Music, School of


First Advisor

Gregory Simon

Date of this Version


Document Type



A Masters Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Music, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Professor Gregory Simon. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2020

Copyright 2020 Christina Ensign


Highly emotional and wildly eclectic, At the End of the Dock is a nine-movement work for string quintet, jazz quintet, and piano. As a culmination of my studies of composers who have been most inspirational to my work as a student, theorist, and composer, I have written a piece which strives to encapsulate the styles of many into a single harmonious package. Standing as the foundation are three interludes, namely movements three, five, and seven, which reflect upon a childrens’ tune heard in the opening movement, “Prologue.” These movements, which represent loneliness, tie together the larger and more overtly “jazz” segments, found in movements two, four, six, and eight. The interludes serve as momentary pauses in the narrative, allowing the storyteller to ponder a thought, memory or fantasy, while the intersecting movements drive the narrative forward, forcing the narrator to face reality, question the past, and look towards the future. The final movement, “Epilogue,” is a remembrance of the journey which has passed and a breath of hope for the journey which lies ahead.

Advisor: Gregory Simon

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