I Will Be There

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Friends and loved ones are always close to us when we keep them in our hearts. This gentle song is about friendship, connection and community. The lyrics explore the feelings of saying goodbye, knowing that friends will be remembered and remain in our hearts even when we find ourselves separated from each other. I Will Be There is an excellent repertoire choice for graduations, retirements and end of year concerts and recitals.

The lyrical melody of this song is written with simple rhythms. It offers two options: unison/solo or 2-part treble/duet arrangement. Harmony parts include an alto line for two sections of the piece and a descant harmony line for the final chorus. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce and encourage part singing and sharing the harmony responsibilities between the two parts.

The melody of I Will Be There is written to lie comfortably within the vocal range of young singers. Added versatility is provided with arrangements available in the Key of F or the Key of E♭.

Download includes:

  • Vocal score
  • Lead sheet
  • Director/piano score
  • Lyrics
  • Accompaniment – piano
  • Accompaniment – with melody guide (unison/solo)
  • 2-part arrangement – Accompaniment with separate Soprano 1 and Soprano 2 melody guides

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I Will Be There

Teaching Tips

Concert Repertoire

This song expresses the feelings associated with being friends. 

I Will Be There is ideal for graduation ceremonies and celebrating the end of the school year with your students. This song explores the experience of saying goodbye to good friends, with reassurance that shared experiences will be remembered and remain in our hearts.

The words are also appropriate for saying goodbye to retiring staff members or other members of the school community who are leaving for any reason.

Expressive Singing

Discuss the sentiment of the song.

The mood of this song is optimistic even though the singer is away from people about whom they care.

Use dynamics to support the lyrics and sing expressively.

When the song divides into two parts, be sure the harmony line supports and complements the melody line without being overpowering.

Form

I Will Be There begins with the chorus.

The form of the piece is ABA, ABA - Chorus, verse, chorus;  chorus, verse, chorus, with the words changing slightly between chorus 1 and chorus 2.

The final chorus is slightly extended for the ending.

Listen and Discuss

Extend the song into a time of discussion and personal reflection.

  • Read the lyrics and get to know the music.
  • Use I Will Be There to initiate and stimulate engaging discussion with students.
  • How do the students feel about graduating?
  • Discuss the emotions of ending one phase of life and beginning another.
  • At what other occasions might people feel these same emotions?

Special Graduation Presentation

Have each member of the graduating class provide their photo from Kindergarten plus a more recent photo.

Organize the photos in two-photo groupings showing the younger photo first and then reveal who that youngster is by showing their recent photo.

Have the school choir perform I Will Be There as the background for your photo presentation for a memorable walk down “memory lane”.

Other year-end “memory” activities

  • Print the lyrics for I Will Be There on special paper.
  • Make a copy for each student.
  • Leave space around the lyrics for students to collect autographs from their classmates, or include a blank sheet of special paper for autographs.
  • Create a class yearbook with photos, writeups, stories, poems and other class contributions. Include space for autographs and messages from friends, teachers and even the principal!
  • Create a friendship rainbow using hand tracings and writing memories of your friends on each hand.
  • Make a class time capsule.

Composer's Notes

I Will Be There

I was preparing to retire after a 35-year teaching career and I was leaving a school where I had been the music teacher for 25 years. I was beginning to teach children of former students! The students in my classroom grew up with music classes being an affirming, creative, supportive and safe place to be. Out of that creative space, we enjoyed a fine, singing culture within the school. Students sang until the end of grade 6 when they moved from my classroom to the band program. (And for many years the band teacher put their skills to good use as they used solfege to sing their band parts while learning to play their new instruments.) To add to this musical culture, we also had a choir that met once a week for 45 minutes. This was a highlight of my week. It was a chance to challenge students to use their foundational music skills beyond the regular classroom activities to create wonderful music as a team. We were able to present musical performances with "beautiful songs, fun songs and difficult songs". As I neared the end of my final year with “my” children, I wanted the choir to know how much they meant to me and how much I had enjoyed spending my days with them making music and being creative together. I decided to write them a song. I Will Be There was the result. When it was completed, there was a problem. I couldn’t sing it for them without falling apart and I couldn’t teach it to them to sing for me for the same reason. I finally hit on the plan to sing the song at home and record it. I would then play the video for the students. That is what I did and it was still heart wrenching for all of us. It was not ever performed outside of my music room, and the students were the only ones who had ever heard it.

A short while later, I submitted I Will Be There the Cantabile Choral Society's 2019 Composition Competition for the Cantabile Truro Youth Singers. It was selected as the final winner and premiered on Feb. 8, 2020. It was a great song to put into the hearts of young singers at this point in time in our world. This song is about community and finding that space in our hearts where we keep our loved ones, even when we are not able to be with them. It was a hopeful message to hold onto for the next few years when singing was restricted.


P.S. I did write a goodbye song for my students that we DID sing. It was See You Later, Alligator, a cheery, up-tempo song to ease us through the process of saying goodbye. It was hard enough to be parting ways (for all of us) so my final gift was a goodbye song that was not sad!


You Are Invited

When you have enjoyed singing this song with your students and choir - please drop by again and leave a Review on this page. Thanks!

Song starts at 0:45

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Vocal Range

C4 – D5, D4 – E5

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