Food can make for an interesting and humorous topic in a song. In the case of this song, a chocolate sundae large enough to be seen with the naked eye from orbit is our topic. Hungry yet? Read on.

We strongly recommend you use the Performance/Accompaniment CD/cassette for this song, as it utilizes a bit of radio theatre for effect. The song begins with the sounds of a construction site fading in. Bulldozers, cranes, and other heavy machinery are moving around nearby. This ambience is interrupted by the sound of a cranky construction foreman. He has a five o'clock shadow, stands about 5 feet 6 inches, and seems to be as wide as he is tall. "Hey! Bring that chocolate sauce over here!" he thunders. He gives the cement truck operator the o.k. to start pouring chocolate sauce, and it's off to the races. The audience is treated to numerous special effects throughout, with our gruff foreman interjecting commentary after each chorus. It ends with our foreman yelling, "Everybody bring your own spoon!" to the delight of the hard-working students who made this feast possible.

"Chocolate Sundae" is a fairly straightforward piece with no syncopation. The most difficult passage is probably the chorus at measure 25, where the melody is a legato progression that may challenge young singers to take large breaths. Fortunately, breathing can be staggered here, so don't let anyone turn blue trying to get every note and length out. At the chorus, you have the option of including some background vocals. These are optional, of course, and if you use them, you might wish to have older, more confident singers perform them. You will hear on the first instrumental track mix on the recording that we've actually left the background singers in. This is in case you want to hear them, but you don't have the singers to perform the parts. If, however, you desire to divide your class up to have some of them sing the three-part background vocals, there is a second instrumental track mix with no background singing whatsoever. The part for these backgrounds is included in this issue on page 58.

For performances, you may want to add some visual effects. Construct a large chocolate sundae prop out of cardboard and colored paper. Don't forget the whipped cream, nuts, sprinkles, cherry, etc. Get a couple of hard hats and a clipboard for would-be construction workers looking over the plans for the sundae and pointing at it, shaking their heads as if agreeing on some point, directing heavy equipment, etc. Make sure all students have plastic spoons in their pockets so they can pull them out at the end of the piece and dig in!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.