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Emily Joy Sullivan (b. 1987) is a composer who creates musical works characterized by lyricism, rhythmic vitality, and emotional immediacy. Her work is grounded in various vernacular and concert music traditions, combining them to create pieces animated by our roots in song, dance, and storytelling.

As a leader and educator, Emily works from a place of deep conviction in the power of communal creation to regenerate our sense of connection, meaning, and power in an increasingly complex world. 

Emily is ABD at the University of California, Davis, where she is pursing a PhD in Music Theory and Composition. Her current academic research centers on emotion and the voice, especially in the art-pop songs of Bjork. Other interests include groove, confessionalism, and methodologies for analyzing popular song, as well as musical theater.


Emily holds a Master’s Degree in Music Composition from SUNY Fredonia, where she studied with Rob Deemer, Paul Coleman, and Jamie Leigh Sampson. She holds a BA in Music from Amherst College, where her feminist musicology thesis was “Envoicing Eve: Femmes Fatales in Carmen, Salome, and Lulu.” Emily has served as an adjunct lecturer in courses ranging from theory and musicianship to The Broadway Musical. She currently teaches Composition at SUNY Fredonia.


As a composer, Emily's works have been performed in New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Melbourne, Valencia, and Cape Town. In the instrumental realm, Emily's music has been premiered by groups such as B3: Brouwer Trio, Choral Chameleon and Adelante Winds. Commissions include a trio for bassoonists at BGSU, an art song for Liz Pearse of Quince, and a piece for The Oscillators (a fusion band based in Wisconsin). Emily's percussion solo subito won an Honorable Mention from IAWM for the Libby Larsen prize. Her piano trio, Dangerous Curves Ahead, took second place in the Belvedere New Music Festival and was chosen in the SCI National Call for Scores 2020. Her works have been performed at the TUTTI Festival, SCI National Conference, Music by Women Festival, Bowling Green New Music Festival, Collage Composers Colloquium, Fulcrum Point New Music Discovery Series, VIPA Festival, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and LunArt festival. Most recently, she was selected as a mentee in the NATS composer mentorship program.

Emily’s greatest passion is writing for the voice. From solo to choral, "classical" to "popular", and experimental to unabashedly traditional, the voice's expressive potential is her main interest. Emily's vocal works have been performed by Stephanie Lamprea, Kelci Kosin, Lynne McMurtry, Katherine Fuller, Madeline Jentsch, and Liz Pearse (of Quince). Repeat collaborations include Opera Elect, Choral Chameleon, and N.E.O. Voice Festival. Recently, Emily has explored performing her own works. She is co-founder of the UC Davis Graduate Student Ensemble, and improvisation has becoming increasingly important to her work, especially since COVID-19.

Emily has founded and directed many singing groups, with a focus on helping people of various backgrounds, ages, and experience levels find community and a sense of joy through singing. She founded an international community choir in New York, which she led for four years. She has also researched choral music in South Africa; in 2013, she earned a Project for Peace grant to design and lead workshops for South African youths, bridging socioeconomic and cultural differences through group song.

Emily is a passionate educator. She holds a Master's Degree from the Bank Street College of Education, and has over a decade of teaching experience with students of various ages and in various subjects. Teaching music, unsurprisingly, turned out to be the best fit! From music-craft camps for 9-year-olds to teen choral workshops to college courses exploring the Broadway Musical through creative writing, Emily considers teaching her vocation - and a creative act in its own right!  

Recently, Emily was awarded an Honorable Mention for the Libby Larsen award.

Emily is a member of ASCAP, SCI, IAWM, and ADJ•ective New Music Collective, where many of her scores can be purchased. For scores not available there and any other inquiries, please email 













Sunday Supper 2012
Choral Chameleon conductors, 2018
All Nations, 2011
With The Oscillators
With B3: Brouwer Trio
Fulcrum Point New Music: Discoveries
Fredonia composers!
Sunday Supper 2012
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