Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



The purpose of this document is to supply a comprehensive performer’s guide to Iowa composer, Dr. Michael Patterson’s, People of the Land, an eight song, song cycle for baritone and piano, set to poetry by Iowa poet James Hearst. This song cycle was personally commissioned to fulfill a need in the American song cycle literature on the topic of farming and more specifically Iowa farmers. The poetry of James Hearst, farmer and poet, has never been previously set in a song cycle.

People of the Land tells the story of an Iowa farmer from the beginning to end of his career while living through World War II. The text is collected and arranged numerically from editor Scott Cawelti’s book, The Complete Poetry of James Hearst. The eight poems were personally selected by me, and composer, Dr. Michael Patterson to tell the story of a rural Iowa farmer during WWII. The song cycle intends to offer the images and sounds of the Iowa farmer as he matures throughout his career. The baritone voice acts as the community, speaker, and the farmer himself, comments and reacts to events of hardship and prosperity on the farm. The accompaniment creates the emotion and atmosphere of rural Iowa through use of original hymnody and authentic American folk song style.



Committee Chair

Jesse, Dennis