Peaceful Night

by Teresa Jennings

If ever there was a subject acceptable for a school program, it is peace. It's also a natural - a wonderful, uplifting natural - for holiday programs in particular. Though we firmly believe peace belongs to all seasons.

This beautiful and gentle song will hopefully help you and your students share sentiments of peace at your own school, too. It's a partner song, which means that part 1 sings the first time, part 2 sings the second time, then the third time, both parts join together for a lovely effect. After the third time, both parts continue to the end where they may break into harmony with the optional divisi.

This tune is light and pretty and will encourage students to sing in a head voice. Consider taking a few minutes to warm them up accordingly prior to singing.

The style of the song is sort of a marriage between folk and Celtic, using solo fiddle and penny whistle. The melodic instrumental interludes are indicated on the piano/vocal so that you can use your own live performers if you want. The piano part is easy enough to accompany them. Though we can say that our soloists, Larry Shapiro and Jim Farrelly, did a very fine job on the recording.

If you do perform the song live, you might prefer to use soloists instead of groups for the two parts. Or even just smaller groups of a few singers. It would sound nice that way, too. Using a guitar(s) instead of piano is also an option.

The triplet based undercurrent helps the tune move along in a swaying sort of way, similarly to a waltz. In fact, if you want to feature any capable dancers waltzing during the tune, that would certainly be effective. Have them only dance during the instrumental interludes so as to not upstage the singers. Bring them in again at the end for a nice finish.

Consider adding some sort of setting for the tune. A backdrop with a night sky would be ideal. One larger star could be the focal point. If you can't make a setting, perhaps turn down the lights. Have someone in the back shine a bright spotlight, maybe just a large flashlight, up toward the ceiling or high on the wall. If you can hang something shiny on the wall around the back, like tinsel or garland, it could sparkle in your light.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.