Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Dr. Gregory A. Fuller

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Christopher J. Goertzen

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Dr. Joseph L. Brumbeloe

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Dr. Jack L. Dean

Committee Member 4 Department


Committee Member 5

Dr. Webb Parker

Committee Member 5 Department



Jamaica gained its independence from Great Britain in 1962, after some 300 years of colonization. Prior to Independence, the standard arts education curriculum was decidedly British and Western European. That which was labeled Caribbean or Jamaican “folk” by the British was deemed inferior and was not taught, demonstrated, or performed in formal settings. Thus, generations of Jamaicans never observed or imagined a Caribbean aesthetic in the visual and performing arts. Instead, pre-Independence Jamaicans were taught British and Western European music and performed it the “British” way.

Today, Jamaicans boast a number of artistic developments that are instantly recognized across the globe as being “Jamaican.” One such development in choral music is choral theatre, the performance style of The University Singers of The University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. Through its choral theatre performances, The University Singers has established itself as a cultural ambassador for Jamaica and the entire Caribbean region. This performance practice incorporates the use of lighting, instrumentation, staging, costuming, and gesture. The University Singers presents its diverse repertoire—including choral standards from Western Europe and choral arrangements of Caribbean and Jamaican popular music—in the choral theatre style during its annual concert season in its campus home, the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts.