First Advisor

Bonnie Miksch

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Music: Composition and University Honors






Composition (Music), Social distancing (Public health), COVID-19 Pandemic (2020- )




The Covid-19 pandemic posed an interesting challenge for performing artists: How does one continue to make art and perform while maintaining performer and audience safety? As a music student preparing for my Junior Music Composition Recital, the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic forced me to reevaluate the direction and nature of the music I was writing. This led to the composition of three new works which were specifically written to be performed while adhering to social distancing and mask requirements. The three Meditations for Woodwind and Electronics explore themes of nature and were pre-recorded to maximize safety. Des-C-H-Ut-Es (Deschutes) is a minimalist piano piece inspired by the music of Ann Southam. Trasformerò is a string quartet in five movements, written in response to the pandemic and musically exploring the five stages of grief as outlined by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. In this thesis I examine each of these compositions, discussing individual compositional processes used, reflecting upon the experience, and considering what I discovered about myself as a composer. A program of the recital and full scores for each composition are also included.

The works discussed in this paper were performed at my Junior Music Composition recital on June 6th, 2021 in Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall recital hall.


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