A formal, historical, and interpretive analysis of "Equus" and "October" for wind ensemble by composer Eric Whitacre

Date of Award




Degree Name

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


Music Conducting

First Committee Member

Gary D. Green - Committee Chair


The purpose of this essay is to examine two selected works by composer Eric Whitacre: Equus and October. This discussion not only presents a model for performance-practice encompassing analytical and stylistic considerations, but also addresses Whitacre's compositional processes, attitudes on the wind band, and thoughts on contemporary music---all of which gives some greater insight into his compositional psyche. It is through these concepts in combination that we may more fully understand this complex composer and musician known worldwide for his innovative music.Whitacre's Equus, commissioned by Gary Green and the University of Miami Wind Ensemble, and October, commissioned by Brian Anderson and the Nebraska Wind Consortium, dually serve as the foci of the essay. Further, the author uses these works as a springboard for discussion into areas that present Whitacre as an artist, composer and human being. These concepts, while worthy of inclusion, are difficult to substantiate, prove, or even document; likewise, they are often omitted from essays of similar nature.The music of Eric Whitacre has been performed throughout the world and with much acclaim in nearly every genre, including opera. His music and, indeed he, is deserving of a sincere and intense study. Such was the intent of this essay.


Biography; Music

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text