• Hometown: Buffalo, NY
• Current Location: Northern California
• Completing doctoral studies at the University of California, Davis
• Publishing Company:
JoyfulNoise New Music (ASCAP)
• SUNY Fredonia (M.M.)
• MS in Early Childhood and Childhood General Education, Bank Street College of Education
• Amherst College (B.A.)
Emily Joy Sullivan (b. 1987) is a composer, educator, and choral director based in Northern California. Her music is animated by the spirit of song, dance, and storytelling, and often embraces vernacular traditions. Sullivan’s works have been performed in New York, Chicago, Memphis, Melbourne, Vancouver, Valencia, and Cape Town. She holds a Master’s Degree in Music Theory & Composition from SUNY Fredonia and a BA in Music from Amherst College, where her feminist musicology thesis was “Envoicing Eve: Femmes Fatales in Carmen, Salome, and Lulu.” She is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Theory & Composition at UC Davis. Primary areas of research include music and gender, lyricism and song forms, and creative pedagogy.
Sullivan has also founded and directed several singing groups, with a focus on helping people of various ages and backgrounds find a sense of community, empowerment, and joy through singing. She founded an international community choir in New York, which she led for four years. In 2013, she earned a Project for Peace grant to create choral workshops bridging socioeconomic and cultural differences through group song. Sullivan is committed to creating music in a collaborative spirit, and has worked with librettists, poets, choreographers, and instrumentalists to create modern, relevant art in community together. She is currently working on a suite of improvisational pieces inspired by the aesthetics of joy, as well as a musical drama retelling fairy tales from the heroines’ points of view.