A survey of the sacred choral works of William James Mathias (1934--1992) with an analysis of selected works

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

First Committee Member

Jo-Michael Scheibe - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study is to provide a survey of the seventy-three sacred choral works of the Welsh composer, William James Mathias (1934--1992), including a more detailed analysis of selected sacred choral works. Chapter One is an introduction to the study. Chapter Two provides a review of available relevant literature. Chapter Three provides biographical information on William Mathias compiled from a number of resources, including a personal interview with Mathias's widow, Mrs. M. Yvonne Mathias, and daughter, Dr. Rhiannon Mathias, of Menai Bridge, Isle of Anglesey, North Wales.Chapter Four deals with Mathias's compositional style characteristics, primarily with regard to the sacred choral works, and includes numerous musical examples. Chapters Five, Six, and Seven survey Mathias's sacred choral works in table form, categorized by works with instruments, works with organ and/or piano alone, and unaccompanied works, respectively. These chapters contain specific information, including musical form, text sources, voicing, instrumentation, vocal ranges, first performances, liturgical usage, and publication information. Chapter Eight provides a more detailed analysis of the following works: Alleluia; A Grace; Hodie, Christus natus est, I Will Celebrate; and Yr Arglwydd yw fy mugail ("The Lord is my shepherd"). Chapter Nine is a summary of the study.There are two appendices: a transcript of the author's interview with Mrs. M. Yvonne Mathias and Dr. Rhiannon Mathias and a pronunciation guide to the Welsh text used in Yr Arglwydd yw fy mugail.



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