“Cats’ Night Out”

Because I believe in my deepest soul that cats do tango, foxtrot, and waltz on the city streets at night, I was delighted to discover a kindred spirit in Caroline Stutson, author of Cats’ Night Out.

Caroline Stutson’s verses entertain and teach young children about dance styles, dance costumes and how to count by twos. The activities of the dancing cats suggest a story in music as they build toward a crescendo, descend into stillness, and begin to build again through a suggested repeat.

When I sat down to compose “Cats’ Night Out,” I heard a jazz melody (prompted by Stutson’s “trumpet riff”) … tip-toeing cats … and city traffic on a warm summer evening. In my first draft, the melody and its rhythm were the same for each verse. Later, when the words told me that a tango, a foxtrot and a waltz do not dance the same dance, I gave each verse its own dance rhythm, trying to approximate the rhythm of the actual dance. The resulting composition is most like a recitative.

Currently I am arranging “Cats’ Night Out” for children’s chorus.


“Cats’ Night Out”
(Excerpt of synthesized recording, music only)


Cover image of Cats' Night Out by Caroline Stutson