Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Fine Arts



Major Professor

Dr. Yotam Haber

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Taylor

Third Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Carson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Victor Atkins


This oratorio tells the story of Queen Esther as presented in the Old Testament Book of Esther. Its format includes choruses and solos with an orchestral accompaniment. The main characters in the story are Esther, King Xerxes, Esther’s uncle Mordecai and their antagonist Haman, with occasional insertions by a narrator. In addition to the primary scripture used, there are several inclusions from the Psalms, Song of Songs, and a commentary poem by Wayne Watson highlighting the oratorio’s sub-title, “For Such a Time as This,” which is the overriding textural theme. The orchestration focuses on reed woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion, including consistent use of the Persian tanbak (bongo type drum). Rhythms are regularly freely used to support the text. Dissonant melodic construction and its resulting harmonic dissonance present a panoply of sound beyond the traditional classical approach of dominant/tonic tonality.


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