Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


College of Music and Dramatic Arts

Document Type



Gabriel Jackson is one of Great Britain’s most performed living composers. He is a prolific writer, having composed choral and instrumental works for ensembles and performers around the world. Currently, commissions include a setting of the Stabat Mater for the tenth anniversary of the Marian Consort, an English professional ensemble under the direction of Rory McCleery. Other recent commissions include The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (completed for the 750th anniversary of Merton College, Oxford in April, 2014), In Nomine Domini (for the BBC Proms in 2010) and To the Field of Stars, the subject of this dissertation.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Nederlands Kamerkoor, and the St Jacob’s Chamber Choir of Stockholm jointly commissioned To the Field of Stars. The work was premiered on November 19, 2011 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo, Australia and was performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus with Shannon Draper (cello) under the direction of Jonathan Grieves-Smith. The commission and the premiere were given in honor of the historic pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and the 400th anniversary of the death of Tomás Luis de Victoria.

This dissertation is intended to serve as a conductor’s guide for Gabriel Jackson’s 2011 work To the Field of Stars and to increase exposure to the composer’s music as a whole. In order to fulfill these intentions, several purposes must be fulfilled: (1) a thorough investigation into the background and context of the work, which will be made through historical research of published sources on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela and an interview with the composer Gabriel Jackson; (2) a comprehensive analysis of the texts chosen for the work developed through textual exegesis and the composer’s interview responses; (3) an investigation of Jackson’s integration of text and music developed through a conductor’s analysis of the score; and (4) the preparation of a conductor’s guide for rehearsal and performance.



Committee Chair

Dickson, John