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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Vocal Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Corin Overland

Second Committee Member

Karen Kennedy

Third Committee Member

Coreen Duffy

Fourth Committee Member

Don D. Coffman


This essay provides a historical background and analysis of for The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass by librettist Marisha Chamberlain and composer Carol Barnett. It includes a discussion of Chamberlain’s libretto, a harmonic analysis of Barnett’s score, and rehearsal suggestions for the choir and bluegrass band. The textual analysis explores Chamberlain’s libretto and provides insight into the different faith practices that inform the text. The harmonic analysis section discusses Barnett’s style, explores tonal centers within the work, and examines text painting in the piece. The rehearsal guide explores how two bluegrass bands prepared the work for performance and offers rehearsal strategies for working with a bluegrass band. This essay is informed by structured interviews with the composer, librettist, members of bluegrass band Monroe Crossing who played the premiere of the work, and members of Big City Folk Band who played on a performance, which I conducted. It is my hope that this essay will encourage conductors to program this and other works by Barnett.


Choral; Bluegrass; Carol Barnett; Marisha Chamberlain; Mass