Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name


Department (Legacy)

Department of Music Theory and Composition

Committee Chair

Rouse, Steve


Smith; Tracy K.--Musical settings; Songs (High voice) with orchestra--Scores


I have always had a certain fascination with outer space, the Solar System, other planets, the cosmos, and the unknown. Centered on these themes, Lift on lv1ars is a setting for soprano and orchestra of two parts of Tracy K. Smith's poem "My God, It's Full of Stars." The original poem consists of five parts, of which I have selected the first and last parts. In the original poem, the parts are untitled, but for Lift on lv1ars, I chose titles for the two movements from lines that I feel capture the central idea of each part. In the first movement, "A Cosmic Mother," slow, expansive sections contrast faster, frenetic, recitative-like sections. The text expresses abstract ideas of the unknown elements of the cosmos-ideas that are both awe-inspring and terrifying at the same time. The text of the second movement, "The Reagan Years," deals with popular culture surrounding the space expeditions and research of the 1980s. The movement begins with a drum set solo that continues throughout most of the movement, weaving in and out of other orchestral colors that enter and leave the texture.