"Essay on Silent Night" was commissioned as a string quartet by Dr. Karl Moyer, music director for Grace Lutheran Church, for performance during the candle lighting ceremony at mid-night mass in Lancaster Pa. This version is for saxophone quartet. The piece is based on the original hymn, "Silent Night," by Franz Gruber. The opening section is developed from the same rhythmic opening as the original hymn (dotted quarter, eighth, quarter). The second section is set in common time and is heavily contrapuntal with the theme being passed back and forth between all the instruments as the section develops. There is a return to the opening section before concluding with a coda. The coda was originally written to act as a segue for the congregation to sing the original hymn following the performance of this piece. The tempo is quarter = 96 and the total duration of the work is 4' 30.