Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



First Advisor

Michael Schelle


In light of the unprecedented events of social unrest that took place in the year of 2020, this piece takes inspiration from the timeless poem “Pity the Nation” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Just as the text and themes relate to the United States during this time, they continue to resonate beyond multiple areas and eras.

When recalling the events of 2020, some remember fear, uncertainty, pain, anger, disgust, and loss. Pity the Nation depicts these emotions. The alto and tenor voices follow each line of text in the poem, interpreting the themes musically as they are given. The fear of the unpredictable future is heard through the text-setting in both the voices and the chamber ensemble.

This piece is dedicated to the memory of the renowned ‘Beat’ poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Included in

Composition Commons