Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



a Voice, a Messenger by Aaron Jay Kernis is a concerto for trumpet and ensemble comprising winds, brass, percussion, double basses, harp and piano. It is a contemporary 21st century work that demonstrates historical awareness and has the potential to become a noteworthy addition to the trumpet solo repertoire. Kernis’s work is challenging, rewarding, and tests the technical ability of the modern trumpeter’s agility and physical endurance without surpassing the instrument’s potential. In conjunction with my lecture recital, this document serves to expose trumpeters and other musicians to this new and significant composition. Original interviews with two of the trumpet soloists who championed the work, former Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic Philip Smith and Principal Trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra Michael Sachs, are included. Additional interviews with the composer and conductors who have performed the piece provide primary source material to better prepare future soloists to properly perform the piece and inspire further research. These conversations and the investigation of the significance of the shofar lead to a deeper understanding and offer more insight into the most demanding musical and technical aspects of the piece. With the perspective and historical analysis provided in this document, it is my hope that a Voice, a Messenger will be brought to greater light in the trumpet world and music community at large.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Shaw, Brian



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Music Commons