Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Dr. Richard Adams

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Ricci

Third Advisor

Dr. Stanley Pelkey

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


"Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!" (Isaiah 64: 1 NIV). The title of this piece reflects the character of the music which, in turn, reflects the character of God. There is the ubiquitous omnipotent God who has existence in His hand; there is the lover God who longs for his creation; there is the exciting God who writes the epic story. This concerto musically explores these characteristics.

In homage to composer Eric Korngold, Rend The Heavens is written in one movement and in a pseudo-rondo form. Unlike traditional rondo which uses a thematic ritornello at each return of the A-section, this piece is what I am calling a "timbral rondo." Instead of a melodic theme returning each A -section, a certain timbre returns. The mood is the ritornello; the feeling is the ritornello. Indeed, there are themes present that do return, but the ritornello is not a "refrain" in the standard sense. Corresponding to each of the three sections (A, B, and C) are the three characteristics listed above.

My goal as a composer is to create music that appeals both to the elite musician and the average listener. In Rend The Heavens the same holds true. I aim to relate my art both to the player and the to the masses.

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