instrumentation: 2222 – 4031 – t – hp – strings
I am very honored and touched to have been asked by Music Director Richard Sowers to score a work in memory of the Anderson Symphony’s principal horn player, Kent Leslie. While I didn’t know Kent personally, it is obvious from the memories shared by friends that he loved not only music, but the creation of new music.
‘Blue Night’ is in some ways a smoky, jazz ballad, but in other ways a work filled with a bit of shining light, offering hope and encouragement even in times of sadness. I so often marvel at that time of day/night, when the sun is just setting, when the energy of the day is just subsiding, and the calmness of night is just setting in. The sky is so often a wonderful indescribably beautiful blue at that time of night.
I’d like to think that the light shining through is that of Kent. With that, the french horns do play a prominent role in this work, but they do not dominate the piece. It is more that ‘they’ want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I think this is a key trait in many musicians: the joy in the teamwork approach, the passion equally shared amongst everyone involved to live in the moment; a moment that is absolutely wonderfully beautiful; familiar, but never to be repeated exactly – much like a “blue night”.
Jim Stephenson; November, 2016