Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



Jake Runestad is a fresh voice within the new wave of successful twenty-first century American choral composers. Among the growing number of very popular works within his expanding opus, Runestad has compiled three of his independently conceived compositions into a cycle he titles, American Triptych. The determination to group these works together in a cycle, Reflections (2016), The Piece of Wild Things (2013), and Come to the Woods (2015), was largely based on a common textual thread since all three authors are naturalist writers – Henry David Thoreau, Wendell Berry, and John Muir.

All three are written for SATB chorus and piano and were first recorded as a Triptych by Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare on their album, The Hope of Loving. The first three chapters provide a textual/musical analysis, and the final chapter addresses performance practice issues for the conductor, pianist and singers. The purpose of this research project is to provide a performance guide for prospective conductors and to offer greater exposure of the work to the global choral community.



Committee Chair

Dickson, John