…through the watches of the night…--Jason Bahr

Program Notes:

At Brevard Music Center (Brevard, NC) there is a tradition every night of playing Taps to put the younger kids to bed.  On Sunday evenings, it is a tradition at BMC for the  trombone choir to play arrangements of Taps.  It was for these occasions that I have written this piece.

The piece takes its title from Psalm 63:

 On my bed I remember you;

I think of you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help,

I sing in the shadow of your wings.

My soul clings to you;

your right hand upholds me.

 (vv. 6-8, New International Version)

 The playing of Taps conjures a lot of images for me: it is a solemn occasion, either for the death of a soldier or for the coming of the night  (the dying of the day).  As night descends on Brevard, amid the woods and mountains, so far from home, it is comforting to think of God watching over me.   Although the entire piece is based on Taps, it is not revealed until the very last.