Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type



Hyo-won Woo, a renowned female composer from South Korea, is highly regarded for her contributions to Korean choral music. Woo’s My Country is an 80-minute cantata consisting of 14 movements. As a full-time resident composer for the National Chorus of Korea, Woo composed this work in honor of the March 1st Revolution. She utilized her signature style of storytelling, incorporating narration and solo performers to portray the hardships of Korea during Japan’s colonial era. The cantata takes the mood of Requiem as a poignant symbol of Korea’s painful loss of their country and includes text derived from the resistance efforts of independence activists. As a result, it is an emotionally charged work for Koreans. The National Chorus of Korea has showcased multiple versions of My Country to accommodate changes in choir size and context. These versions include orchestration variations with longer and shorter arrangements, as well as different program options such as maximum, shorter, and highlight versions. Woo’s emphasis on communication with the audience through stage design is evident in this work.

This monograph presents an integrated exploration of the text and musical elements found in Woo’ cantata, My Country. Through a detailed examination of the work’s history and interviews with the composer, the author aims to offer a deeper understanding of the composer’s life and artistic style, as well as a thorough analysis of the cantata’s music, text, and context. This guide also provides valuable performance suggestions for conductors to enhance their interpretation of the work. Furthermore, the monograph emphasizes Woo’s significant projects, with a particular focus on the Ari Project. This initiative showcases Woo’s remarkable talent for rearranging her compositions to suit a diverse range of ensembles, thereby facilitating accessibility and expanding the reach of her works. Through a comprehensive examination of the historical context with meticulous detail, this dissertation enhances the knowledge and understanding of conductors and musicians who aspire to engage with Woo’s compositions. By delving into the profound musical styles of Korea, it equips them with a deep appreciation and insight necessary for meaningful interpretation and performance.



Committee Chair

Rowe, Alissa Mercurio

Available for download on Friday, June 28, 2024