Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Music compositions are vehicles of communication. Organized music ensembles in schools allow for students to share in the process of music-making and extramusical expression within the curriculum. As of late, school districts have made a push in mental health awareness and suicide prevention within professional development seminars. This project views the music classroom as an important, open environment for such pressing social subjects. In such, my composition—Flaher (pronounced “flare”)—pays homage to a friend, Anthony Flaherty, who committed suicide (keeping his namesake in the work’s title). Flaher is an accessible piece for high school or college band that directors can use to discuss pressing challenges in students’ lives. The work explores melodies derived from a chord of solace discovered in the coping process after hearing of the suicide. These melodies are presented in the alto flute, representing the initials—A.F.—of my friend. This theme is then developed throughout the band. The theme undergoes formal contrapuntal techniques to create a varied aural landscape leading to melancholy remembrance. Flaher was premiered by the WKU Wind Ensemble at their April concert, with hopes of being published soon thereafter.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Kallstrom


Composition | Music | Music Performance