Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Alfonse Anderson

Second Committee Member

Nate Bynum

Third Committee Member

David Weiller

Fourth Committee Member

Dave Loeb

Fifth Committee Member

Rachel Anderson

Sixth Committee Member

Linda Lister

Number of Pages



Spiritual Roots and Classical Fruits is the title of Jacqueline Butler Hairston’s first and only CD. Hairston is an American born composer and arranger who has proven herself as a prolific writer of vocal music, most notably in the genre of spirituals and art songs. The

Charlotte, North Carolina native brings a wealth of experience to composition through her southern roots in spirituals and her formal classical training at The Juilliard School of Music, Howard University and Columbia University. The goal of this document is to introduce and present solo vocal music of Hairston’s with an emphasis on harmonic structure, text, interpretation, performance practice, musical setting and overall form. Known primarily as a prolific arranger of spirituals, particularly her Christmas spirituals for Kathleen Battle, Jacqueline Hairston has equally established herself as a prominent composer in the art song genre. Her compositional style mimics the essential traits of Black American music coupled with modern and traditional European classical techniques. Her nonarranged

music runs the risk of being overshadowed by the popularity of her spirituals. Consequently, this writing will provide detailed insight to her gift for non-sacred music as well. An essential aspect of Hairston’s music ties into performance practice. A detailed exploration of how her pieces should be performed and direct insight into the composer’s intent serves a critical role in the entirety of this study. The totality of this research is gathered from my interactions as a student of Jacqueline Hairston, multiple interviews with her and interviews from her close associates. Moreover, it is my hope that this exposure of her work will engage and excite more discussion and performance of her music in recital, concert and church halls.



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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