We Are Thankful
by Teresa Jennings
There is no season for gratitude - it's always important! - though we do have a day we set aside specifically to be thankful. That is, of course, Thanksgiving. This tune is ideal for the celebration of Thanksgiving, though it can definitely be used any time at all. If you wish to adapt it for other circumstances that call for gratitude or appreciation, feel free to change the lyrics accordingly. For example, instead of "Thankful for the things we have," you might sing, "Thankful for our favorite school." Or "Thankful for our Mr. Smith," "Thankful for Miss Applegate," and so on.
This is a very "choral" piece and encourages students to sing in their head voices. It requires a wide range for part 1 - low B to high E - and an even lower range for the lower notes of part 2 (if you use them), which goes down to the low G. (A low B can be substituted if the G is too low.)
The style of the song is a cross between folk, gospel, and good ol' boom chick. It is mostly playable on piano, but you will need a secondary instrument to play the interlude motif at measure 5 each time it occurs. We have included the trumpet solo at these points on the piano/vocal score for your convenience. At measure 17, the treble clef piano part is just doubling the vocal lines and can be eliminated. The bass clef piano part covers the progression and movement nicely.
The section at measure 17 breaks into a call and response, which should be simple enough for most students to catch on to. It is a reverse cumulative section, somewhat like "The Twelve Days Of Christmas." There is a double bar at measure 17 and another at the end of measure 20 which outline the section that repeats. Listen to the recording for clarification of how this section works. It's simple, but it can look confusing at first.
At measure 21, part 2 breaks into a divisi. The divisi is optional as is part 2, for that matter. It will be just fine with one, two, or three parts. We found that our singers really enjoyed breaking into parts though. So even if you need to "borrow" a few older singers from another class (or the faculty!), it might be worth it for the overall effect and fun of performance. Be sure students follow the crescendo/decrescendo markings during this section.
We have also indicated the addition of claps on the music. They are demonstrated on the recording as well. We think they add to the liveliness of the tune, but you can omit them if you wish.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.