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Skinny Love - 2018

The definition of "skinny love" is a love felt between two people who are embarrassed to show it. I wrote this choral work not out of love, but out of  anger towards people who disrespected my boundaries in my first semester of college. I used this title because I felt like these people and I were unable or embarrassed to communicate with each other about our feelings. I wrote the lyrics after a fight, where I blame our anger on our inability and laziness to understand each other's perspective. This song is an anthem of positivity, both for me and for anyone else who needs to hear it. 

I Won't Let This Be Goodbye - 2018

I wrote this brass quartet in the fall/winter of 2018, after I had met a good friend in one of the music ensembles I was in that semester. Both of us study difficult majors, and I was afraid that our busy schedules would prevent us from seeing each other after the fall semester. I was determined and ready to do almost anything to preserve our friendship, and fortunately we have been able to remain friends to this day. I wrote this piece in a way that sounds like it is pleading and begging with the listener to stay until it sweetly and soundly cadences.

Your Life Has Just Begun - 2019

This is a work that I wrote for my sorority sisters, who have the tightest bond I’ve ever seen. It is a theme and variations, and each variation was written for a specific girl that I have had the pleasure of knowing. The first variation was written for a girl who had a dark past, but rose to be the best person she could be as our chapter president. The second variation is for a woman who was born under the lights of Las Vegas, and how that sparkle and pizzazz reflects in her personality. The third variation was written for my big, similar to a mentor, when I found out that we grew up 45 minutes away from each other in the rolling plains of Eastern South Dakota. The fourth variation is for a girl whose energy reminded me of a light piano sonata from the classical era.

The Birds Outside My Window - 2020

Video to be uploaded shortly

If someone had told me three months ago that my life would change drastically in one day, I would not have believed them. I received an ill-informed diagnosis after much speculation about my health. I zoned out of the conversation, watching the birds flying outside my apartment window. The birds were flying in random directions at random speeds, which I thought best represented my mind at the time. Once I received clarification on my diagnosis, I watched the birds start flying in the same direction at the same speed, mimicking my thought process becoming more calm. This phenomenon inspired me to think about duality when writing this piece for my performer. The symbolism is articulated by alternating sections of atonal chaos, tonal clarity, atonal disorder, and tonal stillness.

Click on this link to learn about my involvement with Nebraska Education Telecommunication's docuseries, "What If..."!

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, my collection of video performances is limited. Please enjoy sound files of my unpremiered works!

The Sky Cries With Me (2019)
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My special-needs sister hates storms, so she will repeatedly sing "Rain, Rain, Go Away" to make herself feel better. I find that melody sad, so I switched the melodic intervals in that melody and obtained the melody for this song. A few weeks later, I experienced a traumatic event while my family was almost 2,000 miles away. A storm rolled in the night after, and I was drawn outside by a pastel, lavender sky. I saw a bright double rainbow, and I was overwhelmed with warmth and peace, standing in the rain. This piece reminds me that the sun always shines after a storm.  The piano addition to a symphonic band piece emphasizes raindrops, which was the original title of this piece. Harmony and pitch recreate the emotional pulls that weather, and unexpected events, can do to a person.

Satan & The Pageant Queen (2019)
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After dealing with their unacceptable behaviors for several months, I decided that it was my turn to make a joke out of my overbearing roommates in the form of a composition, where I portrayed them as two toxic identities in a story that puts good above evil. Satan was named for her desire to watch the situation burn, and the pageant queen was named for her willingness to use her beauty to put her at the top of a pedestal to get what she wanted. The overall story is a dance involving the two, swirling about in an effort to make my life miserable, only for the dance to become more demented and fragile before hitting a brick wall. All of this is characterized by the “breaking apart” of the music starting about halfway into the piece through the end. This piece has jazz and funk influences.

Lost In Quarantine (2020)
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COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways. When I learned that high risk people like myself were more likely to die, I started living my life in fear. As a result, I stopped caring about my passions and career. I thought that nothing would matter if I were to succumb to the virus. I decided to write my feelings out into this work. I played around with unconventional ensembles, and the idea that tonality can be fluid so long as a tonic note, not necessarily a part of a chord, is known. After the statement of the melody in the ambiguous key, the tonal center stabilizes in a new key that symbolizes growth and comfort in the situation.

How Sweet The Sound (2020)
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This piece is a theme and variations on the melody of "Amazing Grace", dedicated to my close friend's sister who passed away from late stage cancer in April 2020. I worked in a cancer lab during the summer and winter of 2020, so stories about cancer hold a special place in my heart. After hearing about the young woman who passed away, I realized that she had touched hundreds of lives all around Nebraska in her short lifetime. With the permission of her family, I decided to let her memory live on in this piece. The variations of the "Amazing Grace" melody highlight the highs and the lows of life, which are felt through the use of modes and irregular time signatures. All proceeds from future performances of this work will be donated to cancer research.