Psalm Cycle

Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


Music Theory and Composition

Committee Chairperson

Dr. Robert Maggio

Committee Member

Dr. Adam Silverman

Committee Member

Dr. Mark Rimple

Committee Member

Dr. Alexander Rozin


“Psalm Cycle” is a collection of Psalms set to music and inspired by a season of studying the life of David, the primary Psalmist. Each Psalm was picked for its vantage point in David’s life and specific themes, striving for parity. Formally, the work is like a song cycle in that the various movements are connected through their authorship and place in David’s story, while resembling a cantata in that it can be performed in a worship service. As the project took shape, I diverged musically from either form’s constraints and allowed myself to interpret the text with my own artistic voice. This choice resulted in a wide variety of musical styles, ranging from sacred chorales with “IV. Save Me” to a jazz fusion take on blues with “VII. Create In Me A Clean Heart.”

The work features instrumentation that blends a big band with a traditional orchestra, a synthesis of my favorite ensembles. It is written for three saxophones, two French horns, two trumpets, 3 trombones, piano, bass guitar, drum set, percussion, organ, voices, and a string section of violins, violas, and cellos. The flexibility that this diverse instrumentation creates was needed to accommodate the wide variety of musical styles and choices. For the lyrics, I employed a combination of paraphrasing, quoting excerpts, and writing my own words. The specific translation I used was the World English Bible (WEB), which is a Public Domain Modern English translation of the Holy Bible.

Included in

Composition Commons