Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Vocal Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Esther Jane Hardenbergh - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Paul Wilson - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Nobleza Pilar - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

David Alt - Committee Member

Fifth Committee Member

Nicholas De Carbo - Committee Member


This doctoral essay examines the vocal solo and duet repertoire of Kenneth Mahy, an American composer of art song and choral music in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. By examining his songs, assessing their difficulty, and analyzing their texts, this essay establishes that Kenneth Mahy is a composer worthy of note. In addition, this study provides pedagogical observations and performance notes of his songs. Furthermore, this essay provides biographical information about Mahy, and examines how his training, education, military experience, and unique experiences as the son of missionaries in China and the Philippines, among other influences, have affected and shaped his compositions. Resources include source material gathered from Mahy's personal archives, manuscripts and scores, and personal interviews with Mahy. This information provides comprehensive insight into a unique and deserving composer of modern American art song.


Edgar Allan Poe; Four Love Songs; John Donne; Voice And Piano; American Art Song; West Virginia Composers