Messe des Perdus was written for the Gardner-Webb University Choral Union in 2015 and
received its first performance in April of 2016. This work consists of five movements from
the Mass Ordinary: Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei.
I chose to set the Mass Ordinary text for unaccompanied choir for a variety of reasons. I
grew up attending a Church of Christ, a denomination that typically rejects liturgy as well
as the use of musical instruments. When I was beginning my time as an undergraduate at
Gardner-Webb University, I was confronted with a number of difficult perspectives that
conflicted with many of the beliefs I had inherited from my religious tradition. As I
struggled to understand and reconcile these views with my own, I found I needed a way to
express my feeling of “lost-ness.” I found that expression through the creation of this mass.
By combining elements that were both rejected and accepted by this tradition, I was able to
create a much-needed sense of peace.
Messe des Perdus reflects my struggles but is not unique to them. Translating to “Mass of
the Lost,” this work acts as a comfort to all those who have lost their way.