OUT of the GATES



For solo unaccompanied trumpet

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OUT of the GATES — by James M. Stephenson

for solo unaccompanied trumpet
duration: 4′

Commissioned by Monica Benson


Program Notes – by the composer:

I love projects that completely out of nowhere – and are totally unexpected; when you’re just going along,
doing your daily “job”, and something comes along that becomes a really fun collaboration. Such is the case with “OUT of the GATES”, as commissioned by trumpeter Monica Benson. I gave a talk one early June day at the Fresh Inc Festival (a festival for composers/performers) in southern Wisconsin, and ended up striking up a conversation with Monica, during which she explained a bit about herself, and then we went on our way. To my surprise and delight, Monica later then contacted me about the idea of a new solo unaccompanied work for her. Of course I said yes – trumpet is my (former) instrument!!

OUT of the GATES is named after Monica’s regular “gig” as the bugle caller at Arlington International Racecourse. But Monica also enjoys a performing career in wide-ranging musical styles. As such, I wanted to reference the bugle-calling, but not make too big a deal out of that. It is used more as a means to propel all different sorts of ideas, which get developed and tossed around throughout the work. Ultimately, OUT of the GATES is set in a way to hopefully allow for personal expression from any and all who perform it. Whether lyrical, a fanfare, or light in nature, there are many styles encompassed in the piece to hopefully inspire and challenge the soloist, while ideally engaging the audience at the same time.

With Monica finishing up her graduate degree at DePaul University, my hope is that placing this on her graduate recital will send her “Out of the Gates” in true style.

Jim Stephenson; April 13, 2019

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