MAYberry Blues



For french horn and flute     Score Sample

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MAYberry Blues

May 6, 2020

Version for french horn and flute Commissioned by Andrew Fordham

From “Maytudes” – a french horn etude project in consultation with Gail Williams, with one etude created every day during the month of May, 2020

from composer Jim Stephenson (from original Maytudes etude book):

This morning, things finally caught up with me a bit.
It’s a beautiful sunny day here, near Chicago, though it’s still a bit chilly. Nevertheless, I’m feeling a bit blue.

I found myself longing for the days before coronavirus,
as I’m sure many are. I’ve been trying to avoid it by keeping myself busy, but today is just one of those days.

Gail Williams had mentioned that I could include something jazzy if I wanted in this set of etudes. So I decided to combine my “oh woe is me” mood, some jazz, and the thought of times gone by when things were simpler, and MAYberry Blues is the result.

I intially thought I would keep this one entirely in the low register.
But as I kept going, the need to get higher and higher seemed
to take hold. That said, the option for 8vb is there, and frankly,
I’m ok with players taking any of this (or the others too) down an octave at any point. You don’t always have to be a trumpet player!! That’s my instrument, so it’s ok for me to poke fun.

The four bars of “prayer” are a momentary respite for us to all stop and just breathe, and have faith that better times will come. Even so, there’s still a tiny blues tint in the prayer’s midst.

Lastly, the two notes with parentheses around them are optional. They can be left out, played up an octave, or played as is.

The sun will come up again tomorrow, and hopefully my blues will go away. Honestly, I’m already feeling better! Hooray for the power of music.

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