A Candle For Remembering

by Teresa Jennings

This brief and poignant song can be used for any occasion of remembrance, such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or even Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's also appropriate for saying goodbye to someone, if you so desire. It might even be effective for a holiday performance that is focusing on peace and issues of humanity. The simplicity of the song is elegant and memorable.

The recording of this song features two solo penny whistles and a brass ensemble playing an arrangement reminiscent of an old English folk song. It's quite haunting and lovely. However, the song would be very nice played on piano as well. The penny whistle solos could be played on a flute or any C instrument, such as recorder. (A more accomplished player might be a wise choice for this.)

If you wish to make a ceremony of the song, at measure 29 let your students actually light a candle. You could do this with one student and one candle, or several students with several candles. You could even use all students. If you are doing this with many students, it would be most effective if they lit their candles simultaneously so that they are all lit by the end of the song. Obviously, one candle would allow for the simplest ceremony. Have the candle stationary, or let a student carry it to another student, who lights it. Be sure it is extinguished properly afterwards.

If you choose to use real candles, please remember to be safe! Have a fire extinguisher at the ready, educate students on fire safety, and be sure your school knows there will be real fire used. Ask a fireman to come in and talk to your students as well as attend the performance.

Since candles are potentially dangerous, you may wish to use artificial ones instead. There are many kinds of these available from various dealers, including the Music K-8 Marketplace. (Call toll-free 1-800-437-0832, or visit the online store at MusicK8.com.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.