My first semester at Oklahoma State was one that was very stressful and demanding. I would have so many late nights and early mornings that I was having a difficult time keeping up. I was working with 4 of the 5 choirs while also managing a full graduate course load. On a drive back to Kansas City I started thinking about how frustrated I was, and in that process, I starting hearing conflicting harmonies in my head. I kept that in my head for the rest of the drive and when I got home I got my manuscript paper and start writing down what I heard; thus Dies Irae was born.
I had always wanted to use this text and with the frustration, I was feeling it only made sense that this is what I use. That semester, the University Singers theme was the Janus Effect; the idea of conflict of moods gave great inspiration to the piece, being able to sing something so calm and follow up with something so intense. It was exactly what I was feeling. I'm so very thankful for Dr. Haygood and being in his University Singers my first two semesters, and I dedicated this work to him and his amazing choir.
Voicing: SATB divisi.