Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Catherine Rand

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

James Standland

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Gregory Fuller

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Edward Hafer

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 5 School



Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon rose to worldwide prominence through her orchestral compositions. She is a prolific composer who has made significant contributions to the genres of solo concerti, mixed chamber ensemble music, choral music, and opera. Higdon describes her approach to composition as intuitive, where music is internally heard and then notated.

The purpose of this study is to create a conductor’s analysis for four wind band pieces written by Dr. Jennifer Higdon. It will examine the signature characteristics of Higdon’s compositional style and use those characteristics as a fundamental for the creation of written analysis. The dissertation will provide conductor’s analysis’s for Kelly’s Field, Machine, Mysterium, and Road Stories.

Published research on the wind band music of Jennifer Higdon is minimal. Each of the four works will be analyzed with regards to instrumentation, form and structure, melodic content, harmonic content, and rhythmic content. Information on commissioning, historical context, and the programmatic nature of the works will be also investigated. The combination of all these elements defines Higdon’s compositional style across all genres.