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Music Student Selected for Exclusive Conducting Workshop

Fairbanks, Alaska—University of Alaska Fairbanks music student Emerson Eads is one of 10 people nationwide selected to participate in the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Conducting Workshop next month.

“This workshop is a terrific opportunity for me, not just because of the teacher, but because of the professional orchestra,” said Emerson, a senior in the music program. “The ability to have podium time with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra is a terrific opportunity. Also, the players vote on who will be selected to return and conduct the orchestra in a performance during the first week of January, so that's an exciting opportunity.”

He will conduct at a concert Sunday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Davis Concert Hall at UAF. The concert will feature the world premiere of his composition, “The Red Balloon Suite,” and a performance of Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 9 ‘Jeunehomme.’” Donations for admission will be accepted at the door.

Son of pianist and composer Emerson Eads Sr., Emerson has been surrounded with music his whole life. He grew up in Delta Junction, where his high school music teacher introduced him to vocal studies, music theory, sight singing, conducting and orchestration. After high school, Emerson earned a bachelor’s degree in history education with a minor in music from Covenant Life College. He taught choir and band at Whitestone High School in Delta Junction for six years before coming to UAF in 2009. During his time in Delta Junction, Emerson also directed the Whitestone Community Choir and the Delta Community Choir.

In addition to his work conducting, Emerson is a vocalist and composer. His resume includes the composition of a seven-minute work, “Homeland,” celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Alaska's Statehood, which was performed by Opera Fairbanks.

“Composition and conducting are both equal passions of mine,” he said. “I love singing and, as much as I'd love to do it all, there aren't enough hours in the day to devote to it all. I am so grateful to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Department of Music and the faculty members, who have gone out of their way to foster my musical upbringing in so many ways.”

The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Conducting Workshop is an acclaimed and highly competitive workshop. Participants work under the supervision of Baltimore Chamber Orchestra music director Markand Thakar to conduct the orchestra in works by Elgar, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven. Participants range from young professional to advanced pre-professional conductors. Thakar is the co-director of the graduate conducting program at the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where Emerson plans to get his master’s degree.

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