Writing a Modern Missa Brevis
Composing a Missa Brevis, or short Mass, is a long, collaborative effort. My Missa Brevis attempts to convey narrative through music. I use the traditional Greek and Latin text from the Mass Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Church combined with modern harmonies to bring light to the themes of supplication, intercession, glory, holiness, joy, and peace. This piece, which was originally composed on piano, through my own efforts and collaboration with my conductor and advisor, became a four-part choral piece for an a capella choir. The four movements of this particular Missa Brevis are the Kyrie, the Sanctus, the Benedictus, and the Agnus Dei. This process is by no means a perfect one, and despite the many successes of the piece there are still elements that can be improved, but overall the music works well to convey the message of the text.