Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Music Theory and Composition (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Dorothy Hindman

Second Committee Member

Marysol Quevedo

Third Committee Member

Charles Mason

Fourth Committee Member

Shawn Crouch


"At the Edge of Hope, a Cantata for the Everyday Colombian," for soprano and baritone soloists, SSATB choir, guitar, piano, and Colombian folk instruments including tiple, cuatro, marimba de chonta, and Caribbean gaita, musically captures the narratives of post-conflict Colombia from the perspective of Colombian citizens. The poetry, by Colombian authors Fernando Linero, Henry Gómez, and Catalina Villamarín, is based upon testimonials that I collected from the five mainland geographic regions of Colombia during the summer of 2017. It evokes the personal experiences and political positions of everyday citizens affected by the former and current conflicts between the Colombian government and different insurgent groups. The composition borrows elements from diverse Colombian folk musics. The work was made possible by a 2017 Presser Graduate Music Award. This essay explores my interest in the social issues and folk musics from my native Colombia. It provides a historical background of the conflict; discusses the interviews I collected, which became the inspiration for the cantata; and explores the poetry that I commissioned, which is based on these interviews. Subsequently, I present an analysis of important musical materials, the form of the cantata, and the various possible configurations of stand-alone works contained within it.


New Music; Latin American; Colombian; Soprano; Baritone; Choir