Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Michael Conrad


This project consists of three arrangements for jazz sextet that I created, highlighting three different compositions by women throughout jazz history. The artists that I chose to highlight are Mary Lou Williams, Terry Pollard, and Melba Liston, each of whom is a representative of a different era of jazz history and styles of jazz music (or, in the case of Mary Lou Williams, multiple eras of jazz history and styles). The purpose of this project is to contribute to the growing awareness of the impact of women instrumentalists and composers in the jazz field. Women are often overlooked or excluded in the grand narrative of jazz history as musicians, especially as instrumentalists and composers. This often results in their historical contributions to the jazz field being minimized or forgotten altogether,1 and much of their music is not often played or arranged in any medium, whether it’s in a college jazz band or a professional ensemble. By taking the music of these women from its original format and putting it in the context of a sextet (a type of ensemble that is very commonly seen at UNI and around the state of Iowa), I believe that I have played at least a small part in making their music more accessible for musicians in the area to both listen to and perform. My overall hope is that these arrangements will bring awareness of these incredibly talented composers to the UNI community, and highlight the reality that women have made some amazing contributions to jazz repertoire, despite often being overlooked.

Year of Submission



School of Music

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (20 pages)

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