Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jefferson Johnson


American composer Christopher Theofanidis’s choral-orchestral work The Here and Now (2005) is a setting of Jalal ad-Din Rumi’s thirteenth-century poetry as translated by Coleman Barks. Theofanidis employs a cappella sonic contrasts, silence, rhythmic text setting, and a libretto based on fragments of Rumi’s poems to tell a story about the search for love, longing, joy, and gratitude. While rooted in traditional Western composition methods, this twenty-first-century work uses musical elements like color chords (bichords), cluster chords, changing meters, and modality, as well as imitative polyphony and unifying motifs within a new, tonal American aesthetic espoused by the Atlanta School of Composers, of which Theofanidis is a founding member. This DMA project presents warmups, rehearsal strategies, and teaching methods to guide the choir and conductor through the challenges of rhythmic text setting and dense harmonic language so that learning and performing The Here and Now is a rewarding endeavor.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)