John Gardner: An examination of his life and selected choral compositions

Date of Award




Degree Name

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

First Committee Member

Donald Oglesby, Committee Chair


Born in Manchester, England, in 1917, John Gardner is a versatile musician and eclectic composer. He has penned over two hundred compositions, over half of which are for or include choral ensembles. These choral works, written after 1946, incorporate sacred and secular texts, and range from a cappella settings to multi-movement works, featuring piano, organ, and instrumental accompaniments. His style juxtaposes a sense of lyricism, often framed in canonic structures, with a rhythmic vitality, marked by a keen awareness of poetic meter.This document compiles and updates information on the life and professional accomplishments of the English composer. Chapter One is an introductory statement of purpose. Chapter Two is a biographical sketch of John Gardner. Chapter Three consists of a discussion and analysis of three works: Jubilate Deo, Opus 37ii (SATB, unaccompanied), A Shakespeare Sequence, Opus 66 (SSAA, piano duet and percussion), and Herrick Cantata, Opus 49 (SSAATTBB with orchestra). These works were designated by the composer as among several of his most significant choral compositions. Three appendices list his choral compositions and recordings and give program notes provided by the composer from performances of nine additional choral opuses.


Biography; Music; Education, Music

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