The division of Composition, Music Theory and Musicology includes three interconnected yet distinctive areas within the Conservatory whose faculty and students excel in scholarship, awards, publications, and performances.

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  • An Overview of Select Compositional Techniques in David Maslanka's Symphonies Nos. 4 and 9 

    Cole, Brooke Madison (2022)
    American composer David Maslanka (1943-2017) was a well-known wind band composer, who composed nine full-length symphonies, seven for wind band. Though well-known to many performers and conductors, little theoretical ...
  • Jacques Hotteterre's L'Art de Preluder, A Translation and Commentary 

    Boyer, Margareth Anne (University of Missouri -- Kansas City, 1979)
    Jacques Hotteterre (c.1680-1761) is probably best known today for his Principes de la Flute Traversiere, ou Flute d'Allemagne, De la Flute a Bec ou Flute Douce, et du Haut-bois (Paris, 1707), but he was also the author of ...
  • Calming The Waves Double Wind Orchestra 

    Yin, Hao (2022)
    This composition portrays through music the artistic conception found in the Chinese writer Su Shi’s (1037-1101) poem “Calming the Waves.” The poem speaks of the weather in nature as ordinary and indistinguishable, and ...
  • Follow Me! Anna Held, Lillian Russell and Alice Nielsen As New Women Of the Stage At The Turn Of the Twentieth Century 

    Gilmore, Erin (2022)
    At the turn of the twentieth century, singing actresses Anna Held (1872-1918), Lillian Russell (1861-1922), and Alice Nielsen (1873-1943) were conquering the stages of musical comedy and opera. Using their pre-existing ...
  • Persona Con Grata for Saxophone Duo 

    Shirley, Lucy (2022)
    Persona Con Grata for Saxophone Duo is a three-movement musico-theatrical exploration of the musician’s psyche. In focusing on the saxophone as an extension of the persona, corporality, and voice, and using extended ...
  • The Accelerationist International 

    Henry, Dillon Patrick (2022)
    The Accelerationist International is scored for wind ensemble, with the addition of a pop consort consisting of electric guitar, electric keyboard, electric bass, and drum kit, as well as a narrator and fixed media. The ...
  • Jesus Paid It All: Combining Rock and Hymns in Contemporary Worship Music 

    Seidel, Danielle Mary (2022)
    Much of Contemporary Worship Music (CWM) synthesizes elements of rock music and hymns. This thesis provides an analysis of four CWM songs, “Come Thou Fount,” “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” “Your Glory/Nothing but the ...
  • The Fairy Songs: A Theater Piece for Voice, Electronics, Lighting, and Theatrical Components 

    Ricucci-Hill, Aaron S. (2022)
    The Fairy Songs is a theatrical composition written for voice, fixed media, live electronics, and auxiliary percussion presented as a frame for collaboration with some form of visual or performative media. The text is ...
  • Memories of My Hometown 

    Liu, Yintong (2021)
    My orchestral piece, Memories of My Hometown, has two movements: I. Pine Trees Standing on the Snowy Mountain; II. Passionate Land. After studying abroad for many years, I yearned for my hometown in China and hoped to ...
  • The Tale of the Southern Tour 

    Li , Shaosheng (2021)
    The Tale of the Southern Tour for orchestra is commissioned by The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Shaoguan City in Guangdong province in 2019. The piece received its world premiere in December 2019 at the Guangzhou ...
  • The Wanderer in the Depths of Dreams for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Two Percussionists, Piano, Classical Guitar, Violin, Cello, and Live Electronics 

    Zou, Hao (2021)
    This piece is the final piece of music composed using my favorite techniques and styles before entering my doctorate program. For me, it marks both a watershed of my professional development and a brand-new start. Drawing ...
  • Going off the rails: exploring the impact of the railroad on the development of musical culture in Kansas City, Missouri (1869-1905) 

    Roderer, Gabriella (2021)
    Kansas City, Missouri, is a musical oasis in the United States. In addition to being considered one of the four original jazz centers, local audiences also enthusiastically welcome art music and experimental music of all ...
  • Antumbra - Concerto for Classical Guitar and Chamber Orchestra 

    Owen-Leary, Patrick (2021)
    Antumbra (ænt - UHM - bruh) is a concerto for classical guitar and chamber orchestra with programmatic elements based on the toils of self-discovery. The Latin word ‘antumbra’ (‘ant-‘: “before”; ‘umbra’: “shadow”) describes ...
  • "Oh, When the Wiz": An Ethnography of Communal Music-Making in Kansas City Soccer Culture 

    Gillock, Nicholas (2021)
    If you have spent any amount of time in the United States, you have certainly encountered the frenzied culture around professionalized sports. Attending a game, you have likely engaged in some participatory music-making ...
  • Compromise (Fusion) for suona and orchestra 

    Ling, Kwan Leung (2021)
    Compromise (Fusion) (for suona and orchestra) is a work that delves into the chemistry between the suona and a Western approach to orchestration. The suona has not yet been fully “discovered” by composers. Traditionally, ...
  • Flashbacks : for percussion trio 

    Wang, Siqi (2021)
    Flashbacks is a five-movement piece for percussion trio. This work aims to explore the unique sounds and effects of various combinations of percussion instruments. Each movement emphasizes a distinct theme: motif and ...
  • String Quartet I 

    Whitney-Johnson, Laura (2021)
    String Quartet I is a composition in four movements for string quartet. Each movement expresses a specific emotional and sensory experience with rainwater. Movement I, "Flood Plain," was inspired by wetlands in Nebraska ...
  • Book of Birds 

    Berlinsky, Paul Stanton (2021)
    Book of Birds is a composition for flute and electronics inspired by birds. Throughout human history, artists have developed stories and music about the natural world around them. In this piece, Book of Birds, I am adding ...
  • Viola Concerto 

    Rocha, Sofía Aasland (2021)
    This work seeks out a few different questions in each of its movements, present always though is the question of the relationship between the individual and group. This relationship comes to the fore in the genre of concerto ...
  • Mountains in the Distance 

    Cholodenko, Devin (2021)
    This thesis explores the mechanics of musical composition and orchestration through the lens of an orchestral tone poem. The work presents various musical materials with characteristics and qualities in accordance ...

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