We Wish You A Swingin' Holiday!
adapted by Teresa Jennings/arr. Paul Jennings
The absolute best way for your students to learn their parts in this lively and kickin' arrangement, is by listening to the recording! Since the piece is a partner song, part 2 is absolutely necessary for its success. And part 2 happens to be the one that's going to take a bit of work to learn. Though even part 1 has just enough variation from the familiar original song, that your students will need to pay close attention! Happily, because it is a partner song, both parts are focused on individually before they are put together. Using the recording of these individual performances ought to seriously assist with the learning process.
While we found our singers enjoying the swing style of the chart, it was the scat singing of part 2 that really got their attention. For some reason, kids just love to scat. Of course, this isn't technically real scat singing, because it's not improvised. You could indeed change that and let your singers do their own improvised scatting if you are that ambitious. If not, our version works just fine.
Once again, the big band on the recording is worthy of note. We used a traditional, but slightly altered group of players: rhythm (including acoustic bass, which sounds way cool in a tune like this), four trumpets, four trombones, four saxes, two horns, congas, and vibes. If you are doing a unit on jazz any time soon, this tune would be a great resource for listening.
One other suggestion we have for the piece is the addition of movement and theatrics. These are indicated on the music. In particular, we think you will get the most out of the "chorale" section if you let students really ham up the contrast. Allow them to sing with vibrato and an oh-so-serious manner and then have them really let go when they get back to the swing style on the word "hip." Don't forget to let them snap here as well to define the change.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.