Sonata for Solo Horn and Ghosts: Recollections of My Life in Music

Date of Award


Document Type

Bibliographic Record

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Katherine Larson

Second Advisor

Robert Levy

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Sonata Solo Horn and Ghosts: Recollections of My Life in Music follows one woman's struggle as she makes the decision not to pursue a professional career in music. A gifted student, she feels deeply conflicted over the discipline required for furthering her talents and her desire for a less confined life. When the death of her father coincides with her enrollment at a conservatory, she further struggles to divorce her own life aspirations from the responsibilities she feels towards her music and instrument, which have provided safety and a sense of identity throughout her father's illness. Only nearing the end of her school program can she confront the truth that despite her immense efforts, being a musician will not bring her comfort or fulfillment and that her self-destructive behaviors are no longer useful as a means of coping with her uncertainty. This memoir reflects on the uncomfortable nature of the journey from devout to disillusioned and the necessity of making peace with the choices made along the way.


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